I arrived late to Valentines that night & missed a bunch of open mic poets, but the character on stage I recognized immediately, a poet I hadn't seen perform in Albany since April, 1991: Finnegan, a fine Irish lad from County Mayo -- ah, no, not quite. Actually, one to give the Irish-descents of Albany who send their Seans & Thomases to CBA to avoid Albany High a serious nightmare -- black, shiny, studded, chained, sexually ambivalent, & pouring out the words & ideas Jim Coyne would barricade the Armory against. As one of his poems (needlessly) claims, "I am unique," he was reading his skull-fucking poem when I arrived. Brightened my night considerably. Finnegan actually appears in the shadows of Open Mic: the Albany Anthology, page 106, at the QE2, on my left. We'll see more of Finnegan.
The latest issue of Other: was available for free that night too. There are 28 poets represented, only about a quarter of them familiar to those who go to the many open mics in the area. Another great service from AlbanyPoets to bring these other, some younger, some older, voices out into the community. The zine also includes Mary Panza's interview with Shaun Baxter, a list of the open mics in the area & a schedule for WordFest 2007, coming up April 20 & 21. Other: Seven is free; go to www.albanypoets.com to find out where to get it.
One of the new poets in the zine, Ildefonso Correas Apelanz, read his published poem, "Love I Do". The poets I heard that night, after Finnegan, included Scott Casale, Chris Brobahm, and the unassuming Thom Francis, host of this open mic, first Tuesdays, at Valentines (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany), 8PM.
I tried out my new poem, "Paintings of Spain's Golden Age on the Curving Ramp of the Guggenheim Museum". It's a list/catalog of my impressions of the groupings of paintings in that show. The show was better than the poem; I need to work on it (the poem), or its presentation, or both.