Transitional Period vs Gongs of Violence
Strikethrough indicates material Burroughs deleted from "Transitional Period."
Red indicates material Burroughs interpolated into
The Soft Machine.


Transitional Period

William S. Burroughs, "Transitional Period," Two Cities 6, 1961.

Gongs of Violence

William S. Burroughs, "Gongs of Violence," The Soft Machine, New York: Grove Press, 1966.

The War Between The Sexes split the planet into armed camps right down the middle line divides one thing from the other and I have seen them all: The Lesbian Colonels in tight green uniform and the cool blue metal of all sexes and the young aides and directives regarding The Sex Enemy from proliferating departments who thought the planet posted on every corner by Doctor Benway Blue Colonels of Supersonic Approval.

The war between the sexes split the planet into armed camps right down the middle line divides one thing from the other — And I have seen them all: The Lesbian colonels in tight green uniforms, the young aides and directives regarding the Sex Enemy from proliferating departments.

On The Line is The Baby and Semen market where the sexes meet to exchange The Basic Commodity injected straight away into Receptacles and detained in Border Town until issue Female Currency to The Male Bank.

On the line is the Baby and Semen Market where the sexes meet to exchange the basic commodity which is known as the "property" — Unborn properties are shown with a time projector. As a clear young going face flashes on the auction screen frantic queens of all nations scream: "A doll! A doll! A doll!" And tear each other to pieces with leopard claws and broken bottles — tobacco auction sound effects — Riots erupt like sandstorms spraying the market with severed limbs and bouncing heads.

Biological parents in most cases are not owners of the property. They act under orders of absentee proprietors to install the indicated stops that punctuate the written life script — With each Property goes a life script — Shuttling between property farmers and script writers, a legion of runners, fixers, guides, agents, brokers, faces insane with purpose, mistakes and confusion pandemic — Like a buyer who has a first-class Property and a lousy grade B life script.

"Fuck my life script will you you cheap downgrade bitch!"

Everywhere claim-jumpers and time-nappers jerk the time position of a property.

"And left me standing there without a 'spare jacket' or a 'greyhound' to travel in, my property back in 1910 Panama — I don't even feel like a human without my property — How can I feel without fingers?"

The property can also be jerked forward in time and sold at any age — The life of advanced property is difficult to say the least: poison virus agents trooping in and out at all hours: "We just dropped in to see some friends a population of patrols" — Strangers from Peoria waving quit claim deeds, skip tracers, collectors, claim-jumpers demanding payment for alleged services say: "We own the other half of the property."

"I dunno, me — Only work here — Technical Sergeant."

"Have you seen Slotless City?"

Red mesas cut by time winds — A network of bridges, ladders, catwalks, cable cars, escalators and ferris wheels down into the blue depths — The precarious occupants in this place without phantom guards live in iron cubicles — constant motion on tracks, gates click open shut — buzzes, blue sparks, and constant breakage — (Whole squares and tiers of the city plunge into the bottomless void) — Swinging beams of construction and blue flares on the calm intent young worker faces — People rain on the city in homemade gliders and rockets — Balloons drift down out of faded violet photos — The city is reached overland by a series of trails cut in stone, suspension bridges and ladders intricately booby-trapped, wrong maps, disappearing guides — (A falling bureaucrat in blue glasses screams by with a flash of tin: "Soy de la policia, señores — Tengo conexiónes) hammocks, swings, balconies over the void — chemical gardens in rusty troughs — flowers and seeds and mist settle down from high jungle above the city — Fights erupt like sandstorms, through iron streets a wake of shattered bodies, heads bouncing into the void, hands clutching bank notes from gambling fights — Priests shriek for human sacrifices, gather partisans to initiate unspeakable rites until they are destroyed by counter pressures — Vigilantes of every purpose hang anyone they can overpower — Workers attack the passer-by with torches and air hammers — They reach up out of manholes and drag the walkers down with iron claws — Rioters of all nations storm the city in a landslide of flame-throwers and Molotov cocktails — Sentries posted everywhere in towers open fire on the crowds at arbitrary intervals — The police never mesh with present time, their investigation far removed from the city always before or after the fact erupt into any café and machine-gun the patrons — The city pulses with slotless purpose lunatics killing from behind the wall of glass — A moment's hesitation brings a swarm of con men, guides, whores, mooches, script writers, runners, fixers cruising and snapping like aroused sharks —

(The subway sweeps by with a black blast of iron.)

