William Burroughs

William Burroughs Poems

Its so hard to remember in the world - - Weren't you there? Dead so you

think of ports - - Couldn't reach flesh - - Might have to reach flesh from

anybody - -

Who Controls The Control Men
Who Controls The Men Control
Who Controls Control Men The
Who Controls Control The Men
Who Controls Men The Control

Power Is Often Very Quiet
Power Is Often Quiet Very
Power Is Very Quiet Often
Power Is Very Often Quiet
Power Is Quiet Often Very

This text arranged in my New York loft, which is the converted locker room of an old YMCA. Guests have reported the presence of a ghost boy. So this is a Oui-Ja board poem taken from Dumb Instrument, a book of poems by Denton Welch, and spells and invocations from the Necronomicon, a highly secret magical text released in paperback. There is a pinch of Rimbaud, a dash of St-John Perse, an oblique reference to Toby

attic room and window my ice skates on the wall
the Priest could see the bathroom pale yellow wood panels
toilet young legs shiny black leg hairs
"It is my legs señor."

at land coccus germs
by a bacilmouth Jersy phenicol bitoics
the um vast and varied that
specific target was the vast popul - - - -

Ahab to his companion falling over there in any out from the dawn

skin staring stirring unbelief he strode towards a long

Language like muttering pant smells running silver scanning

Passed down the Arab Street in the gutter patterns

William Burroughs Biography

William Seward Burroughs II (pron.: /ˈbʌroʊz/; also known by his pen name William Lee; was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century." His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films. He was born to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, grandson of the inventor and founder of the Burroughs Corporation, William Seward Burroughs I, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studying English, and anthropology as a postgraduate, and later attending medical school in Vienna. After being turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and U.S. Navy in 1942 to serve in World War II, he dropped out and became afflicted with the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life, while working a variety of jobs. In 1943 while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the mutually influential foundation of what became the countercultural movement of the Beat Generation. Much of Burroughs's work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict, as he lived throughout Mexico City, London, Paris, Berlin, the South American Amazon and Tangier in Morocco. Finding success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), Burroughs is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a controversy-fraught work that underwent a court case under the U.S. sodomy laws. With Brion Gysin, he also popularized the literary cut-up technique in works such as The Nova Trilogy (1961–64). In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1984 was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the "greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift," a reputation he owes to his "lifelong subversion" of the moral, political and economic systems of modern American society, articulated in often darkly humorous sardonicism. J. G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be "the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War," while Norman Mailer declared him "the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius." Burroughs had one child, William Seward Burroughs III (1947-1981), with his second wife Joan Vollmer. Vollmer died in 1951 in Mexico City. Burroughs was convicted of manslaughter in Vollmer's death, an event that deeply permeated all of his writings. Burroughs died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas, after suffering a heart attack in 1997.)

The Best Poem Of William Burroughs

Where Flesh Circulates

Its so hard to remember in the world - - Weren't you there? Dead so you

think of ports - - Couldn't reach flesh - - Might have to reach flesh from

anybody - -

And i will depart under the Red Masters

for strange dawn words of color exalting their

falling on my face impending attack satellite in a

Gold and perfumes of light city red stone

shadows brick terminal time wet dream flesh creakily the

the last feeble faces fountains play stale

spit from crumpled cloth Weimar youths on my face

bodies where flesh circulates Masters of color

exalting their dogs impending attack of light

unaware of the vagrant shadows on the Glass and Metal Streets

silver flying scanning patterns electric dogs

dark street life "Here he is now" staring out

from the dawn he strode toward the flesh jissom webs drifting

where identity scarred metal faces masturbating

"Who him?" spitting blood laugh on the iron afternoons

ejaculates wet dream flesh in red brick Terminal Time

red nitrous fumes under the orange gas flares

grey metal fall out on terminal cities

to the shrinking sky fading color sewage delta

caught in this dead whistle stop post card sky

dead rainbow flesh and copper pagodas flickered on the

in a city of red stone black skin work fish smell and

dead eyes in doorways red water words spitting blood laugh

sharp as water reeds fish syllables

stirring this Moroccan sunlight vagrant noon station

spent in the mirror dawn jissom webs drifting rainbow

speeded up from afternoon's slow ferris wheel flesh.

William Burroughs Comments

E Babb 29 December 2018

Mr. Burroughs' poetry reminds me of John Milton's poetry. It's NOT at all in the meaning of the words. It is in his use of the music of language: the way consonants act as delimiters of vowel sounds, the way tempo varies (different from the concept of 'feet') , the way I feel the changes in volume when reading the poems aloud to myself.

1 1 Reply

William Burroughs Quotes

Hemingway was a prisoner of his style. No one can talk like the characters in Hemingway except the characters in Hemingway. His style in the wildest sense finally killed him.

Man is an artifact designed for space travel. He is not designed to remain in his present biologic state any more than a tadpole is designed to remain a tadpole.

The face of "evil" is always the face of total need.

A functioning police state needs no police.

Which came first the intestine or the tapeworm?

The exact objectives of Islam Inc. are obscure. Needless to say everyone involved has a different angle, and they all intend to cross each other up somewhere along the line.

A junky runs on junk time. When his junk is cut off, the clock runs down and stops. All he can do is hang on and wait for non-junk time to start.

There is the pleasurable orgasm, like a rising sales graph, and there is the unpleasurable orgasm, slumping ominously like the Dow Jones in 1929.

Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has.

I think the ideal situation for a family is to be completely incestuous.

In deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality.

In homosexual sex you know exactly what the other person is feeling, so you are identifying with the other person completely. In heterosexual sex you have no idea what the other person is feeling.

There couldn't be a society of people who didn't dream. They'd be dead in two weeks.

Kerouac opened a million coffee bars and sold a million pairs of Levis to both sexes. Woodstock rises from his pages.

Truth is used to vitalize a statement rather than devitalize it. Truth implies more than a simple statement of fact. "I don't have any whisky," may be a fact but it is not a truth.

Virtue is simply happiness, and happiness is a by-product of function. You are happy when you are functioning.

Intelligence and war are games, perhaps the only meaningful games left. If any player becomes too proficient, the game is threatened with termination.

Junk is the ideal product ... the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy.

1. Never give anything away for nothing. 2. Never give more than you have to give (always catch the buyer hungry and always make him wait). 3. Always take everything back if you possibly can.

America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting.

This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war and games.

Black magic operates most effectively in preconscious, marginal areas. Casual curses are the most effective.

Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.

So cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can't fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say "I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER."

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