February 5, 2009

Albany Poets Present!, February 3

At Valentines, with el presidente/host, Thom Francis having a busy night with all the new folks there -- open mic poets & their groupies. Thom began with the Charles Bukowski piece starting, "Poetry readings have to be some of the saddest things ever..." Oh well, I enjoyed myself tonight.

Even though I got there late, I ended up as the first reader (actually, if I had signed up #4 I would have still been the first reader, go figure --). So I read 2 "Birthday Poems": one from before some folks at the bar were even born & the other you can read on this Blog, a few entries back.

Next was Jeff Traite, who in the past showed up at the old Cafe Web Third Thursdays & who I still see on the streets sometimes; he read 3 short poems, "The Wayfarer Poem," "JFK & the Mystic," and "One" (with the great advice to "give many gifts...").

Dominick Rizzo had been at the Lark Tavern & brought along a copy of his new chapbook, The Spiral Staircase of My Life; "Jack or Jill" is a bar poem & "Light post" where love is fading, both from the book.

Another recruit from the Lark Tavern reading, Jason Crane, had said he would be back in "15 years" but here he was a week later. "67 Unopened Video Cassettes" was about meeting his biological father & his grandmother for the first time at 34), "Bookshelves" was also about fathers, & "The Soft Friction of Sliding Glass" was a sexy tale told in a dry, cold manner.

R.M. Engelhardt read from his new chapbook, Versus: "Money," about his "heroes", the street survivors that was somehow tied up with the last honey who walked out on him; also "Solace" & "In Cleopatra's Eyes" (a white Cleopatra at that).

Another poet who resurfaced tonight, Miss Sally, had read a couple times when my Third Thursday series was as Changing Spaces Gallery on Hudson Ave.; tonight she read all about love, painful & sad.

Moses Kash III read 3 poems about his visions -- "Birth" (pondering "some genius born today..."), "I Saw Myself..." & "All the Earth's Children".

Chris Brabham read a poem about the ocean, "Eternal Voyage," & his moving poem on urban shootings, "When the Bullet Takes the Flight."

Thom Francis finished the night with what he calls "the trucker poem," from memory, a popular piece with his band.

"Albany Poets Presents!" occurs on the 1st Tuesday of the month, at Valentines, on New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY. When people show up, we read poems; otherwise we drink beer & gossip.