October 31, 2008

Sunday Four Poetry, October 26

With a variety of hosts (or is that "a host of hosts"?) -- Dennis Sullivan to introduce the program, Edie Abrams for the open mic & Mike Burke to introduce the featured poet, Larry Rapant.

Alan Casline was the first poet up, with 2 "dragon poems," actually about carp & carp transforming into dragons (& I did not fall asleep). Marilyn said some of her poems "become lyrics" & her piece "Equinox" was that but she didn't try to sing this country song. Dennis Sullivan began with "Halloween Poem," a meditation of death & on the poet Delmore Schwartz; then a distressing piece about how the poor look different, & ended with "A Godly Pattern."

Mike Burke's touching piece, "Mates," drew parallels between birds & his parents. Edie Abrams paid poetic tribute to her poet friends, inspired, she said, by an email from Dennis. I tried to pick poems for this rural crowd, so I did 2 urban nature poems, "Planting Tulips" (actually saw the park crew doing just that again earlier this week) & my love poem to "The Lilacs." Tom Corrado, who had brought along his new string bass to accompany Larry, read a cluster of his short zinger poems on famous poets -- Pound, Williams, Brautigan, etc.

Mark O'Brien (aka "obeedude") read a piece on aging, getting wizened, then a coming-home-from-the-bar meditation, "Lament for a Simple-Minded Christian." Philomena Moriarty began with a poem for the political season, "Living the Dialectic," then "If Poems were Wishes," & "Meditation on Despair" (treat it as a crumb).

Mike Burke introduced the day's featured poet, Larry Rapant, while Tom Corrado quietly strummed his bass in the background. Larry gave us a variety from his life of poetry -- philosophical (or quasi-philosophical) ponderings like "Night Abets Each Noise," "The Fire," "Get In," or the funny "Thus Spake Larry." There were poems about his childhood -- about visiting aunts, recess & "The New Girl." And the love poems of "3 Winter Songs." He read us the latest version of "The Grand Larceny," a sort of cowboy-movie poem he has been working on for 31 years. A bunch of poems sprang from, or were recountings, of dreams -- "The Very Next" (another cowboy fantasy), "Flag on the Play," & "The Every Other Tuesday Night Poets." And then there were the lists --"Things I Learned from Living in the Suburbs," & "There is Nobody Here by that Name." He ended blissfully sitting in the Autumn sun with "Mr. October." Larry put together a varied, casual (he sat on the edge of the stage the whole time), humorous reading among a group of poets & friends for a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The fourth Sunday of each month at the Old Songs Community Building on Main St. in Voorheesville, NY, 3PM.