As evening falls, I sit at my desk – the gibbous moon at my shoulder, flooding the studio with its wan light – to draw, to meditate on the beauty of God’s creation and the wonders therein. Yet, as ever, my attempts are mocked by the monstrosities that leer up at me from the page, wrenching me from my reverie, leaving me able only to stare aghast at the horrors that materialize and multiply before my eyes, seeping unbidden, crowding at the edges of my vision as if from a foul universe beyond the very fibres of the parchment, drawn forth by the frenzied scuttling dance of my accursed hand across the sheet, in its insane labour to describe and catalogue its most vile, degenerate subjects. Each infinitesimal imperfection of the virgin surface seized upon, worried at, amplified and distorted, now becoming a gaping slathering maw, foul pulsating tendrils, ravaged, bloated, heaving flesh or sightless rheumy eyes, staring blankly past me into the vast emptiness of the night.

I am seized, transfixed in this manner. Immobile. Hour upon unremitting hour, hostage to the unsolicited action of my traitorous hand. A vast lexicon of filth spreading seamlessly across innumerable sheets that, upon completion, fall to the floor, the next sheet already snatched up to commence anew, again and again, until I eventually fall unconscious, spent, bled dry. As the weak sun rises, my limbs once again my own, I crawl to my bed.

I cannot, nor do I wish to, lay claim to any of these nocturnal flights. I cannot explain why they occur, nor can I imagine how to thwart their malign progress. The moon drags me nightly to my desk. Seemingly it has purpose, of this I am sure. But I cannot guess. I do not know when my task will be complete, if it will ever be done. I grow weaker with each session, and the moon’s lustre gleams colder each night . . .

Diem Perdidi
Rub Out The Words: Letters from William Burroughs