I said radio, not rodeo

Cover of Planet of the Blind....man and dog....

I said radio, not rodeo….

This ain’t my first radio. Back in the day the ur-radio was big as a house. There was a shining city of vacuum tubes if you looked behind it. Terrible things came out of it: Arthur Godfrey, insipid jingles for soap.

Of course it rides you, the radio, which is the irony for you thought you were just having some leisure, and Lo! Radio is in the saddle and rides mankind.

This is why the song “Video Killed the Radio Star” was nonsense.


One may think of disability, any disability as a kind of phosphorescent blindfold: at once brilliant and impenetrable. What it feels like on the inside is not the pathos of intellectual life but a hot fuse of a million cultural negligences. We cannot celebrate the body that ages. We can’t imagine it’s languages in the West–instead cover it over or turn away. Ableist static pours from the radios and steams on the internet. It hangs in the disorderly world, inflated by the winds of reactionary advertisements for normalcy.

I long for the allure of disablement with all its ellipses. Spirit relieved of alienating metaphor. The world may be heavy with gravitas but we all can dance.


I remember Allen Ginsberg chanting “smoke, don’t smoke” over and over again.

Radio-rodeo, radio-rodeo…

Beware the crippled child the radio said…[^]


“Quit pickin’ on the poor old radio sonny, it’s gonna get sucked up by a black hole soon enough…”


The crippled child loved his radio. It was one of those new portable ones. He carried it from room to room like a votive pillow.


Like everything else in America radio was saved by Black people and immigrants.


Sad radio, filled with other people’s tears.


At the blind school, a radio in every room.

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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