Jeremy Prynne’s reading of “Cocaine” makes Wieners’s poem sound like the tradition it’s so anxious to get into. In Wieners’s reading, it’s anxiety that drives the situation—the anxiety to be a poem overlaps with the desire to hold an unloving lover. The poet might get the one—a “real” poem—but never the other: poetry as compensatory cocaine.
Prynne reads like the dealer whispering yes you can have your coke and eat it, too. It’s like listening to that animating tension of American lit—to out-English the English—played in reverse for secret messages. Thanks to Steve Evans for bringing them together.
8 hours ago