:: Article

Palomares Bomb Grrls

By Johnny Pulp.

‘You know there were times when I dreamed of being with Bill Burroughs in the Empress Hotel – which no longer exists by the way – in Earl’s Court just off the Old Brompton Road. We were talking about pirates, drugs & his idea of the Johnson. He was always rather nervous in my presence even though he said he liked me. He never stopped glaring at walls & making people feel uncomfortable. I found it hilarious.’

‘Johnson?’ asked the cat Steve, settling down again.

‘A Johnson is the guy – or gal – who steps up & saves the day without begging for a relationship or recognition. They’re a secret organisation without membership lists. A Johnson spends life living & some day they find they have to act. It’s sudden & without a plan. Afterwards they go back to living, they walk on by. That’s the essential Johnson thing.’

‘That sounds lonely,’ said the cat.

‘Why? It’s just a life. It can be lonely or not, it depends on the life. The point is that the Johnson is anyone, at anytime. It’s about a reaction & a consequence. It’s got a primitive simplicity & beauty attached to it. It’s a certain ethic.’


‘What did Burroughs say?’ asked the cat Steve after a little pause.

‘That the most difficult question of all is what’s better than sex. He said we’ve been conditioned on this planet to think that sex is displeasure, or pleasure, or pain. Or that sex is the greatest pleasure. He said we also know that there are pleasures that undercut sex like junk which is antisexual. Sex may simply be a relief from pleasure. And he cited Wilhelm Reich who said that cancer is essentially a disease of sexual suppression. That all cancer patients are sexually repressed. He thought that was too broad a statement.’

‘Did you have an opinion?’ asked the cat, curious.

‘Sure. I channel my sexual desire into everything I do. I said that perhaps we should tour the cancer wards & get the patients off. Test out the theory. Cure them,’ said L-Bomb.


‘Yea, we called in to the Charing Cross hospital cancer wards at Hammersmith. The grey of the faces was what I noticed straight off, & the large poisons we could see using our dream movements & vision. You got to understand, to get in to places like that & be effective, you have to use all the invisibility you can. Burroughs was an expert & taught me how to be invisible – “just look ‘em in the damned eyes my dear” he’d say – & how to walk through walls & float. Very useful techniques when on this sort of mission where you’re looking to stay well off the fucking grid. Of course, once you’re working in these traumatised places all the bad shit comes out the walls with you – giant beetles, centipedes – that’s why Burroughs writes about insects like he does – places of trauma are full of these demon ghost insect shit types. They look disgusting but also talk all the time – like hot wires or something – horrid little wire voices going on & on.’

‘Yea, centipedes & millipedes are mad little fuckers. I kill em whenever I can,’ agreed the cat.

‘Regular assassins.  If we could learn to train em there’d be an army worth recruiting. But they’re basically incapable of discipline. Useless at taking orders. They have secrets & don’t let on what they’re really thinking. Evil little bastards essentially.’ L-Bomb shuddered as she thought of them.

‘Burroughs was intense & complex. He thought at one point that women were from another planet. Literally. And that they were evil. He couldn’t stand being in the same room as women. It got embarrassing even in a dream. I had to keep making these excuses to all my girlfriends. But in the end I threw him out & said I couldn’t have him in my dream so long as he had his views. It was an ultimatum that fell on deaf ears. But he was someone I had some kind of respect for despite this. He was the sort of guy who knew things, knew where the bodies were buried & wasn’t impressed by bullshit. A rare breed,’ she said.

‘There was a guy on the cancer ward who looked up as soon as Bill & me floated in through a wall. He stared at us & asked us like death himself: what are you secrets? Well that took me aback. Burroughs explained to me afterwards that the guy was completely & utterly ordinary & dull but the disease had transformed him. Like a character in Conrad or Genet. These are people who aren’t unusual but they get transmuted. Rimbaud, Baudelaire & St-John Perse can do that too. So this guy in the cancer ward looked like a Warholed Franz Kafka. I asked him back; what are your secrets – & he said straight off that he had no secrets because death, like a writer, has no secrets. And Burroughs drifted off through a wall to go see someone else but I stayed with this guy who lay in his bed & didn’t seem to find it odd that I’d come through the walls & was floating about a foot off the ground. I think there was some kind of ESP happening between us.’

