Saturday, July 4, 2009

TC: Locations: for Ted Berrigan, Nov. 15, 1934--July 4, 1983


Waking up in the time zones
out of bed
to the telephone

and down the line
by instant
across the Pacific

to a tree sized town's
frozen spaces
where you sit
in an office
off a corridor
of a long brick
and glass hall
in the middle of the night
with your socks
on the desk's
& friendly
transcontinental voice


lost at first
I leap on the words
later the lovely
impulse inside them
lights up the way

This poem, Locations, was written in Bolinas in late 1969. Ted was at Ann Arbor, teaching. The lines "haven/ in the middle of the night" refer to Haven Hall, where the English department had its offices. Ted would often call me late at night from his office, just to shoot the breeze. Ted was a great conversationalist.

Ted was a good friend. We had many great times together. In the final year of his life, he was still in New York, I was living in Santa Barbara. I cranked the mimeo machine to turn out the last book he published while alive, The Morning Line. I did the job swiftly and Ted was very pleased with it. Not long afterward I received a call from Ed Dorn in Boulder; Ed told me Ted had died suddenly in New York. Then I had a call from Simon Pettet. In a broken voice, Simon provided the details.

Ted had seemed "weary" of late, said Simon. "A few days ago he told me, 'last year was the worst'". Simon paused, then. "Still, you thought he'd live to be a hundred." In fact Ted was only forty-eight.

Another mutual friend, John Daley, attended Ted's burial service and wrote an affecting letter about it. Ted had been in the Army and thus was given a military service on Long Island. The flag on the coffin, John said, had been removed, folded and handed to Alice, with the words "a grateful country and the President thank you." "Someone laughed," John reported, "probably [Ted's dear friend] Harris Schiff, and said 'Thanks for what?'"


Buried at the military
cemetery at Riverhead,
in the army plot,
a veteran.

I collected some memories of Ted in a little book called Late Returns, from Tombouctou. Pick it up and you can see Ted in his heyday, in a blue serge double-breasted Bonnie and Clyde-era "gangster suit", at Angelica's and my wedding in St. Mark's Church in March of 1968. Our friend Shelley Lustig had provided Ted (to give away the bride), Ron Padgett (best man) and myself (groom) these vintage outfits. There's a photo of Ted with Angelica, in her bridal gown, walking down Second Avenue past the St. Marks Theatre on the way to the Church. Angelica looks great in the photo, and Ted, never one to pass up any of life's better offerings, can be seen animatedly attempting to chat her up.

We all loved him and miss him to this day (while admitting there are aspects of the present it may have been kind of fate to spare him).

But reminiscences ought not end on sad thoughts. Something of Ted's buoyant spirit, perhaps, is captured in this letter I had from him on the day after New Years, 1969.

[Iowa City] 2 Jan 69

Dear Tom,

Your book arrived today & what a great pleasure! These old bones lit up like 42nd Street. I feel great. STONES is beautifully outrageous as well as outrageously beautiful. Not only that but it looks so real, like a real book of poems by Donald Hall or Bobby Bly and then a slow double take, swiss cheese, Apollinaire, the USA, Here's a kick in the ass, boys, hurrah! Wow!


Seeing those familiar poems, at least two of which I know so well from conception to Military Service that I feel a better than me me wrote them for me, gave me a few hearty heart tickles in the pleasure teepee! Me cuckoo! Me flingenem in fasta boss! Heap Heap!

The academy of the future is an undersea snowball

I guess it's about time now to talk like a bear and not like a cigarette.

The muse denies me words to speak of getting STONES, but does not deny me stones. I drink a stone to you! (drinks) that sure was good.

I am in my office, Dick Gallup is not fucking in the room below, dont know what time it is, Indian break that pony.

Enclosed is my anti-war epic in the manner of Denise Levertov and James Wong Howe.

By the way, HUNGER was a wonderful book. I can easily see why Miller loved it so much, and I loved it too, it made me so hungry I didnt ever want to eat again, and then I did. (567 lbs).

