at the Gay Lesbian Community Center, with our host the straight-friendly Don Levy.
There are loads of poets out there hidden in America, poets who don't usually "do" open mics, who don't identify themselves as "poets" (unlike the rest of us who wear our symbolic berets on our sleeves, so to speak). Alex Albino, tonight's feature, is one of those, sort of. She has been coaxed to read at Lark Fest & WordFest, & I even have a photo of her when she first came to town, reading at an open mic in a short-lived coffee shop at 4 Central Ave. Her poems rise up directly from her life experiences. Tonight's reading included a nightmare where a lover turns to an eagle, then she turns to her real real lover in bed, to "A Declaration of Who I Am" with its images islands & the tropics where she came from, the perhaps metaphoric perhaps not "Cracked Pot", the time "The Sociopath Slept Over" & "Rhythm," the kind of sex-images poem that would start me smoking cigarettes again. A thoroughly enjoyable reading, like a walk along Lark St. with Alex, chatting about our lives.
Dan Wilcox (that's me, not to objectify myself) read a cluster of new poems -- they're all on the Blog.
Jim Masters has "come out" as a poet recently, & sang & read "the Marseillaise In My Life."
Of course Don Levy had a poem about a movie (the Chuck & Larry spoof), ripping apart it's exploitation of gay relationships, & a poem about playing "Mystery Date" with a neighborhood girl as a kid.
There were about 10 of us there this night, including Alex's friends, Kevin Bruce & a others from the center & blonde Bonnie who said she just wanted to listen, & borrow videotapes. That's what makes this reading unique -- it's cozy warmth, like a gathering of friends, which indeed it is. Every 2nd Wednesday at the Capital District Gay Lesbian Community Center, 332 Hudson Ave., Albany, 7:30PM -- it's straight-friendly.