May 29, 2008

Third Thursday Poetry Night, May 15


[The attentive crew & my favorite view of Mary Panza.]


At the Social Justice Center, with me, Dan Wilcox, as your host -- Poetry every third Thursday since December 1997.

As is our custom, I invoked the Muse, who was gone Schenectady poet, Matt Kelly. I read my favorite of his, "And Cricket Chirped the Blues" (from Open Mic: the Albany Anthology, 1994).

As if it was planned, the first poet up to the mic was Schenectady poet Alan Catlin reading "Fathers of the Little Darlings." Albany poet Sylvia Barnard returned to the old homestead with "Pilgrimage to Vermont."

Ed Rinaldi was over again from Troy with a great title, "Memories are Perfumes for the Eyes." Tim Verhaegan read his poem about women gossiping on the elevator. Moses Kash III read "What is Love, II" (not sure I remember I). Bob Sharkey's buddy Earl is away this "Spring Weekend."

Our featured poet, the well-known VP of Albany Poets, & Diva-about-Town, Mary Panza had last featured at the third Thursday readings back in May (it is her birthday month) of 1998 in the original location at Cafe Web on Madison Ave. I have had very few repeat features (Mary is only the 3rd person to be featured a second time), mainly because there are so many good poets to get to yet. She has written some new work lately & included that with some familiar pieces, everything from St. Anthony in a Cadillac (but not with a "Vanity Plate" where she quotes/not-quotes Bob Dylan), & "Betty's Blouse," to her re-write of "the Giving Tree" & her meditation on bonding with Julia in "Six Weeks Unpaid," to more love-sex-relationship angst with "Assumption", an only surviving email to herself, & at the end "Dreaming of London & Vim Vender ...." You can usually catch her at "Poets Speak Loud" at the Lark Tavern on the last Monday of most months.

After the break & some canollis donated by Kristen, Don Levy repeated the poem he read at WordFest, in case you missed it, "The Hills Are Alive" that has nothing to do with "the Sound of Music." Terry Bat-Sonya finally got out from under her university work & washed off the paint to read out again, "Why I Understand." Novelist (The Moaner's Bench, 1998) & poet Mars Hill has not been to open mics in a while, but came tonight with his friend Moses, & read a piece in dialect from the mouth of a local barber, "He Freedom."

Thérèse L. Broderick has been to school to study poetry & tries forms, such as the poem she read tonight, "If Present Trends Continue" made up of triolets (not tiny people from Troy, but actually a variation on the French rondel, but you need to look it up). W.D. Clarke likes to work in rhyme as he does in "The Outsider." As does A.C. Everson who let us know that, sadly, "My Libido is Missing."

Kristen Day's "The Elvis Connection" seems to get better every time I hear it. And our new voice (or "virgin" as we like to say) for the night was Elena Cruzallen who also used rhyme, combined with edgy images to tell us about "Global Warming & Big Wig Pigs."

Every Third Thursday, the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY 7:30 start.