Tag Archives: literature

Inhuman Indifference

When Kenneth Rexroth heard Dylan Thomas had died, he wrote a poem. He wrote about who he blamed for the poet’s death: and he finds fault with us, with society. He uses “You” in the poem, addressing all of us. … Continue reading

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Impressions of Barnaby Rudge

Barnaby Rudge stamps and shouts and waves the candle above his head. Gabriel tries to keep him quiet: “Softly – gently” he says, and backs away a step from the whirling flame. Barnaby is raving about his dreams, though he … Continue reading

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Where Cows Are More Real Than Policemen

Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote a poem about a dog. This dog is a “real realist,” which means he looks up and down and smells with his nose and asks questions and doesn’t have any smart answers. “Dog” is a poem about … Continue reading

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How To Make Word Dust

Besides being a science fiction novel, Nova Express is a how-to book.  It tells us how to make cut-ups and create “word dust”. For example, Burroughs has a character called “The Subliminal Kid” use tape recorders to create cut-ups: “‘The … Continue reading

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William S. Burroughs: Vision and Intuition

Reading Queer by William S. Burroughs, I’m struck not just by the sharp clear quality of the prose, but also by the insights themselves, the things Burroughs can see and points out to us. If he had been a worse … Continue reading

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The Myth of Burroughs

It’s no use trying to cut through the myth of William S. Burroughs to get to the truth of the man himself. The truth of Burroughs is found in the myth: “the idea of Burroughs has its own realities, its … Continue reading

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Beat Freedom

Gregory Corso’s Variations on a Generation, exploring what it means to be “beat.” First it’s about how to write poetry: beat writers use “spontaneity ‘bop prosody’ surreal-real images jumps beats cool measures long rapidic vowels, long long lines, and, the … Continue reading

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