June 14, 2007

Live from the Living Room, June 13

In the cozy living room of the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Center, with our host, Don Levy --

The feature, who always reads first, before the open mic, was Shaun Baxter who, while minimizing his skill as a poet, perhaps because he writes mainly very short poems, gave a wonderful reading of his mainly very short poems (I was hoping for a reading of his pastiche of Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California", about Border's, but he said later he couldn't find his copy -- uh oh). His poems ranged from "Carpe Beer" to a "Wedding on the Town Hall Lawn", with stops in between for "Beautiful Blondes," "Woody Allen Films," a cut-up, the juke-boxes at the Palais Royale, his classic "Advice," among others. Shaun is the host of the 3rd Wednesday reading/open mic at the NightSky Cafe in Schenectady that you've read about here & that you must go to.

As usual, there was just a handful (perhaps 2 hands full) of poets for the open mic, but a warm, friendly group. Jim Masters continued his saga of "the Clock" that he began last month with a concrete poem. In "Clock 3" the clock is fixed & is ticking tocking again, then stops again in "Clock 4," is wound & ticks again. Sort of like those movie serials from my childhood where I had to come back next week to find out how Batman got out of that bottomless pit.

I read "Tee-shirt Poems" & for the first time my poem for Marilyn & Bill Day's "Recommitment" ceremony at Still Point.

Grandma A.C. Everson read d.a. levy & Andy Clausen from the Outlaw Bible.

Carol Graser has been attending Bernadette Mayer's workshop so I bet "Pregnant Meeting on Enclosed Land" was from that; she also read about "Listening to Joe Krausman" at the Behind the Egg reading at Point 5 (see my Blog entry dated April 27).

Don inserted himself next & read about being "morbidly obese," got lots of fat laughs; then read poems by Brian Paton & Roger McGough from the '60s era Penguin Modern Poets series (I have #13 that groups Charles Bukowski with Philip Lamantia & Harold Norse, a treasure).

Bob Sharkey went from a meditation on "The Overturned Leaf" to the St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC ("City 2").

P.R. Dyjak quoted Stanley Kunitz's line, "a little blossom of a beast" then read a "Jasmine" (a former dog) & then a tiny poem about a tic (the very-short-poem theme of the night). We're going to miss her.

And it was quite proper that Tim Verhaegen read "In My Own Way" about going to a gay bar in Maine to end the night.

Always the second Wednesday & always "straight friendly".