A Thanksgiving Team: Burroughs & Mustill, Redux

via Jan Herman‘s Straight Up site:
November 28, 2013 by  Leave a Comment

A Straight Up tradition continues. William S. Burroughs’s words of gratitude on Thanksgiving Day paired with a couple of collages by Norman O. Mustill. Look and listen. It’s delish . . .

Collages © 1967 by Norman O. Mustill, excerpted from ‘Flypaper’ [Beach Books, San Francisco, 1967]

Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons,
destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts —

thanks for a Continent to despoil
and poison —

thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and
danger —

thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot —

thanks for bounties on wolves
and coyotes —

thanks for the AMERICAN DREAM
to vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through —

thanks for the KKK,
for nigger-killin’ lawmen,
feelin’ their notches,
for decent church-goin’ women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces —

thanks for “Kill a Queer for
Christ” stickers —

thanks for laboratory AIDS —

thanks for Prohibition and the
War against Drugs —

thanks for a country where
nobody’s allowed to mind his
own business —

thanks for a nation of finks — yes,

thanks for all the
memories … all right let’s see
your arms …
you always were a headache and
you always were a bore —

thanks for the last and greatest
betrayal of the last and greatest
of human dreams.

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986
© 1986 by William S. Burroughs

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2 Responses

  1. Rochelle Owens says:

    Open season on women–a venerable tradition
    Literary and otherwise
    And the snot-glistening-eyed Doberman-headed
    Zombie and ikon of proto-punk-Kultur
    William S. Burroughs
    Shot and killed
    His wife

  2. Poo says:

    Well, Happy Thanksgiving to one and all down there. We (Canucks) already had ours but methinks you didn’t know that. It was October the 14th which, I believe, was your Columbus Day. Methinks you didn’t know I knew that either. Aren’t Day Timers great?
    As for Burroughs well, he is an acquired taste and not one I ever had though in my youth a young poet in Paris did serve him up to me. I nibbled but didn’t chew, honest. Burroughs was, as I seem to recall, attempting to demonstrate his pistol prowess by shooting an apple of his wife’s head thereby emulating the William Tell bow and arrow shot. The number of ‘whys?’ this raises beggars the mind. Clearly both he and his wife rather over-estimated his skill. Alcohol and drugs will do that. His family’s lawyers had the real skill and spirited him out of Mexico and away from any charges.
    Be this all as it may, again Happy Thanksgiving to all. It is the only holiday I enjoy as there is always something or someone (better) to be thankful for, like this fine Blog and Rochelle. Burroughs, not so much. But didn’t I say this all last year? Gadzooks! I’m a tradition too.

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