Welcome to the Show

This reading was recorded by Alessandro Mistrorigo for Phonodia in London, UK, on the 11th of December, 2013.

Read by James Wilkes on 11 December 2013

Welcome to the Show

ladies and gentlemen
please give it up
ladies and gentlemen
your cause is lost
please give it up
please give it a warm reception
ladies and gentlemen
to the jury
to what you’re about to hear
playing live
in the theatre-on-the-air
ladies and germs
i’m sorry the atmospherics
atrocious tonight
the atmosphere
let me try to convey this to you
the crowds
the baying
the anticipation
the laurels
the atmosphere
a kind of green / greyish green soup
a sort of cloud if you will
connected to everyone else
in this world and beyond
if you can just picture it

we are speaking to you
from the future
from the fireside
from the bottom of our hearts
from a bunker several miles
beneath the smoking ruins
of chicken cottage
on Tottenham Court Road
as was
from one machine to another
from the cosmic ether
from beyond
we are speaking to you
yes, just you
from the wireless operator’s cabin
in a small caravan
on the Isle of Sheppey
from a cottage inside the woods
from chicken cottage, as was
please give it up

this is the future speaking
if we knew then
what we know now
we would never have done
what we did
but we didn’t

so welcome all
to this tiny independent
nation of sound
dreadful atmospherics
you can almost picture us
if you will
in a tiny radio shack
pitching and yawing
in extra-territorial waters
please extend your hand
of friendship
and lend us your ears
the res publica
of the air
so breathe

i repeat
rabies and settlement
what you’re about to hear
i'm sorry
the heavy pressure tonight
lets me converse this with you
the crowds
the chickens
the payday
the payday
the antiseptic
the antique sovereign
the lawless atmosphere
you can just pinch it
we are speaking to you
from the frontline
from the fume cupboard
from the bottom of our listening wells
several miles from the surface
and naked to the stars
which are hard radio
if you will

and if we weep then
what we weep now
we would never have bleeped
what we bleeped
but we bleeped
i repeat

germs and coagulants
from the bottom of our arteries
from our widest res publica
what you’re about to hear
is a sovereign nation
is a tiny airspace
freaking and jawing
around its own axis
is a smoking ruin
connected to other
smoking ruins
we make no apologies
only I’m sorry
it’s the ether talking
after the news
the atmosphere
atrocious tonight
so lend us your wireless
so hades and betterment
so breathe

must i repeat
germs and jellytots
our jurisdiction’s limited
a sort of theatre if you will
atrocious cruelty
atrocious mercy
please extend the band
playing live tonight
and air’s running out
the payday
the payday
listening well
we are speaking to you
the future is a sealed chamber
connected to everyone
who’s given it up
if we do next
what we do now
if we welcome the dreadful
of hard radio
of wireless organ
of breathe and breathe
of listening post
of buried bunker
of tiny speaking
of atrocious sound
of coming up next

so breathe

from Dear World and Everyone In It (Tarset: Bloodaxe, 2013).

Share this Poem with your co-workers or friends