“The Book of Men” by Katie Manning

The Book of Men

                                       all that remains of Numbers

the family heads
came and spoke before
the heads of the
families

they said
our
daughters
may marry anyone they please
as long as they marry

every daughter
must marry
pass from one
man
to another

so
daughters did as
commanded—married
their cousins
remained
on the plains

(21 lines)

Justin’s Note: An extraordinary implementation of the cut-up technique, wielded more eloquently than Burroughs could have himself. When Brion Gysin first introduced the technique to William S. Burroughs, they began cutting  up texts and audio recordings hypothesizing that the true meaning of a text could be extracted in this way. A genius idea, no doubt,  but what’s even more innovative is applying the cut-up technique to the bible, which Katie Manning has done here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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