In 1966, the Womenfolk required me
to pull off into a muddy ditch
beside a two-lane near Mainz, Germany,
to hear them finish Are You Going
Away With No Word of Farewell.
The Kingston Trio's The First
Time Ever I Saw Your Face caused me
to hum off key so passionately
into the scented ear of Kathy Gilbert
that we fell into something we thought
was telling us to get married before
we realized we hated each other.
Jerry Lee's Whole Lotta Shaking gave me
fantasies about my younger cousin,
Elvis's Heartbreak Hotel at Kay Barnett's
thirteenth birthday party made me want
to grab my crotch and twitch, and anytime
Ray Charles does I Don't Need No
Doctor, I can't be responsible
for what my body does out in public.
Nowadays it's Grace Potter's Somebody
Fix Me, Ani DiFranco's Little Plastic
Castles, Steve Earle's Copperhead Road,
or Bonnie Raitt's Guilty, and guilty is
exactly what I am. Apologies to all you
dear songs I've danced to alone in my living
room at twilight or sung along with in my car,
dashboard lighting me up like a tone-deaf
back-up singer. Can't stop myself. It's just
love that makes me treat you the way I do.