Jake Adam York
Storm nights, I'd press to the Realistic
ready for Spanish to break
For an earful of lightning,
was the tongue
woke to a pulse
strikes counties west
clematis, creek fern
as tonight's cool breath
as I lie pressed, ear to skin,
ready for whatever shock,
When I was five, in Alabama, my father moved the family into the hills where, when the weather was right, we could get two television stations. One of those stations was TBS (now the SuperStation) when they could only afford to rotate reruns of Gumby and Lost in Space. My father raised a forty-foot antenna, but it didn't help the t.v.
Radio, on the other hand....
When weather set in, we'd search for news
of the coming storm, but more often than not we'd get something else,
from far away, stations from west Texas, Chicago, news of other atmospheres.
I'd lie by the speaker where you could hear the whispers of stations too
faint for the amplifier. I liked the hint.
I keep a small shortwave I break out at night, listening for Africa or South America between the Jesuses. Last night: Cassandra Wilson covers Son House on a wave from Senegal. And then, thunder from Burundi, the talking drums.