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The Beast Upon The Wire
Suppose and then suppose and then suppose
That wires on the far-slung telephone black poles
Supped up the billion flooded words they heard
Each night all night and saved the sense
And meaning of it all.
Then, jigsaw in the night, put all together
And in philosophic phrase
Tried words like moron child,
Numb-shocked electric idiot, mindless babe
Alone upon its spider-threaded harpstrung poles,
Incredulous of syllables that shimmer dazzle down
Along swift thunder-lightning streams
In sizzlings and fermentings of power.
Thus mindless beast, all treasuring of vowels
And consonants,
Saves up a miracle of bad advice
And lets it filter, seep, experiment,
One hissing stutter heartbeat whisper at a time
So one night soon someone in dark America
Hears sharp bell ring, lifts phone
And hears a voice like Holy Ghost gone far in nebulae-
That Beast upon the wire,
That pantomimes with lipless, tongueless mouth
The epithets and slaverings of a billion unseen lovers
Across continental madnesses of line in midnight sky,
And with savorings and sibilance says:
Hell . . . and then 0.
And then Hell-O.
To such creation-
Such dumb brute wise Electric Beast,
What is your wise reply?

Ray Bradbury