At The Border

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At The Border[1]
Work In Progress
Original Broadcast Date
Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, Sound Effects, 57 minutes
Preceded by: He Hesitated
Followed by: Thank You, You're Beautiful

One evening I walked up to a beautiful woman in a restaurant and said....

At The Border is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Work In Progress. It was originally broadcast live on October 9, 1987. Also see At The Border (Remix).


Joe meets a woman at a party, tells her she will become obsessed with him. The compulsion to wander. The psychopathology of the tramp. A religious sect known as the wanderers. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. War and peace. A woman kills her child, begins to doubt the reality of things. Dating a woman whose father has a prosthetic nose and whose mother is enchanting. Can you cut off yourself from your past? Odysseus cries as his story is read to him. People who change their identities to fit the times. A list of memories:

  • Snowflakes under a microscope
  • A desert caravan with camels on the horizon
  • Rain on a railroad coach window
  • Pebbles in a mountain stream
  • Moonlight over the jungle
  • Old photographs
  • Summer lightning
  • Cool, white sheets
  • A freighter on the horizon
  • People with umbrellas.

More about umbrellas. An architect inspects his work. Via Czesław Miłosz, the tale of a German prisoner of war who is comforted, but then killed for his coat.[1] Kierkegaard - despair that does not know it is despair compared with living in Glendale. The invisible man and what people see when they look at you. The lives of animals. Hole worshipers. Uncertainty and human knowledge. Naming things so as not to fear them. Being lost on an elevator, getting off at 39th street in the wrong city. Joe addresses cheering crowds. Discordant monologue against cello music: Joe's father is a famous physician who sues his patients. Joe hunts his father's killer. A church in honor of evolution. Honking at an apartment building. Meeting a ghost in a cemetery while dressed as a nun wearing an alarm clock. A rich man thought dead awakens, loses his memory and joins a religious sect. Joe is a king whose power is linked to the phases of the moon. A roman army attacks the sea. A factory owner who only discusses aesthetics. Scenes from the bible portrayed by actors dressed as concentration camp victims. Our reason for existence is to nurse parasites. "What the world needs now," sung in a exaggerated Indian accent. A human being is a pile of secrets. A jealous husband discovers that his wife has given birth. A child's sense of time. A Dutchman who sees people's skeletons. All the things my right hand does for me. The earth was created all at once. Traveling and finding that all towns are the same. Scenes from a car. Discovering the ruins of Los Angeles. Discovering the meaning of existence and forgetting it. Yelling at drivers with road noise in the background. Joe's father was killed at the screw works.


This is an incomplete record of the music in this program. If you can add more information, please do.

Shared material

  • At The Border (Remix)
  • The "compulsion to wander" and "psychopathology of the tramp" segments (and possibly others from this program) are re-used later in Philosophy.

Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "Technical production by Tom Strother."


    1. "Miłosz saw Russian soldiers first extolling the brotherhood of men, then indifferently killing a German prisoner for his coat." Maria Rybakova, "Against the Devil: The Tormented Life of Czesław Miłosz", LA Review Of Books, September 9, 2017.