After a couple months of being shut-out by punk bands or the summertime blues/beers, this relaxed, casual open mic was back, still the host, el Presidente, Thom Francis, who at one point read his poem about "Jesus walking on the water flowing down 4th St....", an old favorite. Also, Other: Eight was out, with free copies for everyone -- more on this in another Blog one of these nights.
Despite the first two readers, Dain Brammage ("I wish the big corporations would stop frontin'") & me, Dan Wilcox, the rest of the readers were mostly new & new-ish faces. Like Janice McNeal singing "yea, yo" before a family story of "Learning Grace" from Mama, then "The Ever Evolving Flower."
Michelle Planamento was on & off stage almost before I could get her picture, with 2 short notebook entries, so I hope she comes back so we can hear more.
Sahli Cavallaro has been here before (& at WordFest), but not in a while. Two poems about people obsessed. "Translucent as blood on a flashlight..." was one brilliant phrase from "Sadness & Light." The second obsession was a painter with cats & themes & the process stalking her brush. Intense & upsetting, yes.
Matt Galleta has a couple poems in Other: Eight & read as a tribute to that, "Lemons" on a lit magazine's project to print a collection of the worst, the rejected poems (hmm, but if they're printed are they still "rejected"?).
I immediately thought "Sex" hearing Nicole Karas begin her poem "Thick" which then proceeded to describe fucking like dancing. Then her autobiography told through "Snapshots" with all the changes in her hairstyles & ending with her appearance tonight, on stage, at Valentines, reading her poem.
I wonder if Shaun Baxter thought about combining the activities in his two poems, the first about those inane drinking games (like, who needs a pretext to pour booze down their throats?), and watching "Woody Allen Films", specifically "Hannah & her Sisters". Would it improve the film or ruin the drinking?
We thought it was over then, but Dain Brammage, perhaps commenting in his own grumpy way on the evening's poetry, wanted to read "Inane Echoes," & he did. & then it was over, before you knew it.
First Tuesdays of the Month, at Valentines near the beginning of New Scotland Ave., 7:30/8:00 -- but watch out for punk bands.