Some remarks about some things

notes, investigations, digressions galore

Ted Burke

Ted Burke
Location
San Diego, California,
Birthday
July 15
Title
Bookseller, writer, musician
Bio
Bookseller, musician, writer and poet living and working in San Diego, California. His writing has appeared in the San Diego Reader, Kicks, San Diego Door, Roadwork, Revolt in Style,and City Works.His poems have been included in the anthologies Small Rain: 8 poets from San Diego (1996,DG Wills Books),Ocean Hiway: eight poets in San Diego (1981,Wild Mustard Press) , and is the author of many chapbooks, including Hand Grenade, Open Every Window,No One Home and City Times,limited editions published by his own Old House Press.

MY RECENT POSTS

AUGUST 16, 2014 6:44PM

ROBIN WILLIAMS

Robin Williams was a room full of radios blaring at full volume, each tuned midway between stations, the air crackling with static gristle, country music, traffic reports, names against Dad, religious shills rattling their tin cans, frayed choruses intoning the Big 90 from Sandusky, bad weather,/… Read full post »
Despite critical praise and massive box office success, "Guardians of the Galaxy" was thunder and lightning, rattle and a choking grind and stammer for its two hour running time. Concerning a rag tag group of intergalactic misfits who band together in common cause to retrieve the most/… Read full post »


Ashbery says "yeah Buddy

 

It comes down to whether you appreciate the conflations Ashbery artfully manages as he penetrates the psychic membrane between Steven's Supreme Fiction, that perfect of Ideal Types and their arrangements, with the material sphere that won't follow expectation, n… Read full post »

Frank O’Hara published a poem he wrote in 1964 about where he was and what he was doing when he heard that fabled jazz and blues singer Billie Holiday passed away. There is temptation to scratch your head after you read and offer a dumbfounded groan, wondering what the hell… Read full post »

AUGUST 7, 2014 3:30PM

Sleigh and WC Williams

Tom Sleigh's poem "Block and Bag", the featured verse on Robert Pinskys' poetry discussion forum, is a superb evocation of the writer's imagination set itself the task of anthropomorphising the obvious. Bored , hung over, or tired from long  road trips and a succession of hotels that are generic… Read full post »
AUGUST 2, 2014 3:46PM

Cream Rises or Goes Flat and Dry


Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker , forever known as the stellar power trio Cream from that drear and diffuse decade we term "The Sixties", staged a short reunion tour in 2005 . I was a Cream partisan, a newly minted blues fan, someone who debated with other mid-teen zealots… Read full post »
AUGUST 1, 2014 3:56PM

TOM SLEIGH'S FANDANGO

 "Block and Bag", a poem  by Tom Sleigh, highlighted this month on Robert Pinsky occasional poetry discussion forum,  is an elegant and rowdy verse where animation is everything. The set up is a hotel guest freshly checked into his room, tired and perhaps bored with the traveling from/… Read full post »
JULY 31, 2014 1:32AM

Stop being stopped up


Grey and grousing poetry readers, by whom I mean writers of poetry without book contracts or publications of note who happen to be in the early stages of seniordom, say, 60-63 years old, like to stick to a talking point that poetry is dead. We've all had this conversation to the/… Read full post »
JULY 27, 2014 3:50PM

 Now, it is fine to create entertainment, but the highest form of communication is undoubtedly that which can express the broadest concept (or the most concepts) as effectively as possible.The height of literature is, therefore, the same. This isn't meant to imply that  entertainment is nei/Read full post »
JULY 27, 2014 3:28PM

Harmonica playing can be dangerous

I worked in the carnival during the seventies, one of those guys in an orange shirt in a line up game covered in checkered and striped tarp and festooned with dusty stuffed animals who badgered you to play and win your girl friend "the big one". What a/… Read full post »
JULY 25, 2014 1:29AM

Strictly speaking, the blues

I am blues musician because I am a professional grade blues harmonica player who plays mostly blues music. I am not a "bluesman", however. That term is covered in so much mythology and wishful thinking that it has come to represent qualities and essences that are intangible, inestimable, and vagRead full post »
JULY 24, 2014 5:25PM

