Thanksgiving Prayer

It’s kind of an annual tradition here at the Allen Ginsberg Project
– William Burroughs’ Thanksgiving Prayer


“Thanksgiving Day November 28 1986”
Thanks for the wild turkey and
the passenger pigeons, destined
to be shat out through wholesome
American guts.
Thanks for a continent to despoil
and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and
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 his
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.


The video is by Gus Van Sant – and here’s Robert Covington’s more literal version


One comment

  1. Covington’s version has the original recording of Burrough’s vocal track from the Dead City Radio album. Bill reads a better, sharper rendition than on the Van Sant re-make. It always bugged me that the re-make is so widely viewed instead of the original. XXXminzer

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