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According to Ivan Illich

the siren of one ambulance

can destroy Samaritan attitudes

in a whole Chilean town.


He was a passenger and knew

next to nothing of cars except

sit tight and hold on around corners.

Saturday was his Sabbath

and the pool-hall was his temple

until a swerve to miss a mangy dog

sent his algebra flying at angles;

he felt the thwack of white upon black -

the longest kiss of his life.


He wondered which Chilean town was that?

Does the contention hold good for all?

Did Ivan Illich really witness

the indifferent crossing the road?

How many ambulance sirens

might rid a whole country of Samaritans?

Such questions made him dizzy and sick -

he remembered Illich also said this:


If you add the time spent working to earn

the money to buy the automobile

to the time spent in the automobile

(including the traffic jams, of course)

to the time spent in the hospital

following the automobile crash

to the time spent discovering oil

to fuel every automobile

and divide it into the number of miles

driven in a single year

then the speed of each automobile

is just 3.7 miles per hour.


A light shone in his eyes

and people wanted to know his name.


At this rate he would never reach South America




◄ A Multitude of Sins

Suture ►


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winston plowes

Sat 28th Jan 2012 14:00

Liked this style Ray and the pool / car accident analogy was very well executed. Win

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