September 12, 2008
"Live from the Living Room" September 10
[One of my favorite pictures of Kristen Day, sketching Bernadette Mayer at a reading at my house.]
At the Capital District Gay Lesbian Community Center, another "straight-friendly" gathering under the aegis of Uncle Don Levy.
Tonight's featured poet was Kristen Day, a favorite who was out of the loop for a while but in recent months has been back. She also has "the 2nd largest collection of photos of unknown poets", or so I say. Her poems spring directly out of her own experience & for that we are grateful as she confronts the demons around her. She began with a poem about dueling remotes with her brother, "13& Old Enough to Stay Home with my Brother," "Dog," "Food Court," "E2" (the locked ward at Albany Med.), a reaction to a meeting at work, & the all-too-familiar cell phones on a plane "Wasted Words;" another hospital poem, "Slipped," & the popular "Pick-a-Poem" rant; "Bad Mood," from her chapbook, not really self-destructive, as were the last 2 poems, "To Dr. Nash" & the powerful piece about the destruction of the World Trade Centers, "The 6:20 and the 2:45."
After the break I read an old poem, "James," responding to a Judith Johnson poem about her dead cats & a gay student, then a newer piece about my son Jack -- 2 "J" poems I guess. Bob Sharkey read a longer piece, "Perspective #3," a "why are we here poem" as he said, with an elephant in his childhood backyard -- it must be symbolic of something.
Tim Verhaegen read about a handsome boy in "Provincetown Painting" & family dynamics (his forte) in "The Dance." It was good to see Anthony Bernini again & hear him read "Berefted" & a poem about the view from Grand St. of the Chrysler Building in NYC, "The Monument." Earlier we had my response to a "dead cat poem" & Kristen's elegy for her dead dog, now Thérèse Broderick read about seeing a dog rise from the dead, "Weeping in Egypt."
Our magnanimous host, Don Levy read his new "If the White House is a Rockin' Don't Come a Knockin'" (an imagined press conference by the Jonas Brothers), then another pop-culture blast with "It's the End for Your Gossip Girl." He ended with a short segment from a work-in-progress, "Rubbing Noses with Sarah Pallin" (you get the idea).
Every 2nd Wednesday, 332 Hudson Ave., Albany, NY (in case you are wondering which Albany that could be).