The Market is guarded by Mongolian Archers who are right on the middle line between sex pressures jet The Hate Wave disintegrate The Violator in a flash of white light. And everywhere posted on walls and towers and corners and hovering autogyros these awful archers only get relief from the pressure you got it? by blasting a Violator and everywhere screen eyes vibrate through the city like electric dogs sniffing for violators —

The Market is guarded by Mongolian Archers right in the middle line between sex pressures jetting a hate wave that disintegrates violators in a flash of light — Everywhere posted on walls and towers in hovering autogyros these awful archers only get relief from the pressure by blasting a violator — Screen eyes vibrate through the city like electric dogs sniffing for violations —

(Remind The Board of the unsavory case of Black Paul who bought babies with centipede jissom. When the fraud came to light a whole centipede issue was in the public streets already every citizen went armed with a flame thrower. Paul was a respectable Mongolian Rancher by day — (The Mongolian Archers are bred for pure hate by experienced ranchers on The Range of Appalling Conditions and you can write your own price on a good strain of Color Spitting Mongolians. They vibrate color signals switch supersonic out in a flash of light. Sput.) So the case of Black Paul shows what happens when all sense of civic responsibility breaks down in rusty shit peoples: Centipede issue in the street.

Remind the Board of the unsavory case of "Black Paul" who bought babies with centipede jissom — When the fraud came to light a whole centipede issue was in the public streets and every citizen went armed with a flame-thrower — So the case of Black Paul shows what happens when all sense of civic responsibility breaks down —

Irresponsibles twitter Giggling Hate by experienced ranchers. NG conditions out in a white flash. Sput: Silent Space between worlds. It was a Transitional Period because of The Synthetics and everybody was raising some kinda awful life form in his bidet to fight the Sex Enemy. The results were not in all respect reasonable men. Besides mutations were common enough through channels. The jissom of hanged youths gave rise to interesting innovations: A species of green newt boy with purple fungoid gills that breathe carbon dioxide and live on your exhaust like it was very chic to have A Greenie curled into you and a translucent pink water dog that ate jissom and had to be kept in crystal cylinders of spine juice known as Hydraulic Jacks. It was all very tiresome real, everything is and besides The Synthetics were rolling off that line and we were getting some damned interesting types by golly blue heavy metal boys with near zero metabolism shit once a century and then its a shag heap and disposal problem in the worst form there is: Sewage delta to a painted sky, under the orange gas flares. Islands of garbage where green boy-girls tend human heads in chemical gardens. Terminal Cities under the metal word fall out like cold melted sodder on the walls and streets. Sputtering cripples with phosphorescent metal stumps // Cut. So we decided the heavy metal boys were not in all respects a good blue print.

It was a transitional period because of the Synthetics and everybody was raising some kinda awful life form in his bidet to fight the Sex Enemy — The results were not in all respects reasonable men, but the Synthetics were rolling off that line and we were getting some damned interesting types by golly blue heavy metal boys with near zero metabolism that shit once a century and then it's a slag heap and disposal problem in the worst form there is: sewage delta to a painted sky under orange gas flares, islands of garbage where green boy-girls tend human heads in chemical gardens, terminal cities under the metal word fallout like cold melted solder on walls and streets, sputtering cripples with phosphorescent metal stumps — So we decided the blue heavy metal boys were not in all respects a good blueprint.

"I have seen them all": A Unit yet of Mammals and Vegetables that subsist each on the shit of the other in predestiginal symbiosis. Now you see it now you dont. And achieved a stage where one group shit out nothing but pure carbon diioxide which the other group breathed in to shit out oxygen. Its the only way to live, kid. You understand they had this highly developed culture with Hanging Vines and Life Forms between insect and vegetable with stinging sex hairs and were finally recalled to the It Never Happened Department.

I have seen them all — A unit yet of mammals and vegetables that subsist each on the shit of the other in prestidigital symbiosis and achieved a stage where one group shit out nothing but pure carbon dioxide which the other unit breathed in to shit out oxygen — It's the only way to live — You understand they had this highly developed culture with life forms between insect and vegetable, hanging vines, stinging sex hairs — The whole deal was finally relegated to It-Never-Happened-Department.

You see all these forms got into some kinda awful climax which was just terrible and they had to call Disposal to write it out. "Retroactive amnesia it out of every fucking mind screen in the theatre if we have to." And so it went The Transitional Period or The Down Right Stupid Period as A.J. calls it on the air now:

"Will Hollywood never learn? Unimaginable and down right stupid disaster ten age future time —

How long you want to bat this tired old act around — ? : A Scorpion Issue in the street, Unusual Beings dormant in cancer. Hierarchichal Shit Eating Units.

Now by all your stupid Gods at once lets not get this show on the road lets stop it. Write here. Write now."

