Howard Winn



or their corporate alter ego,

have purchased an abandoned

old church

in South Portland Maine

whose congregation seems

to have vanished into

some other sphere

where a building is no

longer necessary,

or something like that.

Now the question is whether

to tear down the holy building

consecrated in the faithful past,

or pour the coffee

and sell the pastries

from the sacred nave and fount,

Just a thought but

would the caffeinated beverage

and the sweet stickiness of donut

pass for the secular version

of the wine and wafer?



Six paunchy men,

waving bottles

and grinning,

grace Page One

of the Sports Section.

One brandishes a cigar,

phallic before his

pudgy cheeks

that no doubt

resemble his very own ass.

The others, cigar-less,

clutch the bottles

from which someone

(the guy next to his elbow?)

has poured the celebration

over their heads

if dripping hair

is any evidence.

Who are these

pot-bellied retarded post-teens?

Coaches, it would seem,

whose young and virile

charges have just won

some potent battle

involving potential

brain damage,

knee destruction,

spinal devastation,

and a shortened life,

all for the glory

of the coach,

nearly a god

for the Lazy Boy Loungers,

supine readers

of the Sports Sunday Section

of the New York Times.


Howard Winn’s poetry and fiction has been published recently in Dalhousie Review, Galway Review, Taj Mahal Review, Descant (Canada), Antigonish Review, Southern Humanities Review, Chaffin Review, Evansville Review, and Blueline. He has a B. A. from Vassar College and an M. A. from the Stanford University Writing Program. He is a Professor of English at the State University of New York.