Spring, 1956: Easter break at Columbia, and John Giorno, a sophomore majoring in English with a minor in Oriental Humanities, has been given a copy of the recently published HOWL. The gifter, a friend visiting from Ann Arbor, has thoughtfully enclosed a couple of marijuana joints with the book, but it wasn’t until a month or so later that Giorno got around to availing himself of the largesse.
[Giorno] By then it was May, it was warm, and I smoked a joint and read HOWL, and it totally blew my mind. This was the 50s, and one’s avant-garde experience ranged from Eliot to Yeats - by the time I got to Columbia I had read The Wasteland at least six times in different classes. There were these famous people teaching at Columbia at that time. Lionel Trilling, Mark Van Doren, Eric Bentley, I had them all. Somehow Eliot was in every course, and they loved Marianne Moore and Cummings and Pound, who I liked the idea of, but didn’t particularly like to read. There I was in Livingston Hall smoking a joint and reading HOWL, and I got completely hysterical. I mean, I literally ran outside and down into Riverside Park, screaming with absolute exhilaration, clutching HOWL to my chest, running and leaping, falling down, and leaping higher and giving YAHOOS! It was one of those May nights when it’s warm and you can feel spring, so there was that magic on top of it, too. This was the 50s and this poet Allen Ginsberg had these thoughts, these feelings, these emotions! It was sort of revolutionary, because they were the kind of things that I had in my heart, but nobody I knew thought the same things, let alone wrote a great poem.
There I was, running in Riverside Park … (a reflective pause, a burst of laughter, then in a mockingly pompous voice) Yes, he was the voice of a generation, and I heard it for the first time and INDEED it liberated me …
[Neff] Somewhere in the Cosmic Lost & Found Dept. there must be a shopping bag with the karmic videotape of my first meeting with Giorno. About a year ago, in the course of interviewing him for an international arts magazine, it turned out that he and I had gone to the same high school on (what was then) the un-mailed, un-commuterized North Shore of Long Island, serving academic sentences that may have overlapped around the freshman-senior edges.
Having failed to make the glee club, the alternative fillers for that weekly time-slot were either study hall or shop. I opted for the latter, thereby becoming the only girl in a class full of boys whose mechanical and wood-working skills seemed to have been as biologically preordained as their acne. Giorno probably did not take shop. I suspect that he was the study hall
[Giorno] In 1954 I was 17 years old and everything in my life was dismal and depressing. High school was the most unhappiest time of my life. I was horribly lonely all the time. I was in a prison of suffering and ignorance, trying to figure out an escape, other than suicide, before the possibility of Enlightenment. There was only booze and sex, and whatever few drugs were available. Driving endlessly on the Long Island Expressway, drunk and stoned, listening to the car radio: It’s my party, I’1l cry if I want to, die if I want to. In the 1950s you had to be on a heroic suicide mission of great clarity and bliss, or nothing at all.
[Neff] Giorno went to Columbia, smoked grass, read HOWL, ran and screamed in the park, etcetera (see above). I went to Bennington; tried peyote, vomited, read Proust, flunked Russian etcetera. We didn’t meet then. It was in the late-60s/early-70s that our paths began to intersect with the existential regularity that characterized an era when “Call ____ re: grass” ranked high on lists of Things To Do Today, and — again in the course of that aforecited interview - it came to light that in August, 1969 Giorno and I had been in the same car going to the Woodstock Festival. This was deduced by the fact that, as the parallel similarities began to converge in our recollections of logistics leading up to the event, Wynn Chamberlain had been driving “both” cars. Obviously we had met by then, if not formally or “officially”, in the way that people met and became lifetime/best/most- intimate/friendsinthewholeentireworldforeverandever in those years: by showing up at the same parties, openings, drug bust & legal expense benefits, anti-war demonstrations, conspiracy trials, nights at Max’s Kansas City, solar eclipses and acid trips. At some point, after enough casual encounters, conversation was initiated. Usually on the acid trips.
