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Jeffrey Winke  (email, website)


About the Poet:

Jeffrey Winke is the co-editor of the first small press North American haiku anthology, the Third Coast Haiku Anthology, which was published in 1977. Jeff has been writing haiku for over 30 years. His most recent book, What's Not There: Selected Haiku of Jeffrey Winke is a 2002 Merit Book Award winner. His “Cool Website” winning motion graphics haiku collection called Chances can be viewed at http//www.bytestudios.com/winke
Jeff lives and works in Milwaukee. He is an industrial writer, PR counselor and editor of
company-sponsored magazines for Caterpillar, Trimble Engineering & Construction, and Snap-on Tools. He is also an adjunct professor at a local university where he teaches undergraduate poetry, communication and business courses.



Mouth Seemed Always-Ever
“Oh my -- imagine all the mandates and subsidies that
go with it,” she said half mocking, half alarmed. She
teeter-tottered a bit on the red vinyl-covered, padded
stool getting herself comfortably anchored before
returning to her familiar conflicted expression. It
was as though the top half of her face – above the
nostril line was open, approachable and friendly.
While her mouth seemed always-ever in an angry, sad,
grimace that was often reinforced by flaring nostrils
and a jutting chin. She took a deep swig from a clear
crystal highball glass filled with tangerine juice and
gin and said “So, what do YOU think about all of
hybrid birds chirp
pet store clerk listens
to a lady’s complaints



Which Took the Better
It is unpublished. Every page typed on the old
Remington manual typewriter that still sits on the
small wooden typewriter table with the wheels that
never rolled properly. All 437 pages took on life
through this machine. The sheets bulge the 3-ring
leather binder with the McKinley Machine Shop logo
embossed on its worn cover. Being frugal, the binder
was handy when he started. For the past 39 years it
was used to hold the novel which took the better of
his life to write | revise | rewrite. He knew the
characters well. He would argue with them, scold,
encourage and love each of them. They had
personalities, willfulness, whit, compassion and
ambitions that allowed them to do the great things he
never could. They were in his dreams… and, in a sense
became his dreams. Many nights he struggled with the
words they’d say to each other. He’d go to bed and
wake hours later with the right phrasing or the exact
word that’d be filtered into the story the next night
after a day at work and supper with the family. The
story was getting close to what he felt was complete
before the stroke caused the brain hemorrhage killing
him. “Grandma, what should I do with this old binder?”
she asks while brushing soft hair back behind her
multiple-pierced ear. “Oh, that’s a silly story that
your grandfather was writing but never finished – toss
it in the garbage bag with all those old notebooks and
then help me box up these clothes for the charity
college dorm
a rare 1st edition
props the door



Says with a Delightful Sneer
“He is such a pompous mini-prick,” she says with a
delightful sneer. “Talking about decay and bleached
bones, like anyone is impressed.” The pompous prick in
question refers to himself as a published PO-et, which
means he offers platitudes about life in “poetic”
form. Like many PO-ets, he wears his neuroses and
insecurities like finely tailored cloth. When
questioned about his inspiration, he’ll glibly spin a
complex web of unintelligible meaning and pepper it
with references to obscure Germanic runic inscriptions
found on medieval castles – the more obscure a
reference, he figures, the greater likelihood of being
viewed as intellectually superior. She collects her
things and walks toward the door, leaving the PO-et
wondering why she wasn’t interested in purchasing his
latest book of PO-ems, “The Desert Days of
Revelation,” which he’d happily inscribe with a
personal message before signing with a flourish.
splat of blood --
point of the mosquito’s
last breath