I was introduced to Jack Kerouac by my friend, Dreamer. I was introduced to William Burroughs through Jack Kerouac.
I could study these two for years. What draws me to these two Beat authors is both particular and uncertain. With Kerouac, it is the rhythmic, poetic, damned near musical style of his prose. The very idea that he could have sat at a typewriter and just let loose with the unscripted thoughts in his head and allow On the Road to blossom forth in just three days is...well, both incredible and enviable to me. To say that he was quite a guy is an understatement.
Same goes for his friend, William Burroughs. Or "Old Bull Lee" as he is veiled as in On the Road. Burroughs' drug-fevered, often disturbing texts are not for the faint of heart nor for the easily embarrassed. They are, however, a showcase of a writer whose gift for the pure craft of linking phrase to phrase is nonpareil. His work is also a glimpse into the subconscious, a brave look at the realities of thought that everyone has for those brave enough to take a dainty peek. I sometimes get the feeling that I and everyone else that I know secretly inhabits a Burroughs novel. That is why I sometimes try to write like him:
Hair and eyes in the miasma of my thoughts. Hypnotized. Not many make it past the courtyard where they empty the tanks and the black sludge pours out, all slimy and rotting with fungus. No boon to security. Your lungs burn with the odor of green and your stomach contorts into knots. I spread the toothpaste over the acne, the commercialized betterment covering the tiny points of swollen red. I'm hoping, begging for the oil to dry or to at least run free, far so far away and let me live. So bitter and caked, mint scent mingles and plays with the scent of pus and infection in the air. Imperfection plagues me. As if the oil seals me to the back of a runaway hog, I am a prisoner for the ride as we pass the grandstand. Slowly bit by bit I must lower my standards.
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