1. William Seward Burroughs, born February 5th, 1914, St. Louis, Missouri. Died August 2, 1997, Lawrence, Kansas.
3. William S. Burroughs, a writer no one reads and everyone references.
4. Point three is not fair: I’m sure you, dearest reader, have read Burroughs, continue to read Burroughs, will read Burroughs, etc.
5. But, points three and four, it’s the idea of Burroughs, Burroughs-as-luminary, Burroughs-as-symbol, that our culture persists in keeping.
6. Re: Points three, four, five: Burroughs the poser who posed for so many photographs, who couldn’t say no to a spoken word CD or a collaboration or a fucking Nike ad.
7. And always with the guns.
8. And the knives.
9. And the guns.
10. If you want to know what licenses Picasso to break the human form (and other forms) into cubes and lines and colors and figured abstractions, go gander at Aunt Pepa or First Communion.
11. If you want to know what licenses Duchamp to call a urinal a work of art, go gander at Portrait of the Artist’s Father.
12. If you want to know what licenses Burroughs to call Naked Lunch a novel, go read Junkie or Queer.
13. Junkie, the first Burroughs novel I read, is a high modernist classic.
16. The reader is invited, most cordially, to print this riff and cut it into little bits and rearrange it.
17. The reader is invited, most cordially, to cut and paste this riff into a new digital document and rearrange it.
18. William Burroughs, curator.
19. William Burroughs, collaborator.