The Burroughs Millions

By Lucas Pickford

Copyright 2002

Those poems are published in

"The Time of the Naguals: Poems"


The Burroughs Millions


Way back in old St. Louis
Under strata of old bones and time
El Hombre Invisible they called him
His hat and his cane were his sign

On the nod in New Orleans
Lupita's papers and scripts with Old Ike
Mischance and blew the shot on poor Joan
But Old Bull, he only prayed to the spike

He felt the heat closing in
The fuzz crooning over his dropper and spoon
Melancholy Baby dies from overdose of time
tying up in un-furnished rooms

Chinese waiters never show sickness
Bill sought them out with his old junky walk
He saw the Gimp catch a hot shot in Philly
Isn't life peculiar? He thought

Lonny the Pimp, The Shoe Store Kid,
The Vigilante and old Salt Chunk Mary
Clem Snide and Bradley the Buyer
And don't forget the good Doctor Benway
Seltzer Willy, Danny the Carwiper
A.J the Notorious Merchant of Sex
Dr. Fingers Schafer and the Intolerable Kid
Captain Everhard and all the rest

Down in Tangier he wrote it all down
that stuff on the end of a fork
There's a sad, end of the world feeling
Out in the Zone's loneliest port

Like an earthbound junk ghost
The Burroughs' millions were all just a dream
William's millions are gone now
It's the end of the Soft Machine


103 rd Street Boys

Talk a walk along Broadway

Past the old time, come what may places

See them huddled there in gray overcoats with

their bitter twisted mouths and their thin, sallow faces

There was Louie the Bellhop, George the Greek,

The Sailor and Pantapon Rose

Some of them are dead or just doing time now

others well, nobody knows

Sitting in diners and lunchrooms

Dunking pound cake in coffee half drunk that

dead look in their eyes well, it's no surprise kid

It 's the gray, beaten weather of junk

There are no more junkies at 103rd street, the

connection has moved far, far away

But the feel of junk is still there somehow If you

listen you'll hear it say;

You're hemmed in on every side kid

You got no place to go but down

So take your business to Walgreens

You ain't gonna score in this town

All the croakers you know have packed in, not a

single one left who will write

Now it's just you and your monkey to feed and

boy is he hungry tonight



An Unvisited Garden In Mexico

(For Joan Vollmer Burroughs)

by Lucas J. Pickford

Her mind like Bill's

Quick and funny

Her head laid affectionately

Upon his lap

He studied her with clear eyes

Her face soft and sweet before the

Years of salt and Tequila had made strange

And before the bullet in her brow

They both followed unthinkable trades

They doodled in Etruscan

And read to each other

The Codices of the Maya

William Tell, a highball glass

An invasion by the Ugly Spirit

And in a sorrowful moment of

Pure insanity she was gone

I studied her picture taken on a

Snowy New York street corner

Clutching her coat, eyes closed

A half a smile upon her face

Perhaps Joan and Bill are together again

Together in the land of far shores and

In the land of dreams undreamt

No poem ever finished

Just abandoned

Dust to dust I guess

In an unvisited garden in Mexico.


P.H. Zuniga


(A Cut -Up Poem)

A brownstone house on a tree lined street in the west 70's, a card in the window reads: P. H. Zunniga,

M.D., "Please not to return", Fade out to a city built on low sand hills, Indian tablas in the background,

writers, artists, passing through, shabby hotel rooms with rose wallpaper

" Merry Christmas, Doctor."

"Fight tuberculosis, folks."

Your body is a boat to lay aside when you reach the far shore, or sell it if you can find a fool... it's full

of holes... it's full of holes.

Abandon ship god damn it! Everyman for himself! Arrive at the unknown: and even if, half crazed, in

the end, you lose the

understanding of your visions, you have seen them! Be destroyed in your leap by those unnamable

Cool gardens and green lawn chairs and pools of the evening, under deep ocean of anesthesia,

Morpheus, Greek god of sleep, Morphine named in his honor

"All I have in the house"

There was no warmth in the sun.................

"The Ballad of Phil White"


The Independent Subway line and grey ghost of

Queen's Plaza panhandler following you along

Begging for change until he trails off into dreamy past

Phil the Sailor looked into the kid's eyes

'With veins like that son, I'd have myself a time'

Remnants of blue movies, hypodermic needles, Times

Square, Automats

Up-town meets and no-horse towns strictly from cough syrup

Duty calls

On through raw peeled landscape of east Texas bayou

And dead armadillos in the road

And vultures over the swamp and cypress stumps

Motel, motel, motel, with beaverboard walls, gas heater, thin pink blankets

Johnsons who worked in hotels and Shits who finked at

Riker's for pocket change and junk

Phil remembered them all, making his rounds as a lush roller

He was no Stool Pigeon, no Rat, and no Bronx Opera House

No Canary, no Grassy Gert

Phil the Sailor gave himself a long shore leave, maybe a little too long

And when the heat closed in, he hit the road

And hung himself in the Tombs


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