EXCLUSIVE NOT FAKE INTERVIEW: The Gaffield Gazer
In recent Evanston-area news, a local Peeping Tom was arrested after breaking into a local woman’s house. Mufasa D’Francesco sat down with the man, popularly known as the Gaffield Gazer, in an effort to get to know the man behind the hoodie and binoculars. Mufasa: Thanks for sitting down with me today.
GG: Not a problem. Sorry about the location.
Mufasa: That’s quite all right. This is actually my first interview, so it’ll be quite memorable.
GG: Yeah. Nothing more memorable than a jail cell.
Mufasa: Well let’s get this thing started then. Tell me a little about yourself, give me a little background. Who is the Gaffield Gazer?
GG: Sure. Well for starters my real name is actually Steven, but I’ve actually come to like “the Gaffield Gazer.”
Mufasa: It is catchy.
GG: It truly is. I’m an Evanston local, and I’ve actually spent most of my adult life here, working different jobs. Just going from place to place. Nothing too special.
Mufasa: Except the trespassing?
GG: It’s been a pastime of sorts.
Mufasa: I think it’s fair to say time for that has past.
Mufasa: According to the police report, they matched your fingerprints to some they found on a window you tried to enter. Kind of a rookie move for someone with a criminal record, no?
GG: You would think that, but that was actually a planned move.
Mufasa: You planned your own capture?
GG: Well, it was part capture, part publicity stunt.
Mufasa: I’m confused. No one knew who you were before your arrest.
GG: As is the nature of the publicity stunt.
Mufasa: Touché. What is it you’re publicizing, may I ask?
GG: Well that’s actually something I wanted to talk about. I spend my free time writing.
Mufasa: When you’re not gazing?
GG: In the in-between time.
GG: No, but seriously, I like to write.
Mufasa: What type of writing?
GG: Poems, for the most part.
Mufasa: How did you get from committing felonies to writing poetry?
GG: In all honesty I’d much rather talk about my poetry. I don’t really get the chance to talk about my work that often, and I thought this would be a perfect time to do that.
Mufasa: Please, go ahead.
GG: Thank you. I actually have a new book coming out soon. It consists of a variety of poems, stories, and personal musings that I’ve been working on for the last year or so.
Mufasa: So you were writing while you were breaking into people’s homes then?
GG: Again, I would prefer not to talk about my past stalking. My crimes don’t define me, not nearly as much as these poems do. Do you like being put in a box? No, you don’t. No one likes being put in a box.
Mufasa: I was just hoping to give some context for the readers—
GG: Well I think it’d be helpful if you gave them a more holistic picture of who I am. I’m a writer first, lawbreaker second.
Mufasa: My apologies, I just thought you might have something more to say about your criminal life.
GG: I have a lot more to say about Sights, Sounds, Smells.
GG: It’s the name of my new book. Sights, Sounds, Smells.
Mufasa: That’s your title?
GG: Well the book explores how the passage of time distorts our senses and creates the image of a different world for us than the one we first came into.
Mufasa: That makes sense, but why “Smells”?
GG: The sense of smell is a key part of sexual attraction between humans. Some would say love is in the nostrils.
Mufasa: I can’t say I know any who would say that.
GG: I don’t suppose you hang around the same literary circles as I do?
Mufasa: I can’t say I do.
GG: That’s what I thought. May I read a poem from the book?
Mufasa: I guess so.
GG: (pulls out a pre-release copy of his book Sights, Sounds, Smells). This poem is called “My Father’s Meadows.”
“She had no saying dark enough
For the dark pine that kept
Forever trying the window latch
Of the room where they slept.
“The tireless but ineffectual hands
That with every futile pass
Made the great tree seem as a little bird—”
Mufasa: I’m going to have to stop you there.
GG: I actually have one more stanza left, if you would allow me to finish.
Mufasa: That’s “The Oft-Repeated Dream” by Robert Frost. You’re just reciting “The Oft-Repeated Dream” by Robert Frost.
GG: That’s just not true.
Mufasa: You just changed the name of the poem to “My Father’s Meadows.” The poem doesn’t even mention a father or a meadow, let alone multiple meadows.
GG: But a tree and a bird are mentioned within the poem. And where do you find a tree and a bird? Oftentimes you’ll find both within a meadow.
Mufasa: Now you’re just reading the poem incorrectly. It states that the tree was made to “seem as a little bird.” It’s a simile.
GG: Sure, our poems are similar. But did you notice how I changed the enjambment? Noticeably different from Robert’s.
Mufasa: That’s still plagiarism, which, interestingly enough, is not your most punishable crime.
GG: I like to think of crimes as subjective.
Mufasa: You’re losing your credibility by the minute.
GG: You could also say we all lose our sense of the natural world with each passing year.
Mufasa: I couldn’t tell you. Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers before your trial?
GG: Find Sights, Sounds, Smells in your local bookstore this holiday season!