Old Dogs


in the evening
I like to turn on
a small portable radio
switch over
to the AM band
and start tuning across
to hear what turns up
it's an eerie sound
full of static
fading in an out
sometimes producing
strange sound effects
bizarre audio more apt
for the background
of some fiendish
horror movie

a station
faintly comes in
from out of the night
broadcasting information
little music left
these days
but the words
come through
hog market futures
from rural Nebraska
a Hollywood talk show
from metropolitan Los Angeles
bayou weather reports
from soggy Louisiana
all familiar
but somehow alien
in the radio haze
of propagational

the local
small town news
is always my favorite
the final results
of a mayoral election
on the Colorado
high plains
the outcome
of a high school
football contest
in an Illinois
river valley
or a blizzard alert
in the Minnesota
lakeland forests
all create pictures
of quaint communities
holding their very own
on the vast expanse
of this scenic

the signal
slips away
leaving a miasma
of meandering noise
that does not frustrate
but adds
to the enchantment
of this nocturnal medium
I tire easily
of the clean
overproduced feel
of reliable FM
there is still
some magic
in the AM frequencies
voices traveling across
the many miles
of our human

it is
an easy journey
to another planet
one where the future
is not set so surely
in the finality
of unforgiving