I have been reading Omnivore, The Biography of F Scott Fitzgerald, What I Believe by EMForster, Grant's Memoirs, The Works of Bacon (doodoo), a few bokes by Conrad, The Origin of the Brunists, Life, Look, Columbia Record Club Bulletin, the back of the Incredible String Band Record, a matchbook cover, and a toothpick. A dot. Nothing.

Here's a new word: spig. As in the eye is on the spig.

Another: Queel. Dig that queel. Or, I've got a little queel on my shoe.

Yours in Christ,
Dan Berrigan


elanecu said...

Thanks, Tom: I'd forgotten it was the 4th of July. Makes me wonder about the word "forseeable" on the same page.

Stu said...

Tom, thanks for posting this.

Ted Berrigan is one of my heroes. I wish I could've met him, but then I was only 6 years old in 1983...

TC said...


Thanks, and as matter of fact my own current hero is you. In a way. (A good way.)

Well, 1983 was probably a good year in which to be no older than six. For this year, we might roll that figure back a bit... say, two?


By the dawn's early light, small bombs were foreseen bursting in the cerebral arteries of very old person.

In fact, when do you and I get our memorial tributes? Oh, right, we first have to take that one small step for mankind. ..

Anne wrote backchannel tonight with burial service lore, Ed Sanders saying "That box won't hold him," and the flustered military personnel trying to decide which of the bereft widows to proffer the folded up flag upon.

Ted got more anecdotal mileage out of less actual military "service" than any soldier in history, I wager.

But of course he fancied himself, and in some lovely bent way actually was, an American patriot, dare one say it. We once wrote a collaborative poem called "Under the Patriot Sky" which would have turned into an argument had either one of us a serious bone in our ridiculously undermotivated irishamerican bodies.

But what is there to move for, anyway. (Do you remember "The Movement"?--and where pray tell did it get them?)

Love to all in the Realms of Cnut,


elanecu said...

The Movement remains in the bowels of Ouroboros. Oddly, as I was putting up photographs yesterday, this one flashed Ted into my mind.

TC said...

Hmm, how curious you should mention that photo, which was posted more or less synchronously with this

toy robot in the snow

Inspecting your new photostream I got the momentary impression that that robot might be blog-promiscuous, but closer inspection revealed subtle differences. Like, yours is intelligent enough to catch a bus.

Too bad about the Movement, though light may still be shed, should Ouroboros ever undergo a colonoscopy.

Lab technician to reptilian archivist:

"By George, We've Found Something!"

elanecu said...

...the tunnel at the end of light.

TC said...

...Harris Schiff has kindly sent along this:

"I read one of The Quotations of Chairman Ted (a collection I gathered years ago but am only rediscovering recently), over a speakerphone, using a cellphone, at Bernadette Mayer’s annual July 4th Poetry Reading and Picnic at Lake Tsatsawassa in upstate NY:

"'One can only Are'--Ted Berrigan (from The Quotations of Chairman Ted)

"I recorded that reading Saturday. During the little phone reading, I wished everyone a happy Ted Berrigan Day.

"I don’t know if you know that I published that little color photograph of Ted w/ cigarette dangling, as well as a jpeg of a Collab by George & Ted called “Chapter Two” on $lavery – Cyberzine of the Arts on July 4th 1996. Glad you included it in your post. It has gotten around the net in the ensuing 12 years.

"Man, I miss Ted. But he is everywhere."

TC said...

...And Terence Winch has posted this on the Best American poetry blog:

Ted Berrigan in Irish America

xileinparadise said...

Tom – thanks for the memories. Ted was a tonic for the times (late 60’s). And just what we needed in the post-New American Poetry doldrums, someone to speak with the eyes and ears of our generation. I would include you and Ron and Clark in there too as significant signposts and points of orientation that allowed us to step into the future. The thing that always struck me about Ted was that he could be totally flippant in his poems, but he was dead serious when he talked to you about poetry. I hung with him at the “little museum at 101 St. Mark’s place” before my reading at the Project in the late 70’s where I had the honor of being introduced by him – nothing he said about me that night was true but I have spent the intervening years trying to live up to those words. He was kind enough to ask me to join him on a panel at Langston St when he was in residency there, and acted like a cheerleader at a dog fight when I was doing Life Of Crime. I had just been reading some of his talks in On The Level Everyday a couple of weeks ago, and of course Moby Ted (the Collected) is always where I can reach it by turning in my chair. Live to a 100? The guy’s immortal

TC said...

