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Friday, 16 November 2012

Terence Winch: Saving Face

File:Joan Baez Bob Dylan.jpg

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan at Civil Rights March on Washington: photographer unknown, 28 August 1963 (U.S. Information Agency)

I waited too long. Everything I did was wrong.
I didn't know how to make sense of time.
I have no idea where I was when Kennedy was shot.
What you didn't see is what you got.

So I came down here to be alone with the phone.
I was sick to my stomach, waiting for your call.
I used to drink red wine and eat cheese in cheap hotels.
Bite off more than you can chew, then swallow it.

Everyone waves goodbye to me, even though
I have no plans to go. I am waiting for the snow.
I hate the spring. I don't want anything to grow.
The apple falls far from the tree.

We are told that light is too far away to see.
You cannot hide any more in the refrigerator.
The neighbors will never learn their lesson in the dark.
People in glass houses continuously walk around in circles.

So fare-thee-well, valiant comrades of the revolution.
We all showed up for the rally that night with our guitars
and sang a Joan Baez song about rivers and stars.
Give a man a fish that will last forever.

Terence Winch: Saving Face, from Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor,

Street in Baltimore, Maryland with rowhouses and building with sign "Neighborhood Housing Services"
: photo by Warren K. Leffler, 15 March 1976 (U.S. News and World Report Magazine Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

Lines of people at the offices of the Baltimore City Welfare Office, Maryland: photo by Thomas J. O'Halloran, 28 January 1975 (U.S. News and World Report Magazine Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

 Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara standing at a podium in front of a map of Vietnam during a press conference: photo by Marion S. Trikosko, 29 June 1966 (U. S. News and World Report Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress)
Smoke rises near U.S. Capitol, during riot, 1968. (Photographer's note: "D.C. Riot, April, '68: After curfew deserted streets in D.C. -- Smoky sky w/capitol -- damaged area."): photo by Marion S. Trikosko, 6 April 1968 (U.S. News and World Report Magazine Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)


TC said...

Terry Winch is a man of many talents.

When New York Was Irish: Terence Winch & Celtic Thunder

TC said...

Well, I didn't mean this kind of talent (Attic).

Still, maybe someday... other times, other attics.

gamefaced said...

i really like this, will have to read more of him

tpw said...

Tom: I'm greatly honored to make an appearance in "On the Pale." The photos are memorable & provocative, as always. Thanks. T

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"I didn't know how to make sense of time."
Love this, love this poem. Thanks for writing it jingly-jangly. I love the title, it makes me think.
Thanks for letting us see it, Tom.

Wooden Boy said...

"People in glass houses continuously walk in circles".

Cowed and wholly visible, God help us.

Poetry as witness with none of that official distancing.

It's lovely to get some sense of who tpw is. I've seen the letters a few times here and wondered.

Doug Lang said...

Tom, this is fabulous. Your website is fabulous. I am in the habit of directing Facebook "friends" to Beyond the Pale, but this time my friend Terence beat me to it. Anyway, I love what you do and I am extremely glad that you do it.

TC said...

I love what everyone has said here and am extremely glad that these things have been said. An honour and a pleasure to have such friends. What a strange incomplete graph of events and moments of attention memory dredges up to keep us diverted. I remember where I was when I shook the hand of the "original" Kennedy (Ann Arbor), where I was when he got shot (Cambridge UK), where I was when the next Kennedy got shot (Bo-Town), where I was when I first met Terry and Doug (Washington DC), but, thank heavens, nothing that's happened in the intervening time.

Sorry it took a bit of that (time), BTW, to get these comments up here. Hiding one's head under the wee coverlets, rainstorm in the jingly-jangly night.

(No official distancing, yet again.)

Lally said...

As always Tom, excellent taste, excellent juxtapositioning, excellent contribution to my day and our times.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

I love how Winch uses everyday sayings without ever sounding “everyday”—others who do it only make us wince; thanks for posting this!

Hazen said...

On a blazing summer afternoon in front of the Alamo in 1960 I sat with my brother on the first row of folding wooden chairs and saw—and heard—Jack Kennedy speak. He was fifty feet away and still a senator. Three years later I was living in Medellín when his head was turned into a red mist in Dealy Plaza. (My neighbors knocked on the door one noon to tell me that something had happened ‘a su presidente.’) I had begun by then to learn of ruling elites and corporate agendas and the militaristic imperium, but before that day in November, I knew of assassinations only from history books, always carried out, so the story went, by demented loners. Lee Harvey Oswald was assigned the rap this go-round, became the triggerman du jour in what was to be a decade of government by assassination . . . JFK, RFK, MLK, as well as numerous down-scale killings of political activists. A throw away culture disposes of lives as easily as beer cans. Beliefs generate consequences.