“Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986” first appeared in print in Tornado Alley, a chapbook published by William S. Burroughs in 1989. Two years later, Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho, Milk) shot a montage that brought the poem to film, making it at least the second time the director adapted the beat writer to film.
If you’ve seen Burroughs use Shakepseare’s face for target practice, or if you’ve watched The Junky’s Christmas, you’ll know that he wasn’t kind to convention or tradition. And there are no prisoners taken here, as you’ll see above.
For background on Burroughs read the New Yorker piece, “The Outlaw, The extraordinary life of William S. Burroughs.” Find the text for “Thanksgiving Prayer” here.
Now time for a little Thanksgiving dinner….
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