Windows (5) — Fingers In The Pink Sun


Wir sind gefangen in Zeit und Raum. Wenn wir nicht zur gleichen Zeit am selben Ort sind wie unsere Gedanken, haben wir selbstverständlich keine Wahl mehr: Der Wiener Prater oder die schwäbische Küche. Aber dennoch bleibt ein Trost: Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

We are trapped in time and space. Of course, if we are not in the same place as our thoughts at the same time, then of course we have no choice: the Wiener Prater or the Swabian kitchen. But still a comfort remains: Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Dina Moinzadeh: «Without the body in one piece, it is indeed difficult to correctly perceive material reality. And then the window opens onto an external landscape».

Roma As always courtesy of © Manja Maksimovič (25.10.2015)

I cross the room
to the last wall
the last window
the last pink sun
with its arm around the world
with its arms around me
I hear the death–whisper of the heron
the bone–thoughts of sea–things
that are almost rock;
this screen saved like a soul
and scrawled with flies,
my tensions and damnations
are those of a pig.

Pink sun pink sun
I hate your holiness
crawling your gilded cross of life
as my fingers and feet and face
come down to this
sleeping with the whore of your fancy wife
you must some day die for nothing
as I have lived.

By Charles Bukowski — written circa 1965 and first published in «Crucifix in a Deathhand»

«I must do it

Vielleicht gings es da um William S. Burroughs’ Portionen, die klein waren, aber doch so viel Bedeutung hatten, dass ich mich nach über 70 Jahren noch damit beschäftige: Er hat mir den kleinen Finger gereicht – und ich nahm die ganze Hand: «The purpose of technology is not to confuse the body, but to serve the body …»

This might have been about William S. Burroughs’ portions that were small, yet had so much meaning, that still – after more than 70 years are occupying my mind: He gave me an inch – and I took the yard: «The purpose of technology is not to confuse the body, but to serve the body…»

Burroughs in his NIKE Air Max commercial 1994

William Burroughs cuts off his finger in 1939.

Burroughs cut off his finger out of love for Jack Anderson and sent it to Arnold Gingrich at Esquire for publication. Gingrich sent Burroughs a note back reading, «I greet you at the beginnings of a wonderful career, when do I get the corpse?»

It was the end joint of the little finger of his left hand, during an earlier episode of frustrated desire in 1939. The writing of «Queer» brought back previous traumas of desire, and it came as no surprise that in his April 22nd letter – Burroughs refers to having just written a short story – later published as «The Finger». Fictionalising this earlier episode – «The Finger» mockingly literalises the masochistic figure of Burroughs’ emotional pain: In his own words: «It’s tearing me all apart. (…) So I hit on this finger gimmick» …

1939 schnitt sich Burroughs das letzte Glied seines linken kleinen Fingers mit einem Tranchiermesser ab, das eigentlich für den Truthahn gedacht war. Auch wenn Allen Ginsberg damals behauptete, Burroughs habe dies getan, um seine Schmerzunempfindlichkeit zu beweisen (lächerlich, wenn man bedenkt, dass Heroin im Spiel war) – so war der Grund doch wohl eher der, einen jungen Mann zu beeindrucken von dem er besessen war. Es war dies auch der Auslöser für seine Kurzgeschichte «The Finger». Burroughs brachte den Stummel zu seinem Therapeuten Herbert Wiggers, der ihn in die Psychiatrie einwies …

1939 Burroughs chopped off the phalanx of his left hand little finger with a carving knife, which actually was intended for the Turkey. Even though that Allen Ginsberg at that time claimed that Burroughs did this to prove his analgesia (ridiculous when you consider that heroin was in play) – the reason was more likely to impress a young man, he was obsessed with. This also was the catalyst for his short story «The Finger». Burroughs brought the stub to his therapist Herbert Wiggers, who then commited him into a psychiatric ward …

Basierend auf dieser Kurzgeschichte «The Finger» (aus dem Sammelband «Interzone») entstand folgender Schwarzweißfilm über einen jungen Mann, «who cuts off his own finger as a memento of his affection» mit Caleb Braaten, Tony Broncucia und «Poultry Shears»:

Based on this short story «The Finger» (from the anthology «Interzone») this black–and–white film about a young man, «who cuts off his own finger as a memento of his affection» was produced – starring Caleb Braaten, Tony Broncucia and «Poultry Shears»:


3 comments on “Windows (5) — Fingers In The Pink Sun
  1. Reads fine, looks good. Rome is photogenic. 🙂 I love sea-things. Burroughs did a Nike commercial? I can’t listen to the sound right now. Is it funny? Does it say that they suck? I didn’t think so.

  2. Well – yes, Bukowski was (ab-) used in a Scotch-Commercial (recited by Tom O’Bedlam) – but Burroughs (alive) worked for NIKE – and Kerouac (well – post mortem) for GAP.

    Success for Sale …

  3. I can’t believe Burroughs did that advert. How weird on both counts.
    I had never heard of Burroughs cutting off his finger before. Cutting off parts of yourself never works. People are fickle.

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