Exile

They asked me what I wanted to be when I “grew up,” they didn’t say what “grew up” would mean, didn’t or couldn’t, and I said, “A writer,” without knowing that this meant “An American Negro,” a native exile singing the blues because no other music is possible, a merely naturalized citizen never quite at home here in death’s most prosperous land, a displaced person, lacking documents and anxious with perpetual dread of the moment when some recognized authority will say, “Papers, please!” in clipped Germanoid accents.

Now, I can write, and I am a good writer, far better, far better than any of the schooled, trained, controlled, USDA certificated writers from Naropa, Iowa, there in our nation’s heart where are cloned the world’s most sophisticated strains of corn. Too sophisticated to comprehend the obvious. Even the obvious: hopeless corn, do you see? Who did not believe or even hear the man when he said, “The thing to avoid, I dont know why, is the spirit of system.” And so, instead, the subtle significance of the dark darkness of my comic book collection. The search for boy wonder. The aesthetics of the poverty of aesthetics. The meaning of the paucity of meaning. The dearth of lack. The welter of the plethora. The hopelessness of the great white hope, insomniac denizen of the deep. Aye, Captain Quint, that’s the U.S.S. Indianapolis, or a muddleclass murder mystery, done not for money or cunt but for cunning little imaginary reasons: weapons of mass destruction, spreading democracy, the phantom menace.

Time magazine says The publicity generated by the one squillion dollar advance is worth at least one squillion dollars in sales. This is an exact quote.

“Dippy, zonked,” Price said, “like William S. Burroughs.” And my hat is off to him who got Kansas intellectewhuls to foot the bill for acres of opium, mountains of morphine, hundreds of hashish suppositories, and to rationalize his criminal con ass with The Law, all in exchange for tenure, that is, security, that is, phear, as in Ph.D. I wish I had thought of it.

But genius doesn’t have to think of these things, does it? To mentate, to ratiocinate them into being — this can’t be done. It is, Edgar Allan, a contradiction in terms. These creatures can only be summoned by the spirit, the spirit of a man’s own genius, calling forth from the Earth the exact match to that man’s truth, which is not his twin, not his soulmate or one and only love, but his perfect mark, the guys and girls voted Most Likely while Billy shot up under the grandstand with Seymour Butts and Pinnochio, checking out the cheerleaders little skirts for that mythical girl with no panties and dreaming of the day when they might turn into a real live boys.

Alas! history cheats us of this golden moment, replaces it instead with manhood, with responsibility, that is, not that shit about bills and casting a dutiful vote, but the ability to respond, to actually say No out loud, perfect and clear. Then, on top of everything else, nobody will fucking like you anymore. They will call you names and shake their bewildered heads, pretend they dont understand and refuse to take or return your phone calls. You are alone, not just again, not the way you always were alone, but finally, see? In conclusion. The way people die. The way they live.

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