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
  • The Arkansas Traveler

    The Observer gets letters from folks, either directly or through the grapevine. Recently, somebody forwarded us one written by a former schoolteacher, writing to her granddaughter, who is a new student at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs.
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • The Grand Old Flag

    The Observer, like nearly everyone else with access to an internet connection, routinely sees our personal lighthouse battered by Hurricane Outrage, which — on a planet where billions of people struggle to find water and a crumb of daily bread — seems more like a tempest in a teapot inside a series of other, progressively larger teapots the longer we weather it.
    • Sep 1, 2016

Most Shared

  • A mayor stands up against freeway widening. No. Not in Little Rock.

    Another booming city, Indianapolis, fights ever wider urban freeways. Meanwhile, back in Little Rock .....
  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Latest in The Observer

  • The Talk

    By the time you read this, Valentine's Day will be receding into the rearview for another 360-plus days, much to our satisfaction. The Observer has nothing against love, having been in it for over 20 years with a wonderful woman we met several professions for both of us ago. But we do have a bone to pick with Valentine's Day, that holiday that seems to be designed to make everybody making an attempt feel both financially poorer and a bit inadequate.
    • Feb 15, 2018
  • Memoir

    The Arkansas Times got a visit this week from some folks teaching a class for LifeQuest of Arkansas, an outfit that puts on continuing education courses for older folks.
    • Feb 8, 2018
  • 45

    Arkansas Times Senior Editor Max Brantley, who hired The Observer as a pup a few eons back, recently took to the Arkansas Blog to mark his two score and five years so far in the newspaper business. It tickled many of our own heartstrings about Little Rock, this profession, and what it all means in 2018 A.D.
    • Feb 1, 2018
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

February

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  

Most Viewed

  • Locked away and forgotten

    In 2017, teenagers committed to rehabilitative treatment at two South Arkansas juvenile lockups did not receive basic hygiene and clothing supplies and lived in wretched conditions.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation