“So I am a public agent and don't know who I work for, get my instructions from street signs,newspapers and pieces of conversation I snap out of the air the way a vulture will tear entrails from other mouths.” – William Burroughs, Soft Machine

Public agent, public rememberer, public confessor, a comedian of all trades in the artificial paradise. Like all comedians, a great weaver of routines. Self conscious routines are the keynote of the artificial paradise – industrially organized, or privately obsessive. The ritual, here, is quietly put to death in somebody’s kennel. All of which takes us to later threads. Still, one can go from De Quincey’s frenzied style, undercutting itself at all turns – which casts up texts concerning the connoisseurs of murder, the company of women in Suspira, the murder of Kant – with Burrough’s great period, from Junkie to Soft Machine, and see a community of spirit, peering through a dilated eye.

As we orbiters expect and dread – our training at the instrument panel has not been in vain! - the pharmakon here must find its mate in writing – writing as the internal relation of the subject to the world, in radical dissymmetry with writing as the world’s original poison. In the palimpset section of Suspira de profundis, we have an elaboration of that old image, but rebooted in terms of the phial of instant happiness. Remember, remember – it is the junkie’s special place and fate to be literally sick of happiness.