Sean Singer

The Old Record

rolled out                                                     of the hot machine
      the Scully Automated Lathe,
                 covered in       oil,

rigged to the metal                                                                               ends,
                                                        dying of spin,
metal      on black,
                            back to back thimble weights, diamond
                                                          and rinsed
                                        to a new shine,

lunge and pull into                                                circles,
                                                               100 grooves to the centimeter,
                           calling it vinyl, midnight candle,
                                     drops onto the place
           with    the    push of the nidifugous chirping needle,
                                                              a bell crank leadplant,
                    resting in a red scissor over
                                                                                       the lumps of steel,
                                                 then rising

jazz dust,
                                                               rumbly with the Blues,
                                              the old rumormonger taking us
                                   to the juke,
                                             (the Bambara word that is


bouncing resin polymer                                       lost to the racy sough

                                                   of “Baby she got a phonograph, 
                                                and it won’t say a lonesome word 
                                                         Baby she got a phonograph 
                                                and it won’t say a lonesome word
                                                       What evil have I done 
                                              what evil has the poor girl heard?”



“The Old Record” first appeared in Tin House, Winter 2002, Vol. 3 No. 2.