“Cracked Record Blues,”by Kenneth Fearing, from Afternoon of a Pawnbroker (1943)


Cracked Record Blues

If you watch it long enough you can see the clock move.
If you try hard enough you can hold a little water in the
          palm of your hand,
If you listen once or twice you know it’s not the needle, or
          the tune, but a crack in the record when sometimes
          a phonograph falters and repeats, and repeats, and
          repeats, and repeats

And if you think about it long enough, long enough, long
          enough, long enough then everything is simple and
          you can understand the times,
You can see for yourself that the Hudson still flows, that the
          seasons change as ever, that love is always love,
Words still have a meaning, still clear and still the same;
You can count upon your fingers that two plus two still
          equals, still equals, still equals, still equals–
There is nothing in this world that should bother the mind.

Because the mind is a common sense affair filled with common
          sense answers to common sense facts,
It can add up, can add up, can add up, can add up earthquakes
          and subtract them from fires,
It can bisect an atom or analyze the planets–
All it has to do is to, do is to, do is to, do is to start at the
          beginning and continue to the end.

from Afternoon Of A Pawnbroker And Other Poems, by Kenneth Fearing
New York City: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1944

Available on the Internet Archive: Link

This is one in a series of neglected poems taken from the Internet Archive.

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