Alan Winston KingWebsite
Years: 2007, 2009
“A fixture on the D.C. MD VA scene since 1999, Alan has at one time blessed every Open Mic spot throughout the area. Mangoes, he was there; Brookland Cup Of Dreams, he was there. The “first” Java Head Cafe in College Park, he was there. The first Mocha Hut on 14th St, he was there. Yogi’s Records, he was there; Harambe’s in Adams Morgan, he was there. Teaism, he was there; and Bar Nun, he was there. This cat is a walking history book of D.C. poetry. Not only that, he’s a dynamic performer and prolific writer” — Derrick Weston Brown, poet-in-resident at the 14th and V streets Busboys and Poets.
Alan’s poems have appeared in Audience, Alehouse, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Boxcar Review, and MiPoesias, among others. When the Cave Canem fellow and Vona Alum is not sending out poems to numerous journals, he’s chasing the muse through Washington, D.C. — people watching with his boys and laughing at the crazy things strangers say to get close to one another.
Overhearing two guys in line
at Cluck U Chicken, daring each other
to order buffalo wings with 9-1-1 sauce
they’ll have to sign a waiver form for,
I can’t help but think how little we’ve seemed
to evolve from what once hunted with
throwing spears and settled their disputes
with a test of strength, or how testosterone
sometimes gangs up with other male hormones
and forms a militia to overthrow
the dictator, Common Sense. If this were
the 3rd Century, maybe the guys' antics
would entertain a crowd in the Roman Republic,
both of them swinging their spiked battle flails
and swords at each other, or at something
much higher up on the food chain.
When I watch the news of young boys killing
one another on the streets, it’s hard not to see
manhood as a Coliseum, where the condemned
and marginalized come to risk it all for a kind
of redemption; hard not to feel someone’s
laughing, jeering, and calling for blood.