Pat, er I mean xile,

Know what you mean, tonic, flippant, serious, quite a brew. Ted introduced me at a reading I did with Tom Veitch at the Folklore Center in 1967 and though as you say, none of what he said was strictly veracious, I naturally believed every word of it. To create belief is genius of a kind. His heart and humor are missing ingredients in the poetry scene these days. Words floating around like alphabet soup spilled in outer space yes, but sweet almost-truth and rough beauty and sublime blarney...? Vanished like the memory of the last notes echoing in the air hours after the fiddlers have packed up and gone home.

My first day back in the US after five years out of the country I was conducted around the Lower East Side by Ted on the Captain's tour, stops for narration at significant spots like the building where Fiorello "The Little Flower" LaGuardia was born, the building upstairs of the surgical supply shop where Frank wrote this or that major masterpiece, the building where Bernadette lived, and so on into the night, long after everybody else had fallen away. When I die I would appreciate nothing more than a similar tour of the landmarks of the Next World.

xileinparadise said...

"sweet almost-truth and rough beauty and sublime blarney" -- you said it there, bro

Anonymous said...

Dear Tom,
From the "Always at My Back I Hear" Department: One nice thing Ted said -- I think the occasion was a panel we both served time on in San Francisco -- went as follows: "I have only two rules, actually: Always finish what I start and never below a certain level."

Life certainly is full of colons, n'est pas? Mine gets scoped out next week. About yours I don't dare ask.

Love, as ever,

TC said...


Ouch. I feel for your colon. I don't know if everything depends on a red wheelbarrow, but everything descends from a colon. Apparently Marvell knew this, as instanced by

But at my back I alwaies hear
Times winged Charriot hurrying near:

but below a certain level we must not go (sayings of Chairman Ted).

Speaking of elevation, I do in retrospect feel a deep admiration and gratitude for your elevation of the cultural level in debates we once had over which record to put on. Ted: Phil Ochs. Tom: Jimi Hendrix. Bill: Rachmaninoff.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tom,
Thank you. I have always enjoyed a winged cheroot.

TC said...


Totally awesome, dude. You so rock, bro, it's awesome. Hey, yo, I got a new bass. Check it out.

Flying Cigars for Sergei

Cool beard, no?

That's my favorite tv channel by the way. And no, I'm not doing a Sigourney Weaver there at the end. That really is my own abdomen... with a Flying Cigar inside.

Give me a ride to Mars on those Flying Cigars!

Jam on, bro.

Large Loving Space Hugs,


Anonymous said...

Dear Tom,
Beautiful machine. N'est-ce pas? Pure pleasure, as Ted would say. But back to dear Ted: His could see for miles. The star on his door exploded, and we are but the scurrying remnants of that catastrophe.Amen.
Rabindranath Tagore

Annie said...

Didn't know Derek Smalls had a love child. But as Ted's rimshot finish to To Be Serious says,

It's about time
You know something.

TC said...


Ah, so that's what it is--I've been feeling for some years that I'm being sucked by dark forces into the center of

The Andromeda Galaxy


But can we be sure it was love and not a forty-ouncer?

Speaking of instant creativity, remember, way back when, our second-hand sharings of some of Professor Ted's "wisdom"? Here are a few retrieved nuggets:

Sincerity, as most important in poetry.

Your life has this light around it, The Big Movie.

Mishearings are tremendously valuable to a poet, mishaps are creative.

Leave out your status quo.

You can overpolish it but you can't put too much feeling.

Put the idea in the title and then forget about it.

Your life would seem to be a moving situation. How do you deal with an instant of deep feeling? Partly by being very alert.

Annie said...

