Prose on Heroin

Prose on Heroin
by Dan Hedges

Agrammatical freedom has no lonely throne from which to control monger the literary scene. Alpha words must be drawn regardless of who knows who. This is the smackdown of semantics whereby word-smiths bow before cliché-eternity. Poetry is merely prose on heroin, without the risk of physical harm.

4 thoughts on “Prose on Heroin

  1. This is pretty interesting. The work and Halifax’s retort both get me thinking. I do feel like this might have more weight if it were attached onto, or woven into, a longer work that actually showed off how prose is more favorable, respectable, or whatever the point being made here is. Without that, it’s kind of like the little guy talking shit and relying on his big friend to bail him out when the fists start flying (Hey, it’s kind of like me at the bar if somebody gives me a hard time and my friends who go to the gym are – or aren’t – around). But anyway, Halifax has a good point. Though, was Lorca killed for his poetry alone? Or was it in addition to his political views and other forms of artistic expression that got more exposure? Has any poet been whooped on for their poetry alone? I don’t know. Halifax probably knows that. But, advocating for Dan here, compare this to writers like Rand, Rushdi, etc who have definitely taken a lot of heat for the impact their novels have made. Maybe the point is that prose is more deliberate in trying to make a connection with non-writers, and poetry often seems to be written as a fuck-you-look-at-my-skills to other writers. Or, it’s that poetry often relies on devices, abstraction, insider references, and this may be seen as more aloof and less committal. And more cliquey. Exceptions to that are everywhere though.

    I do like it, but I just want a little more explanation, or a more refined target. Otherwise it’s kind of like a poem without line breaks to me, and acting in violation of itself. Anyway, it’s an interesting conversation right there and I enjoyed this. Would be nice to see more people get in on it.

    Good to see somebody kick the hornet’s nest in 50 words or less like that.

    1. It was the end that got me riled. The word harmless (which I took to mean ineffectual, self-indulgent even) thwacked my brain.

      Lorca dork
      (Disappeared: a response poem)

      Death by poetry
      is never risky
      poets get killed
      in retaliation
      for speaking
      out of turn,
      worth repeating
      in a time after
      others know
      when to shut up

      Life lived hidden
      as a lie of omission;
      there’s the junky.
      writing hand
      all tied up;
      shooting off
      their mouth
      to go quietly

      Glazed eyes
      by a fiend
      pat down
      to no one

      name gone
      with curses
      at an empty wallet

      taking the easy way
      like life isn’t up
      for discussion

  2. prose on heroin: “i don’t care. i just don’t fucking care.” this goes off on my sattire radar like hello but whatever. just as pride-tastic as anything else we identify with that we choose to share, all being transparent defenses we use to shelter ourselves, on the web and in real life.

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