[Giorno] I remember the Sunshine acid trip we took together in 1970, on the Spring solstice in Central Park, during which there was a partial eclipse of the sun. It was dark and cold, and it forebode all the negative things that were to come, and signaled the collapse of all the hopeful expectations of the 60s … The summer of 1969 Jasper Johns and I broke up. I met Jasper in 1962, and in 1969 we had been living together as lovers for a little over a year. We spent the summer of ‘69 in Nags Head, North Carolina, where Jasper had rented a house in the dunes on the ocean. These were straights dunes, where the FBI and government officials from Washington and their families rented summer houses, but it was very beautiful. I went
back to New York for a week in the middle of August to work on the installation of a piece I was doing for the Software Show at the Jewish Museum, that was opening that September. I loved Jasper, but I was becoming dissatisfied with our conservative life style. I spent half my time living with Jasper in the bank on Houston Street (an abandoned Bank that Johns bought and renovated for his studio and residence. He has since sold it, and it currently functions as a club/disco). The other half of my life was spent taking speed and LSD with my other friends and working tirelessly at my own work space at 222 Bowery.
I spent a week working on my piece for the Software Show. I had my plane ticket back to Nags Head, and I was getting ready to leave when I found out that the much talked about Woodstock Festival was to take place the next week in White Lake. Sally and Wynn Chamberlain convinced me to come up to visit them in Rhinebeck, suggesting that we go to the Festival. That’s how Renfreu and I were in the same car. I didn’t go back to Jasper in North Carolina, and he was very disappointed. He came back to New York, and after much suffering, we broke up two months later. I really loved Jasper, but the Woodstock Festival was symbolic of all the problems between us. He never wanted to do things like that.
My piece for the Software Show at the Jewish Museum was called
Guerilla Radio, and it broadcast through the electrical circuitry in the rooms of the museum to an empty FM channel. Since the broadcast radiated only several hundred feet from the electrical wiring, it was legal with the FCC, and visitors to the museum listened to poetry on transistor radios that were given out at the front desk. This was all wonderful, a great idea, and we got good press. There were forty poets, and along with William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery and Frank O’Hara, were Bobby Seale and Eldridge Cleaver. The Museum trustees got up in arms, saying that anti-Semitic blacks were being presented in their museum, and it became a big censorship issue, and I refused to retreat from my rights as an artist. I actually played more Seale and Cleaver than I had originally planed, because it freaked them out. The voices of Seale and Cleaver, who were not saying anything anti-Semitic, but simply talking about the abuse of civil rights - were traveling through the electrical wires in every wall of every room of the entire building, like a virus in a bloodstream, and it was driving the trustees crazy. I thought this was a totally brilliant idea: They were also afraid of bad press, and their lawyers advised them to do nothing, so it was a stand-off, and my piece ended when the show was over. It was about that time that The Jewish Museum stopped showing contemporary art and started showing exclusively Judaic art.
[Neff] Wynn and Sally Chamberlain lived with their twin toddlers in a loft above The Lotus Eaters, a Chinese restaurant on Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street. Wynn had achieved modest recognition as an artist, while his more evident talent — an instinct, really — was an ability to determine which new acquaintances to cultivate and which to leave fallow. “Taureans are hung up on style,” he once said, articulating one of the essential weaknesses of the sign we shared. I first met him and Sally circa 1968, when I was writing a book on the Living Theatre. It was deep winter and the Living, in the midst of an American tour, were performing at the Poe Forum in the Bronx over the Christmas holidays, before setting off on the western leg of their tour. Wynn wanted to make a movie of Paradise Now, a project worthy of a footnote in film school textbooks for having been pitched in a single meeting that lasted twelve hours, during which about fifty participants consumed hundreds of egg rolls and a kilo of grass. The movie should have been Paradise Now: the Meeting because the Living returned to Europe when the tour ended that spring. Left with only a small but professionally capable technical crew and the producers, Wynn, undaunted, proceeded to film his screenplay Brand X with a cast that featured Sally Kirkland and Taylor Mead and a bevy of professional weight-lifters. One of the film’s locations was Sally’s estate in Rhinebeck, where the amenities included a big, old country house with a great screened porch facing onto an expanse of lawn, set with grand shade trees and a lovely gazebo, that stretched down to the very edge of the Hudson. Between Wynn and Sally, a woman of immense self-containment, intelligence and quick humor who had not wasted her time at Sarah Lawrence in the library, they knew most of the right people, even the right wrong people, and as summer set in, the place became the idyllic hub for editing Brand X and power loafing.
[Giorno] Sally was given the estate in Rhinebeck called The Quadrangle, when she married Jackie Cram, heir to the Peter Cooper/Gould/Drexel fortunes. Only after they were married and much suffering, did Sally find out Jackie was gay. He went on to marry Lady Jeanne Campbell, daughter of the Duke of Argyll, only she knew he was gay. Sally Stokes comes from an old WASP family in Queens. In the 17th Century, one of her ancestors married an Indian, and took possession, among other things, of all the land on which is now JFK airport. Her family sold the last piece of the swamp in the 1930s, shortly before it was decided to build Idlewild Airport, later to be re-named JFK.
In 1962 there were proper weekends in Rhinebeck with Scotch whiskey and great houseguests: from Frank O’Hara and drag queens to Prince Alexander Romanoff and the Duchess of Arygll. Sally’s neighbor was 80-year-old Mrs. Hull (the first Mrs. Vincent Astor). The Quadrangle was part of an estate Mrs. Hull inherited from her father, and which she sold to Jackie as a wedding present for Sally. Mrs. Hull used to have these amazing Christmas parties for the surviving Astors, Delanos and Beekmans. At one point in the party, everyone would assemble in the great drawing room, and the old butler would light hundreds of candles on a 15 foot Christmas tree, with two footmen holding buckets of water. When all the candles were lit, there was a short great moment of silence “AH!;” then the old butler would put out the candles one by one.
I was always very impressed with this last surviving fire ritual of the last of the Hudson River valley aristocrats. Ten years later Mrs. Hull died and everything was auctioned off.
We discovered LSD in March 1965, which changed our lives, breaking a few bad habits and conceptions. Tripping in that fabulously beautiful heaven world, I got an understanding of impermanence and suffering, and a glimpse of the nature of reality. This started us on our various political and spiritual paths; Wynn and Sally went the Hindu route, and for me Tibetan Buddhism.
[Neff] In the spring of ‘71, Giorno and I were called upon to testify at a court hearing on behalf of a friend named Jeno, The Biggest LSD Dealer On the East Coast, by the District Attorney’s assessment, which appeared to have been based on Exhibit A: one thousand hits of Sunshine acid. Giorno and I had serious doubts concerning Jeno being a specialist, our assessment based on Exhibits B through X, which included about fifty kilos of Colombian grass, a triple-beam scale, a carton of Zig Zag packets, some brownie-sized bundles that the DA referred to as “green vegetable matter,” a loose assortment of “small colored pills” and, finally, a few grams of “a white powder substance,” the lab tests on the veggies, pills and powder being somewhat tardy, no doubt due to the windfall of goodies in the other Exhibits. It all looked pretty ominous spread out on the table in front of the bench. Had we known it was such an impressive stash, we might have left town … But what the hell. Giorno and I just liked the guy and would have hated to see him leave.
[Giorno] Whenever I gave a poetry reading at St. Mark’s or wherever, Jeno would give me 200 tabs of Sunshine acid free, to give to the audience. I used to make a big LSD punch and people would help themselves. It was free. The intention was to open up the audience. Jeno was a great fan, you might say.
[Neff] So there we were in a courtroom, almost a year after, about a dozen narcotics agents had crashed through the door of Jeno’s one-room studio at the Hotel Chelsea , while he was entertaining a young, male law student from a respectable family, and proceeded to search the place without a warrant. Gerald Lefcourt was Jeno’s attorney, and there was Jeno testifying under oath that in the twenty-four hours prior to the inopportune raid, he had entertained and/or had sexual relations with no less than ten other men in that very room. That certainly accounted for all those “exhibits” sitting around unsold, and Lefcourt’s clever strategy was to let his client inundate the prosecution with his adventurous homosexuality on the assumption that, whoever the nark may have been (this was a hearing, not a trial. The accuser was never identified), he would never stick to his grand jury statement. The DA was further stymied by the defendant’s having taken a lengthy afternoon break to attend a meeting at the War Resisters League on Lafayette Street. I had to wait in the corridor while Giorno took the stand to attest to the defendant’s having been at the meeting at the stated time and place. At the recess, Giorno told me that the DA had asked him if he had ever purchased any drugs from the defendant, to which Giorno had truthfully replied No.
After the break, I was called to testify: I had left that meeting with Jeno, and we had walked together as far as the corner of 6th Avenue and 8th Street, where Jeno had met a pretty young (male) acquaintance. They went one way; I went another. It was about five o’clock in the afternoon. The questions were pretty dumb, and the one that sticks in my memory was “Ms. Neff, did you know the defendant as a homosexual?”
And I recall asking in quandary, “How could I?”
[Giorno] We were approaching the zenith of the golden age of promiscuity, when we made fabulous love to beautiful strangers, and celebrated life with glorious sub-stances. A rare moment in the histories of the universe! Who would have thought that 25 years later, it all would be lost and destroyed by neo-conservativism and AIDS.
One afternoon in August 1973, I went to the Everard Baths (the old baths, before it burned down). I was lying on a bed with the door open, pulling on my dick, when this handsome black man with a big dick came into my room. We made fabulous love for 6 hours. His name was Dave. Deep sex, totally open with absolute abandon, completely perverted just the way I like it, infinite tenderness and affection. We were lovers, with that powerful connection that comes when it seems that karmic paths cross. I have always thought of it as one of the great moments of anonymous sex in the golden age of promiscuity.
During the 6 hours, we had great sex, came 3 times, pouring sweat as it was a hot August day, went into a deep sleep twice wrapped in each others arms and legs, and in between all this we had lots of intimate conversation. Dave was an ex-Marine, married with several children, and worked for New York City in the Health Department. Accounting, I thought, but I didn’t ask; and I thought it brave of him to say. I have a really good memory, and even though so many years have passed. I can remember in detail the talk between us and the vivid pornographic details.
Dave was deeply moved with appreciation of the rare moment we had together. A man making love with another man. The anonymity had made it possible. When we were saying goodbye, I asked him for his phone number, to extend the generosity of our time together (knowing that I wouldn’t call him). He looked a bit surprised and said “Yes. I’d really like that!” He wrote on a matchbook cover `Dave Dinkins (and his telephone number),` and said “It’s my work number, just ask for me.”
More than 15 years later, it hit me, the Dave Dinkins of that August afternoon in 1973, and the current 1992 Mayor David Dinkins of New York, are the same man. I never called him, but he was a great lover. This is a wonderful accomp-lishment, men loving each other. I WANT TO BE FILTHY AND ANONYMOUS, as it happened gloriously to many many men in the golden age of promiscuity.
(Neff) About that meeting at the War Resisters League - It had nothing to do with the League. We just met there. Of the fifty or so others in attendance, at least half were Black Panthers, an organization that did not ordinarily budge to support white radical kamikaze missions. But this one was different. This was WPAX, a guerilla radio operation that broadcast two hours nightly over Radio Hanoi to the American military fighting in Vietnam. (Can’t you just hear Geraldo, in full hysterico-sleazo bombast, bleating, “NOW IT CAN BE TOLD!!” and leaving an oil-slick on your tellyscreen?) It was a rock and roll guerilla sandwich, with political news (from the Liberation News Service, not your wimpy AP or Reuters) and stuff for women and gays in the armed services, and I still remember a gay activist group taping a program that urged homesick American troops in the trenches to hug one another and have a good cry. Abbie (Hoffman) had hatched the idea and bounced it to Giorno, whose DIAL-A-POEM installation at the Architectural League in New York, in 1968, had created such turbulence over alleged “obscenity” it had to be moved to the Museum of Modern Art (and then to Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art then on throughout Europe, before it was finally put on hold in Montreal in 1985) and his later guerilla radio broadcasts originating from the belltower of St. Marks-in-the-Bouwerie church — a 1970 experiment curtailed by a highly publicized visit from agents from the FBI and FCC –qualified him as an ideal producer for the programs, My book on the Living Theatre was out, and I was in Chicago to cover the trial of the Chicago 8, where Giorno and Abbie were orchestrating the events surrounding the opening of the trial. By the time Giorno told me about WPAX, the idea had evolved into a plan and was well on its way to a full-b1own act of treason.
So we had these open monthly meetings, but as word got around, they became so popular and so well attended by so many people that none of us had ever seen before, Abbie decided to go weekly. We moved from the small office to a big conference room with tables that we pushed together to make one big, big table that we could all sit around, and there was a blackboard on which Abbie scrawled the prophetic The meetings continued to attract a broad spectrum of eager activists, the whacko philosophies whose ranks harbored anarcho-Abomunists and Zen terminators, and there were lots of asexual people who seemed to be preoccupied with the cultivation of excess body hair. And Black Panthers whose contributions were few in comparison to their number, which seemed to double every week. Abbie sort of conducted the meetings, much like a surfer sort of conducts his surfboard, since they tended to capsize into dialectical bickering and surprise snipings, ego mud wrestling matches and proposals for projects even crazier than the one we were there for. Every faction wanted its fifteen minutes of subversion, so countless tapes were submitted for broadcast, and of course, everyone had a suggestion for how to get the finished programs to Hanoi on a reliable weekly basis. Some of the ideas were rather ingenious, but that was Abbie’s function: Logistics and fund-raising, and he had a genius for both.
