William Naked Burroughs

 

[Joan Lee is explaining the joys of injecting oneself with insecticide]
Bill Lee: What do you mean, “it’s a literary high”?
Joan Lee: It’s a Kafka high. You feel like a bug.

Hans: Mr. Lee is curious about the Frost couple. He would like to meet them.
Kiki: I think the woman would have sex with you, Mr. Lee. The man, he only likes Interzone boys.
Bill Lee: I don’t want to fuck ’em, I just want to talk to ’em.
Hans: You know how Americans are, Kiki. They all love to travel, and then they only want to meet other Americans and talk about how hard it is to get a decent hamburger.

Tom Frost: They say you murdered your wife. Is that true?
Bill Lee: Who told you that?
Tom Frost: Word gets around.
Bill Lee: It wasn’t murder. It was an accident.
Tom Frost: There are no accidents. For example, I’ve been killing my own wife slowly over a period of years.
Bill Lee: What?
Tom Frost: Well, not intentionally. I mean, on the level of conscious intention, it’s insane, monstrous.
Bill Lee: But you do consciously know it. You just said it. We’re discussing it.
Tom Frost: Not consciously. This is all happening telepathically, non-consciously.
Bill Lee: What do you mean?
Tom Frost: If you look carefully at my lips, you’ll realize that I’m actually saying something else. I’m not actually telling you about the several ways I’m gradually murdering Joan.

Bill Lee: America is not a young land. It is old and dirty, evil. Before the settlers, before the Indians, the evil is there, waiting.

Creature Voices: Now, repeat after me: “Homosexuality is the best all-round cover an agent ever had.”

Bill Lee: Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down you dig farting out the words. It was unlike anything I had ever heard. This asshole talk had sort of a gut frequency. It hit you right down there like you gotta go. You know when the old colon gives you the elbow and it feels sorta cold inside, and you know all you have to do is turn loose? Well this talking hit you right down there, a bubbly, thick stagnant sound, a sound you could smell. This man worked for a carnival you dig, and to start with it was like a novelty ventriliquist act. Real funny, too, at first. He had a number he called The Better Ole that was a scream, I tell you. I forget most of it but it was clever. Like, “Oh I say, are you still down there, old thing?” “Nah I had to go relieve myself.” After a while the asshole started talking on its own. He would go in without anything prepared and his asshole would ad-lib and toss the gags back at him every time. Then it developed sort of teeth-like little raspy in-curving hooks and start eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it, but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street, shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags nobody loved it and it wanted to be kissed same as any other mouth. Finally it talked all the time day and night, you could hear him for blocks screaming at it to shut up, and beating it with his fist, and sticking candles up it, but nothing did any good and the asshole said to him, “It is you who will shut up in the end. Not me. Because we dont need you around here any more. I can talk and eat AND shit.” After that he began waking up in the morning with a transparent jelly like a tadpoles tail all over his mouth. This jelly was what the scientists call un-D.T., Undifferentiated Tissue, which can grow into any kind of flesh on the human body. He would tear it off his mouth and the pieces would stick to his hands like burning gasoline jelly and grow there, grow anywhere on him a glob of it fell. So finally his mouth sealed over, and the whole head would have have amputated spontaneous – except for the EYES you dig. Thats one thing the asshole COULDN’T do was see. It needed the eyes. But nerve connections were blocked and infiltrated and atrophied so the brain couldnt give orders any more. It was trapped in the skull, sealed off. For a while you could see the silent, helpless suffering of the brain behind the eyes, then finally the brain must have died, because the eyes WENT OUT, and there was no more feeling in them than a crabs eyes on the end of a stalk.

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