listen with tiken jah fakoly arantxa iturbe   It's a matter of finding a place where the radio and poetry come together. They aren't that far away for those who know how to listen. Poetry isn't leaving sentences up in the air, but poetry can become sentences stuck in the air. However, just as lines written using an axe aren't poetry, nor is all radio time poetic. And that's a pity. Because they could be. Each moment without poetry on the radio becomes a radio bingo, a radio sermon, a radio rally, radio propaganda and a radio courthouse. And it's the radio which loses out. Not just poetry.

Poetry is stereo on the radio. Written words can move the heart; what you've whispered can shake things up. Written words can create a landslide; what's said becomes a tsunami. Stereo: double, in fact, in its effect. The radio's poetry, however, is not stereo. It's quadrophonic. Wordlessness is stuck onto words. And rhythm. And silence. Smiles don’t have to break on the radio. Teardrops get soaked up by the radio. The sound of breathing stirs you up. Shouting hurts you. Silences say things. So does a lack of words. The radio is written using words. And noises. And sounds. And tones. And the play between voices and noise, and the turns taken by voices and sounds, and the dance between sounds and tones. In different rhythms. Sometimes quick, sometimes quite calm. Sometimes repeating. Sometimes in silence.

This is what happens when I look at the radio and poetry together: my weakness for the former forms an imbalance. A passionate radio fan and radio maker, I could write hundreds of lines in the air about the poetry of radio, about the magic the two conjure up between them: but deep down I know that the radio is poetry in itself. Multi-track poetry. Instead of putting all the letters in front of our eyes, as many tracks as are needed go from the ears to the mind, and it’s the only type of poetry which goes along your spine and then spreads all over your body. A means of communication capable of warming our hearts and shaking up our neurons. For those of us who know how to listen to it.