Favorite

Cut up 

It's been a great shame of The Observer's life that we've never taken much to the work of novelist, short storyist, junkie, poet, chemical astronaut, painter and essayist William S. Burroughs. The Beats, in general, have long flummoxed Yours Truly, even though their art is a veritable three-ring circus of linguistic acrobatics, which we normally love.

Burroughs, who died in 1997, would have been 101 this week. We recently caught a BBC audio documentary about Burroughs and learned much about the great man, including his use of what he called "Cut Ups" — in which he'd take stories from the newspaper, whack them to bits with scissors, then stir them around until they approximated poetry.

Thanks to the Internet, you don't even need a pair of scissors anymore. There are Cut Up Generators all over cyberspace (do people still say "cyberspace"?) and The Observer has spent hours plugging things in — the Gettysburg Address, a recipe for chicken soup, directions from Little Rock to Jackson, Miss. Throw some brief editing and punctuation at the results, and it makes for serviceable Beat Poetry if you squint.

So, a demonstration is in order. Below is the Cut Up version (with The Observer's edits and punctuation) of a blog post by Arkansas Times Senior Editor Max Brantley on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's comparing being gay to drinking and cussing during a recent public appearance. Great verse it ain't, but it's got that something you can put your finger on while high on mescaline. Happy Birthday, Mr. Burroughs.

HUCK

His GOP slot.

His Iowa.

How can he want publicity?

Reprehensible.

Later a Slate, similes shut to it:

The slap, the true offensive, long and base.

ALSO: Stassen (possibly Mike Stassen).

His silly past, his keeper, the caucus.

Anti-gay, awful Huck, liking foreheads to excuse.

Huckabee's doing, serving accounts,

an Iowa same-sex wedding over drink abuse.

Really: Dana, or disapproval?

A baker of morning, got in trade?

Huckabee, Sunday, offended.

"I don't like asking again,"

right, Mike?

Today, the wedding has been dirty to him:

"I prevent religious homosexuality!"

subject Huckabee has cursed, Huck long offended.

Could everything be orientation?

Liking the disapproval of law, Huckabee approved.

Arkansas has become his point, his Carolina

Friends, past nonsense, legal alcohol, bad gays,

Silly, flawed, discriminate and overestimate.

Carry life, serve reasoning!

Ballet dirty and know that shrimp!

Christian: out, up!

Defend that Cornpone past!

The Internet, not Beyonce's marriage,

dogs Huckabee's publicity.

GOP clicks added, coddling hotel voters.

Rough talk,

morning view,

His back to logic.

Profanity

influences religion

to lesbians.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Snake stories

    The Observer's boss, Uncle Alan, is something of a gentleman farmer on his spread up in Cabot, growing heirloom tomatoes and watermelons and crops of chiggers on property that looks like the perfect farmstead Lenny and George often fantasized about in "Of Mice and Men."
    • Aug 27, 2015
  • Show and tell

    The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
    • Feb 25, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in The Observer

  • Testing, testing

    Junior, that peach-fuzzed philosopher of Maple Street, who stands now head and shoulders taller than the mother who birthed him 17 years and change ago and eye to eye with his old man, got his ACT test results in the other day.
    • Mar 30, 2017
  • Steamrolled

    Levy says goodbye to The Gettin' Place, a mom and pop store and deli.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Nibbles

    As winter turns to spring, The Observer finds again the urge to get our fishing pole and tackle box, dig some worms out in the backyard, and go fishing.
    • Mar 16, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal

Event Calendar

« »

March

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Never enough for the NRA

    Also, execution dates draw near, no justice and more.
  • Arkansas treats children of same-sex couples differently from other kids

    With the legislature refusing to correct the law, the fight is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Suffer the immigrants

    Since the election of Donald Trump, undocumented immigrants and the groups that work with them in Arkansas are dealing with a wave of fear.
  • Workers lose

    The Republicans' House Bill 1405 (on its way to the governor as this is written) would reduce a worker's eligibility to receive unemployment benefits from 20 to 16 weeks.
  • Testing, testing

    Junior, that peach-fuzzed philosopher of Maple Street, who stands now head and shoulders taller than the mother who birthed him 17 years and change ago and eye to eye with his old man, got his ACT test results in the other day.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation