May 23, 2007

Zounds! at the NightSky Cafe, May 16

Why is it that when we gather here, on the third Wednesday, we tend to cluster around a few small tables, while the big table with 6 chairs was left to Mike Eck & his daughter, Lily? I guess poets are poor planners. Or everyone wants to sit with "us".

Shaun Baxter, our gracious host, started off with OPP (other people's poems) & also read from his postcards throughout the night. Actually, I was surprised by the Bukowski poem, "Computer," I always think of him as a typewriter kind of guy. Throughout the night he read from postcards; if you don't know about this, you should go sometimes, pick up one of Shaun's addressed/stamped (he forgot about the rate increase) postcards, write something, mail it & he reads it.

The features were embedded in the open mic-ers, about-half way through. The first was Lindsey Ragowski, with her black guitar & equally black punk outfit. Shaun had plucked her from an earlier appearance at Albany Poets Present. She sang "about regret & random shit", about being hit on by older guys (not me!), other raw, pungent pieces from her angst. Later, I expressed a wish to others more knowlegable that she had sung in her natural voice, or at least something closer, but I was informed that she was trying to sound like Ani DeFranco. I've mentioned this before with singers, but why do they have to imitate these stars, particularly when it obscures their lyrics? Ah, youth.

The other feature was Jamie Stevenson, whom I had featured at the Social Justice Center based largely on an open mic appearance at the NightSky Cafe -- what goes around comes around. I like his work, quirky, political, cynically humorous (e.g., "The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, or What's Left of It"). I hope he keeps writing & keeps showing up.

Amongst a bevy of regulars, there was one virgin, Pierre Johnson, with big themes, "Fate or Will", in rhyme.

I morphed my Good Friday meditation on the 4th Station to a Mother's Day Meditation, "Every enemy we face is some mother’s son or daughter". Bob Sharkey on "An American Dream."

Don Levy was upset by last month's feature (George Martin)'s remark that there are no bad poems so responded with "Good Poets Don't Let Bad Poets Write." You could almost make an anthology of just Don's titles. Good to see Dain Brammage here & he described fat robins on his doctor's lawn.

For some inexplicable reason on this very pleasant evening Terry Bat-Sonja had an issue with the door being open, perhaps it was the season in her poem, "Winter Dreams."

Someone finally responded to the death of Jerry Falwell (RIH -- roast in Hell) -- thanks, Joe Johnson, just back from the west coast. And since we're on Js, Jason Dlaba signed up as "J" & read "Blend." Then at the end, Chris Brobham with "Death of the Common Scourge" or something Scourge since I now realize my notes (after 2 beers) are illegible -- anyways, he was there.

Third Wednesday, Union St., Schenectady -- or go there anytime, good food, wine, beer, mural.