78 pp + Perfect bound.
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A.D. Winans is an award winning
San Francisco poet and writer. He is the author of sixty-five books and
chapbooks of poetry and prose.
His poetry, fiction, articles and
reviews have appeared in over 2000 literary journals, newspapers and
anthologies, including the San Francisco Chronicle, City Lights Journal, Beat
Scene, Beatitude, the N.Y. Quarterly, Poetry Australia, and the Outlaw Bible of
American Poetry. From 1972 through 1989 he edited and published the acclaimed
Second Coming Press whose archives are housed at Brown University. He worked
for the San Francisco Art Commission from 1975 through 1980, during which time
he produced the 1980 Poets and Music Festival honoring the poet Josephine Miles
and Blues Legend John Lee Hooker. In 2002 a song poem of his was performed at
New York’s Alice Tully Hall. In 2006 he was awarded a PEN National Josephine
Miles Award for excellence in literature. In 2009 PEN Oakland presented him
with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015 he was the recipient of a Kathy
Acker Award in poetry and publishing.
insanity, Tales of Crazy John by A.D. Winans is a page turning instant
classic. A humorous, streetwise, stark raving joy cover-to-cover! Five out of
four stars on the Richter scale.
- S.A.Griffin, Los Angeles
He’s back in all his glory; Poet A.D. Winans’ zany adventurer/ madman/
religious icon, Crazy John. With his derby hat and cowboy boots, still “dreaming
the impossible,” Crazy John is once again in and out of jails, churches and even
heads for Australia for awhile . The mad eyes of A.D. Winans’ memorable
prankster poet can still light up the night with his flaming eyes and even
manages to get himself nominated for sainthood. San Francisco’s beloved poet
takes us for a wild ride in this book which includes both the first two
chapbooks of Crazy John poems plus a brand new “final volume” of Crazy John’s
adventures. Like the graffiti Crazy John loves, for a good time call Crazy John
and A.D. Winans. Pure fun from a legendary poet. Enjoy.
- D.R. Wagner, Poet/musician/visual artist Locke, CA
Review from Misfit Magazine:
A.D. Winans, Crazy John Poems: The Collected Series, Cold River
2018, 74 pages, $14.95
Here, at long last, are the three collection of Crazy John poems in one
volume. I recall reading the first collection when it first came out,
roughly 40 years or so ago, and the poems remain as fresh now as they
were then. Crazy John is a kind of street messiah, making the rounds of
the North Beach bars and hangouts, recording his impressions and wild
ravings. His is the voice of unreason, at once a mythic and a
downtrodden Everyman, one of society’s non-conforming rejects who defies
categorizations as anything other than a misfit.
They Say That Crazy John Is Mad
Because he claims to converse
With the ancients
Grabs strange girls off the street
And tried to sell them
His peripheral vision
Sometimes on a warm summer night
People come from far off
To watch him gather fruit and nuts
At the local farmer’s market
But it’s been many years since
I’ve seen him perform a miracle
He claims he’s waiting for
The Holy Ghost to come out of hiding.
I’ve seen guys like Crazy John on the street, waited on a couple, and
thrown more than my share out of bars. I’ve engaged others in
conversations, at bus stops, passing a pint of Apricot Brandy back and
forth, just to be sociable. I was more of a Scotch man, myself, when
waiting for the 55, still you go with what’s on offer. I got to hear
the kind of tales of an intimate nature that defy the imagination
involving dildos, closed for the holiday’s stores and a lack of
batteries for his girlfriend’s vibrator, from someone I had known for
less than ten minutes. Some might say Crazy John is more of an
exaggerated prototype than a person. Okay. After the preceding, actual
conversation with a perfect stranger, one can accept the patently unreal
as easily within the realm of possibility.
Allowed a work furlough
He processed barley
At a local brewery where
He fascinated the workers
By turning malt liquor into
Ale with one flick of the wrist.
(from Crazy John Was Arrested On)
A gift like that one every street grifter’s dream. Tales of Crazy
John, for the street person in all of us.