When Burroughs died in '97 it was the summer after I finished high school. I had just gotten the internet on a computer in my room, I had my first email, I had saved pictures of naked women on my hard drive and knew where to look at them. That was some summer then. In his last trilogy of books Burroughs wrote about a sex propelled virus that destroys humanity. Burroughs had written this before AIDS was discovered. Burroughs had birthed in his male uterus the perfect virus that by replicating to paper he shat straight through the earth.
I read a lot of Burroughs, I read him over and over, I read NAKED LUNCH before I knew a lot of things after I bought it from the only independent bookstore I'd ever been in, where the ideas on the pages seemed profane and new already to me: the first poetry reading I ever went to when I was like 16 there were guys with long hair who got tired of reading their own shit and so they got NAKED LUNCH and started reading their favorite passages from it, they didn't stop to take a breath even when the train went by and you couldn't hear what they were saying anymore. I read THE SOFT MACHINE and THE TICKET THAT EXPLODED back to back on a bad in a basement room that had no windows.
YEARS AFTER BURROUGHS DIED I STARTED THINKING ABOUT WHOSE BODY HIS MIND HAD ABSORBED INTO AT HIS DEATH
There never seemed anyone for years. I think I read the most during my undergrad blur at a major technical college spending my library hours masturbating in the bathroom or staring at texts I knew no one had really written on the massive databank computers in the library, walking around in circles. I don't think I believe in rebirthing, maybe I do, but I definitely believe in invocation or attachment, or consumption via layering.
If anyone has been infected as the heir of the mass-apocalyptic Burroughs language virus megaburden, it must be Johannes Göransson.
I realized this while reading his new DEAR RA, out from Starcherone Books now THIS LINE DELIVERED TO YOU VIA TELEMARKETING UPLOAD.
I don't know whether how he would take this idea (though the Burroughs surname is layered in the book along with other loaded refs like offhanded shotputs), if you've ever spent any time reading Exoskeleton you know the man is made of some kind of multipolymer plastic that glows in no light, but I still think the transcription is illuminary, at least for me, in that no one else since Burroughs seems as capable of inveigling such mass hysteria, hyper-sexual anti-sex mutation, cultural whitewall, rhythmic jargon, and just plain ravaged flesh language in such tangible, tasted bursts.
Though at the same time, Göransson is too made of himself to be just an infection, even one so now-real.
DEAR RA is like 89 hyper-prose pages, stuffed with white space, though here the white space is as loaded as the floor of the Tangier hotel covered in black muck where Burroughs was discovered in a daze with the pages of NAKED LUNCH strewn all around him. These are letters to the sun god, though some might say now this god's replacement is a florescent lamp, a tanning bulb, a whoops. Göransson's text is the kind that slips past spam filters and makes you consider the dick surgery. Göransson's mind is the kind you feel breathing behind you while you're watching that slightly more filthy than usual porn download that you will delete from your web browser's history when you are finished even though no one ever looks at your web browsing history because one day motherfucker you will die.
The most important books, I think now, are the ones that you either can't read because of where they touch, or that you can read in 30 minutes because they are so cleanly chiseled and short, to the windpipe.
This book is still stuck in my windpipe.
This book made Breton cry because Breton knew he never had such glimmer, and Breton is very dead.
This book is much bigger than it feels with its slick cover and its quickburst easy-on-the eyes, and though I want it on my nightstand, the fucking thing keeps crumpling under the weight.
I am going to open the book to a random page and quote the first line I see, because the pages of this book were cut from a rotting tree and made white enough for you to lose your eye-tint regarding, and still they have the wound layered in them enough that no matter where you are inside it, you will be infected:
No, the interviewer asked me something about you, and 'moths' is how I replied.
As I typed that, I accidentally typed 'mothers' at first where 'moths' is, and I felt the paint in the room around me on my face and a new McDonald's opened right down the street and everything was okay.
DEAR RA knows more than it knows it knows, and the channels can't quite control their color.
Göransson, if he's not shotgun/cathair infected, is at least here an associative kingkong, stirring up Göransson's already hyperattended vocabs (sternum, animal, thievery, problematic answers to unasked questions, orifices, fucking, drive-bys) into little things that might sliver your balls hairs into new ball hairs. Then you'd have some hair ass balls and you'd wake up earlier and go places you didn't see despite having walked past them 1500 times doused in gasoline.
I would say Göransson is the Tupac of tonight's slurfest, but Tupac isn't dead yet and I don't want him coming off that island to cut his wiser, buzzheaded brethren where he breathes, because then Tupac would have the Göransson blood gushing all over him and he wouldn't be able to record his next posthumous clubjam without spitting the realest realest shit he ever wrote, and I don't think those fratkids are ready for that yet, and I want one more weekend to sit and slurp my own saliva before we go past empty to negative neon. This is a new node on a lexicon that will not let itself be lexiconned.
Did I mention J.G. has among the finest gloss of craniums in our wordland? You kind of want to kiss it.
See how I've been infected?
What am I saying: this book is worth your while, you will read it in the bathtub or on the shitter, you will remember, you will be glad.
DO A BUY FROM THE PRESS
OR BUY THROUGH SPD