January 27, 2009

Sunday Four Poetry Open Mic, January 25

The monthly open mic, with a featured poet, up in Voorheesville, NY, today our host was Dennis Sullivan, with the featured poet, Therese Broderick.

I began the open mic with "Georgia O'Keefe's Hands" because I know Therese likes the poem (& it is about art), & 3 haikus, 2 brand new. Dennis Sullivan, a classics scholar, read "The Realities of the Aorist Tense" (which drew me back later to my battered copy of Goodwin's Greek Grammar), & "To Place Sweet Hector in his Grave" -- both poems to his niece who is now studying classic Greek & Latin.

Mimi Moriarty's poems were also about language, but in a different way. She read 3 poems written entirely using lines from other poems; the first was Billy Collins (her poem sounding a lot like something John Ashbery would write), then Charles Bukowski, and finally one based on Louise Gluck's The Wild Iris (which I had read recently).

Tim Verhaegan's simply presented poems mined his past, as he does frequently -- "Teacher" & in a graveyard in "Easthampton," where his family is from. Tom Corrado mixed history, the current pop culture & his signature quirky humor "With Freud in Vienna."

Sometimes poets are just carrying around poems in their pockets, as was Marion Mena -- 2 short pieces, "Feeding the Animals," based on a poetry exercise, and one to her son (that she was planning to show to her therapist -- another use of poetry). Barbara Vink shared a new one just written yesterday, beginning "If I were dying ..."

Today's featured poet, Therese Broderick, is well-known in the area as a poetry activist from her work with the Hudson Valley Writers Guild (www.hvwg.org), a leader of poetry workshops, & a frequent reader at open mics & other poetry venues. Just back from the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, she brought her new poetry chapbook, Within View: poems inspired by artworks (self-published, with design by Leonard Design of Saratoga Springs). She began with her inauguration poem based on a line from Gwendolyn Brooks, "One Wants a Teller in a Time Like This." Then a series of poems on her painter father's color blindness, "Green Weak," "Landscape in France" (on a Gaugin painting), & "What Still Hangs" (which is in the chapbook). Then 3 more from the new book, "Small Teases," "Lament," & "Death on the Ridge Road." She showed her skills with traditional forms with a villanelle, "Julie Aged 9" & a troilet on a fellow who goes around correction grammar (back to that again) on public signs. She ended with a new, "rough" poem "Beach Painting by Joe Davis." Another nicely put together reading. Check out Therese's Blog at poetryaboutart.wordpress.com.

Fourth Sunday of each month, 3:00 PM, at the Old Songs Community Center, 37 S. Main St., Voorheesville, NY