"Burgess Needle is our guide through this thoughtful collection of poems recounting the sights, sounds, tastes, and aromas of Thailand in the late 1960s. He warns of the danger of landmines and cobras, yet lures us in with the scent of kerosene wicks, cigarettes and whiskey, and I found myself hearing the language of villagers, the lowing of buffalo, and the chattering monkeys as war is waged in the distance. Thai Comic Books is Needle examining his own misgivings and good intentions as he explores the hopes and fears of the people he meets."
~ Iodine Poetry Journal
Thai Comic Books
"Exotic but not alienating, memoir-like but musical and unpredictable, Thai Comic Books reminds us that good poetry is both timeless and borderless. "
~ Jefferson Carter, Get Serious
"Burgess Needle's poetry collection distills the essence of his two-year sojourn in Thailand as a Peace Corps cultural exchanger. Readers travel with him when he meets his new headmaster, witnesses a school flogging, and feels like an idiot as he attempts to explain the conjugation of 'to be.' As his Thai language skills evolve, likewise does his consciousness as he thinks in terms of earning merits for next lifetime. Beneath the ever-oppressive glaring sun, Needle gradually experiences more commonalities, but when he is assigned to teach baseball he discovers its incompatibility with Thai life, for "'o one wanted to cover first base, die and return prematurely as a dog or peacock.' Thus is this collection peppered with pathos, humor and endless delight."
~ Rebecca Leo, The Flaws That Bind