Even before police
developed the first prototypes
of the stinger strip,
Mr Gysin and Mr Burroughs
developed the cut-up.

And seeing the gas-guzzling car of the great American novel,
with its tyres of tradition,
careering out of control before them,
Mr Burroughs threw the long jumbled sentence of a cut-up
across the road,
causing the car to come to a grinding halt.

And I guess you’d have to say it was Mr Burroughs’ fault –
though of course he wasn’t to know
how explosive the cut-up was
when it came into contact with tyres of tradition –
but the car blew up,
producing a fireball so huge,
it was even seen by Mr Calder in Britain.

But it wasn’t a fuck up,
it was a cut-up,
and Mr Burroughs stuck around
long enough for the fire to die down
and, from the burnt out wreckage,
he pulled out the blackened corpse of the novel,
and with the help of his greatest character, Dr Benway
(who was armed only with a sink plunger
and a rusty pair of pliers),
the great American novel was somehow reanimated
and sent on its way, albeit undead
(though at least it no longer had to pander to conservatives
but simply feed on their putrid brains instead).




Thomas McColl lives in London, and has had stories and poetry published in magazines such as Bare Fiction, Prole, Fictive Dream, Oblong and Iota. His first full collection of flash fiction and poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn,is published by Listen Softly London Press.

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