# Sam Hartburn

sam@samhartburn.co.uk

# What’s Going On with my Knees?

A poem that’s mostly about nerves, and a little bit about lowest common multiples.

What’s going on with my knees?
The right one’s shaking
Vibrating at a rate of $40$ shakes per minute
Each one a reminder
‘Don’t forget, you’re nervous’
‘Don’t forget, this terrifies you’
‘Don’t forget, you’re standing on a stage
and there’s a room full of people
and they’re all looking at you’

What’s going on with my knees?
The left one’s wobbling
Vibrating at a rate of $33$ wobbles per minute
Each one a reminder
‘Don’t forget, your voice is horrible’
‘Don’t forget, you’re standing on a stage
and there’s a room full of people
and they’re all listening to you’

What’s going on with my knees?
They’re out of sync
And my mouth’s still saying the words
But my brain’s doing the maths
The right knee shakes every $1.5$ seconds
The left knee wobbles every $1.8$ (to one decimal place)
And $15$ is $3\times5$
And $18$ is $2\times3^2$
So their lowest common multiple is $2\times3^2\times5$
That’s $90$
So the lowest common multiple of $1.5$ and $1.8$ is $9$
Which means that every $9$ seconds
Every. $9$. Seconds.
The shakes and the wobbles coincide

What’s going on with my knees?
Now I’m just waiting
Anticipating that moment
Every $9$ seconds
When the right knee shakes
And the left knee wobbles
Together, in a glorious, double-whammy reminder
And suddenly I don’t care about the stage
And I don’t care about the people
And I don’t care that everybody is looking at me and listening to me
Because I’m just waiting for that moment
But the stupid thing is
The really stupid thing is
As soon as I stop caring
The shakes and the wobbles
Stop

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