to that guy who sneezed 3 times during Charles Mansfield’s open mic set

Dear fellow
allergy sufferer, or
perhaps just rapidly
sickening sir,
your triple sneeze bonanza
has now been emblazoned
into my memory for all time,
because I recorded that song.

it was a new one by Chuck –
the one I wanted him to call “Liberating,
But” but he insisted on titling “New Joy”
when he released the studio version
a few weeks or months later –
so now in my mind every time
I hear it, I will pause for the sneezes,
curse you, anonymous man, and want
to angrily say, “Bless you!” in a passive
aggressive tone.

but then again, I’ve been known
to rudely shush my best friends
when they start talking to me
when I’m recording. on the one hand,
the audio is already marred, so
why not just let them talk,
and on the other, I’m starting to think
I must come off as a total dick. on
yet a third hand, they don’t know
how these things stick around
to haunt me. I will be hearing
myself shushing them
for the next 2 weeks, at least,
thanks to my “new additions”
iPod playlist.

which is worth more, in the long run,
the experience of the moment,
the documentary evidence of the moment,
or my relationships? when you
put it that way, there’s no contest.
I should either stop taping, or stop
having friends.


as far as I know, you
have never read my music page
in the newsletter for which
I write, let alone
offered me feedback.
(you did happen to be
in my obtaining
this unpaid labor of love,
but still.)

my album has been out
for over six weeks, but
you have yet to have
a listen, even though
it’s free to stream.
(you being notoriously
unwilling to spend one red cent
unless it’s to your
immediate advantage.
or shall we say, frugal
and good at living within
your limited means?)

either way,
when you claim
that I am being unfair
and cruelly callous
by unfollowing your blog,
I say, sir, that you simply
haven’t a single leg
to stand on.