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23 RANDOM PARAGRAPHS FROM NAKED LUNCH

Naked Lunch is a novel by American writer William S. Burroughs, originally published in 1959. The book is structured as a series of loosely connected vignettes. Burroughs stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order. wikipedia

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WSB reads 23 random sentences from Naked Lunch

1 Police bullet in the alley… Broken wings of Icarus, screams of a burning boy inhaled by the old junky… eyes empty as a vast plain… ( vulture wings husk in the dry air).

2 (Alternative: A. J. whips out a bottle of ketchup and douses the haute cuisine. )

3 The AfterBirth Supreme de Boeuf,

4 A year later in Tangier I heard she was dead. B E N W A Y

5 phantom twinges of amputation…

6 “Turn it on.”

7 Stay away from Queens Plaza, son…. Evil spot haunted by dicks scream for dope Bend lover…. Too many levels…. Heat flares out from the broom closet high on ammonia… like burning lions… fall on poor old lush worker scare her veins right down to the bone. …Her skin-pop a week or do that five-twenty-nine kick handed out free and gratis by NYC to jostling junkies….

8 Carl talked to the doctor outside under the narrow arcade with rain bouncing up from the street against his pant legs, thinking how many people he tell it to, and the stairs, porches, lawns, driveways, corridors and streets of the world there in the doctor’s eyes… stuffy German alcoves, butterfly trays to the ceiling, silent portentous smell of uremia seeping under the door, suburban lawns to sound of the water sprinkler, in calm jungle night under silent wings of the Anopheles mosquito. (Note: This is not a figure. Anopheles mosquitoes are silent. ) Thickly carpeted, discreet nursing home in Kensington: stiff brocade chair and a cup of tea, the Swedish modern living room with water hyacinths in a yellow bowl — outside the China blue Northern sky and drifting clouds, under bad water-colors of the dying medical student.

9 “And now gentlemen — I trust there are no transvestites present — he he — and you are all gentlemen by act of Congress it being only remain to establish you male humans, positively no Transitionals in either direction will be allowed in this decent hall. Gentlemen, present short arms. Now you have all been briefed on the importance of keeping your weapons well lubricated and ready for any action flank or rear guard.”

10 The County Clerk has his office in a huge red brick building known as the Old Court House. Civil cases are, in fact, tried there, the proceeding inexorably dragging out until the contestants die or abandon litigation. This is due to the vast number of records pertaining to absolutely everything, all filed in the wrong place so that no one but the County Clerk and his staff of assistants can find them, and he often spends years in the search. In fact, he is still looking for material relative to a dam-age suit that was settled out of court in 1910. Large sections of the Old Court House have fallen in ruins, and others are highly dangerous owing to frequent cave-ins. The County Clerk assigns the more dangerous missions to his assistants, many of whom have lost their lives in the service. In 1912 two hundred and seven assistants were trapped in a collapse of the North-by- North-East wing.

11 Heavy, colorless smell of death filled the empty room.

12 Sooner or later The Vigilante, The Rube, Lee The Agent, A. J., Clem and Jody The Ergot Twins, Hassan O’Leary the After Birth Tycoon, The Sailor, The Exterminator, Andrew Keif, “Fats” Terminal, Doc Benway, “Fingers” Schafer are subject to say the same thing in the same words to occupy, at that intersection point, the same position in space-time. Using a common vocal apparatus complete with all metabolic appliances that is to be the same person — a most inaccurate way of expressing Recognition: The junky naked in sunlight…

13 “Be sure that milk is pasteurized. Don’t go giving me some kinda awful cow disease like anthrax or glanders or aftosa….”

14 “You are agent, mister?”

15 His voice falls Hat and heavy in the damp air.

16 The room seems to shake and vibrate with motion. The blood and substance of many races, Negro, Polynesian, Mountain Mongol, Desert Nomad, Polyglot Near East, Indian — races as yet unconceived and unborn, combinations not yet realized pass through your body. Migrations, incredible journeys through deserts and jungles and mountains (stasis and death in closed mountain valleys where plants grow out of genitals, vast crustaceans hatch inside and break the shell of body) across the Pacific in an outrigger canoe to Easter Island. The Composite City where all human potentials are spread out in a vast silent market.

17 “It is all Trak… modern, excellent…” he is nodding idiotically and drooling. A yellow cat pulls at Carl’s pant leg and runs onto a concrete balcony. Clouds drift by.

18 P.L.: “No you don’t. You see men and women. Ordi-ruzry men and women going about their ordinary every-day tasks. Leading their ordinary lives. That’s what we need….”

19 “‘“Well,” I says, “I gotta be careful. But so long as you got a legitimate condition and an RX from a certi-Bed bona feedy M.D., I’m honored to serve you.” ‘

20 “Utter heaven1”

21 “Do you suggest there is something illegitimate in this operation?”

22 The Sailor drifted down into the Plaza. A street boy was shoving a newspaper in the Sailor’s face to cover his hand on the Sailor’s pen. The Sailor walked on. He pulled the pen out and broke it like a nut in his thick, fibrous, pink fingers. He pulled out a lead tube. He cut one end of the tube with a little curved knife. A black mist poured out and hung in the air like boiling fur. The Sailor’s face dissolved. His mouth undulated forward on a long tube and sucked in the black fuzz, vibrating in supersonic peristalsis disappeared in a silent, pink explosion. His face came back into focus unbearably sharp and clear, burning yellow brand of junk searing the grey haunch of a million screaming junkies.

23 “O.K., but I can’t take you in to the guy, you understand.”