Poetry News

Newly Discovered Phone Log for Robert & Bobbie Creeley: A Day in the Life

By Harriet Staff

Charles Bernstein recently announced a newsworthy addition to Robert Creeley's PennSound page--a phone log discovered in the the reel-to-reel tapes of Creeley's archive, detailing a day in the life circa 1968 between the poet and then-wife Bobbie Creeley (writer Bobbie Louise Hawkins). The couple was living with their children in Placitas, New Mexico, at the time. Bernstein says:

The log captures everyday life, that great Creeley theme, from a daughter asking permission for sleep-over to a brief conversation about an overdue phone bill to a long chat with Bob's life-long friend photographer Elas Dorfman. In an age of email, this time capsule gives a sense of the phone conversation as both a space of intimate exchange and quotidian commerce. And the personalities of Bobbie and Bob shine through, just at the other end of the line. (I haven't segmented the log as it strikes me as one long work, but I have provided a guide to the segments.)

The segments:

Robert & Bobbie Creeley: Placitas phone log, 1968
(109:38): [listen] MP3
00:00 Kate & Lorraine for Sarah; slumber party
02:15 Bobbie Louise Hawkins [Bobbew Creeley]: Cleaning a jacket
03:02 Bobbie to Peter Spackman, Cultural Affairs (NY) publisher
09:54 A phone bill on hold
11:10 Bobbie to John, includes reading Robert's letter to the editor of Albuquerque Tribune on being "beard" profiled
22:49 What's your address?
24:29 Girl Scout pledge
25:55 Bill Katz to Bobbie and Robert ... on publication of Numbers, with Robert Indiana (Stuttgart, Germany: Edition Domberger)
47:51 A trip to Minneapolis
50:04-end: Elsa (Ellie) Dorfman

The mp3 can be found on Creeley's PennSound page here.

Originally Published: June 29th, 2011