1 February 1999
Dear Alderperson, 

You may not remember me, but I am a constituent of your friend Laura, and I am just writing to express my appreciation. You once, in my presence, spoke out in favor of the state supporting the academy and the project of literature and it did me some good to hear you say that. You see, I have recently taken an interest in local politics because I am an aspiring local songwriter and I write songs exclusively about Urbana.  

Anyhow the reason I am writing is to applaud you on your performance at last week's Urbana City Council meeting. I hadn't anticipated that the new recycling ordinance would lead to so much disagreement between council members. I certainly hadn't anticipated that the issue of the recycling buckets would be resolved by an arm-wrestling match. Nor had I anticipated Whalen's 2-hour filibuster during which he argued against Urbana having any recycling program at all because he once cut his finger on the edge of a can of pork as he was rinsing it out to recycle it. It was a tense and, to be honest, not altogether entirely captivating meeting, so the snap of the latches on your violin case, when you opened it, brought a light to the room as if you had thrown circuit-breakers on the fusebox in a tenement basement. It was like the rumble of distant thunder during a drought, and the room took on the sweetness of the air before a cloudburst. Then when you took the floor with Bach's second violin partita in D minor I felt like I was a sensuous Spanish dance turned loose in an austere European court. I was afraid the sounds of your strings would be drowned out by the ostinato of my trembling heart. Even the mayor wiped away a tear.

Thanks and keep up the good work,

William Gillespie
Ward 5

P.S. I have enclosed a copy of my cassette "Prairie Metal." Most of the tracks are for solo electric ukelele. My main musical influences are men with long hair who play squealy electric guitar solos. Track listing is as follows:

1. Paring at the Herring - a song about my work as a prep chef in a local vegetarian restaurant 
2. Broken Heartland - a song about how farmland in Tuscola was converted to a mall when Tim Johnson overrode the customary waiting period.
3.We Don't Need Another Chief - a song that argues eloquently against the University of Illinois even having an athletic program, much less a racist mascot.
4. Hip To be Square - a song for a failed campaign to revive the reputation of a mall in downtown Urbana. 
5. Strawberry Fields Twelve Hours - an ad for a local health food store


Newspoetry at Spineless Books