If I remember, Derek was more likely to reach for the blotter paper to have "his moments in the sky."
But you are correct, it might not have had a lot to do with love:
Derek Smalls: [on the phone to his solicitor] Isn't there a law against this sort of thing? Surely you can't just buy a full page ad in the music papers and publish your divorce demands.
Derek Smalls: What do you mean 'I paid for it'?
Derek Smalls: Joint account! Fuck! Can't we just have her killed? You know people.

I remember, indeed. In fact, all this Tedorabilia coincides with my just having re-read On the Level Everyday in response to feeling kind of stuck, alone, and stuck alone in my own head. There's something in there that I keep pondering: "It's interesting to know what your own basic unit of writing is." (e.g., sonnet=the line, Ted's= the phrase, Creeley=the word) This is a little puzzling for me, as mine seems to change, depending on some sense of an inherent tempo demanded by a given poem. But it does make me more aware of some other poets' nuts and bolts.

Quite frequently, I also remember one of your own gems: "Don't strangle your best flowers." Sage advice in a multitude of contexts.

Anonymous said...

More wisdom from Chairman Ted: If Bill Berkson is New York School, the rest of us are New York Reform School.

Elmo St. Rose said...

Dear Tom,
I knew Ted minimally when we were
living in the Haight early 1970's.
Lewis Warsh living a few blocks
away introduced us. When Ted and Alice moved in,they had no kitchen
wares and we had some extras. Going
from New Mexico for my big reading
tour on the East coast($50 a whack)
stayed with Berrigans in Chicago
and read at the college where Ted
was teaching. It was a working class environment,people trying to
rise. Ted fit right in...late I
realized I had certain affectations
which Ted tended to point out but
atleast,at the time, he considered
me in the fold and later Alice did
the cover for one of my books. More
than likely prior to actually knowing who he was I encountered him in the environs of the Gem Spa
and the bookstore on 8th street,he
and Padgett(This was from Padgett's
book). Ron and Alice should be in
the chorus with solos on your blog
as should a lot of people because
it turns out you're the real thing
and learned too.
Asides:T.Clark also put out a
broadside with Anne Waldman, and
Alice Notley naked long and lean....every young man'
Alice said of herself "There's a
time when you're irresistable" she
also said Lewis Warsh was dangerous
in the same manner...sidekicks are
often told things principals are not...Lewis who married two great
American poets and fostered them...
Also in Ron Padgett's book on Ted:
there's a touching scene...for
second father when Ted tells Ron
of body language necessary to avoid
being mugged on the streets to a
man who said about his own father
he would fight anybody, anytime,
and did. Now if all of the above
are established poets, or avant-garde icons or Chancellors of the
American Academy of poets its not
because Ted planned it but I'm sure
the big leprechaun would be glad

TC said...


Sweet testimony...


Ah, Derek's charming confused directness, how refreshing.

"Quite frequently, I also remember one of your own gems: 'Don't strangle your best flowers.' Sage advice in a multitude of contexts."

Well, ahem, confession time: like every other Grating Sage, Ted, Confucius, you name it, I was just recycling the Wisdom of the (Even More) Ancient(s). I got that "strangle your darlings" from Jessica Mitford, whom I actually met once and was utterly enthralled by. (Would I had got to meet all the other Mitford sisters as well... though in the case of Unity I suppose I'd have to been in early to beat Hitler, whose deleterious effect on the poor girl proved alas fatal in the end.)

What Jessica really said was, your writings are your garden, beware the gorgeous hothouse flowers, strangle your darlings (the fine phrases you most love), and then... get on with it!

Which brings me to your line/word/phrase issue. Yes, Ted was certainly a phraseologist... I recall it being said of Keats, "he approached a fine phrase as a lover." Ah the warm moist pleasures of the hothouse!

And as Bill B lovingly reminds, our teary faretheewells may know no bounds, but when the cup runneth over, it's back to Reform School. So what's this Ted Thing anyway? Yet as Bill also beautifully reminds: "But, you know, Old Paint, Barkis is willin’ (as is Lowell George, we are more certain perhaps) as endless as all that."

