Radio Hostile

by Misti Rainwater-Lites

In between blow jobs and barbecues there is a book to promote. I sit in my car at the park and ride waiting for the bus that will transport me to UTSA where I workshop my poems with kids who tell me that my poetry is "juvenile" and "harsh." I listen to "The Billy Madison Show." These guys are ambitious. They are chomping at the bit to be the newest shiniest Howard Stern on the block. Threesomes. Horny grannies. Boob jobs. Scintillating stuff. But I'm desperate for exposure so I follow Nard (that's what they call the dumbest of the four) at Twitter and send him a message telling him that I love the show and I have a YouTube channel. Nard asks for my phone number. I give it to him but tell him that I prefer e-mail. I'm working on a paper. Nard calls me while I'm on the bus, tells me that he'll pass my information onto the other three guys. I send him the YouTube that I believe best represents my brand, a video of me holding up two Ken dolls and making them speak to each other in British accents about suicide and poverty and pussy and Courtney Love. Nard writes back: "LOL. Um. Not sure what to make of your video."

Well. I refuse to translate. I refuse to audition. What am I going to do? Go on a radio show and talk about my tits and clit and then say,"Oh. By the way. I write books. Bullshit Rodeo is my newest novel. It's about a disenfranchised woman who loses her mind living at the poverty level in rural Texas, cheats on her husband and neglects her toddler son. Buy it, bitches!"

I am not a novelty. I defy demographics. If this were not the case maybe I could beguile and charm and seduce and sell. Maybe I could find myself on Jimmy Fallon's lap or Oprah's couch. I could scratch various dogs and cats behind their ears and feign congeniality. Alas. Alas. I live two blocks past Fascination Street.

I continue to play with Ken dolls. It's just me and the dolls in the tree house. I'm the only person in the universe who knows the secret code. I watch "The Walking Dead" to keep shit in perspective. Shit could be so much worse.