I cut up his cut-ups, allegory of an allegory of an allegory of an allegory of a waterfall of mental curlicues whose new meaning is no meaning in extremity. Is a Burroughs to eat? I am timid, abstract, complete, light fever, timid. Barefoot, yells Hey Pop, got any more Dick Tracys? Burroughs am paying one wrecked penny for the pleasure he’s wreaking on some “boy”; shooting quarts of toxins, skin a welcome mat, body heroically disjunct Picasso (two profiles, left front high…). The stapled urge for self-protection that…Danger is a refuge from more danger. Don’t even know what a Burroughs is.
Manhattan Project, first atom bomb test, New Mexico 1945: Oppenheimer and his boys think the planet could go critical. Oppenheimer refigures, the probability remains, “What the hell.” So-and-so many blasts: radioactive sex causes untold genetic mutations. A carnival of giants, vile luminosity sheeting off their scales and exoskeletons, march out of that desert looking for something to eat. I don’t want to die but witness APPETITE and MURDER tread the vile luminous sand: ant spider Gila monster rattler wasp rat locust lizard grasshopper rabbit praying mantis crow ant spider wasp…The entire town of Soda Bluff stampedes down narrow canyons scattering funeral lights beneath their trembling feet. The destruction of today. Last men, mercenaries on the last patrol, eat rations with dog mouths, then fool around in caustic green dusk; they wear Mylar capes and copper-studded jockstraps. Bud’s withheld a basket musta weigh two pounds of fresh peaches. Bud squirms down with a deep sigh, odor of penetration, he says, “I want to be so embraced.” The last ant cold mandibles his thigh, a howl and spasms from Bud’s lifted body mean death. I send my own spear into the enormous insect eye shattering a thousand selves —point touched pinpoint brain, blue sparks, burning isolation, burning rubber, ant collapses, cold heap of old parts. The reason Bud dies, so that his orgasm stays beyond. I don’t wonder who I am, I wonder where I am—still, nothing to do now but kick back and wait for orders.
Robert Gluck, "Burroughs" from The World In Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave. Copyright © 2000 by Robert Gluck. Reprinted by permission of Robert Gluck.
Source: The World In Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave (St. Martin's Press, LLC, 2000)
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Poet Robert Glück b. 1947
POET’S REGION U.S., Western