And as the little old man in the back of the brain further reminds, Jim Brodey, like Ted now gone to the land of the Well Loved Lost, once told me he'd been told by Lowell George of Lowell's fear of flying, and that Lowell had also said, to get himself through some of those scary flights, he'd brought along as carry-on a copy of "Stones". Now there is a curious sedative, but I suppose hydrocodone didn't yet exist, or in any event was never easy to come by. Still it looks nonetheless as though we who are still on this side of the Great Divide remain


TC said...

Some lost snippets from the thread cutting-room and other odds & ends and knick-knacks of possible interest:

In a comment on this post from her great underappreciated blog Wordstrumpet the poet Rachel Loden recalls the 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference, paying her way in (!) and finding it well worth the price of admission to hear a reading of The Sonnets that was

Pure Bleeping Genius


My citation of Bill B's "Barkis" reference has it seems understandably mystified some (yes, it appears someone has actually been awake through all this), it's a response to a private note in which I'd commented on Ted's status as a historical nonpareil, citing Dickens' Barkis on the kindly washerwoman Mrs. Higden:

"O Mrs Higden, Mrs Higden, you was a woman and a mother, and a mangler in a million million."


Trivia dept.: hints and clues from lurkers have provided useful corrective views and filled in a few gaps in the lore. Ron P. relates he actually paid for his gangster suit. Andrei C. says, with reason, "This death-date celebration doesn't do much for me, though, I liked the guy alive much better, of course. I never figured out why they make a big deal on Elvis' death-date in Memphis, instead of the day he wrote 'Love Me Tender,' let's say."

Verification data about pictures of naked women poets on broadsides, solicited by Elmo, remains suspended in the forgetfulness chamber; for only the Shadow knows what shades lurk in the penumbra.

... yet then again, to paraphrase TB:

Lurking is so very lovely, who can say no to it later?

Annie said...

Hmm. Another instance of my usual suspect memory. Perhaps the urge to strangle my darlings did not always dwell in the comfortable realm of metaphor, and my mind took care of me. At any rate, I do think the end result was more or less the same, if a prohibition against working something pleasing to death ends up making the poet wary of cute schticks or acute tics.
At least I've got the willin' part of the cliche down pat. Always was partial to the alliteration in that song, especially since it included Tehachapi, the mountain town to the east visible from the lightening-flattened top of my best friend's redwood tree, destination of a train ride so curvy, you can see yourself coming and going, and occasional sledding spot, come winter.

No, there is no end to nostalgia.

Re:AC's point: it can be kind of difficult to pinpoint the date something was written, unless the author is inclined to notate it, in contrast to an anniversary of someone's death. It would be swell to have the equivalent of a Bloomsday celebration, though.

TC said...

Whoa, Annie, take a load off you!

I don't know if what you've touched here is a nerve or a pseudo-tentacle, but thanks for remembering Willin'.

Lowell George went to Hollywood High and like your darlings I suppose, he had a band. Didn't everyone back then.

His pal the keyboard genius Bill Payne possessed appreciable skills and auditioned with Zappa's incipient Mothers, made the cut but stayed loyal to Lowell and thus, with Roy Estrada and Richie Hayward, was born the matrix of Little Feat.

The name of the group came from Zappa's Indian-pony drummer Jimmy Carl Black, who noticed that Lowell wore size 8 shoes. Thus Little Feet. Lowell thought "Feat" might be cooler, less embarrassing, more John Lennon, thus history.

There are various legends involving Lowell's involvement with the Mothers of Invention. It's said he played Willin' for Zappa and was then summarily fired on the grounds of being Just Too Good. This is credible. Zappa was no dummy. But I don't know, I think Lowell was probably not a strong person and was led by the winds. (Jim Brodey and I discussed all this as though it were the Book of Isaiah, once upon a time... You know, like, Watchman, What of the night?) There's the story about Lowell, in a Mothers audition, playing a twenty minute guitar solo with his amp turned off. Now I would see that as more a characteristic oversight than a provocative gesture on L's part. A minority opinion holds that "Weed, whites and wine" was too overt a drug reference for Zappa, but give us a break. I think it's more like Frank was smart enough not to want to hire a more talented artist than himself as a sideman, only trouble could come.