The path will be cleared

I do believe that one can learn the feeling and the craft of the blues and make legitimate, moving, innovative blues music mostly from listening to recordings and attempting to emulate what's being heard. Unlike a good many graduate students who attended college the same time I did, I believe inRead full post »
JULY 22, 2014 12:36AM

The blues aint chump change

Change is the only possible constant in this universe, and those things that humans create that have the capacity to change have the capacity to survive, flourish to some extent, and remain expressively relevant to modern experience. Blues, like any other art, cannot remain fixed, in stasis.Those "tr… Read full post »
JULY 17, 2014 10:26AM

Johnny Winter, RIP

Johnny Winter Dies At 70, Blues Legend Was On Tour In Europe:


It was easy to play the cynic when first confronted by the fact of Johnny Winter when he appeared on the national music  scene back in  in  1968. It was a an era where one of the ironic novelties… Read full post »
JUNE 26, 2014 6:18PM

IN OUR TIME, part one

Fifty years after the death of Ernest Hemingway, a curious reader still has to hack their way through the thick foliage of bluster, posturing and self parody that remains a strong part of the late Nobel Prize Winner's legacy. I came across Hemingway originally after I discovered NormanRead full post »
JUNE 23, 2014 3:30PM

They left us hanging on.

Man oh man, what a band. Vanilla Fudge was a band of  competent musicians who came up with one good production, their inspired production of "You Keep Me Hanging On". It was an inspired move to slow down the Supremes' most jacked-up hit . InsteadRead full post »
This poem makes me think of coming back late from a party in the late 70's and discovering that the phone has been off the hook for a least half the day. To this day I wonder who might have called,
Read full post »
This poem makes me think of coming back late from a party in the late 70's and discovering that the phone has been off the hook for a least half the day. To this day I wonder who might have called, what good news or ill omens they might have had/Read full post »
JUNE 16, 2014 9:44AM

SIMPLE GRACE

Simple grace
would do the trick
if there was anything
simple about grace.

I've tried drinking soft drinks
perched like an ill bird on a limb, but there is
as much spill as thrill
as the horizon teeters
and telephone poles
out number tree tops
of likely places to land.

Walking on glass and hot coals
likewise get…

Read full post »

The Art of Noticing | Robert Pinsky Poetry Forum:

Elise Partridge’s sparse poem “Chemo Side Effects:Memory†, is a telling verse of someone trying to remember the precise word to describe the slightest detail of the slightest thing and feeling as a result the mild dread that a part ofRead full post »
Emily Nussbaum: The Shallowness of “True Detective†: The New Yorker:
HBO's first season sensation "True Detective" is old news by now, but one of the wonders of the internet is that old news items don't simply vanish as they did back in the days of print. Scanning Google for some… Read full post »
JUNE 6, 2014 11:43PM

Crude Hangovers

Sandwich Notch Road, Two Days Before Christmas
John Evans

 On dirt roads
with good friends
the names come back all at once.
with good friends the names come back all at once.with good friends the names come back all at once.No one I know who lives without deep sorrow. No one ever&
Read full post »
This song is so beautifully tragic and precise in its sense of despair and crushed idealism that I begin to tear up every time I hear it. It was the last song on his last album,the ironically titled "Greatest Hits". Ochs had taken , late inRead full post »
MAY 29, 2014 3:55PM

When poets grope...

The Art of Noticing | Robert Pinsky Poetry Forum:

Elise Partridge’s sparse poem “Chemo Side Effects:Memory” , is a telling verse of someone trying to remember the precise word to describe the slightest detail of the slightest thing and feeling as
Read full post »
MAY 27, 2014 12:19AM

Get down and brood


Funeral
Roseanna Warren


In church, you lay in a casket open to your waist
as if you were in a ticket booth tipped over on its side,
selling tickets for an unearthly show. Your domed, bald
head, smooth cheeks, globed eyes, and modeled chin
were frozen into ideal shape as by Parmigianino.
You, in life all smi
Read full post »