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Analgesia

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:42 pm
by ray miller
We reel them in with Ritalin,
(Big Pharma pockets the profit)
Prozac and Amphetamine –
it gets so hard to come off it.

Increasing dependency doses,
the playground exchange of bright sweets;
damned by a dual diagnosis,
the endless prescription repeats.

A bullet-proof vest to manage stress
is obligatory in these quarters:
it’s the weight you can’t get off your chest
when there’s statins in the waters.

In theatre critical poses
are struck at an unwilling heart;
before the final curtain closes
you’ll need permission to depart.

We’re excluding human weakness
from our analgesic Eden
where all suffering is a sickness
and susceptible to treatment.

Re: Analgesia

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:37 am
by Perry
ray miller wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:42 pm
We reel them in with Ritalin,
(Big Pharma pockets the profit)
Prozac and Amphetamine –
it gets so hard to come off it.

Increasing dependency doses,
the playground exchange of bright sweets; (Are you saying that the drugs LOOK like bright sweets?)
damned by a dual diagnosis,
the endless prescription repeats.

A bullet-proof vest to manage stress
is obligatory in these quarters: (Are you writing about the drugs that doctors prescribe, or illicit drugs in a bad neighborhood? Not sure.)
it’s the weight you can’t get off your chest
when there’s statins in the waters.

In theatre critical poses
are struck at an unwilling heart;
before the final curtain closes
you’ll need permission to depart. (Your mention of a theater here confuses me.)

We’re excluding human weakness
from our analgesic Eden
where all suffering is a sickness
and susceptible to treatment. (I like the final stanza, though if you used a rhyming dictionary, you might be able to improve the final rhyme.)
There may be an obvious meaning here that I'm not getting. You are clearly referring to the proliferation of drugs in society, but in some lines you seem to ascribe that to doctors and pharmaceutical companies, and in other lines you seem to ascribe it to social/cultural things, like the poverty in a bad neighborhood. As a reader, I don't know which angle to go with. (Of course, as the opioid epidemic has shown, pharmaceutical companies have become the new narcotics dealers.) I don't know where the theater comes into it. As I said, I might be missing something obvious.

Re: Analgesia

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:43 pm
by NotQuiteSure
.
Hi ray,
not sure the ending works, perhaps bump S5 up to the start (that way, with ending on 'depart', there's a bit more of a punch)?

We reel them in with Ritalin
(the profits go in Pharma's pockets)
Prozac ...

Increasing dependency doses,
playground swapsies of bright sweets
damned by a dual diagnosis,
to the living hell of script repeats


To what does the final 'it' of S1 refer? I'm assuming the title, but it's hard not to see it as a reference to the preceding line, and then it should
be a 'them'. I also struggle not to read 'doses' as a verb :) and get lost on the 'bullet-proof vest'. Whose permission do you need to depart?


Regards, Not


.

Re: Analgesia

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:41 pm
by TrevorConway
Hi Ray,

Interesting idea here, but I thought it needed more of a change in tone, as it felt a bit one-note. Changing up the tone would help it flow better. Some more specific feedback below. Hope it helps.

T

We reel them in with Ritalin, [Nice first line, simple, but works well]
(Big Pharma pockets the profit) [Maybe "swallows" instead of "pockets"?]
Prozac and Amphetamine – [They feed us Prozac, amphetamine]
it gets so hard to come off it. [It's so damn hard to come off it.]

Increasing dependency doses, [Not mad on this line, feels prosaic]
the playground exchange of bright sweets; [I like the idea here. Maybe "in a playground of bright sweets"]
damned by a dual diagnosis, [Not sure why it's specifically a "dual" diagnosis. Maybe I'm missing something]
the endless prescription repeats. [The idea is fine, but not the delivery, in my opinion. Maybe "repeats" doesn't fit somehow, feels forced]

A bullet-proof vest to manage stress
is obligatory in these quarters:
it’s the weight you can’t get off your chest
when there’s statins in the waters.

