Nowhere Street

"In nowhere town, on nowhere street,
there is a place where true loves meet."

Text: "Nowhere Street" by Brion Gysin

"Burroughs, of course, has long credited Gysin with the invention of the 'cutup' method of writing. This technique may have had its roots in the Surrealism and Dada of Gysin's youth ; poetic incoherence, visual collage, and film montage. Burroughs took these methods on the extravagant, hallucinogenic heights, while Gysin give them up for further verbal experiments, including tape manipulation, phantom voices, and the investigation of unknown tongues.
His interest in a 'poesie sonore' eventually led him to Lacy - or Lacy to him. Their unique collaboration is not surprising when one considers Gysin's poetic creed: 'Who told poets they could think? Poets are made to sing and make words sing. They're not there for anything else. I don't want to hear a philosophical statement or a political statement from a poet. I want to hear a little music, maybe... at most.'

The stack, biting, two-soprano opening of Nowhere Street reflects the pain of anxiety and despair (read the lyrics carefully and you'll find the gist of the equally depressing but money-making Heartbreak Hotel). Irene Aebi's violin solo epitomizes alienation amid the ensemble 'dis-integration', as Lacy and the others deftly paint a frightening acid landscape inhabited by individuals (melodies) which wander aimlessly - their horror is the lack of not so much communication as basic human interaction."

Art Lange (reprinted from the liner notes of Songs)


Written: December 30, 1979
First published: Prospectus (1987)
Availability: ibid.
Instrumentation: voice, melody and piano accompaniment


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