A One God Universe (William S. Burroughs)

This one’s also from Burrough’s reading in Spare Ass Annie. I’ve found several different versions and interpretations of this poem, mostly in terms of choice of words. Eventually I found that some of it resembles a transcript of The Western Lands so I’ve kept that as a background in my transcription. Enjoy.

A One God Universe
Consider the impasse of a one God universe.
He is all-knowing and all-powerful.
He can’t go anywhere since He is already everywhere.
He can’t do anything since the act of doing presupposes opposition.
His universe is irrevocably thermodynamic having no friction by definition. So, He has to create friction: War, Fear, Sickness, Death,
To keep his dying show on the road.

Sooner or later, "Look boss we don’t have enough energy left to fry an elderly woman in a flea bag hotel bar."

"Well, we’ll have to start faking it."

Joe looks after him sourly and mixes a bicarbonated soda. "Sure, start faking it. Sure, and leave the details to Joe."

Now look, from a real disaster you get a pig of energy: Sacrifice, Heroism, Grief, Separation, Fear and Violent Death, and remember one violent death yields more energy than a cancer ward.
So, from a energy surplus you can underwrite the next one.
So, from a energy surplus you can underwrite the next one.
But the first one’s a fake, you can’t underwrite a shithouse!
Trying to explain to God Almighty where His one God universe is going.
The asshole doesn’t know what buttons to push or what happens when you push them! Abandon ship, god damn it every man for himself!

Recollect Pope John XXIII saying, "Like a little soldier, I stand at attention in the presence of my captains." The old army game from here to eternity: Get there firstest with the brownest nose.

— William S. Burroughs

4 thoughts on “A One God Universe (William S. Burroughs)”

  1. Error

    “He can’t do anything since the act of doing presupposes a position.”

    Correct line…

    “He can’t do anything since the act of doing presupposes opposition”

  2. Spatio-logical. In order to do something you must be somewhere. God is everywhere, literally he IS ‘the everywhere’, hence he cannot possibly move anywhere.

    But I see your point, and I agree that it’s more to the core of the text as a “Newtonian take” on God’s existence. I’m changing it to “opposition”.

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