I got there late to the UAG Gallery on Lark St., but the open mic had started late, so I only missed about 4 readers, coming in as Don Levy started "When the Hills are Alive." Then the no-shows started -- half of the 80+ who had signed up online over the last month or so just didn't show up Friday night. Their loss, since those of us who stayed were treated to the whirl-a-gig fast-moving, get 'em on & get 'em off program run by Mother Mary Panza: 3 minutes at the mic, no longer or you leave random body parts on stage. Sometimes random late sign-ups were thrown in the schedule if available, mostly not. We were done 2 hours early. Oh well, we just got to the bar & to bed a lot sooner.
There were the frequently seen, like Don, Shaun Baxter, Alan Catlin, Thérèse Broderick, Bob Sharkey, Me, the recently-returned Joe Hollander, Chris Brabham, NicoleK (showing leg), Tim Verhaegen, Sylvia Barnard & Dain Brammage.
Then some out-of-towners here for the poetry weekend: Max Parthas, Tribal Raine, & Marilyn Garcia -- perhaps others among the new readers.
There were the not-so-frequently seen: Frank Robinson, Anthony Bernini, RM Engelhardt, Margo Lynch, Algorhythm, Dennis Sullivan (with news of a new open mic in Voorheesville on the 4th Sunday), Alan Casline, Philomena Moriarty, Chris Rizzo, Ford McLain (you can buy his book, Antietam at the Gallery), Mark Devit (Nuwanda), John Weiler, Jason Cosco & Janice McNeal.
Also the new/never heard (always a treat to hear new voices, good or bad): Junco (? spelling, a fill-in), Carmen Hall (has a new book out), Matthew De Joseph, another couple of fill-ins: Vincent (at the "Hail Mary Motel"), & Najara (?); Todd Fabozzi, Lotus Lion (how can you read a "free style"?), & Noel.
Sprinkled among the no-shows were some fine local poets I'm sorry didn't make it. Among which were the puzzling sign-ups, ranging from the silly pseudonyms to the sophomore high-school pranks. So I would like to pay tribute to the missing Mr Lei, The Dubber, Amy "Anti Muse", Theory of Catharsis, Epameinondas, Von Neumann's Catastrophe, Matrix III, Daima, Naughty Vixenn, & Avant Security Guard -- perhaps, as one reader unnecessarily insisted he was not, they're all Dadaists.
You know, you don't have to wait until WordFest 2009 to read at an open mic in Albany: just check out the calendars at www.albanypoets.com or at www.poetz.com/hudson.