Thursday 28th December


I have three radios in my bathroom,
The frequency knob on one is broken,
So it remains tuned to the same AM station,
It’s a station I used to listen to all the time,
When I couldn’t bare to listen to the dark news on radio Four,
I like the delivery of the presenters,
They sound informed,
And because of this they could be playful with reality,
Inject a little irreverence,
When the news comes knocking,
I like the sound of AM broadcasts,
The harmonic overtones & random clicks,
Like they’re catching stray fragments in a giant radio net,
The AM feels more alive than FM or Digital,
If a tad too degraded for perfectionists ears,

The second radio is digital,
It stands in the middle of the other two,
Facing me,
Tuned to a music station,
I like the broadcaster in the morning,
His manner makes me laugh,
Catches me by surprise,
I like that,
It’s a kick-start,
A direction,
Just the sound of his voice,
The pattern of his words,
Sets me up,
Turns a light on,
Sometimes I text into the show,
Sometimes from the other side of the world,
To let him know somebody’s listening,
Sometimes he reads out my text,
We make a connection,
It makes me chuckle,
Alone in a hotel room,
A long way from home,

The third radio is tuned to the FM,
I move it between three stations,
All BBC,
And Three,
Four I can’t listen to before 10am,
It’s too loaded with dark news obsession,
Sometimes I put Two on as I shower,
The DJ has a relentless upbeat manner,
You can’t drag him down,
I like that,
It sets me up,
The tone of his voice,
The pattern of his words,
The fragments in the air around him,
Sometimes I turn off the music bits,
They grate on me,
But I like his energy,
The rhythm of his speaking,
I put him on in the car in the morning,
Because I don’t have a digital radio in my car,
And the other stations are too dark obsessed,
At that time of day,
So I drive,
Turning the radio off & on,
Just to listen to his voice,

I listen to at night,
But also in my bathroom,
The stories,
The documentaries,
I like listening to them,
The sounds & the rhythms of other voices,
Passing on experiences,
Soul food,
And on Sunday morning,
I tune in & zone out,
Get lost,
Immersed in the pictures of the sounds,
Don’t ever phone me on Sunday morning,

Some evenings I tune in to Three,
There’s programs on there that turn me onto new stuff,
And classical sounds that rebuild me,
From the inside out,
Connect me to a music I couldn’t stand as a kid,
When I was too busy running,
To stand still long enough to hear,
Sometimes when I’m driving long distance,
I put Three on,
Imagine I’m driving through this fabulous landscape,
Underscore to the film on the windscreen in front of me,

I put more than one radio on at the same time,
Chuckling at the random noise,
In truth,
It’s beautiful,
I put all three radios on at the same time,
Sit on the floor with the lights off,
Lovin’ it

(Listening to Sue Tomkins)


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