by Bill Forman
"When you cut into the present, the future leaks out," said William S. Burroughs, who proved it by introducing a literary cut-up technique that anticipated the production aesthetic on which most contemporary hip-hop is based.
Now the past is leaking back into the present — actually the near future — with Fantagraphics Books' announcement last week that it has acquired what may be the writer's last unseen work.
Entitled Ah Pook Is Here — Ah Pukuh being the nickname of a Mayan Death God — it's a collaboration between Burroughs and artist Malcolm McNeill. The two began working together in 1970, and their "word/image novel" is slated for release in the summer of 2010.
Read more about it here.
Meanwhile, here's a clip of Burroughs reading Ah Pook, set to music by the Velvet Underground's John Cale and animation by Philip Hunt. As with anything involving Burroughs, you're advised not to drive or operate heavy machinery until all side-effects have worn off.
Scroll down further still for a whimsical clip of Burroughs shooting Shakespeare at seven paces.