Wednesday, March 07, 2007


The local Limbaugh clone up here is Lars Larson, predictably despicable but nothing really special.

I’m hooked though on the TV simulcast of his radio show, not on the show itself so much as those spaces where the radio station’s cut to commercial but the TV camera’s still rolling. You can hear the chirpy pitch for auto insurance or refinancing your home dim in the background, while Lars sort of deflates—headset draped around neck, jaw nervously working as he tries to pump up for the next segment. It’s an utterly uncinematic drama of tense expectancy that mesmerizes me for minutes at a stretch. Once they swoop back from commercial with the spastic intro cart and big radio voice, the spell’s broken, I’m out. But just before, in the low red studio gloom, ‘Lars Larson’ vanished and this podgy envelope left there as its waste, there’s a satisfying sense of melancholy—a feeling of things inappropriately suspended—that’s better than anything else on TV. Transgression, too: you have the feeling you’re not supposed to be seeing him like this, that one medium’s unconscionably cannibalizing the other.

I’d like to get this effect into a poem. A poem that gives the sense you shouldn’t be reading it like this, it’s assembled to do something else, you caught it while it was waiting to be ready.

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