March 25, 2008

Poetry @ the UAG, March 14

[Deborah Poe in February at the UAG Gallery.]

This is a fabulous collaboration between the SUNY Jawbone Reading Series, Albany Poets, and the UAG Gallery.

This reading was an exciting setting of 2 women poets, NicoleK, a local open mic poet & Deborah Poe, a PhD candidate at SUNY Binghamton.

NicoleK (as I like to call her in my Blog to foil student Googlers [I guess it's a verb now]) read a series of mostly short poems about her observations, gripes, angst, relationships, even her father. She had packed the audience with friends & family (as all poets should). A couple of the poems were from what she called "the Valentine's Day Chronicle," not about love at all but the lame things that can happen on such a romantic day when you're alone & pissed off. Another recurring theme was Starbucks, where she spends some time correcting papers, observing the other patrons & writing in her notebook. "The Day I Lamely Told Off the Devil in Starbuck's" reminded me of the classic poem by Sharon Preiss, "The Devil's Stalking Center Square." I also liked her "Snapshots" of herself over time. One of her friends videotaped part of the reading & you can watch it from this link:

Deborah Poe had read here back in February with the group from Flim Forum Press for the release of the collection, A Sing Economy. Tonight she read from (if I got it right) "On Parenthetical Ontology" -- a fascinating if perplexing series of poems, intellectual, conceptual -- & from "The Elements," to which I could more easily relate. "Copper" was based on the Anaconda strike in 1920, & "Mercury"'s history of poisoning, & "Potassium" on silence & desire & breath, with a few others, including some from memory.