Radio Paranoia (a poem)

Unplugged radios play broadcasts
of rage, wrath; singular messages
intended for my ears only

signals from space
reaching this place
where I listen carefully
stammer incessantly
and know, just know
they’re coming for me

electromagnetic waves of sin
transmissions of static revulsion
within a mile radius
of my coordinates
on the edge of earth

tuned to AM frequencies of fate
knowing my life will end soon:

the radios are unplugged;
the messages continue.

(Photo by Tamim Arafat on Unsplash)

Author’s Note: I was inspired to write this poem after reading parts of the intro to The Exegesis of Phillip K. Dick. Dick was an American science fiction author who began to have hallucinations and visionary experiences in 1974, leading to him writing thousands of pages of journal notes exploring various religious and philosophical thoughts. In the intro to the book, it talks about Dick hearing secret transmissions from unplugged radios, which was an image that stuck with me.

Obviously, Dick suffered some type of mental illness that caused these delusions and hallucinations. Many people believe Dick’s episodes of psychosis were caused by schizophrenia. I don’t want to romanticize his suffering and “visions,” but I found them interesting. I’ve experienced psychotic episodes and visual hallucinations myself and, I can tell you, they are not fun to live through.

2 thoughts on “Radio Paranoia (a poem)

  1. Dave Williams June 23, 2021 / 10:40 am

    Reading the first stanza, I thought the poem could be about conservative radio shows, then you went in a different — more interesting — direction. Cool that you were inspired by Phillip K. Dick’s Exegesis. I’ve listened to audiobooks of his, but I haven’t tried that book. I heard it was very looooonnnng.

    • Nick Pipitone June 23, 2021 / 11:05 am

      Thanks, Dave! The Exegesis is VERY long. I’ll likely never finish it haha

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