"Retroactive amnesia it out of every fucking mind screen in the area if we have to — How long you want to bat this tired old act around? A centipede issue in the street, unusual beings dormant in cancer, hierarchical shit-eating units — Now by all your stupid Gods at once let's not get this show on the road let's stop it."

Posted everywhere on street corners The Idiot Irresponsables (Life Form by Doctor Benway) twitter supersonic approval repeating A.J.'s slogans, giggling dancing masturbating out windows making machine gun noises and train whistles.

"And you Dead Hand Stretching The Vegetable People come out of that compost heap. You are not taking your old fibrous roots past this inspector".

Posted everywhere on street corners the idiot irresponsibles twitter supersonic approval, repeating slogans, giggling, dancing, masturbating out windows, making machine-gun noises and police whistles "And you, Dead Hand, stretching the Vegetable People come out of that compost heap — You are not taking your old fibrous roots past this inspector."

And The Idiot Irresponsables scream posted everywhere in chorus: "Chemical gardens in rusty shit peoples" !! "All out of Time and into Space. Come out of The Time word "The" forever. Come out of The Body Word "Thee" forever. There is no thing to fear. There is no thing in space. There is no word to fear. There is no word in space".

And the idiot irresponsibles scream posted everywhere in chorus: "Chemical gardens in rusty shit peoples!!"

"All out of time and into space. Come out of the time-word 'the' forever. Come out of the body word 'thee' forever. There is nothing to fear. There is no thing in space. There is no word to fear. There is no word in space."

And The Idiot Irresponsibles scream: "Come out of your stupid body you nameless ass holes"!

And there were those who thought A.J. lost dignity through the idiotic behavior of these properties but He said:

"That's the way I like to see them. No fall out. What good ever came from thinking? Just look there" (Another Heavy Metal Boy sank through the earth's crust and we got some good pictures.) "One of Shaffer's blue prints. I sounded a word of warning."

His Idiot Irresponsables twittered and giggled and masturbated over him from little swings and snapped bits of food from his plate screaming: "Blue Peoples NG Conditions! Typical Sight Leak out"!

"All out of time and into Space."

"Hello Ima Johnny The Naked Astranaut" And the Idiot Irresponsibles rush in with space suits and masturbating rockets spatter The City with jissom.

"Do not be alarmed citizens of Annexia — Report to your Nearie Pro Station for Chloryphyll Processing — We are converting to Vegetable State — Emergency measure to counter The Heavy Metal Peril — Go to your "Nearie" — You will meet a cool competent person who will dope out all your fears in photosynthesis — Calling all citizens of Annexia — Report to Green Sign for Processing." —

"Citizens of Gravity we are converting all out to Heavy Metal. Carbonic Plague of The Vegetable People threatens our Heavy Metal State. Report to your nearest Plating Station. "Its fun to be plated" says this well-known Radio and TV personality who is now engraved forever in gags of metal. Do not believe the calumny that our metal fall out will turn the planet into a shag heap. And in any case is that worse than a compost heap? Heavy Metal is our program and we are prepared to sink through it..."

And the idiot irresponsibles scream: "Come out of your stupid body you nameless assholes."

And there were those who thought A.J. lost dignity through the idiotic behavior of these properties but he said:

"That's the way I like to see them. No fallout. What good ever came from thinking? Just look there" (another heavy metal boy sank through the earth's crust and we got some good pictures...) "one of Shaffer's blueprints. I sounded a word of warning."

His idiot irresponsibles twittered and giggled and masturbated over him from little swings and snapped bits of food from his plate screaming: "Blue people NG conditions! Typical sight leak out!"

"All out of time and into space."

"Hello, Ima Johnny. the naked astronaut."

And the idiot irresponsibles rush in with space-suits and masturbating rockets spatter the city with jissom.

"Do not be alarmed citizens of Annexia — Report to your Nearie Pro Station for chlorophyll processing — We are converting to vegetable state — Emergency measure to counter the heavy metal peril — Go to your 'Nearie' — You will meet a cool, competent person who will dope out all your fears in photosynthesis — Calling all citizens of Annexia — Report to Green Sign for processing."

"Citizens of Gravity we are converting all out to Heavy Metal. Carbonic Plague of the Vegetable People threatens our Heavy Metal State. Report to your nearest Plating Station. It's fun to be plated," says this well-known radio and TV personality who is now engraved forever in gags of metal. "Do not believe the calumny that our metal fallout will turn the planet into a slag heap. And in any case, is that worse than a compost heap? Heavy Metal is our program and we are prepared to sink through it..."

At this point they called in The Novia Kid trailing cosmic dust from his last assignment. And he began tightening the screws everywhere and closing all escape valves. And they all thought they could harness that pressure and use it and.

