July 31, 2007
Poets Speak Loud July 30
(This is Marty as first-time host at the Moon & River Cafe in Schenectady, June 26. Tonight is his first featured reading.)
at the Lark Tavern with part-host Thom Francis & boss-lady Mary Panza, on the Full Moon, or close enough (it was actually last night) to feel the full effect.
& it was like a poetry stacked sandwich between 2 pieces of Dain bread, since "Dain Brammage" began & ended the night: began with "Laughter is the Best Medicine," rhymes about hanging with a friend with the blues, & ended with with his lurid Barbie poem.
I'm worried about Shaun Baxter -- he read a poem about homemade wine & another about drinking whiskey, plus he's a vegetarian & eats a lot of soy: he's going to be a short old man with a calcified liver & big tits.
Ah, James Schlett, brought an island of quiet. His introductory journal entry reflected on his poem "What Are You Looking At She Says" (in Northampton). Then "Baptism" on his heart & the morning dew in Washington Park. He always lets us know where he is in his poems.
This was the first featured reading for new-comer Marty Mulenex. He has been going to a lot of open mics & he has paid attention. His reading was planned, went along in the allotted amount of time, & had a good mix of poems. He started with one about the full moon, which was like a song of hope. Marty likes to play with rhyme without getting trapped in it. He included some of his political pieces, like "Embedded Scars," "Disregard What's Right," & "Exempted Criminals" (hmm, sounds a bit like some of the horses running at Saratoga this week). He also likes to write about the things he sees at the places he goes to, like Lake Ontario, or the Tulip Festival, or clouds in the sky, like all poets do -- even one for National Bicycle Month (May). Other poems he's tried out at open mics sprinkled in, ending "At Ease." As we were too.
Somehow Anthony Bernini slipped in without me seeing him, then out before I knew he was gone. He read a poem from the new Poetry magazine, then his own "Weights & Measures." You have to listen carefully, even when he reads slow. Anthony, where have you been lately? We miss you.
John Raymond was back with one we've heard before, "Mother's Day," which he said was "my moderately psychotic edible [that's what I heard, "Oedipal" is what he meant] poem." That's why it's OK to read it at different venues, so we get it eventually.
Here's where the effect of the Full Moon started to break on through -- new face, Meagan Baker, under a fedora like the dark side of the Moon, read a poem that was sent to her by a friend who got them from "a psychotic poet in Portland" who writes lurid, erotic poems on the wrappers of Butter Fingers candy bars. "Judy in the Sky with Diamonds" was about diamonds (of course), but also the deep hidden parts of a female's body, tongues & ... I thought this was one of those poetical put-ons that poets like to do to hide themselves (like Fernando Pessoa), but she repeated the story & read the poem again after the reading for some folks who had arrived late, & I saw her take them from an envelope with stamps on it. I think it's for real.
So then Mary, back at the mic, of course made her comments, then I said "some real snarky shit," then it started to break down until she brought it back under control with her whip.
Poor Chris Brabham had to follow all this, but did so with grace in an ode, "New Born Prince," to his not-quite-yet new born son, a warrior & descendant of African kings.
Of course, the "snarky shit" continued when I got up to read (I had signed up, on a dare, as #28 tonight), but I settled down & read "August 1945" about the Bomb, & the new piece you can read here on the Blog, "Dot Dot Dot."
Then Dain again, then yak, yak yak while we paid our checks. Quite a surprising night for all, especially to the girls who had just walked in for dinner as Meagan was reading about looking for diamonds in some girls snatch.
Last Monday of every month, at Tess' Lark Tavern, Madison Ave., Albany, 7:30 (that's correct), brought to you by albanypoets.com.