William S. Burroughs – A Thanksgiving Prayer, by Mark Erickson

On the eve of when we celebrate a national holiday, I would like to pass along a poem by William Burroughs called “Thanksgiving Prayer” that Ministry included during the first part of “Thankx but no Thanx” on 2013’s From Beer to Eternity. Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

“To John Dillinger and hope he is still alive.
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
danger.

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 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.

– William S. Burroughs

Mark Erickson

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