Ted Berrigan, Review of Nova Express (1965)

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Reports from the Bibliographic Bunker

Jed Birmingham on William S. Burroughs Collecting

Ted Berrigan review of Nova Express from Kulchur 18 (1965)

Kulchur 18It is a thousand years since anyone had intercourse with a delicacy — the least attempt thought of possessing such a delicacy and it is “back to the branches, kid” — But what about in the house? “The house is a photo.” But what about the house itself? “Lost their enemy — permutate at different pressure — Slow the house merged created in silent concentration of the workers from The Land of Silence where speech is impossible –”

“Lucky bastards,” Bill always said as he walked around smoking Havanas and directing the work in color flash language of The Silent Ones — showing his plans –

“Know who I am?”

The Technician mixed a bicarbonate of soda surveying the havoc on his view screen — it was impossible to estimate the damage — anything put up till now like pulling a figure out of the air –

You have to be free to remember he was under sentence of death in Maximum Security Birth Death Universe. So he sounded the words that end “Word” —

Eye take back color from “word” —

Uranium Willy The Heavy Metal Kid. Also known as Willy the Rat. He wised up the marks. His metal face moves in a slow smile.

To speak is to lie. To live is to collaborate. “But what is he painting?” Arrgh, it’s a theater full of people suffocating. “I got you — keep it practical and they can’t — ”

“I am dying, Meester?” Shift coordinate pint. Half your brain being blind turned off the lights — could give no information other than wind identity fading out — a long time between clock hands and rose wallpaper rooms of dead flesh — money he gave me to buy equipment — and being blind may not refuse the maps to by blood whom I created — “Mr. Bradley Mr. Martin” Dec. 7 1941, Sept. 18, 1899 —

Breakthrough in the grey room! Order total weapons — board books — Photos falling — Word falling — Storm the reality studio! Shift the scanning pattern of reality — hallucinogen drugs shift the scanning pattern of reality so that we see a different “reality” — “Reality” is simply more or less a constant scanning pattern –

Fade out to a shabby hotel near Earl’s Court in London. Uranian Willy, The Heavy Metal Kid, now known as “Willy the Fink” to his former associates, is posing as a writer. He has written a so-called pornographic nvoel called Naked Lunch in which the Orgasm Death Gimmick is described. He was not out of the Security Compound by a long shot he had rubbed off the word shackles –.

Never look back. Word dust everywhere now like soiled stucco on the buildings. Word dust without color drifting smoke streets. John is lost in about 5000 men and women — Everyone else is on The Grey Veil — Flesh frozen to particles called “Good Consciousness” irrevocably committed to the toilet — Reverse instructions — Calling partisans of all nations — Cut word lines — shift linguals — Vibrate tourists — Free doorways — Word falling — Photo falling — Breakthrough in The Grey Room —

The underground is made up of adventurers who intend to outthink and displace the present head — protected by heat and the brains armed now with The Blazing Photo — the brains under His control are encased in a vast structure of steel and crystal spinning thought patterns that control whole galaxies thousand years ahead on the chessboard of viewer screens and juxtapositions formulae —

How do you make someone feel stupid? You present to him all the times he talked and acted and felt stupid again and again any number of times fed into the combo of the soft calculating machine geared to find more and more punch cards and feed in more and more images — the images have electro-magnetic patterns — that is any situation that causes rage will magnetize rage patterns and draw around the rage word and image recordings-

The counter move is very simple — This is machine strategy and the machine can be redirected — Record for ten minutes on a tape recorder — Now run the tape back without playing and cut in other words at random — where you have cut in and re-recorded words are wiped off the tape and new words in their place — You have turned back Time ten minutes and wiped electro-magnetic word patterns off the tape and substituted other patterns — You can do the same with mind tape — The old mind tape can be wiped clean — (this takes some experimentation) — Magnetic word dust falling from old patterns — Word falling — Photo falling —

“A Deposition:”

Time to move on — Word is flesh and word is two and that is the human body is compacted of two organisms and where you have two you have word and word is flesh — Loneliness is a product of dual mammalian structure — “Loneliness,” “Love,” “Friendship,” all the rest of it — I am not two — I am one — But to maintain my state of oneness I need twoness in other life forms — Other must talk so that I can remain silent — Hassan i Sabbah has wised up the marks —

The Gimmick of The Death Dwarf: supersonic imitation and playback so that you think it is your own voice — (do you own a voice?) — You know you are in the right — in the “write” — so long as you have the inside your speech center say “I am in the right” — So Rot flashes around the world —

A Technician learns to think and write in association blocks which can be manipulated according to the basic laws of association and juxtaposition —

Does not take part in nor instigate experiments defining pain and pleasure thresholds — the Technician used abstract reports of the experiments to evolve the formulae of pain and pleasure association that control this planet — had material form purge trials and concentration camps and reports and photos from Nagasaki and Hiroshima — Photo falling — Word falling — With most precise data coming from Lexington, Kentucky report on the withdrawal experiences of drug addicts — with pain and pleasure limits defined and the juxtaposition formulae set up it is fairly easy to predict what people will think in a thousand years or as long as the formulae remain in operation —

Thinking in association blocks instead of words enables the operator to process data with speed of light on the association line — Certain alterations are of course essential —

Incidentally in this area the only reason one Technician ever contacts another Technician is for purposes of assassination — break into his grey room — make one into two — remain One — We’re Number One — Host empty —

Now let’s just take a critical look at our host — switch on a few mind tapes recently tuned in to his Latest News — here we go

One of the Ten Best — A Smash — The Ugly Spirit — A Deposition — Very Big — A Laugh Riot — Blessedly Real People — A Sizzling Merry-Go-Round — Rejoice — American Music at its Best — Nothing but Pleasure — A Pain — A Truly Hilarious Romp — I was Captivated – Breakthrough in the Grey Room – Far and Away The Most Significant Play in the Galaxy — The Laughs Roll On and On — The Greatest Story Ever Told — New York Times — Last Words Anywhere — Sports Vacation Travel Show — A Regular Cut-Up — Better Than Mary Mary — This Was Burlesque — Fade Out-Fade In — Recital Management- I Had A Ball — Catch Me If You Can — Best Shopping From Sixty Centuries — How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — World Premiere — Photo falling Word falling — My Favorite Musical Comedy —

Are These Experiments Necessary?

Changed place of years in the end is just the same — Don’t Answer — Silence — You are yourself — don’t answer the machine — shut it off — The Chinese character for enemy means to be similar to or to answer —

Well, that’s about the closest way I know how to tell you — My writing arm is paralyzed — had enough slow metal — And I go home having lost — so get your heavy metal ass in a space ship rustling across city desks — you yourself are Mr. Bradley Mr. Martin — you ever had a delicacy? — know who I am?

September 17, 1899

Ted Berrigan

Originally published in Kulchur #18 (1965). Posted by RealityStudio on 15 July 2013.

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