William Burrough’s Thanksgiving Prayer

William Burroughs and Joe Strummer

Two true legends - William Burroughs and The Clash's Joe Strummer

William Burroughs was the freaking man.  A junkie’s junkie (before rock gods made it cool), the beat writer’s beat writer (taught Jack Kerouc and Allen Ginsberg how to walk), and openly gay light years before it was socially acceptable – Burroughs was a rare breed.  His works pushes boundaries (Naked Lunch), and paints a picture of a junkie meandering across Southeastern United States around WWII (Junkie).  He starred in Ministry videos (Just One Fix), and portrayed a junkie priest (Drugstore Cowboy).  Considered by some as one of the best American writers of the 20th century, The Thanksgiving Prayer, is considered by some as his best work.

Read with an open mind, and realize the work for what it is – a glaring, pointing finger at Middle America.

Ladies and gentlemen – William Burrough’s Thanksgiving Prayer

“To John  Dillinger and hope he is still alive.

Thanksgiving Day November 28 1986”

Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons, destined to be shit 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.


2 thoughts on “William Burrough’s Thanksgiving Prayer

  1. Thanks for the review. It sounds like it is intense. Not my usual genre of reading but you’ve intrigued me. I will have to check it out. You should post this on goodreads.com if you haven’t already.

    • Thanks for the comment. The books I have read from William Burroughs epitomizes an underbelly of society few know about. “Junky” is definitely the way to start out – I started “Naked Lunch” five times before I made it through (but am glad I did).

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