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William S. Burroughs – A Thanksgiving Prayer

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. We can always count of the wisdom of William S. Burroughs to lay it out, in bitter honesty, of all the things we have to be thankful for – or not. Written thirty years ago, it is still as relevant today as it was then – perhaps even more so. This poem, Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. 1986, first appeared in the chapbook “Tornado Alley,” which was published in 1989. There is much in his sarcastic prayer that is particularly poignant this year, particularly when we are coming off a contentious election year and the balance of social justice is teetering. Yeah, thanks.

buroughs-thanksgiving-prayerWilliam S. Burroughs – A Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanks for the wild turkey and
the passenger pigeons, destined
to be shat out through wholesome
American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil
and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and
danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves
and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin’ lawmen,
feelin’ their notches.

For decent church-goin’ women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces.

Thanks for

“Kill a Queer for Christ” stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the
war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where
nobody’s allowed to mind the
own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the
memories– all right let’s see
your arms!

You always were a headache and
you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest
betrayal of the last and greatest
of human dreams.

Dawn Marie
Curator | Writer | Eccentric | Strawberry Tongue Music
...is an obsessive-compulsive music aficionado. Her interests in music tend towards Post-Punk, New Wave, Electronic, Experimental, Jazz, and Darkwave. She feels as comfortable listening to 40's standard pop tunes as she does bat cave goth or heavy metal. She makes no excuses for her choices.

Dawn Marie

http://www.strawberrytongue.com

...is an obsessive-compulsive music aficionado. Her interests in music tend towards Post-Punk, New Wave, Electronic, Experimental, Jazz, and Darkwave. She feels as comfortable listening to 40's standard pop tunes as she does bat cave goth or heavy metal. She makes no excuses for her choices.

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