davey dreamnation

seething since 2001ish

When Billy Corgan Had Hair

you were only ten years old when billy corgan had hair. & you
know, i can barely remember that time myself – it’s as if i was
never actually there oh but i was at selina’s in coogee where
billy corgan had lots of hair & he screamed & yodelled & shook
his mane of greasy sweaty hair (he had hair. & so did almost
everyone else who was there so what? so what if he had hair
or had no hair? at least i can say i was there at the time unlike
the many people who weren’t there when billy corgan had hair
the ones who couldn’t get tickets or hadn’t been born or were
too ashamed to go out because they had no hair & billy’s hair
made them wish they still had some (i kind of liked it you know
billy corgan’s hair it was almost demonic yes i guess that was
the whole point that nasal whine & frenetic guitar style of his
coupled with the long locks of hair well who wouldn’t want to
look like that on stage who wouldn’t shake those locks of hair
in the face of their fellow band mates mockingly showing the
crowd his hair as if to say I’m billy corgan & i’ve got hair! look
at billy corgan’s hair! (he had hair okay so you probably don’t
remember it at all & in fact maybe he never actually had hair
in the first place maybe the wig that britney put on had first
been worn by billy corgan in the nineteen-nineties just so he
could demonstrate the falsity of the rumours about how he
had no hair (couldn’t sing & was also crap at playing guitar –
personally i prefer to believe that his hair was once real (in
the same way that baby boomers like to believe that things
were better when they were younger (i don’t see that as a
trait that’s exclusive to them i mean look at billy corgan with
no hair today the exact inversion of his former self (the one
who had hair when billy corgan had hair we were all so much
younger than we have since become balder older & yes even
worse at playing guitar writing killer pop songs & maintaining
the rage i like the fact that he went from long locks directly
to chrome dome without pausing to comb over or pretend
that he wasn’t losing it i like the element there of flipping the
bird at his old age (see however my earlier comments casting
doubt on the authenticity of billy’s original hair perhaps we’ll
never know the full truth of the origins of billy corgan’s hair
but at least i can say i was there when it looked like he had
some & that’s not to denigrate anyone who wasn’t there (he
had hair this much is clear what i don’t understand is where
that hair went you know the way it disappeared so suddenly
quietly without a whimper & was it an arcane ceremony that
day when billy looked in the mirror & saw his receding starlife
& just went (damn! & grabbed the nearest razor blade & just
shaved it straight off (did he chuck those clumps of hair in a
bin or is there a wig somewhere made from billy corgan’s hair?
i’d like to find that wig one day & buy it just for you just so
you could say that (okay maybe you weren’t there when billy
had hair but so what (now you’re wearing it & we’re still here
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David Prater

David Prater is an Australian writer, editor and researcher. He holds a BA with Honours in Australian Literature from the University of Sydney, an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, and a PhD from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. Papertiger Media published his first poetry collection, We Will Disappear, in 2007 and Vagabond Press published his chapbook Morgenland in the same year. In 2013 Puncher and Wattmann published his second full-length poetry collection, Leaves of Glass. In 2005 and 2009 he undertook Asialink residencies in Seoul, Republic of Korea. From 2001 to 2012 he was the managing editor of Cordite Poetry Review, an online journal of Australian poetry and poetics. In 2011 he undertook post-doctoral research on electronic literature and pedagogy at Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Karlskrona, as part of the ELMCIP project. He currently works as a Research Editor at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
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3 Comments

  1. i like it. a paean to hairloss everywhere. well, on the head.

    serious poety question – the unclosed brackets. why’d you decide to use them like that? seen the technique around a lot, but not sure what it indicates, as such…

  2. Hey Adam,

    Thanks for your comment! Re the brackets, I think of them as like an aside, or a change of subject/ POV – and in an almost corny way they are a suggestion that the poem ‘resists closure’ ie:

    (yes well, I should have warned you that this was going to be a (slightly wanky response

    but seriously, that’s all there is to it, and i guess the poems are long and dense, so the brackets are there as points of departure … and also as mini line breaks within lines.

    where else have you seen it done? I thought i invented it!!! (haha (only joking

    D

  3. can’t remember where else exactly – i think maybe some old Myron Lysenko poems, Mike Farrell perhaps? I’ve seen it around, often wondered.

    the explanation works for me. so they’re kind of internal stanza breaks? cool.

    also maybe breath-marks?

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