This American Life

St. Petersburg, Florida

Wow!  So this is cool…

MJ got an email today from This American Life and they want to license my song Ten and a Half for use on their TV show on Showtime. This American Life is some of the smartest and most fascinating stuff being broadcast these days, and I’m just plain tickled to be a part of it. Heck, I admit it— I’d be happy to have a song on Survivor, but this is really delightful to not only have my music on a national show, but an excellent one to boot.

Since I don’t actually have a TV, I’ve never seen the show but I’m a HUGE fan of their radio show by the same name. It’s probably the thing I use my iPod for most. No kidding. The TV show’s about to enter its second season. ‘My’ episode is slated for some time in May.

Classy that they list and feature the music from each episode prominently on their web site, too.  Nice.

Let me clarify, though, that I’m not actually sure if they’re using the instrumental version or the one with vocals, and I don’t know whether they’re using ten seconds or the whole song. Regardless, it’s pretty cool. And, in keeping with what Chris Rosser refers to as the Even Steven Philosophy of the Universe, they’re sending me a check that’s roughly equivalent to the cost of the new SLR digital camera I just bought (Deanna opened the newly-arrived camera box today while I was driving and gave me a play by play of what she found there— She’s very good to me).

All that on the heels of a great weekend of brief but nourishing visits with friends in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee (around respective shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday). This evening I had a lovely writing class with some students from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. We’ll meet again tomorrow morning and they’ll share the poems they wrote from tonight’s assignment, then one last show, outdoors, while the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico, then home on Thursday.

Life’s good.

In looking for a different poem to read to the class I stumbled back across one I wrote last year and forgot all about…

 

The Water and the Glass
Dallas, TX, 5/18/7

I am the child of a fluid family
The manse dinner table always crowded with extra plates and glasses

Some friend of my older sister’s
Fresh and willowy in her peasant blouse,
Smelling of shampoo and incense
Flowing out of the room with my heart
In the back pocket of her bell bottoms

And laughing friends of my parents who stopped by on their way somewhere

Or parishioners with something heavy on their hearts, gulping for air through their tears

Sometimes strangers who showed up at the church office
Hungry and hung over
Broke and broken
Smelling stronger and less inviting than the girl

There was always enough room, enough table

The next afternoon, with the artful placement of a blanket and a towel or two
The same furniture would become a cave and a sanctuary
I could lie on the carpeted floor of my den
And watch through the cracks
For unsuspecting prey
Mostly, though, I practiced hibernating
A useful skill in the wild kingdom of extroverts

The youngest of four
I sometimes suspected
that when I wasn’t looking
the freckles on my skin had rearranged themselves
into the shape of a target

That pattern has dispersed now, though, and other spots have appeared
Pale patches, translucent like the inside of a grape
The same skin seems less solid somehow
More like a still pond when the breeze puffs and ripples the surface
Flecks of light, darker troughs, a few still points
Where I can glimpse the pebbles on the bottom
and occasional reflections of the grander scenes around me:
Mountains and trees and desiccated old men with fishing poles and sleepy eyes

And I move like that, too
In every way that water moves
Evaporating imperceptibly each day
Consumed from a clear glass at a crowded table
Flowing down gutters and seeping through stone
Whipped through the air, violently dispersed
And slowly gathering again
Small and essential
Patient and resilient
Steadily pulled home

 

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2 Comments on “This American Life”

  1. Teri Says:

    David, you’re awesome. It is so cool that your song will be on This American Life! That and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me are the only things on my iPod…but I also am TV-less so will have to ask my Dad about it when your episode airs. congrats! 🙂

  2. Petra Says:

    Just to show that you reach the world with your music and peace work, I write in German:
    Dieser Blog ist großartig. Es ist wunderbar inspirierend, Deine Gedanken lesen zu können. Dein Gedicht “The Water and The Glass” lässt mich erahnen, wie Du aufgewachsen bist. Ihr seid eine großherzige Familie.
    Herzlichen Glückwunsch, dass Dein Song Teil einer großen TV-Show sein wird. Wir sind stolz auf Dich. Petra


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