I’m honored that my poem, “Radio Interview” has been published in a new anthology,
The Liberal Media Made Me do It, a collection of poems inspired by NPR and PBS interviews, stories, and shows.
Published by Nine Toes Press, a division of Lummox Press out of San Pedro, CA, and edited by Robbie Nester, the anthology’s fifty-five authors hail from both the U.S. and Europe. The book is divided by five thematic sections, and the inspirations range from All Things Considered, Marketplace, Fresh Air, Science Friday, and others on NPR to American Masters, Freedom Riders, the MacNeil Lehrer News Hour, Radiolab, and others on PBS.
The book is available on Amazon.com.
Robbi Nester, editor, says:
“The quiet confiding voice of Public Radio sees us through our commutes, educates, and amuses us. For its part, Public television becomes a trusted sanctuary from crass commercials, laugh tracks, unfunny comedies rising in volume as they grow more empty in content.
“It shouldn’t surprise us then to see that so many have responded in kind, speaking back to the speakers, inspired by what they hear and see. What may be more surprising is that no one seems to have had the idea of gathering these works together into an anthology, though they have appeared here and there, in poetry collections and journals.”
My poem, “Radio Interview,” was inspired by the NPR program “Spouses on the Campaign Trail” that aired on October 17, 2007. The interview was conducted on “All Thing Considered” from Philadelphia’s radio station, WHYY. The poem centers on Multiple Sclerosis and one person’s experience with it that I compare to my own.
The poem first appeared in Wordgathering, 2010, and is a Pushcart Prize Nomination.
Her missionary voice beams from some NPR studio across inaccessible stars and blue-black space while I drive on in the coming dark, anxious to arrive home before my vision fades, before my leg brace constricts my calf, before spasms. She crows – I have no MS symptoms and haven’t for years – and credits rest, healthy meals, acupuncture, and reflexology for her symptom-free life. Why, she feels protected from that evil, eating fruit and whole grains and resting with her feet up on a cushion (Sometimes she just HAS to stop and rest), while I grimace and regret the ice cream, rue the wine, lament those missed naps. No daily or weekly shots for her; steroids are hideous and the hope of stem cells? (Stem cells – uttered like a loathsome curse.) Well, she hopes research halts before any more innocent lives are taken in the name of science. I envision her heeled shoes winking as her rose-tipped toes slip in before she launches back home to ride Byron, her show horse. (Riding fights fatigue and stress.) Then I am yelling at the radio, pounding the steering wheel at that nail-driven-home voice so much like the roaring page, the bastard blues – I want to propel Byron through an unlatched gate, his tail a free flag in the wind, push that smiling voice down a flight of stone steps until those fancy shoes fly, and punch my hand through her smug assumption that she knows exactly how to manage MS, never acknowledging that my MS might be a different animal all together. Lights on our cedar trees appear and disappear in the growing wind. I turn onto our gravel driveway, silence the car, clamber awkwardly out, stand supported by my quad cane and leg brace, and admit that I so desperately want, oh how I want, oh, oh, with my heart in my mouth, oh, how I want to be her.
© Marie Kane