Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Poem by my Good Friend

a poem by my good friend
Current mood: creative
I spent most of the week in Shangri-La, an aptly-named recording studio in Lexington. Though i had many gracious offers by outstanding Louisville & Nashville musicians to play on/record my next record, I made an executive decision to record with folks who have never heard me play before. I was apprehensive, but i'm thrilled. There will still be a few surprise guest-artist appearances, but for the most part, it's a solid group of Lexington-based players.

I have crushes on them all.

Which reminded me of a charming poem by my good friend Erin Keane (whose new book of poems, The Gravity Soundtrack is available from WordFarm Press or through Amazon.com ).

She wrote this last summer, and i haven't heard her read it often. I found it yesterday in my old inbox, and remembered that yes, some things in life can't be solved by a new tattoo.

cheers, Erin -- and edit as necessary.


I STOPPED DATING ARTISTS

because I wanted to see if
there really are things in life
that can't be fixed with a new
tattoo. I stopped dating artists

because the gallery already had
a receptionist, the band already
had a tour manager and anyone
who claims to be excited about
playing Laertes all summer in
Moline deserves to be denounced
as a liar. I quit dating artists

because now when my man
says, in public: darlin' you know
I need you, I am reasonably sure
he means me and not some chick
named Melissa who dumped
him in tenth grade for that guy
who now drums for the Strokes.

I stopped dating artists because
there is nothing hotter than health
insurance (except maybe dental)
and my 95-degree days off will
never again involve a staple gun,
his show's poster and three
hundred and twenty-six utility
poles. I quit dating artists so that

if there should be a downward
spiral, like a small problem with
cocaine or the law, it will not be
chronicled in gory detail by
a seventeen-year-old's stapled
'zine called Andy Warhol Ate
My Nuts. I'm done with artists

because when The Blahdiblah
Review ran my poem "Gammy's
Hands Are Gnarled and Wise,"
that was no reason to sleep with
either of my roommates, Kevin.

I'm done with artists because I
get a little confused about "naked
time" between "best friends,"
and how a girl in the bed
is worth only half a tin whistle
lesson, and why I had to know
Cliff Burton's name but that guy
on our couch for six weeks only
answered to "Moog." I'm through

dating artists because I ran out
of ways to say "you're like a
young Ernest Hemingway"
which is basically the same
thing as a young James Dean
or Kurt Cobain or Toulouse
Lautrec except I know, baby,
you're not a dwarf. I stopped

dating artists because method
acting is not an excuse to stop
washing your hair, because
that porno you want to shoot is not
performance art, because my
Uncle Jim-Dog's funeral, no
matter how country, is really
not a suitable subject for a
devastatingly satirical list that
you hope will be your ticket
into McSweeney's. I am done

dating artists because I have
better things to do than watch
them practice, like naming
minor characters in my novel
after them then killing them
off with something noble like
syphilis, or writing songs about
their best friend's hot new
car which I will then play at
their hometown's open mic,

or drunk-dialing them at 3 a.m.
to say darlin' you know I need you
and then never showing up but
claiming innocence after the fact
because after all, I'm an artist, baby,
you of all people should understand.


now: go buy Erin's book!!!
Currently reading:
The Gravity Soundtrack
By Erin Keane
Release date: 29 October, 2007

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