Ry Cooder played the slide guitar bit on the Sailin' Shoes version of Willin'--Lowell had fucked up his business hand playing with model airplanes, period-typical. Not that he couldn't have handled the chore himself.

But as we chatted about in an earlier nocturnal session, there is that other Lowell George masterpiece, the one about Falling Into Time. Of which there was the later Linda Ronstadt cover, post mortem; alas there's no video record of Lowell performing it himself, that song, the one that reminds us Time slips away, it's always running through our hands. Sandy Denny too covered it, prescient in that she was soon to join Lowell in the Beyond (no waiting rooms in those days). The best version of it to survive though is this one, Lowell wrote it with Martin Kibbee, here it's covered by Bob Weir and Ratdog at the Grand Lido, Negril, Jamaica, bringing things back home to the old soldiers' home. It's so easy to fall, let your memories drift and do nothing at all. All the love that you missed, all the people you can recall, do they really exist? at all? All the magic's gone away, our time together floats away like the sad melody I play. I don't want to live forever in the shadow of your leaving me. Try to remember to forget. It's becoming common knowledge it's so very

Easy to Slip

Funny thing and little known fact: Ted our subject here was a bit of a Deadhead in his all too brief instant on earth, when the world was yet young. The Grateful Dead's first concert in NYC, summer 1967, outdoors in the bandshell at Tompkins Square Park, the city was empty of poets (all gone off to Lawn Guyland), I dragged Ted along, skeptical yet open to the moment, and he thought it wonderful, swirling of young people, life, energy, what not to like. "I can dig it," he said. The New York Daily News captured the day with a front page crowd shot, which I put on the cover of my book Green. Ted in horn rims and mesh t-shirt, me in shades, at home among the zapped out freaks. Try to remember to forget.

Rachel Loden said...

Tom, this is even weirder than you imagine, or than I ever dreamed.

The city wasn't entirely empty of poets because I was there too, at that bandshell at Tompkins Square Park to see the Dead.

I was still in my teens so I suppose I should have loved it, but I didn't. The Dead always bored me silly, for whatever reason, so I bet I'd drifted away, out of the picture.

Now Tim Buckley and the Mothers of Invention at Andy Warhol's Balloon Farm -- that was different....

TC said...


I am beginning to think that anywhere Angelica or I went in the middle 1960s you too were there, yet none of us knew it at the time.

Well, perhaps I may have slightly exaggerated Ted's appreciation of the Dead. But you see, all those runaway girls from Connecticut in long diaphanous hippie dresses dancing in apparent ecstasy around the margins of the small throng and the many strange costumes worn by characters who if we saw them now would make us think--Borat! I think the general addled panoramic pageantry of it all was what Ted liked.

And of course that park was, as he thought of it, his, so this was like a party happening in his home.

Many a bleary dawn did we spend together on those park benches. Once while so seated we were approached by a, or shall I saw yet another, speed freak, with a wounded pigeon in a shopping bag. Somehow Ted and I at that time conceived ourselves, for a moment, noble volunteers of the SPCA, and allowed care and custody of the poor broken-wing'd bird to be transferred to us. We then walked around for a while trying to come up with a cunning plan for its salvation. Finally Ted decided that since Larry and Clarice Rivers "liked animals" (!said Ted!), it would be good and proper to leave the bagged pigeon in the foyer of their apt. building on 14th St. Just another day in the life of Two Great Humanitarians.

Rachel Loden said...

Tom, do you remember how the sky was always pink above the park? That's how I remember it anyway.

A friend of mine lucked out and saw Hendrix there, I learned years later (we didn't know each other either at the time, and are now the closest of poetic friends).

But yes, I do feel a little like the spook in the matter, and it's even more unnerving for me than it may be for you.

