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Ruben and the Radio


Only two or three switches

off brought an army’s crickets 

and a sweeping blackness that coated our farm.

My grandfather did not believe in outdoor lighting

and when it was dark,

            it was dark.


Good: it engendered a wandering stumble through a noisy thicket

of late nite radio. 

The pale light of the dial illuminated only garble


            1. the scratchy  framework  of  Montgomery  doo-wop

            2. melded with an  old guy  talking Reagonomics


they crept over to a hot summer match, far . . .


and how distant sat that at-bat

in my little perspective.

The Texas Rangers were but a hop and a skip

but when you write letters and use landlines,

it’s no closer than Neptune,

that dusty old cot in that old room

in Butler County, Alabama.

All I recall is a strike

or two as the game checked in

and checked out, such depravity,

but the gravity of those black hours

has an irreducible pull.


And is Mr. Ruben Sierra still suiting up?

For the Pennington Peacocks or something or the other?

I heard his name on Channel

40’s SportsTalk Live something ago.


the little game withered away into wondrous static

the little meaningless match of hardball, amidst pale light, satellites

It is there.




John Glass