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 one you like

That girl you like
is outside your favorite bar
breaking up with some dude,
who’s not very happy about it.

That girl you like
has a thousand yard stare
and may be somewhat worse off
for her alcohol intake.

That girl you like
seems like she has problems
that neither you nor any other man
can fix. That girl you like
is such a low talker
that I couldn’t hear a single word
of her side of the conversation,
no matter how hard
I strained my ears.

That girl you like
just went inside to continue her
drinking, with or without
companions. you know the girl,
and that sounds like something
she would do. you know,
the one you like.

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.

even more crimes

the only person
I hate more
than the subject
of my last poem
is whoever spilled
a raw egg or
a rotten piece
of lettuce
on the floor
in the middle of the bar
area at the Sidewalk Café.

no joke, I actually did
slip and fall down
and hurt my knee
and though thankfully
my tights are unharmed,
some attractive people
chatting away nearby
saw me go sprawling
and solicitously
asked if I was okay
because my fall was
so embarrassingly,
obviously painful.

so double fuck you,
fuckface. may you
rot in hell
with your lettuce
and your carelessness.

the fleck

before I left the house
I noticed I had a tiny fleck
of something in my teeth
and resolved to floss
it out.

at the end of a magical night,
I smiled at myself
happy, tired
in the mirror
of the bathroom of my
favorite venue and
saw that same damned fleck
still hanging out
devil-may-care.

the moral of this story is:
no matter how cute you think
you are, there’s always got to be
something that wants
to bring you down
to earth.