March 13, 2008

Live from the Living Room, March 12

[Featured poet Chris Brabham reading at Poets in the Park, July 2007.]

With our host Don Levy, in the comfort of the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Center.

The featured poet was Chris Brabham with a variety of new & old poems, about poetry: "Why Poetry," "The Poet," with its refrain of "listen to the poet"; love poems: "Timeless," & "Give Me a Love." There was also a "Thank You Father," & the powerful question, "Whatever Happened to Nursing?" Then the old favorites, like "Justice or Just Us" & "The Angel of Death Unplugged." I wonder how many votes Chris got in Metroland's Reader Poll? Whatever he got, it should have been more.

Mimi Moriarty should have been the feature last month, but the reading was cancelled because of the ice storm -- she'll be back soon. She read 2 poem with Jewish themes, "Identification Card US Holocaust Museum," & "Blasphemous Poem."

Tim Verhaegen reveled in being in this location & read "2 Gay Men on Valentine's Day," then a gender-questioning "Elevator Quiz."

I referenced the recent poetry tour in Connecticut with Charlie Rossiter by reading a poem about an exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, the reverberated off Mimi's poems with "What Passover Has Taught Me" (now up on

Jim Masters (also a future feature here) read 2 pieces on spirituality, one a response to a friend's email on the topic, another a reaction to reading about the Kabbala.

We were thrilled to see Anthony Bernini back. He read a section from Campbell McGrath's "Nights on Planet Earth." Then a new poem, "New Found Lake Rising."

The new poet to slink in was "Kindred" who got away with 3 poems (there was a 2 poem limit), all done in a stylized Spanish hip-hop rhythm, "Invitation," the Spanglish "La Calle," & an untitled piece on relationships. Consistent with his gangsta hat & bling he waved me off from taking is photograph (he's probably right: when the FBI seize my extensive collection of photos of poets he would've been in it -- but now I can't sell it to "Entertainment Tonight" when he becomes a famous rap star).

Our host, Uncle Don, sent us home with "Why Open Mics," his response to Chris' poem & one by Mary Panza, then "The Wonderful World of Beyoncé" for those of us who ever wondered if there was one.

Hey, it's the second Wednesday of every month, the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Center on Hudson Ave. in Albany -- & it's straight friendly (with free female condoms in the bathroom).