At least in the case of the Berkeley Poetry Conference there's the registration card to prove I'm not making the whole thing up.

No tickets at the Tompkins Square bandshell, as you recall, only pigeons and random A-heads.

At a certain point in my life it seemed like anytime I arrived somewhere, Allen Ginsberg would turn up a half hour later and start in with the hand cymbals.

And we'd smile, indulgently, as if our strange uncle (if not our funny uncle) had arrived at the children's party. As indeed he had.

TC said...

Rachel, Yes indeed... it is bloody spooky.

And thanks for your infinitely sweet phonecall. What is this backchannel thing again? Is it the part where we love each other in private, but dare not tell the name of our love, because, first off, If we were to cry out, who among the Angelic Orders would hear us? and second, if our voices were to rise to song, gods only know what troubles might follow. And I don't mean the lime green jello kitty on an abuse treadmill kind.

The Singers Are The Victims of Their Songs

Imitation of Ted (from Strange Dudes)

Suede vest
over blue sweater
over brown shirt
& tough white chest (&c.)...

So, like, erm... whatever. That was then, this is now. And if not now, when????

Otherwise... Was sent off into complicated memory origamis and bricolages (and lately I feel I'm getting too big for my bricolages, when do they give one long pants?) by your pink-sky-above-the-Park reminiscence. In return for the magic carpet ride I can offer but these few trifling things.

Tubular Pink Sky Over Playing Fields for Rachel

Pink Trees for Rachel

Pink Heliosheath in Orion Nebula for Rachel

But to be honest what I actually do remember of those bleak dawns over the pigeons and the parkbenches is more along these lines:

Toxic Skies esp. New York City at Night But More Orange Than Pink for Rachel

(Hi there Ted, is there Pepsi in Heaven?)

TC said...

And then again

A More Literal Inappropriate Representation of Appropriating the Past

TC said...

But really, keeping in mind the New Stupid Version of Appropriation, this is probably the closest thing to it yet

Annie said...

Kill me quickly with that thong.

Used to like babies and kittens. Now they're just one more thing to shake my cane at.

I must confess, I'm with Rachel on the Dead. Apparently I was never on the right drugs when I saw them. (Plus I hate the smell of patchouli with a b.o. chaser. Just pepper spray me.) I had nearly the same sensation years later at a fake rave put on by the newspaper I was writing for---technohouse minus Ecstasy equals sonic waterboarding. There is not enough beer.

My own lamented late friend Louie, who hired me to work at Zapple Records in 1973, steeped me in things Georgian and Zapped, among other things. He was of the opinion that both George and Zappa needed to be the grand capo who orchestrated things, hence not able to play for others over the long term. But they did share a kind of dada sensibility, not to mention Neon Park doing cover art. Somehow I only saw Little Feat when its various members were backing up Bonnie Raitt on the 1976 tour that had Tom Waits as the opener. Dragged my sister for her birthday celebration, but it was kind of like the time I bought a Huckleberry Hound coin bank for my dad and "let him" keep it on my dresser.

Just read Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart. LG's Easy to Slip pretty much works that same turf, only with a deceptive ease and simplicity that belies the depth expressed. Masterpiece, indeed. Here's a much better version of the song:

TC said...


Gee whillikers, you have saved me from my Musical Offering. Recalling that Bruce Willis-on-a-motorcycle line, "Zed is dead, baby, Zed is dead." It was to be said with a French accent ("Ze Dead is Dead, Baby, Ze Dead Is Dead"), but BW couldn't get down with the pronunciation of the real articles.

And in fact it was my relentless futile insane anachronistic search for the Real Article that has got me into this tight corner. Odysseus saved himself after the shipwreck by clinging to Leucothoe's bikini (in the E. Pound version of Around the World in 80 Days, I believe it was). You can kill me or save me with a thong, just don't waterboard me into that Briarpatch of having to say what I really meant.

You know the CIA has latterly boasted that waterboarding wasn't really necessary because they had much more effective interrogation tools, like embarrassing the subject by reminding him of the inappropriate nickname he had in high school. Like, say, "cut-up poet".