The WPAX “office” was in the building on the corner of Center and Spring Streets, and it was miniscule, vintage 30s- Sam Spade, with an opaque glass partition between the private eye and his girl Friday. The sign on the door read SHAFTWAY, so the maintenance people never came in to clean. There were a few chairs and a long work table that held a tape recorder. The programs were actually produced and edited in my loft at 222 Bowery, because I had the equipment and the know-how for producing the programs.
Abbie would pick up the mail from the post office box, and one day there was a soiled and creased envelope postmarked Vietnam. Inside was a hastily scrawled letter from an American soldier in hospital in Saigon. He thanked us for the music, all the uncensored information and the pleasure that he and his wounded buddies got from listening to WPAX every night. Best of luck and keep it coming … Oh God, it was working! We were actually on the air in Vietnam. And more letters started coming from soldiers, medics, nurses, and there were special requests. Some wanted more Stones, others wanted more Dylan, more Dead … Sometimes success can make you nervous.
Abbie dropped by with a brand new short-wave radio and set it on the table, grinning: “They won’t take us seriously unless we have a short-wave set. Abbie used to say to me with glee, “Do you realize that we will be the first people arrested for treason for freedom of speech since Benedict Arnold!”
The meetings continued with people wall-to-wall, Panthers perched on the window ledges, slouching round the table, and everybody demanding to know When are we going to start broadcasting? Exactly who had we contacted so far regarding flying the tapes to Hanoi? Had we checked out ALL the private transport services?! And if so, why not? They wanted Action! RESULTS! Following one meeting that was notable for an inordinate increase in revolutionary slogans and decrease in looney counter-proposals, I suggested to my co-conspir…uh, colleagues that we stop having meetings on the grounds that they were attracting too much attention. “We can’t stop the meetings,” Abbie replied, “We’re taking the undercover heat off the Panthers and the Weathermen.”
In 1973 the Vietnam War came to an end. Now all we had to worry about was the statute of limitations. With a nostalgic sigh, we came in from the heat and disappeared into the mainstream.
[Giorno] WPAX had become a nightmare for me, with people quarreling with each other — feminists against the gays, gays against the Vietnam vets, a dozen factions fighting each other and everyone vehemently hating Abbie, because he was an easy focus for their anger. Abbie had his faults, but so did they, and Abbie was the reason WPAX was happening. I got on well with everyone, because I did all the work, but it made me sad. I left for India in January 1971 — I’m a Tibetan Buddhist and that was a good place to concentrate on my meditation practice, but I also wanted to get away from WPAX, and I didn’t want to go to jail for Abbie’s crazy idea: After the war ended, we found out that the FBI had actually issued arrest warrants for Abbie and me. The warrants were never used, because when I left for India, WPAX became completely dysfunctional and collapsed.
29 September, 1979. I took refuge with His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche. Supreme Head of the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. Tantra Master. Dzogchen Master. Living Buddha. Heavy resume. Another “conspiracy” with Giorno, only this time I had asked to be let in. And Abbie had nothing to do with it. If Abbie had been there, the sangha might have been livelier. If Abbie had been there, he might have been fund-raising for burned-out boddhisattvas. If Abbie had been there, he might still be alive.
[Neff] I met His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche in 1971when my path took me to Darjeeling. Who would have thought that running away from counter-culture politics would lead toward Enlightenment!