‘Could you save him?’ asked the cat.

‘That was the issue in hand. I put my hand under the sheets & disconnected the wires & tubes & in panic he was convulsing & shaking. I grabbed his cock which seemed to react as if to some long lost friend & I dragged him from the bed. He crashed down because he couldn’t float, could hardly walk, was weak & drained & nearly dead. It was an insect boy I had there, but his eyes looked out from behind that washed out face like there was still a life inside. I drew on Burroughs’ Yankee pragmatic spiritual investigations & ignored his spectral prose. I came onto him like only L-Bomb can.

‘While a single catastrophic event like cancer can result in PTSD &/or “complex” PTSD with enduring adverse personality changes, it would seem possible that the converse might also be true (i.e. changes in certain personality features could reduce PTSD symptoms). My study theorised that the profound therapeutic effect of MDMA in PTSD-treatment resistant individuals is influenced by its ability to broaden characteristics of the way an individual feels, thinks, & interacts (as measured by personality changes in Openness). I had already previously reported that MDMA treatment was effective at reducing PTSD symptoms when with Burroughs out in war zones.

I fucked the cancer boy & left him full of MDMA & yohimbine. The latter is an aphrodisiac. It enlarges the blood vessels in the sex organs. I also gave him poppers, they do the opposite, they dilate the blood vessels. They’re vasodilators & they give you rushes. It brings blood to the genital regions, definitely stimulating the sex areas. Of course this took place over a series of nights. And was years ago.’

‘And did you save him?’ asked the cat.

‘He was a thousand corroded wounds which had to be forced to live. He smelled of the smoldering bomb & compressed vertigo, a thousand wasted summers, under his skin an over-heated factory of insane traumas, strong convulsions, fever torments & no soul, no consciousness, no mind, no thought, only raw elements alternately chained & unchained – he was away from his body which he saw as a mere burst of flame, a chained monkey, something like a low cloud or smoke, some apocalyptic grin delivering him to inglorious disaster, departure & solitary death. His body was detached from his consciousness, a vampire folded in his nipples, a grey devil, a black crablice & choked & trussed lungs, & all he said was he didn’t die to come back & remake himself but only to give up life & whatever life one had &, well, because he wanted the coffin. So I plunged my hands down to his balls & cock & pressed my lips against his like a filthy punk innate by predisposition & ad hoc crotch & grinds him, grinds him until there’s sweat & the need to be fucked in the ass & hard labour with fingers & fist & teeth at his shoulderblades. I brought him to life as an L-Bomb.’

‘Impressive, if a little excitable in the telling,’ commented the cat Steve.
‘So where is he/she now?’ he asked. L-Bomb shrugged.

‘She’s a Kantian, who thinks human reason is burdened by questions that it cannot dismiss, for they are given to it by the nature of reason itself, & that it also cannot answer, for they exceed all the powers of human reason. I half-quote from the old dog. Perplexities follow: principles whose use is unavoidable in the course of experience… more remote conditions… to take refuge in principles that overstep all possible use in experience, & yet that seem so unsuspicious that even ordinary common sense agrees with them…’

L-Bomb steps outside & smells the fresh air.


Johnny Pulp is the author of 11 novels and 1 short story collection, including Pure Beast and Cancer Boy  The books have ‘absolutely no redeeming features’, being a bizarro mash-up of post-apocalyptic noir, pulp action comics, cyberpunk, transgender porn and continental philosophy (Johnny Pulp’s “filthied-up” review of Stewart Home’s Defiant Pose – comprising chapter 16-17 of the book: “Madame Atamos Sheds Her Skin” – is punctuated with random appearances by “the Jean Paul Sartre Mayhem Monster,” “the Albert Camus Car Crash Killer,” “the Roland Barthes Blitzkrieg Beast,” “the manically depressed Louis Althusser Strangling Raptor Creature,” “the incredibly complex and convoluting Jacques Lacan Ringmaster Killer Psycho Hysteric,” and “the Nietzschean House Of Whipcord Foucault Fuck Machine.”

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, November 16th, 2018.