what I said

I’ll never live it down:
the first time I saw you play
I listened and clapped
and then sat outside
in the garden afterwards
with my friends and said,
“I liked that guy’s music a lot,
but all his songs kinda sounded
the same.”

I noticed that you were sitting
right behind me. ironically
the next record you put out
just blew me away, I instantly
became a huge fan, and all our
interactions afterward have been
marred by my foolish gaffe.

it soon became obvious
by the not-so-subtle hints you dropped
that not only did you hear me, but
you were mad. I feel bad. but
at the time, I was just
being honest. and now that
I know your music, the songs don’t
sound the same at all. so I guess
what I’m really sorry about
is the fact that you heard me.

that time I tried to buy merch from Jeffrey Lewis

the first time I heard Jeffrey Lewis play,
I was quite impressed.
my little brother
had told me about Jeffrey,
I think he sent me a link to
the video for “Williamsburg
Will Oldham Horror”, and Jeffrey
was playing at Sidewalk and my
brother told me to go. I remember
he played that song “Anxiety Attack”
and it struck me as being very
honest and not a little bit
brave, because he wasn’t trying to
whitewash anxiety or in any way make it
seem like anything other than
what it is, which is shitty.

after the gig I spoke to Jeffrey
I think, and then I went home
and went on his website
and bought two t-shirts,
one for me and one for
my brother, who’s such a big
fan. Jeffrey wrote to me
and said that he had noticed
that I lived in New York and
so did he, so if I wanted to,
I could come find him at the
Sidewalk Open Mic that night and pick up
my shirts in person and he would
refund me the twelve dollars
I had already paid
for shipping. his email went
to my spam folder and I
didn’t see it til
the next day. I wrote back
and tried to be cute and ended up
sounding pretentious and
invited him to Catweazle, or
he said I could stop by
his apartment but I was too shy.
we played email tag
for a month and then he finally
mailed them to me and
when they arrived,
one of them was the wrong size
and I was too embarrassed
to say anything
after so much hassle –
until now.

every time I see him at the mic
I look away and hope to god
he doesn’t recognize me.
at one point my then-boyfriend tried to book him
for our show at Sidewalk
and there was a lot of emailing back and forth
but it didn’t end up happening.
so that’s my pitiful story
of how I tried to buy merch from
Jeffrey Lewis and embarrassed
myself in the process. I still like
your music though. in fact I am writing this poem
at one of your shows. sorry dude
that I’m so weird.