In Memory of Radio: A Poem

In Memory of Radio


Who has ever stopped to think of the divinity of Lamont Cranston?
(Only jack Kerouac, that I know of: & me.
The rest of you probably had on WCBS and Kate Smith,
Or something equally unattractive.)

What can I say?
It is better to haved loved and lost
Than to put linoleum in your living rooms?

Am I a sage or something?
Mandrake's hypnotic gesture of the week?
(Remember, I do not have the healing powers of Oral Roberts...
I cannot, like F. J. Sheen, tell you how to get saved & rich!
I cannot even order you to the gaschamber satori like Hitler or Goddy Knight)

& love is an evil word.
Turn it backwards/see, see what I mean?
An evol word. & besides
who understands it?
I certainly wouldn't like to go out on that kind of limb.

Saturday mornings we listened to the Red Lantern & his undersea folk.
At 11, Let's Pretend
& we did
& I, the poet, still do. Thank God!

What was it he used to say (after the transformation when he was safe
& invisible & the unbelievers couldn't throw stones?) "Heh, heh, heh.
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows."

O, yes he does
O, yes he does
An evil word it is,
This Love.




This was written by Amiri Baracka, who was a huge civil rights proponant in the literary world, and remains one of my favorite poets of all time. A couple of years ago I actually had the opportunity to meet him after a lecture he delivered on the place of literature in social movements. He's an amazing person and you should look him up if you have the time!

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Comments (2)

  1. glassylady

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I am just old enough to remember many of the old radio shows, and these memories together with his words are very powerful.

    July 17, 2012
    1. Mel_Austin

      I’m glad someone else could appreciate it

      July 17, 2012