The Sporadic Beaver

This Is Not a Review

March 13, 2014

Tags: cut-up technique, Antony Hitchin, Joe Ambrose, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Beaver Street

One of the best ways I know of to not enjoy a good book is to read it under deadline pressure with the intention of writing a review. And two of the greatest sins a reviewer or critic (as some reviewers prefer to call themselves) can commit is to review a book that he or she has only skimmed, or to review a book that he or she has contributed to, and then pretend to critique it objectively.

This, then, is not a review; it's an acknowledgement of a new book.

There’s a lot of material in Cut Up!’s 394 pages—poems, prose, artwork—that I look forward to lingering over and processing at my leisure. Then I may come to understand fully what Joe Ambrose and A.D. Hitchen have assembled in this anthology of cut-up-technique writings. Also, I’ve written the introduction to Hitchen’s “Split-Beaver” poems, which are drawn from my book Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography.

A bit of essential history: One way to perform the cut-up technique, popularized by William Burroughs a half-century ago, is to take a complete text (like Beaver Street), cut it into pieces with one word or a few words on each piece, and then rearrange the pieces into a new text. Another way is a “Third Mind” collaboration, pioneered by Burroughs and poet Brion Gysin; the author combines words cut from a text with his own words. Cut Up! (Oneiros Books) features both techniques, and includes works from well-known writers, like Allen Ginsberg (“Notes on Claude Pélieu”).

Many of the contributing authors are names I’ve become familiar with through social media. Among these dedicated practitioners of this avant-garde art form are: Kenji Siratori (“The Worst Deadly Bank Account Number in the History of the Universe”), Christopher Nosnibor (“Flickering images: life-size shadow-puppetry”), Gary J. Shipley (excerpt from Spook Nutrition), Niall Rasputin (“disgraceful blade”), Muckle Jane (“Recipes”), Cal Leckie (“Micro-Verse”), and Lucius Rofocale (“Ne/urantia: Close Encounters of the Third Mind”). Billy Chainsaw and D M Mitchell contributed artwork.

A word of caution to those with delicate sensibilities: Phrases such as “corpse fetish pussy gangbang” (which I’ve cut from Siratori’s “Phishingera”) occur with frequency.

More adventurous readers, however, may argue that they do not occur frequently enough.

Half & Half

April 19, 2013

Tags: cut-up technique, Beaver Street, Antony Hitchin, William Burroughs

The reaction to Antony Hitchin's poems, drawn from Beaver Street, using the cut-up technique William Burroughs popularized, has been so positive, I'm going to end the blogweek with one more.

"Meat Doll Misanthrope," like "Discharge," which I posted yesterday, is what Burroughs described as a "Third Mind" collaboration. Hitchen combined his own words with words cut from Beaver Street. But unlike "Discharge," which was mostly Beaver Street, "Meat Doll Misanthrope" is about half Beaver Street, half Hitchin.

And if you really want to know which half is which, you’ll just have to read the book.

Meat Doll Misanthrope

misanthrope pixel memoir
dinosaur Christ proxy body
mimicking skin
dialectical face mouth peers
through fuck fingers
the sound of god splitting
open ----------------------------------------------
flaming silhouettes
candy store messiah
mouth-fuck fetishes
the remnants of your space dead television flesh
your channel wired webwork tissue reek of wet pubics

Third Mind

April 18, 2013

Tags: cut-up technique, Beaver Street, Antony Hitchin, William Burroughs

I said yesterday in my posting about "Bukkake Thatcher," one of the poems Antony Hitchen had sliced from the heart of Beaver Street using the cut-up technique popularized by William Burroughs, that he'd "compressed into a few sentences the emotions expressed in a large swath of the book." But I think it would be more accurate to explain the technique this way: Hitchin has pulled from Beaver Street the most provocative words and phrases, and by arranging them in a new way, he's captured the emotional tone of the entire book.

The title of the poem below, "Discharge," is cut from a legal document quoted in the Traci Lords chapter. Other words are taken from chapters titled "High Society" and "I Found My Job in The New York Times." Hitchen also includes some of his own words not found in the book, like "muzzle," "filter," "autonomy," and "flush," making this what he'd call a "Third Mind" collaboration, which is the title of a cut-up work by Burroughs and Brion Gysin.

