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Bill Hutton's

Bill Hutton's image
Parent Issue
Day
30
Month
July
Year
1975
OCR Text

Editor 's Note : With this issue THE SUN begins a new feature which will appear in this space every issue until further notice. "BILL HUTTON'S HISTORY OF AMERICA," short stories and bizarre historical sketches taken from Hutton 's books The Strange Odyssey of Howard Pow and A History of America, will properly mark the Bicentennial observarían here in These States and bring people some welcomesatiric relief from all the earnest horscshit bcing passed out in red-whit e-and-blue buckets. Hutton, a native of Birmingham and Detroit, studied journalism at WSU in Detroit, worked for the Nantucket (Mass.) LIG HT asa summer reporter, and saw hisfirst publica tion in magazines associated with John Sinclair and the Detroit A rtists ' Workshop in 1 965-66. Settling in Buffalo, N. Y. , for some reason Hutton opcned Buffalo 's (and one of the nation 's) first psychcdelic ballrooms-BILL Y ZÉIGFIELD 'S HEA VEN-which quickly drew the fire of the local gestapo. Wcckly trips to Timothv Leary 's Millbrook estáte, in G. Gordon Liddy 's Queens County, NY, didn 't help either, 'and Hutton was busted in the spring of 1 967 for a number of marijuana and LSD crimes committcd with the sons and daughters of Buffalo literary honcho Leslie Fiedla (Love and Death in the American Novel). Hts painful contact with the bestial narcotics pólice of the Buffalo area was a terrifying, deeply traumatic experience, and BUI Hutton has never fully recovered from the shock. In and out of the Ponttac (Michigan) State Hospital for the past eight years, Hutton 's mental health has been tragically disrupted sincc hese stories werc writen. and he remainsa "mental patiënt" at Ponttac to thisday. His brilliant satiric writing, however. has never heen more accessibte, and the first of the SUN's regular reprints-a story set in Detroit 's PrentisSecond neighborhood, written in 965-should help Hutton gam some of the respect and attention his Work has deserved since it was first printed in mimeographed editions of 500 and 1000 by the Artists' Workshop Press and the Coach House Press (Taranto). The following story is taken from The Strange Odyssey of Howard Pow and is ent it led "Squaw Creek Orgy". Ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceil-' ing, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling, ceiling. ceiling, ceiling, ceiling. ceiling "Cum in my mouth," she said to him, "1 want... Soup Can closed his eyes. He did. Afterwards they lay in bed beside each other. The moonlight came through the window and Soup Can caressed the giiTs leg with his own. He said, "What does it taste like?" "What?" asked the girl. "Sperm." "I don't know." "It must taste like something," said Soup Can. "It doesn't taste like anything," the girl said. "It tastes like plastic." It sounded funny to Soup Can that it should taste like plastic but he did not think about it any more. He turned away from the girl and tried to sleep. He could not. Soup Can was still awake an hour later. He looked at the girl and at the moonlight on her face. The girl's mouth was open and little z's rushed out of it like notes. Above the girl's head a buzz-saw was running through a log and sheep were jumping a fence. She was asleep. Soup Can could not sleep so he hunted around in the dark room for his clothes. He put his clothes on quietly hoping he would not wake the girl. Soup Can left the room and walked down the back stairway ot' the building. He stepped outside into the alley. Soup Can looked down the alley and could see the lights from the street. He walked down the alley and kicked a few stones along the way. He feit pretty good. Soup Can crossed the street and walked nortb another block. He turned at the cross-street and ran into the Cumberland Gap. Zow. Just like that. Cumberland Gap. Soup Can looked up at the Cumberland Gap. "What the heil are you doing in Detroit?" he asked. "1 thought you were from Kentucky. How come you're in Detroit?" "I'm, I'm here on a gap convention," said the Cumberland Gap, "and now I'm lost. Where's the Cobo Hall? A cab driver bamboozled me out here and my bags are back at the Cobo Hall." Soup Can told the Cumberland Gap where Cobo Hall was. Then he crossed the street and walked up to an apartment building. He turned around before going inside the building and saw the Cumberland Gap getting into a taxi. He wondered if the Cumberland Gap was a big tipper. Soup Can walked down to one of the basement apartments in the building. He had to walk down a long corridor. When he reached the apartment he knocked on the door. "Don't come in here!" someone yelled inside. "Don't come in. Wait!" Soup Can waited outside in the corridor for five minutes: It seemed longer than that. Soup Can looked at the door and wondered what was going on behind it. He knocked again. 'Wait a minute!" "Jesús Christ," complained Soup Can. Then he became aware of noises going on inside the apartment. Soup Can leaned closer to the door. It sounded as if people were wrestling inside the apartment. Soup Can became anxious and knocked hard on the door. "Come on and open up in there," hfe said. The door opened then. Soup Can jumped. Across the room was a cop, a nun, a doctor, a lawyer and an Indian chief. They were tied and gagged and sat on the floor against the wall like stuffed toys. All of them wore outfits suitable to their professions. including the Indian Chief who was wearing buckskins and an elaborately feathered headdress. Soup Can noticed his friend, Hank, holding the door open. Hank was grinning. "Hank!" said Soup Can. "Helio. Soup Can," Hank said. Hank was dressed in a tee shirt and Levis. In one hand he held a chrome-plated Daisy B.B. Pistol. Hank was smoking a joint of marijuana. "I caught these fuckers spying on me." he said. Hank fired the B.B. Pistol and missed the lawyer by about an inch. The B.B. knocked a chip of piaster from the wall. "What do you think I ought to do to them? Soup Can walked into the room and Hank shut the door. "Maybe you'd better lock it," Soup Can said. Hank pulled up a chair for Soup Can and they both sat down. The two chairs were the only pieces of furniture in the room. A light bulb burned from a cord hanging down from the ceiling. "Shit, I don't know what to teil you, Hank," said Soup Can looking at the prisoners. Hank took a drag from his reefer. "You should have seen it, man," he said.