In The Undercurrent

It’s almost as if someone forgot to turn the radio off.

Not in this room

but the one across the hall or down the corridor,

a somewhere that can’t be found

no matter how many corners I check.

The distance turns voices to static,

punctured with partial comments

slipping between floorboard

like strings of mist on summer mornings.

Even if I press my ear to the wallpaper

I still can’t link the lines into one another.

The harder I try

the deeper the crackle in the speakers.

If I busy myself,

turn the dishwasher on,

boil the kettle,

fill the house with the rattle and clatter of things needing to be done,

I might just stand a chance.

A hiccup in the warble leaves a sentence

pressed against my ear,

burrowing its way through

to find the next line

in the dark of the grey matter inside.

All the while the radio continues playing

in a room I cannot find.


Daily Post: Constant

49 Comments

  1. “A hiccup in the warble leaves a sentence pressed against my ear”… I love this phrase!💖

  2. Your poem has got under my skin, Carol. I especially like the lines:
    ‘The distance turns voices to static,
    punctured with partial comments
    slipping between floorboard
    like strings of mist on summer mornings’.
    The bit about pressing your ear to the wallpaper reminds me of the story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in which a woman believed there were women creeping around behind the wallpaper.
    My favourite lines are:
    ‘A hiccup in the warble leaves a sentence
    pressed against my ear,
    burrowing its way through
    to find the next line’.

    1. Thank you. I was trying to put into words what it can be like trying to write sometimes. When the words are half there but you’re struggling to put them onto the paper.

  3. Beautiful use of words … which left me filled with sympathy and wishing that the sound of hope would surface.

  4. “It’s almost as if someone forgot to turn the radio off.” this line stopped me in my tracks similarly to how the lines in Slaughter 5 stopped me, “Listen. Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.” this was a delight to read, even if a bit of that dreamy-awake feeling about it.

  5. I love the word choice and the ending. I have felt like this sometimes in the murmur of the air conditioner I think I sometimes hear music. But then I usually hear music so maybe my brain’s always playing. 🙂

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