William Burroughs

(5 February 1914 – 2 August 1997)

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.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "A Word to the Wise Guy," The Adding Machine (1985).
    17 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • ''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.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "Civilian Defense," The Adding Machine (1985).
    11 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''The face of "evil" is always the face of total need.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. Evergreen Review (Jan./Feb. 1960). Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness (1959). The essay was later published as the introduction to The Naked Lunch in the 1962 edition.
    9 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ''A functioning police state needs no police.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. Dr. Benway, in "Benway," The Naked Lunch (1959).
    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ''Which came first the intestine or the tapeworm?''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. Interview, The South Bank Show, LWT (April 12, 1992).
    10 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ''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.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "Islam Inc. And the Parties of Interzone," The Naked Lunch (1959).
    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • ''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.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. Junkie, ch. 10 (1953).
    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ''There is the pleasurable orgasm, like a rising sales graph, and there is the unpleasurable orgasm, slumping ominously like the Dow Jones in 1929.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "My Experiences with Wilhelm Reich's Orgone Box," The Adding Machine (1985).
    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ''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.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "My Own Business," The Adding Machine (1985).
    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ''I think the ideal situation for a family is to be completely incestuous.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. Taped conversation, 1980, New York City. "On Dreams," Victor Bockris, With William Burroughs: A Report from the Bunker (1981).
    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.

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Best Poem of William Burroughs

Pistol Poem No. 2


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

Read the full of Pistol Poem No. 2

Cold Lost Marbles

my ice skates on a wall
lustre of stumps washes his lavander horizon
he's got a handsome face of a lousy kid
rooming-houses dirty fingers
whistled in the shadow
"Wait for me at the detour."
river… snow… some one vague faded in a mirror
filigree of trade winds
clouds white as lace circling the pepper trees

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