For more than a century,
radios have done our bidding at the movement of a hand.
News updates, music, and live events
our attention captured in AM or FM band.
Because I don’t have to rise from my chair.
Now smart speakers listen, processing all that we say.
Every conversation transcribed,
key words sold to the highest bidder.
Our most intimate secrets lost to a market we fail to consider.
Because I don’t have to walk over there.
Every time we replace effort with an automated mover;
Every time we use our voice to replace a louver;
Every time we give in to the temptation to make things easier,
we fail to recall that we are three dimensional, analog creatures.
Because it makes life easier, simpler, faster, better.
It is the rotating of the dial to that special space between 91 and 91.5
that gave us the satisfaction of knowing how to tune in.
It is balls of aluminum foil atop the antennae
that coaxed invisible energy to the audible domain.
It is the voice of the DJ in the context of static
that told us the quality of the skies and pending weather.
Because I don’t care.
While the speaker may have become smarter,
we have surely grown dumber.
Like parrots in a cage,
all we do now is, speak.