Here, then, for your reading pleasure, I give you the latest and freshest filet of Beaver:

Discharge

DIY abortion vacuum / video boxes sizzling jailbait celebrity skin/ subscription hooker etiquette women masturbating mutilated bodies/ nymphomaniacs spread pussies – muzzle sloppy
she fills a paper cup of deep-pile pussy discharge
AIDs tuberculosis trickle-down
economics/ bubonic rejection glare of subway slug/
drifting overhead chrome /beyond sleep filter fringes – spurting flush autonomy nothing death

Day of the Locust

April 17, 2013

Tags: cut-up technique, Beaver Street, Antony Hitchin, Margaret Thatcher

The ignorance of the American media never ceases to dazzle, and it was on full display last week when Margaret Thatcher died. As soon as the news broke, the commentators on the cable show I was watching began describing Thatcher as a great prime minister loved by all, a veritable saint like her good friend Ronald Reagan.

This didn't exactly jive with what I remembered about the reign of the so-called Iron Lady. In her own country, she was at best divisive and at worst despised. There were riots in Liverpool, an unnecessary war in the Falklands, and an ongoing economic catastrophe that led to massive unemployment.

It’s this last point that I discuss in Beaver Street. Just as Ronald Reagan’s policies gave the world “free” phone sex, which transformed the porn industry from an underground phenomenon to a mainstream financial behemoth, Thatcher’s policies were instrumental in making D-Cup magazine a success.

It was soon after I began editing the magazine, in 1986, that, as I say in Beaver Street, I started making regular trips to London with fists full of cash to “persuade the nubile spawn of Margaret Thatcher’s economically ravaged England to reveal their fleshly charms.”

I explain how British photographers were placing ads in newspapers “inviting young women to come to London to audition as topless ‘Page 3’ girls,” and how Thatcher’s economic initiatives had driven “unemployed and underemployed students, nurses, housewives, and secretaries” to descend “locust-like upon the city because they believed that flashing their boobs in ‘respectable’ family newspapers was the first step on the road to becoming a big movie star or a famous lingerie model.”

On one trip, in late 1987, soon after the stock market crash, I witnessed hundreds of young women line up in a London warehouse that had been converted to a makeshift photography studio. One after another, they took off all or some of their clothes, as a photographer snapped test shots. And within weeks, thanks to Lady Thatcher, dozens of these women, having been told that they weren’t quite right for Page 3, had decided that “rather than go back to the night shift in a Liverpool fish-and-chips joint,” they’d make the leap to hardcore porn videos.

It’s this scenario that inspired “Bukkake Thatcher,” the latest poem Antony Hitchin has drawn from Beaver Street. (I’m running it today to commemorate Thatcher’s funeral, and I’ve kept the British spellings in her honor.) Using the cut-up technique, Hitchin has compressed into a few sentences the emotions expressed in a large swath of the book. And if you don’t know what bukkake means, go ask somebody who does.

Bukkake Thatcher

Penthouse Enron brain pictorial pulp lust bad writing on the wall for economically ravaged post-industrial America. Proficiently kink or fetish the young porn nymphos veritable antithesis.

Soulless ungloved stardom – cummer cyberspace mouse-click contraband epidemic of a vibrator cabal – whose picture appeared virus legislators syndicated war on drugs.

Weapon – she was FBI cold – a moneymaker sting exploitation violating possession. Nonstop traumatic gonzo bukkake ethical violations – anilingus handheld through Margaret Thatcher’s erections – Pentecostal Watergate conspirators’ congress fibre-optic aureoles of will.

Forevermore hairball – cherry pop Iran-contra – gold standard regurgitated anal sex two-headed monster naked in a bathtub representing French and Swedish markets. Cro-Magnon church savage mass-mailing academic paedophile backbone measured to Traci Lords Nixon search.

Warrant zealots anti-porn bible on TV – black on milk cartons hole of substance abuse grotesque – erotic – strictly mechanical – a vestigial camera insertion testimony to sleazy nubile spawn of fuck-and-suck-athon. Alzheimer's mouth shut manufacturing synchronicity god CIA Meese report.

