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When the DJ Played “Lovefool” on the First Night of Carnival Season in a New Orleans Nightclub, 2018

*Note: Originally published in 2018's Live Mag! Magazine. 


On the 12th night, we shuffle

under the rotations of a disco ball,

old Halloween decorations,

balloons bobbing on the ceiling

to remind us that the year is only

six days old. I barely survived


the holidays, but the city can be

unforgiving to introverts, pushing us

out of our brick covered shells because

she needs just one more dance. 

Other survivors are with me, 

still thawing out from sleet or the shock

of blinking lights and covers of "Last

Christmas" on repeat. On practiced breathing,


I'm people watching at the bar.  

I’m catching the DJ yawn another song

no one cares for. I’m leaving lipstick stains

on plastic cups just to show my therapist

how much I go outside. And all the while

I'm nodding off in my bed,

an open book tucked under my waist...


until the next DJ wakes us up to 

the most cheerful sad song, reminding

us we're all fools for love.

Some jump out of the corners to celebrate

the past and that it's over; the second half (like me)

find other kids of the 90's, two-step into

epiphany on the dance floor.


Spirits--once depressants--warm us

as we beg them to love and leave us

when we remember we still know the chorus. 

When the night is over, I’ll be ready 

to add another song to the playlist 

of Carnival memories.




mardi grasNew Orleansmusic.

◄ The Storyteller

The Stigma ►


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