Monday, January 29, 2007

Stephanie Hiteshew: Addiction Poetry

Reviewed by: Christopher Robin

Christopher has now written enough reviews that I feel profoundly inadequate. I have not written nearly enough reviews! Talk about setting a high standard! Anyway, Christopher does not know Stephanie, and Stephanie has said nothing at all about that important issue--although if you read the review, you'll find a link to where you can hear Stephanie's voice--but not about whether she knows Christopher--what is she hiding?

Stephanie Hiteshew, PO Box 2325 Ellicott City, MD 21041-2325. Or try: Or, how about James Michael Ward 13263 Spruce St Southgate, MI 48195

As a former addict, I found these poems to be thought provoking while mildly self indulgent, as addiction by its very nature is very self absorbed.

Once in awhile they attempt transcendence: “I’m talking about Iraq/I’m talking about 700 thousand dead/I’m talking about the needle in your skin/it’s madness,”(‘Madness’), and addiction is often a spiritual quest: “I believe in prayer/as self-meditation/the cure of my disease/begins with me/take your burnt lips/and black fingertips/rejoice in the beauty of the cathedral/knowing Christ a pauper who reveled in life,” (‘A Connection’); but mainly these are poems of struggle, poverty, and deep psychic pain.

The references to Jim Carroll and Bukowski are few and far between, as they don’t seem to be attempting “literary-cool,” via self destruction, which this reviewer has personally grown tired of.

The two authors run the gamut from complete obliteration: “fuck those politics/I’m feelin’ fine/ain’t that sweet/just one more time,” (‘Heroin’), to the euphoria of a few dry days: “I want to live to see my novels published/to kick around the script writers conference/can’t say I’ll never drink again/but a nice vacation from it/may help the health,” (‘A Vacation From It’).

This is poetry that is attempting to bring about salvation through the written word. This is poetry that is reaching out.

To hear Stephanie Hiteshew read out loud click here:

Blogperson's note: as an old hippy, I can note we all have addictions, albeit of differing types. Some of us stick needles in our arms, some of us smoke, some pop pills, while others drink too much coffee, and still others watch too much tv. These poems sound very interesting, and I'm gonna buy a copy, to check them out. One point: any writing done while you're stoned is usually gotta be as stoned to read it as the author was when writing it, usually. On the other hand, writers are observers, and see a lot of pain, and feel that pain. Anesthetizing themselves is understandable, even if regrettable and counterproductive. I refer readers interested in 'recreational drugs' to a post on my Hypertension blog, at, where I write about a time when tests were conducted on samples of Mescaline to see how good the stuff was. You may be surprised when you read the post...

1 comment:

indie pride said...

Wow. This really is enlightening. My brother was hooked into marijuana, and yet we has very bright... he was a writer.

He was rehabilitated for a while, and then now everything's fine again. He is writing yet again.

I feel wonderfully thankful of his coming about.

Blessed be in your life.

Emery Goldings
Suffering from an addiction. This website has a lot of great resources and treatment centers.

The World Is Ours--and Yours!

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