Pure Filth

April 16, 2013

Tags: cut-up technique, Beaver Street, Antony Hitchin

If you haven't read Beaver Street, the cut-up poem below, "Phoenix Pussy," by Antony Hitchin (he could have just as easily called it "Dallas Cunnilingus"), may seem like nothing more than pure filth, mindless graffiti splattered across a wall, a chaotic assortment of dirty and emotionally charged words and images that doesn't seem to say anything but is somehow disturbing.

However, if you've read Beaver Street (or if you wrote it) "Phoenix Pussy" is like a hallucinogenic summary of key parts of the book. The poem runs through my head like a psychedelic movie: Beaver Street on acid.

To deconstruct (or perhaps reconstruct): Taken out of context, the phrase “Jesus jacked off,” may seem to the uninitiated like gratuitous blasphemy. But if you’ve read the book, then you know that the words are “cut” from a scene on page 120, in which I’m working with another editor to put together a style sheet for our “grossly underpaid” freelance porn writers. The complete sentence is, “People are permitted to cry ‘Oh, Jesus!’ in the midst of orgasm, but gratuitous blasphemy, like ‘Jesus jacked off behind the tree,’ is unacceptable, even in U.S.-only sections.”

So, without further ado, I give you “Phoenix Pussy,” the second poem in our continuing series of poems cut from Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography.

Phoenix Pussy

Cum towering bestiality and hardcore movies
divas deep anilingus
oh her partners biblical dozen double suckers with insertion behemoth!
Jesus jacked off rubbing up beavers – twat fist-fucking nymphos carved on chronic criminal wave –hookers scrapbooks hysteria militant intercourse
freaky he-she’s phoenix pussy playing reverse-cowgirl-style mindless ten-inch cocks five dollar swastika holding the
fuck-sluts enterprise statue bare-breasted erection
ungodly Dallas cunnilingus free torture mamas excretion gushing
absenteeism piss-drinking key justice fellatio nymphomaniacs

Filet of Beaver (Street)

April 15, 2013

Tags: cut-up technique, Beaver Street, William Burroughs, Antony Hitchin

Antony Hitchin, a British writer, is the author of Messages To Central Control. The book is an example of the "cut-up" technique, pioneered by the Dadaists in the 1920s and popularized by William Burroughs in the 1950s and '60s. One way to perform the technique is to take a complete text, cut it into pieces with one word or a few words on each piece, and then rearrange the pieces into a new text.

Hitchin recently wrote to me to say that he was "experimenting with cutting up Beaver Street in various ways" and calling the project "Split Beaver." He wanted to know if I was okay with this. I told him I was delighted, and that he should feel free to fillet my Beaver as he saw fit.

This morning he sent me the first results of his experiment. “Interestingly,” he wrote, “I was talking to [Edward S. Robinson], author of the academic text Shift-Linguals, who’s something of an authority on cut-up and postmodern literature in general, and he believes this is a first, to his knowledge—no other authors have officially sanctioned (or embraced) a literary ‘remix’ of their work.”

To which I say: It’s cool! It’s hip-hop! And in the future, I will take my Beaver raw, or “tartare,” as they call it in the finest restaurants.

Below, I give you the first “poem” cut completely from Beaver Street. Allow me to put the first word, which you’ll find on page 75, in context. (The rest you can find on your own.) “It must have been quite a shock for young Jason, who’d never publicly acknowledged the seamier side of his heritage, to see his esteemed grandfather described in the Times as a skinflint and a sadist.”

Split Beaver

Skinflint load sucks black cock – mafia micrometer pentagon enema sphincter frenzy. Entry castoffs two group suck and incest. Pseudonyms quim triangle buxom rendered syntax!

All resistance of her bodies writhing in a jack off with Jill sadist flotsam manner of human. Lunch meat anal pussy refugees – a home-decorating big-budget blizzard commingling gash vision. Lesbian sleazeball fornication – the fortunate pilgrim clippings – he lubed sperm-drenched Mary of a lost lingering presence. Stream of warm anal sent Gestapo officers with speculum fitness lit-clit scratch-and-sniff.

My airbrushed ferocious four-legged cock with teeth teasing underage girl – chief circular daisy jerk-off with ayatollah daughter. In her greased ports – hypochondriac gaping slit shot and sprinkle of machines – Mormon homicidal sperm parts of the Koran – waiting fuck virgins

Hardcore criminal penalties dirty slithering up her bridal health and homophobia gang rape puckered anus.