THREE SEPTETS by Adam Van Winkle


Adam Van Winkle

Lookin at Iris Dement chords and thinkin I can play that
If only I were a woman, I’d do it better
Dylan sings the size of your cock’ll get you nowhere
But it doesn’t shock at all
Especially since I struggled with speed and bulimia
And I know that pasta throws up easier than bread
They’re right—the kind of carbs makes a difference

I think about songs and I wonder what if
What if I never feel or live or see enough
To have the kind of voice that matters
The time comes though, the time comes around—I pretend—
When I realize that I am a stone with a spark inside
Simic wrote that, I didn’t write that—I wish I could’ve—
But I won’t, it’s already there

There’s a hard place to get (to)
I’m one of the country’s own
But like Uncle Rip Van Winkle I think I’ll miss the big stuff
And wake when things are settled a bit more
Like I used to try to sleep through church and farm chores
Though never could cuz I’m an early riser,
An anxious sleeper, and have miles to go


Adam Van Winkle was born and raised in Texoma and currently resides with his wife and two sons in South Carolina.  He is the founder and editor of Cowboy Jamboree Magazine and Press.  In addition to publishing his short fiction and creative nonfiction online and in print at places like Pithead ChapelCheap Pop!BULL MagazineThe Dead Mule School of Southern LiteratureMonkeybicycle and Red Dirt Forum, he has published several novels and plays with Red Dirt Press, Cowboy Jamboree Press, and Leftover Books. Van Winkle is named for the oldest Cartwright son on Bonanza.  Find him and his publications online at and @gritvanwinkle.

Photo by Colin Gee