September 22, 2008

Third Thursday Poetry Night, September 18

[Michael Hare reading from his book at Caffe Lena last year.]

It was a short night at the Social Justice Center. The proverbial tour bus got lost on the way & ended up touring Times Square. But the talented group that did show up included some of the regular stalwarts as well as a new participant. We actually ran through the entire open mic sign up list before the featured poet, Michael Hare.

Alan Catlin started us off with a bar observation, "Nocturne." It's the start of the academic year so Sylvia Barnard's poem was about the variety of students arriving for their first class. I always try to get the accents correct on Thérèse Broderick's name; tonight she read a poem with a title in French, "Les Larmes."

Todd Fabozzi hadn't been here before & read from his new book of poems, Umbrageous Embers (The Troy Book Makers) a political poem, "Opposite Day". Ed Rinaldi read a sensuous poem with Summer as a woman. & I ended the open mic with my new poem, "The Cardinal."

Our featured poet, Michael Hare, has been reading out at open mics from his book of poems, Saratoga Lives (Equipoise Press, 2007). There are over 200 characters, each with a poem of about a page in length, speaking on 4 different days from 1801 to 2005. They are rich & poor, white & black, real & imagined, even an elm tree. Tonight he gave us a sample from each of the 4 sections, with Mary Darcy reading poems spoken by women. Michael had put together a thoughtful selection, each male figure paired with a female character. Both he & Mary let the poems speak for themselves with a minimum of theatrics, Mary's understated accents adding color without becoming caricatures. Too bad those on the proverbial tour bus missed it.

Every third Thursday at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany; 7:00 PM sign-up & putting up chairs, 7:30 start.