September 28, 2007

Poets Speak Loud!, September 24



[Our host, Mary Panza, at the Lark Tavern in January -- John Weiler on guitar.]

Twice in one week the featured poet doesn't make it to his/her reading -- global warming or the war in Iraq -- or just the Full Moon? Robert Milby had car trouble last Wednesday & Barbara Vink had pneumonia tonight. I'm guessing that both will be rescheduled eventually. So the host, Mary Panza read Barb's poem "The tavern keeper" from her new chapbook Heat Wave (Benevolent Bird Press, PO Box 522, Delmar, NY 12054 -- handsewn, individual wood block print covers, edition of 100 copies, from Alan Casline).

First poet up was new to the Lark Tavern (but I've heard him at Caffe Lena), Paul Amidon, with "Side Show" memories as a kid of a circus & a snake. I read a Calvin Trillin ditty about Republicans & sex (they like it a lot, just like the rest of us -- but lie about it) from my favorite magazine, The Nation, then "Eight Hermit Thrushes" written at Mary Jane Leach's Brick Elephant a few months back.

Cheryl Rice was up from Kingston and said "I Hear America..." whining (sorry, Walt), then told us the tale of one of those sad characters whose main social contacts in life is calling up The Phone Company, triggered by her drive through the south end of Albany.

Lacy Jean hardly ever reads but she's writing more poetry with all the big, happy changes in her life, & she liked the beef barley soup too. We can guess who was the king in the perfect world she dreamed.

I think this was the first time Alan Casline was here too. He read a couple segments from "an epic poem" he's writing, but I have this funny reaction of zoning out whenever anyone reads poems about dragons; it might've been good.

Zack did some rhymes on a lost love & changes in his life, & another piece on people as pawns -- sometimes we is & sometimes we ain't.

Now if NicoleK had been my 8th grade teacher rather than Sister Ann Eleanor maybe I would've liked school more. She had the guts to read from her journal when she was in 10th grade -- "wake up, there is a world out there" (sound familiar?), then every single girl's experience, "Liam Named Ted," meeting that fake Irishman at a bar (at least she didn't meet him in church).

Speaking of Irish, Bob Sharkey read "Suburban Tragedy," the all-too-common DWI, then an "obligatory war poem" on "Hearing Masters of War at Lark Fest."

Another new poet to the Lark Tavern, Lilliana Hernandez read a political poem explaining "Why the Poor Don't Exercise." And Dain Brammage explained in rhyme "Why I Write." Maybe the next time we could put these two together & we could find out Why the Poor Write & Why Dain Doesn't Exercise.

James Schlett brought us to one of those reflective moments, as he so often does, with "September," still another Grafton pond poem, this one with crows.

Another fun poetry night at the Lark Tavern (counter-intuitively on Madison Ave.), where my favorite waitress, Nicole, beat me black & blue with her dragonfly, & my steak was perfect. Every last Monday.