Rome; July, 1985. It was the kind of Roman night that inspires poetry, and Fate had conspired for the 10th International Festival of Poetry to open that night in the Borghese gardens. I was there with some friends, the closest of whom, I have since been told by another friend, is not speaking to me anymore. Her doom is sealed. The festival’s theme that year was Poets Translate Poets, and while I don’t recall precisely who was there from where, I do remember hearing Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Plath read with lilting and lyrical melodic grace in unfamiliar tongues. Robert Creeley and John Giorno were the only Americans invited, and they were also the only ones reading their own works in their own language. They were being translated by Delfina Vezzoli, one of the festival organizers and the evening’s emcee. An attractive woman of effervescent charm, she was the picture of cultured Continental femininity in a floor-length, thinly strapped sheath in a summery floral print and rather fragile looking high-heeled sandals. Her dark, wavy hair was swept up in a neatly arranged topknot, and sparkly earrings grazed her tanned shoulders. These fashion notes assume a certain relevance anon, but for the moment it should be noted that her Italian translation of Creeley, who read earlier on the program, was accurately nuanced and well rendered. Giorno appeared in the second half of the program, and there on the stage in the magnificent giardini, balmy/breeze with scent of jasmine and pine, he began reading in his “performance voice; a blend of twangy southwest and middle-American inflections that he says he uses to render melodic the rolling vowel sounds and to create a rhythm in the phrasing. And as he gets into it, he starts tapping a foot and sort of dancing on one leg in a spastic rock body-churn as the words pour forth in a cyber-Tantric, scato-logic mindscape.
And Signorina Vezzoli gamely ventures forth in translation, attempting a decorous body-churn, but giving up when it became too difficult to read her pages, settling instead into a less rigorous but sharply cadenced high-heeled beat. The sound of one foot dancing.
And then he read Sucking Mud. sucxim; MUD ( affixed) HERE
After ten years in power,
[Giorno] That was the 10th and last poetry festival. After ten years in power, the Communists had just lost the Rome election to the Christian Democrats; and Nicolini, the Minister of Culture for Rome, would shortly be leaving office. The festival was originally scheduled for September, but they moved it up to July, because the money was in the budget from the year before, and they wanted to get it before it was too late. Creeley and I were invited on a month’s notice, but the money was good. The first Rome Festival, in 1975, was the very best. They held it on the beach at Castel Poriziano, near Ostia, and they billed it as a rock and roll festival and built a huge stage on the beach with enormous light and sound towers. 20,000 people came expecting to hear rock and roll, and what they got Yevtushenko, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and hundreds of poets from other countries. All poetry and often a bit boring, and when the audience disliked a poet, they would fill beer cans with sand and hurl them at the stage. I was loud and hot, and they liked me.
[Neff] After the festival, we scooped up Creeley and Giorno and piled into composer Alvin Curran’s car and went to a poetry club near Piazza Navona, a very small, very popular spot where the audience usually clustered at tiny tables that faced a small stage where poets and performance artists came to read and perform. Earlier that evening, on our way to the festival, Curran and myself and this other person had stopped in for a drink, only to find the place empty and Ivan, its Russian émigré proprietor-poet-publisher, bemoaning the desertion. “No poet will come tonight. They are all up there,” he had sneered, angrily indicating the direction of the Borghese gardens, going on to accuse the well-financed festival of co-opting those who ordinarily would have been at his place, accusing organizers and poets alike for conspiring to destroy him.
We returned now to find several people grouped around the small bar near the entrance, and on entering with Giorno and Creeley in tow, I called out, “Ivan, we’ve brought you a shipment of poets!” Introductions were made, and suddenly it was as if Keith Richard and Jim Morrison had shown up together at a dope dealers convention. Ivan closed the front entrance and hurried down to the wine cellar, returning shortly with an armload of bottles of some very special sparkling wine, from some very special vineyard, that he held in reserve for very, very special occasions.
Glasses were brought out, the bubbly was opened and graciously passed around, and then with moist eyes, Ivan read a long poem of his own, one that had something to do with having read Creeley and Giorno, and he read it from a back issue of the poetry periodical that he published. Creeley read after that, as Ivan beamed through eyes brimming with tears. There were maybe ten or a dozen of us in all, and we were getting convivially sloshed. Then Giorno got up and read Scum & Slime again, which was well received, even without benefit of translation, so he encored with Sucking Mud, and when he finished, those whose knowledge of English was incomplete applauded with the cool sophisticated air that Europeans exude when they haven’t got a clue. Ivan just sat there in tears.
Giorno is the father of Dial-a-Poem and electronic performance poetry, and has been a major influence on more major influences than even he can shake a stick at.
(Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to welcome Ms. Neff back to Smoke Signals after a three issue suspension for testing positive for being under the influence of nothing but herself while writing. She has, in fact, assured the board it will never happen again.)