William Burroughs Conversation – 15

Allen Ginsberg, Gregor Corso, William Burroughs, 1994 – photo: Chris Felver

Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, William Burroughs Naropa transcript, 1985. continues from here

AG: Ok. ok what’s next?  It’s Corso’s story.  Bill saying that he’s God. Now that was.. do you want to..
GC: Okay, I’ll get that one.
AG: Ye.s
WSB: Oh well.
GC: I broke up on that one. I got fucked on that one.

AG: Use the other microphone.
WSB: Yes, close to the microphone.
AG: Can you hear in the back clearly?
GC: Surely.
WSB: No!
GC: Alright.
WSB: Get close to the microphone.
AG: Not on top of it
WSB: Not on top of it..about this distance…about six inches.
AG: Six inches.
GC: Six inches, size of my dick, let me measure it!
WSB: Come on Gregory, behave yourself!
GC: Behave myself? – behave myself – behave myself.  (speaks into microphone) Ain’t nothin happening.
AG: Go on.
GC: I was close. Nothing’s happening.
AG: Oh, it’s out anyway.  Here Gregory, go on.
Yes continue
WSB: Oh is that mic out ?
[Technicians bring new mic]
GC: Alright?
AG: Temporarily use that, temporarily..

GC:  Good guys in the Beat Hotel?

AG: Six inches!  Six inches, Gregory!
GC: Alright.  Six inches..
AG: God
WSB: God
GC: Alright, Let’s see if I can give…
WSB:  Go on...
GC: Okay, let”s see if God is the length of six inches – God?  Is that the length? Does it make it a proximity? Alright..’

GC: You said nobody good at that Beat Hotel?

Ted Morgan: No, who were the good guys…?

GC:  Guy Harloff, I didn’t get along with too well – because Kay Boyle, the mother of the girl he was fucking  gave me five hundred dollars (she worked on some kind of arts letters kind of thing) and he was very jealous of it. He didn’t think I was anything all that. Oh, because I think I put him down. He’s this big guy and he’s doing his little paintings saying “LOVE” HEART, arrows hitting heart – Love – and, my god almighty, man. Lame fucker. I don’t know. They may be nice. Did you like his shit, William?

Guy Harloff – Komposition (undated) – color lithograph

WSB: They looked like cigar bands.. So.. They were in fact, like cigar bands But he had some…

GC: Alright, certainly, anyway – Guy Harloff – and not only that, he had a big ass. And everybody had to take a shit in that hotel in those old French..you know. you gotta squat. Now I knew, as big as it is, he’d miss all the time. So when I go to the bathroom – plop! – there’s a shit there – oh my god, that Guy Harloff again! – oh god, god!

AG: Yes, yes, we’ve gotten off the subject..

GC: We didn’t go off the subject. He wanted to know who the good people were. Alright, I was up in your room, (not your room, maybe it was Sinclair Beiles room)

Sinclair Beiles (1930-2000)

AG: Sinclair Beiles was a South African kid who…

GC: Whose mother owned the.. or ran the..gold market – cornered the gold market.

WSB: Oh good god, no, they were..middle-class South African Jewish people, and he had been in a number of mental institutions (he’s had a lot of trouble)

GC: Alright – So have I!  So therefore… I’m not that vulnerable. Because I was in prison I was a tough fucker. I wouldn’t fall for anybody’s bullshit. But this man (pointing to Burroughs) I saw as a father and I looked up to him. Smart fucker, he is. Well, he tells me one night, “Well, you know, Gregory, you’re not here because of me”, you know. And I break, tears come out of my eyes – and, you (Burroughs) catch yourself, you say, “Gregory you gotta know what this means, you know” –  Go on , go on, shit, it’s gonna fuck you up – “So I think I told you the other night, that you’re not God, but God is you”.  And I’ll take that one – that God is me, I ain’t God, or it, him, he ain’t God, or the whole shot of you ain’t God, but God is you.   So that one I would take. Thank you for that night.

AG: But what I thought was not that you.. was your story that Bill looked you in the eye and said that “I am God“.

GC: Yeah, No, Bill said the reason I am here (is) because of him.

AG: Ah – (and) what did he mean by that?

GC: I think he meant bullshit.

AG: Do you remember that, Bill?

WSB: No, not exactly, as I say, no one in their senses would want the job obviously, always had to shove on somebody, “not me”..

tape ends here – to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty-seven-and-three-quarter minutes in and concluding at the end of the tape)

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