Four Part Dissonance

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Four Part Dissonance (Remix)[1][1]
The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
Gregory Poe, Larry Block, Jack Kornfield Joe Frank
58 minutes
Preceded by: What Do Women Want?
Followed by: Emptiness

"You know cause I guess I called you to tell you something."

Four Part Dissonance is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on May 13, 2001.


Larry calls Joe. Joe's had a long day, is busy. Larry complains that Joe talks about himself; Joe says the same about Larry - they argue. Larry tells the joke contrasting California agents with NY agents.

3:20: Gregory Poe tells Joe about his success as a fashion designer beginning at age 20. A Japanese company hired him to design for them. They worked him hard; he took speed to keep up; he hallucinated. He felt exploited.

8:30: Joe tells Larry his fantasy about shooting himself.[2]

9:50: Gregory Poe tells Joe about the show in NY that went well but the company closed 6 weeks later.

10:50: Jack Kornfield talks about family pain. He says spiritual communities attract people with family pain; they hope that spiritual life will cure it; he says it may not.

14:30: Larry tells Joe about a psychologist, Portia, who made sexual advances to him, so they disengaged; she recommended that Larry see her therapist. (Larry describes himself as 'young, muscular, and fancy-free', which tickles Joe.) Larry ended up having sex with her daughter, Carol. (They met when Larry was '31 or 32' (1973-5) and she was 14.) 4 years later they made love. (Larry says it was 'mid-'70s - 76, 77'.)

21:10: Joe tells Larry about a very old therapist he saw, who listened through headphones, the patients on a mic.

22:00: Larry tells Joe what he's drinking.

23:30: Joe tells Larry what he's drinking. He drank during dinner at his mother's.[3]

24:10: Larry recurs to the summer he did Comedy of errors in Central Park.[4] He brags about the 3 beautiful women he had affairs with that summer.[5]

27:00: Larry describes his trip to see Portia's therapist. He brags about how great he looked in his 'farmer jeans'[6] and Birkenstocks. Riding a bicycle through Central Park 4 Hassids invite him to lay tefillin and pray with them. Later he told this story to a lover, which stimulated her. She had her own phylacteries, had Larry wrap her up in them.

34:30: Joe tells Larry he knows couples who make love wrapped up in a Torah. Larry talks about the expensive Torahs wealthy Jews buy.

36:00: Jack Kornfield talks about people gathering to pray, that community is necessary to spiritual life. He tells the story of the rabbi who asks his students how to know when night has ended.[7]

38:30: Gregory Poe tells Joe about finding a drunk guy passed out underneath his truck. He asked his drunk buddies to get the guy out. When he got back from work they gave him a goat.

40:50: Larry tells Joe that Jolly and Zoë 'persecuted' him for his drinking. They kick him out; he stays at this other apartment he has for the night, returns during the day.

42:30: Kornfield talks about how difficult family life can be.

43:40: Larry finally arrives at the session with Portia's therapist. She objects to Larry's outfit, refuses to see him.

46:20: Gregory Poe tells Joe that he gave up on fashion. A friend in NY called him, asked him to take care of her mother, who lived in Laguna. He ended up committing her because she was incompetent, describes the mess in her house. He cleaned up, renovated, and sold her house for a good price.

50:50: Kornfield says the awakened heart does not judge, deals with pain and suffering.

53:30: Larry leaves a humorous message on his answering machine.

54:20: Kornfield tells the story of a military officer, impatient with a customer in front of him at the supermarket, who showed her baby to the cashier, who cooed over him.

55:50: Kornfield describes the practice of loving god by loving your neighbor.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Larry Block and Joe: why they never talk about Joe's life, NY v/s Hollywood agents joke.
  • Gregory Poe: having been a famous Japanese fashion designer working for a huge company, a contract specifying he dye his hair and wear contacts. He develops a speed habit, freaks out.
  • Joe and Larry: Joe contemplates suicide by firing a gun rapidly and turning it on himself.
  • Gregory: A company goes under when someone gives away their samples in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Jack Kornfield: non-attachment v/s running away. Family.
  • Larry befriends his therapist, later sleeps with her teenage daughter. Joe visits a hearing impaired shrink with a microphone. Larry retrieves liquor from hiding places around the house. Not caring is a beautiful thing.
  • Larry's best summer, acting in Shakespeare in the park and sleeping with actresses. Are Larry's problems existential? Have they really worsened?
  • Larry's summer continues: interacting with Hassids in central park, realizing one's arm is a man's arm. Sex while wearing phylacteries, on the torah.
  • Gregory: He finds a guy passed out underneath his truck, asks other drunks to remove him. They give him a goat in thanks for helping him. Larry and Joe:
  • Larry's family kicks him out for his drinking. He's not upset.
  • Kornfield: more family life.
  • Larry and Joe: a fight with a door man. Larry in Birkenstocks, farmer pants, no shirt, suffering from existential despair. His therapist disapprove.
  • Gregory: he gives up fashion. He commits a friend's mother to a mental hospital. Wearing blind folds so no one can see you.
  • Kornfield: Not judging, a dialog with pain and evil, forgiveness.
  • Larry: a humorous answering machine message.
  • Kornfield: supermarket annoyance over a baby


Additional credits

From the broadcast, 'You've been listening to Joe Frank "The other side". This program was called "Four part dissonance" with Larry Block, Gregory Poe, Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, and Joe Frank - production: Ray Guarna; production assistance: Esmé Gregson; music consultant: Thomas Golubić.'


  1. added 'Remix' to the name of this show; except for the segment at 36:00 it contains original content
  2. 'So I was thinking of going down and purchasing a hand gun - this is my latest fantasy - bring it back in my house - and you know I'm terribly afraid of death but at the same time I just don't want to keep on thinking. The idea is to fire off rounds into my lawn and then quickly - maybe having drunk a half a bottle of vodka or something - then turn the gun on myself to just take a quick shot.'
  3. It seems she's living in Santa Monica.
  4. 1975
  5. Joe asks if they're recognizable names. Larry says, 'One readily, the second not-so-readily, and the third is a professor of theatre at Rutgers - and she'd be the one I'd probably go to if the three of them came back to me again... Within 1 week I had sexual romance with these 3 beautiful women.'
  6. I think he means overalls.
  7. originally aired in Karma (Part 6)