In theatre critical poses
are struck at an unwilling heart;
before the final curtain closes
you’ll need permission to depart. [These 2 are the weakest verses. They just don't pull their weight, I feel. Delete, and come up with new ideas/a change in tone?]

We’re excluding human weakness [I like it, bit is there a better alternative for "excluding"? "boxing up"?]
from our analgesic Eden
where all suffering is a sickness
and susceptible to treatment. [Nice! Maybe delete "and"? I don't think this should be your ending, though. Feels like a penultimate verse. Keep writing! We need to see at least one more verse]

Re: Analgesia

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:28 pm
by ton321
Hi Ray

I enjoyed it, as much as you can "enjoy" a piece about numbing yourself to suffering with the use of Big Pharma. Don't think you need the last verse. Maybe better to end on irony than recap.
Tony

Re: Analgesia

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:10 am
by ray miller
Thanks for the comments. This is an old poem I dug out and have already cut quite considerably.
Perry - the sweets are bright in that they're alluring. The bullet-proof vest refers to the wholesale prescribing of statins. There are physicians who argue that statins should be compulsory for those of a certain age. The theatre refers to operating theatres. Eden/treatment - close enough.

Not - the "it" of line 4 should, strictly speaking, be "them" but for the sake of a rhyme....
The permission needed to depart is that of various medics, some of whom have assumed Godlike powers.

Trevor - I like swallows instead of pockets. Dual diagnosis - as I say, it's an old poem and I'm not entirely sure what I meant by this. I'm assuming the dual diagnosis is that of nature and nurture. A lifetime of repeat prescriptions is what the next line refers to.
I wouldn't agree that it's a one note poem. I could easily argue the opposite, but life's too short - even though there are so many doing their damnedest to keep you alive for as long as possible!

Tony - yeah, I've toyed with the idea of putting the last verse at the start. Maybe.

Re: Analgesia

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:30 am
by JJWilliamson
I don't remember this one, Ray. Probably before my time but I like it very much. The rhythms and rhymes are good, as is the content.
I didn't struggle with the content and you've already addressed my minor concerns, so least said.
ray miller wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:42 pm
We reel them in with Ritalin,
(Big Pharma pockets the profit)
Prozac and Amphetamine –
it gets so hard to come off it.

Increasing dependency doses,
the playground exchange of bright sweets;
damned by a dual diagnosis, ...I read this as conflicting diagnoses, where one diagnosis is at odds with the other.
the endless prescription repeats.

A bullet-proof vest to manage stress
is obligatory in these quarters:
it’s the weight you can’t get off your chest
when there’s statins in the waters.

In theatre critical poses ...Would "the" after 'theatre' help to identify the operating theatre? It isn't really apparent. I'm not sure what's happening here, if I'm honest.
are struck at an unwilling heart;
before the final curtain closes
you’ll need permission to depart.

We’re excluding human weakness
from our analgesic Eden
where all suffering is a sickness
and susceptible to treatment.
Enjoyed

JJ

Re: Analgesia

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:32 am
by ray miller
Thanks, JJ. I checked and it was 2009 I first wrote it. Actually, I think omitting "the" before theatre is more likely to point readers in the right direction. Thespians act in the theatre, surgeons operate in theatre - that's what I thought. As for what's going on in that stanza, in my nursing career I witnessed many attempts to keep people alive, who were not exactly happy to die, but not unhappy either. And then there are those whose quality of life is so poor, it seems almost cruel, these heroic efforts. All that is not to suggest that I'm in favour of this government's herd immunity strategy, abandoned or otherwise.

Re: Analgesia

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:05 pm
by David
Very good. I didn't have any problems with theatre in this context. The only thing I didn't get first time round was why we need permission to depart - which troubled Not too, I see - but I get it now.

Good stuff.

Cheer

David

Re: Analgesia

Posted: Wed May 13, 2020 5:31 pm
by lotus
dear Ray

this for me has the feeling of a rant performance piece

do you perhaps do readings ?

a warm smile
silent lotus