Earlier in the week the meteorologists had been predicting an unsettled, if not actually wet, Saturday. But as the weekend got closer the predictions kept getting better & we had a near picture-perfect evening for the reading. When I arrived there was a crew of young musicians (guitars, trumpets & singing saw) hanging around the statue, jamming. They were cool with the idea of a poetry reading & I was cool with them continuing to play as a found warm-up band. They call themselves "Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned" (designated as Metroland's Best Freak-Folk Band); look for them soon at Point 5.
Erik Sweet is the editor of Tool A Magazine (toolamagazine.com) & co-curator of the reading series "Behind the Egg." He read the opening of Nabokov's Speak Memory which was a fitting entree into Erik's own musings on time & existence, or on connecting to the world in "Thugs Yelling" (as the sounds of the city swirled about us in the park). He mused on the untold story of "The Modern Chair" & on literary & other kinds of transmissions in "Well, Shall We Go?" A wonderful, tight reading of poems that we really need more time with.
Barbara Louise Ungar shared with us poems from her two books & some new poems too, poems stretching from her early days right across the park at 80 Willett St. to her life with her young son. Her books are Sequel, a chapbook from Finishing Line Press, 2004, & Thrift, WordTech Editions, 2005. Her poems have a strong narrative bent, grammatical sentences, like writing letters, often with a punch line, even the "found poem" based on the MMPI (which I once tried to fake, but couldn't). As a mother, her anti-war poems are part of her poems for her son, as well they should be. And the bad influence of Jane Eyre, ending up in divorce & a custody battle with a "brute." Then she "danced into the sky."
Poets in the Park, Saturdays in July, 7PM at the Robert Burns statue.