Little Amy stereo
Image: From Amy’s personal collection, not to be copied without permission.
Amy next to the family stereo, circa 1965 (she’s workin’ that leopard print!)

Glued to Sis’ Transistor Radio

We had a stereo at home
One of those looks-like-furniture
big honking wooden pieces
It was fine, if you bought the records

But who bought every record,
and who knew what to buy until we
heard it on the radio, on my sister’s
tiny transistor, huddled round it

Bound to hear the latest
Beatles, Dusty, Petula Clark…
Radio was alive with sounds and
smooth voices on the intros

First time we heard a new tune, we’d
break into mad dancing, flipping the dial
until we found the song again, screaming
when the new cut was (ah!) Beatles-born

Today, I still listen, as videos turn me off
I like to create my own videos in my mind
With videos, it’s a full-out performance and
the musicians must lip-synch at concerts

trying to recreate the video moves, wearing
unearthly metallic outfits, arriving in plastic
eggs or flying over the arena like Peter Pan
on acid. There’s a word for that action:


© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, we were “treated” to a Rob Zombie song about “Dead City Radio.” The song was on a video, which made me think of the connections between the two. Many otherwise throwaway songs became classics because of the video performance via MTV. But Jo’s transistor radio was our savior, listening out back by the pool. Those tinny classics became some of our favorites. Then we’d go buy… the 45! This is also at my other poetic station, Poets United. Peace, Amy