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.

the size of it

telling your companion
to leave space for me
on the bench was
(in theory) a nice gesture.
telling her to be sure
to leave extra room
because I am big
was unnecessary,
and furthermore
quite rude, dude.

a couple of things
to consider: first,
had you not mentioned
my sex, there would have been
no need to mention
my size. I am not bigger
than your average man.

secondly, since you said it
in front of my boyfriend,
you must have known
this would get back to me
by the end of the night.
so your later attempt to kiss
my ass – the very one
the size of which you seemingly
felt compelled to mock –
was an ill-fated and
ill-conceived maneuver.
I innocently accepted
your flattery at the time,
but upon learning
of your treachery, am
now twice as mad.

thirdly, if you think
that I am not already
very much aware
of how much space I
occupy, you’ve got
another think coming.
I ride the subway
and also exist as a
woman on this planet.
it was unkind and unnecessary
to remind me
that I should be smaller
to be acceptable
to you and yours.

for all your preaching
about social justice, perhaps
you need to practice
a little more.