Terence Winch

Annual Report

I hate this entire year, the way it stops
and starts, dries you out, soaks you, lulls you
to sleep, then wakes you up in a cold sweat.
Not to mention the pills that are required
just to get through it. I’m on Tylenol
with codeine at this very moment.

It sees to it that the bills keep coming,
marked by o
bvious deceit. The dentist we despise
who keeps overcharging us, for example.
It is so objectionable, so unfair.
Where are the free lunches of yesteryear,
the Martinis, Manhattans, highballs
on the hotel terrace overlooking the magic
domes of the glittering city?

It was not like this in 1982, I can tell you that.
1982 let you smoke all the True Blues you wanted.
It said, go ahead—have fun! Eat giant hamburgers,
huge slices of cake, big platefuls of French fries.
Fuck all night, sleep late, call in sick. It told you
you had to listen to Van Morrison singing
“Cypress Avenue” over and over, all night long
till there was nothing left of it to inhale.

Terence Patrick Winch has published eight full-length books of poems, numerous chapbooks, one book of nonfiction on his experiences playing traditional Irish music, and one collection of short stories. Some of his books include: The Known Universe (Hanging Loose, 2017), This Way Out (Hanging Loose, 2014), The Drift of Things (The Figures, 2001), and The Great Indoors (Story Line Press, 1989). His first book, Boning Up, was published by Some Of Us Press in 1972. Winch is the winner of an American Book Award, a Columbia Book Award, and a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Writing. He has been featured numerous times on Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac” radio program, and was the subject of a profile on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Winch is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Fund for Poetry. His work is included in more than 40 anthologies, including The Oxford Book of American Poetry and five Best of American Poetry collections. Winch has also written for The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, The Village Voice, The Wilson Quarterly, The Dictionary of Irish Literature, and The Oxford Companion to American Poetry. In the early 1970s, Winch was one of the organizers of the Mass Transit poets, a group that organized poetry readings and published a literary journal. He is one of the co-founders of Some Of Us Press. He has also been closely associated with the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in lower Manhattan. Born in the Bronx to Irish immigrants, Winch has also played traditional Irish music all his life. In 1977, he started a band with his brother Jesse Winch called Celtic Thunder, and recorded three albums with the group. His new CD is This Day Too: Music from Irish America (Celtic Thunder Music, 2017). The band won an INDIE Award for Best Celtic Album, and in 1992, Winch was named by Irish America Magazine as one of its “Top 100 Irish Americans.” To read more by this author: Terence Winch: Winter 2002 Terence Winch: DC Places Issue