Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Broadcast Therapy

Each Monday night after the girls are asleep I drive over the bridge to the other campus where, after a quickstop at Mim's Market for the last of the day's French Roast, I carry what can only be described as a backbreaking buttload of CDs down the dark stairs to the radio station.

There, in the basement of an otherwise empty classroom building, I spin the music, ever-searching for the perfect segue and mood. And I read bedtime stories on the hour and the half hour, just because it feels good to do so. Tonight, in honor of my grandfather's passage, I read a trio of father poems, including Donald Justice's Men at Forty:
Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to...
And between the songs and stories, I talk. A lot.

Because, for me, talking into the air is a kind of catharsis.

Out in the wide swath of antenna-reach people read by their radios, or sit perhaps silently in their own houses, with their own spouses. On the interstate in the middle of a long haul a trucker listens in until the signal begins to scratch and fade up past Brattleboro. Though this unconnected audience is for the most part theoretical, a mental projection, a trick of my own solipsism, it is my reason for being.

It's a lot like blogging, I think.

And, like blogging, I even got a comment tonight, a secret sharer whose voice crackled in the ozone, and called to read a poem her father had written once for his father.
At rest on a stair landing,
They feel it
Moving beneath them now like the deck of a ship,
Though the swell is gentle.

And deep in mirrors
They rediscover
The face of the boy as he practices tying
His father's tie there in secret

And the face of that father,
Still warm with the mystery of lather...

On the way back over the bridge tonight after hail and rain, the fog flooded over the pavement, hiding it beneath the headlight glare, as if I had achieved the epiphanies of the air, and dwelled in cloud.

Tonight's playlist:

Tributary 4/12/04

Bob Dorough -- Too Much Coffee Man
Trey Anastasio -- Cayman Review
Beck -- Devil's Haircut
Wild Cherry -- Play That Funky Music
They Might Be Giants -- Cowtown
Marcia Ball -- Down The Road
Settie -- Riding In My Car
Trout Fishing In America -- Happy That You're Here
Jazz Is Dead -- Scarlet Begonias
Gillian Welch -- I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll
Eddie From Ohio -- Quick
Dan Hicks -- Meet Me At The Corner
Sam Phillips -- I Need Love
Sarah McLachlan -- Dear God
Galactic -- Tiger Roll
Erin McKeown -- Slung-lo
Norah Jones -- Sunrise
Marc Cohn -- Mama's In The Moon
Indigo Girls -- Romeo and Juliet
The Waifs -- London Still
Marianne Faithful -- Love and Money
Girlyman -- David
Barenaked Ladies -- Light Up My Room
Ware River Club -- I Love Her, She Loves Me
Keller Williams -- Anyhow, Anyway
Nenes -- No Woman No Cry
Slaid Cleaves -- This Morning I Was Born Again

You've been listening to Tributary, your Monday night ten to midnight show here on WNMH 91.5. Where the music sometimes stops. But it's worth it.
...They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something

That is like the twilight sound
Of the crickets, immense,
Filling the woods at the foot of the slope
Behind their mortgaged houses.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:41 AM |

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