"Unimaginable and down right stupid disaster. "Mr Bradly Mr Martin" conniving to stack your heavy metal parts in a rocket and leave Earth Constituents to pay off The Novia Kid: SPUT... No you dont "Me Bradly Virus Time Martin". You are under arrest. Tin of The Board of Health. STOP. STOP. STOP. / CHANGE / CHANGE / CHANGE / START. START. START. Get up off your dead time ass and deactivate your stupid gimmick. Is that clear enough or shall I make it even clearer? Rub out your stupid word. Rub out speration word "They" "We" "I" "Thee" "The". Rub out word "The" forever. "Mr Bradly Mr Martin" Uranian born of appalling conditions rub out your stupid word forever".

"The great skies are open. There is no thing to fear. There is no thing. Hassan i Sabbah rub out thing the forever. There is no word to fear. There is no word. Hassan i Sabbah rub out word "The" forever. If you i cancel all your words forever and the words of Hassan I Sabbah also cancel. Cross all your skies see the words silent writing of Hassan i Sabbah. Mr Bradly Mr Martin, in thee beginning was such a deal, i Sabbah set Bradly in the door."

The cold heavy fluid settled in his spine 70 tons per square inch — Cool blocks of SOS — (Solid Blue Silence) — under heavy time — Can anything be done to metal people of Uranus? — Heavy his answer in monotone disaster stock: "Nobody can kick an SOS habit — 70 tons per square inch — The crust from the beginning you understand — Tortured metal Ozz of earthquakes is tons focus of this junk" — Sudden young energy — I got up and danced — Know eventually be relieved — That's all I need — I got up and danced the disasters —"

Gongs of violence and how — Show you something — Berserk machine — "Shift cut tangle word lines — Word falling — Photo falling —"

"I said the Chief of Police skinned alive in Bagdad not Washington, D.C."

"Switzerland freezes all foreign assets."

"Foreign assets?"

"What? — British Prime Minister assassinated in Rightist coup?"

"Mindless idiot you have liquidated the Commissar."

"Terminal electric voice of C — All ling door out of agitated — Ta ta Stalin — Carriage age ta —"

Spectators scream through the track — The electronic brain shivers in blue and pink and chlorophyll orgasms spitting out money printed on rolls of toilet paper, condoms full of ice cream, Kotex hamburgers — Police files of the world spurt out in a blast of bone meal, garden tools and barbecue sets whistle through the air, skewer the spectators — crumpled cloth bodies through dead nitrous streets of an old film set — grey luminous flakes falling softly on Ewyork, Onolulu, Aris, Ome, Oston — From siren towers the twanging tones of fear — Pan God of Panic piping blue notes through empty streets as the berserk time machine twisted a tornado of years and centuries — Wind through dusty offices and archives — Board Books scattered to rubbish heaps of the earth — Symbol books of the all-powerful board that had controlled throught feeling and movement of a planet from birth to death with iron claws of pain and pleasure — The whole structure of reality went up in silent explosions — Paper moon and muslin trees and in the black silver sky great rents as the cover of the world rained down — Biologic film went up... "raining dinosaurs" "It sometimes happens... just an old showman" Death takes over the game so many actors buildings and stars laid flat pieces of finance over the golf course summer afternoons bare feet waiting for rain smell of sickness in the room Switzerland Panama machine guns in Bagdad rising from the typewriter pieces of finance on the evening wind tin shares Buenos Aires Mr. Martin smiles old names waiting sad old tune haunted the last human attic.

Outside a 1920 movie theater in East St. Louis I met Johnny Yen — His face showed strata of healed and half-healed fight scars — Standing there under the luminous film flakes he said: "I am going to look for a room in a good naborhood" — Captain Clark welcomes you aboard this languid paradise of dreamy skies and firefly evenings music across the golf course echoes from high cool corners of the dining room a little breeze stirs candles on the table. It was an April afternoon. After a while some news boy told him the war was over sadness in his eyes trees filtering light on dappled grass the lake like bits of silver paper in a wind across the golf course fading streets a distant sky.

WAS WEIGHTLESS — NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUTE PARIS APRIL 17, 1961 — "One's arms and legs in and out through the crowd weigh nothing — Grey dust of broom in old cabin — Mr. Bradly Mr. I Myself sit in the chair as I subways and basements did before that — But hung in dust and pain wind — My hand writing leaning to a boy's grey flannel pants did not change although vapor trails fading in hand does not weigh anything now — Gagarin said grey junk yesterdays trailing the earth was quite plain and past the American he could easily see the shores of conteinents — islands and great rivers."

"Captain Clark welcomes you aboard."