Meeting Creeley

I saw Robert Creeley at the U of C. Was pretty amazing, as his work seems to improve with his age. Did phenomenal pieces from his new book and made veiled asides assailing the pretention of the very halls of erudition welcoming him ("I don't even know what these poems mean ... I just write them"). At times he seemed to ramble, but it was a good, grandfatherly kind of rambling. At the ensuing reception, I waited out several undergrads asking the man what the poems were about (see prior parenthetic aside) or plugging their own agendas just to say hello ("you dropping out of that Bowling Green writing program was probably a very smart move," he told me -- a long story involving Carl Thayler and trite institutional political correctness in the early '90s). Was like talking to Moses, only much more cool.


johnny on the call, johnny on the alt.

my roommate, Johnny Pae, gets a fundraising call from the fraternal order of police. they tell him a donation gets him a sticker for his car. they imply the sticker will get him out of traffic tickets ("now, I'm not saying it gives you license to go 90 in a 25," the retired cop tells him).

Johnny says, "that sticker will do me no good. my car is illegal anyway. to boot, I'm kind of upset with your department because some of your guys roughed up my neighbor for filming them arrest people at a party next door. They smashed his camera, which was art institute property, so I don't think I can help you."

The cop/fundraiser persists ("can WE count on YOU, Mr. Pae?"). "How much will this sticker cost me?"

Johnny asks, "Can I just stick it to the subway I ride to school?"

The officer offers to enlist him as a 'civillian patrolman.'

"So, does that mean you're going to give me a gun?" he asks. The cop/fundraiser gets serious then.

Johnny spends his free time learning obscure words from the Oxford English Dictionary. He then uses them in regular conversation, which seems to alienate the other person/people and goes against everything a I believe about the english language. He wants to get a gangsta-looking tattoo that spells out "O.E.D."

I put in Son Volt's 'Trace,' crank the volume. I love the production, the captured sound of Farrar's fingers sliding up and down the neck of his guitar. There is a nearly naïve cheesiness to some of the lyrics, but then he'll follow-up with a killer line ("slower than a 10-second buzz").
Johnny says he doesn't get alt.country. I replied a lot of it's pedestrian, but some is very worthwhile. He asks sarcastically if 'Trace' isn't pedestrian. I remind him he is the proud owner of a Cherry Poppin' Daddies disc.