Talk, Radio


Talk, Radio, talk to me, speak the speech
I pray you, say it, make it heard in your songs,
notes, words.
          Make it electric,
I go live when you talk.
It's silence – white noise,
the sleep of your static, the space
between stations I hear when your talk
walks fading away, your quiet –
disquiets me.

           Word me then,
dial me up, think me up, but don't make
me up, truth me up, show me you care there
in the dark where you are. I may sing back
or shout but let's keep talking, listening,
finding the sound for a thought,
be it a word, note, song or a tone.

Alone I talk to myself, so it can't be worse
to converse with a voice in a box,
a box of voices gathered from the air
by the art deco idea of you,
your deco body, the art your spirit
throws me, caught from wavelengths'
invisible threads, your aura of sound
transcending mortality, made from air
more than the made machine
that carries you. But still, Philco me,
Ekco me, echo me, make your Pye
speaker sunrise rise in me, superhet me,
get me cross, mad, glad, sad,
Marconi me but don't phoney me,
Kolster-Brandes me, but don't brand me,
above all inspire or anger me
but never Volksempfänger me,
don't restrict me, Urlicht me,
give me your primal light,
show me the look of you, your colours,
your shadows, your shapes, the pictures
you make out of thought.

You're a poet, Radio,
a troubadour, minstrel
travelling invisible roads
with a bag full of stories
speaking of memories
and things that I'm made of,
things that I know in my heart
that you teach me to say
for myself.

          Your transformers
transform me, your language translates me.
When your sonic wings swoop on me,
passion persuades me. I read you,
I answer you into the dark, call
signs signal back flashing
electric, unstoppable because
I'm a radio like you. So spark me
or wind me up, pod or broadcast me,
listen or listen again, retrieve
or download me. At point of witness,
at ideas' ignition we're simultaneous
and live, while we're talking, alive,
part of the hive like it or not,
rhyme ourselves one with another,
chime or discord. Our words own
the right to that, so keep on keeping on
making a thought talk. Our homes
are our stations, the stations of our cross-
continent callings, sending the bottled
message, the paper scrap caught
on the wind that calls out and shows
we're part of a species.

          So don't war me,
word me, don't herd me, enhance me,
hertz me, don't hurt me, don't untruth
me, differ me from what I was because
by all means I differ from you
but let me decide that. Knowing
the other that's different in me to you
makes the brother in me listen.

Real-to-reel me, share your eyes,
digitise but don't number me
and I'll tune in to you
anytime across check points,
borderlands, dark lands, edge-lands.

Badlands can't touch us, being air,
so migrate your meanings, try me,
send out your fugitive prayer
from lofts up your safe house stairs,
knock on the thin wall between us
and I'll answer, I'm listening, send me
a phoneme, I'll be happy with that,
it's something to work with, build on,
build one on another.

          Incite me to think,
but don't fight me Radio, I'm a radio
like you, two of us making meanings,
and listen, while you and I are singing
I know there's a chance, while I hear,
while a dial glistens, while we listen back
there's hope. Catch my tone's answer
and we're not alone. I hang on
the heard word with which you seed the air.
Broadcast your thoughts to my earth,
plant your dreams in me. Talk, Radio.
Speak your speech I pray you.
I go live when I listen.


Seán Street, June 2016