February 14, 2009

Live from the Living Room, February 11

With our host, the ever straight-friendly, Don Levy.

The feature was Jan Tramontano who has been holed up putting the finishing touches on her novel. Tonight she stepped out with her entourage to read some poems. She began with 3 poems based on the paintings of Stephen Hannock from an exhibit at the Albany Institute of History & Art, whose work characteristically includes text. She continued with a series of poems from her 2008 chapbook, Woman Sitting in a Café and other poems of Paris (JMT Press/The Troy Book Makers): "Picasso Playing God with Lovers," "Woman Sitting in a Café," "Not Dan Brown's Mona Lisa," & "In Rodin's Garden" (with a nod to her husband, Ron in the audience). Jan had also published an earlier chapbook, Floating Island from which she read the title poem, & "Lunch at the Full Moon Café." She ended with a poem to her little grandson, "The Sky is Wonderous" & one to Ron, "My Husband's Garden." It was nicely put together reading, & quietly delivered in Jan's gentle, good-humored style. A testament to her popularity were the friends who showed up to listen to her poems, but not read at the open mic -- perhaps we will hear from them another time.

After the break Matt Galletta read "The Gates," a poem infused with his customary quirky humor. Bob Sharkey's first poem, "Escapade," was about being at a work-related conference, then walking in NYC's Greenwich Village; then, "Before as Asked" about being a volunteer for the exhibit of the AIDS quilt at the State Museum.

Sandy read a poem for her Mom with memories of childhood berry-picking, then one about the busyness of caring for a new kitten. I read "I Want to Read My Love Poems to You..." a sort of an all-purpose love poem, then my newest piece, "Making Love."

Jason Crane was back again; his first poem was from his perspective as a Union organizer, on the life & hard times of a maid, "Luxury Hotel," then his reaction to being at the Tom Nattell Memorial Beret Toss, "Robbie Burn's Hat."
A.C. Everson had to get in the holiday "Hot Chocolate", then her signature Valentine's Day piece (without the customary piñata) about that nasty bastard Cupid, oh yeah.

Don Levy finished off the night with 2 new poems; the first about picking out DVDs, "Throw-down at the Albany Public Library," then his commentary on the news commentator Rachel Maddow, "Pardon Me But Your MSNBC is Showing."

Always the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Center, on Hudson between Lark & Dove, 7:00 PM.