Monday, June 06, 2005

Radio Minus One 

After the final faculty meeting, too many steamers and too much Steel Rail Pale Ale at the faculty picnic, a half-assed failed attempt at grading,

I race the storm up the hill, walking backwards. The sky grows pitch, the wind picks up, the heat lifts in the breeze. Willow cries. The dog cowers under the porch and will not come out.

Lightning comes. Crackboom thunder, and one of those torrential downpours that just keeps getting heavier every time you say "damn, that's the heaviest rain I've seen in a dog's age." Fifteen minutes, tops, to flood the yard and driveway, make rivulets into rivers.

What with the dog and the kid, I never did get to follow the urge to run out into the rain, strip down to my boxers, raise my hands to the sky.

But you don't need to run to feel. It was enough to recognize the urge for what it was, to feel it in my breast and be glad of it.

First of several studentless post-season radio shows tonight, a soundtrack for those fellow faculty members grading papers in their offices and dorm apartment kitchenettes. Maybe no one's listening, now that the students are gone. But let the rains come. Let the music wash me clean. I'm here, O lord.

Playlist follows.

Tributary 6/6/05

Skavoovie and the Epitones -- Fat Soul
Steve Earle -- Shadowland
Ween -- Bananas And Blow
Michael Franti -- Yes I Will
Dar Williams -- Are You Out There
Juliana Hatfield -- My Darling
Eddie From Ohio -- One Thousand Sarahs
The Biscuit Boys -- Coming Into LA

poembreak: A child said, What is the grass? (Walt Whitman)

Stevie Ray Vaughan -- Wham
Toots and the Maytals w/ Willie Nelson -- Still Is Still Moving To Me
Glen Phillips -- Have A Little Fun With Me
The Wallflowers -- I'm Looking Through You
Keller Williams -- Freeker By The Speaker
Tish Hinojosa -- Hey Little Love
Mark Erelli -- Thought I Heard You Knocking
Kathleen Edwards -- In State

poembreak: Fern Hill (Dylan Thomas)

Los Lobos -- Dream In Blue
Shivaree -- Goodnight Moon
Erin McKeown -- Slung-lo
Mark Cohn & Jackson Browne -- Crazy Love
Gilberto Gil -- Three Little Birds
Dan Zanes & Friends -- Wonderwheel
Kathryn Williams -- Spit On A Stranger

poembreak: Birches (Robert Frost)

Ani DiFranco -- Recoil
Crooked Still -- Lonesome Road
Daniel Lanois -- Shine
Dolly Parton -- Shine
Jack Johnson -- Losing Hope
Patty Griffin -- Moses

You've been listening to Tributary in post-season. Tonight's epigraph comes from Frost's Birches, but I mean it just the same.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. Here's to new beginnings, wherever we may find them.

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