No one is safe. The streets are unsafe. even in the safety zones, it's not safe. Even safe sex is not safe. Even things you lock in a safe are not safe. Never deposit anything in a safety deposit box, because it won't be safe there. Nobody is safe at home during baseball games anymore.
At night I go around in the dark locking everything, returning a few minutes later to make sure I locked everything. It's not safe here. It's not safe and they know it. People get hurt using safety pins.
It was not always this way. Long ago, everyone felt safe. Aristotle never felt danger. Herodotus felt danger only when Xerxes was around. Young women were afraid of wingéd dragons, but felt relaxed otherwise. Timotheus, however, was terrified of storms until he played one on the flute. After that, everyone was more afraid of him than of the violent west wind, which was fine with Timotheus. Euclid, full of music himself, believed only that there was safety in numbers.
[from The Drift of Things, The Figures Press, 2001] http://www.terencewinch.com
- by Terence Winch40
for Doug Lang
They came here first in a car shaped like a heart and now they depart as brilliant jazz musicians. They arrived in full costume, rolling north through a winter of neon. Now I watch them leaving me in a moonlight of falsettos.
They are singing goodbye to me in the echo chamber and I am smiling at them from my king-size window. You get the idea.
I was always making way for the others. Now, like an intake of breath, I am beside myself.
They tell me that God is inside us and I tell them our fathers' teeth were white with fear. The streets that I used to see from my window have faded away. The birds I used to hear in the trees have fallen on evil days. The beautiful girls who used to wear skintight silver foil now dress in ugly shoes with big square tongues. And the immaculate boys in their red velour are old men who rock their bodies back and forth in grief.
But I take comfort in a dreamlike kind of consciousness in which every breath is like my last breath and all my friends are quiet as brides skirting along on sheets of ice.
[from The Great Indoors, Story Line Press, 1995] http://www.terencewinch.com
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