poem index


Terence Winch

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Terence Winch has published seven books of poems, most recentlyThis Way Out (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and Lit from Below (Salmon Poetry [Ireland], 2013). His honors include an American Book Award, the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Writing, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Also a musician and songwriter, Winch has played traditional Irish music all his life.

by this poet

Didn’t know if he was a retard or a drunk. 
He would lurch around Gaelic Park 
during game days, grinning like an idiot,
dribbling onto his filthy cassock.  First time
I saw him it was a shock.   And then his
name, which had a funny sound to it:
Father McMenamin.  The drunk priest,
the embarrassment to the whole

Q. How important is theory in this poem? It seems as though
it just starts, goes nowhere, tells us nothing we need to know.

A. The concern here is with necessity, not fact. The poem could tell
you everything you wanted to know, but doesn't.
Some poems begin in the rinse cycle


The Documents are weeping, fading,
fearing the worst.

They are the messages
that keep coming.
They are promises, dreams, hymns,
i.o.u.’s. Proclamations.

They are word-flags.
security blankets.

You could wrap yourself
in their giant