February 28, 2009

Poets Speak Loud!, February 23

With our red-wine dominatrix host, Mary Panza, at Tess' Lark Tavern (where else?).

So I guess I just had to go first, & with a room full of folks fine-dining & a 20-something birthday gathering for a girl named Sarah, I had to be loud & obnoxious, so I read the penciled notes I'd just written this afternoon for the poem "Things to Do with an MFA" -- look for it here, pulled together, soon.

A new, young poet was next; Jonathan Jones said he has a book (My World is Flat I think he said) but didn't have copies. He read 2 poems, the first I think was titled "Useful Tender" in hip-hop rhyme with references to Thelonious Monk; the second poem about an encounter on a bus, ending with donuts & dope.

A.C. Everson slipped in to do a couple pieces from memory, "Everybody" on burdens & losses, & the ever-popular autobiographical "Scrabble Slut."

The featured poet, Todd Fabozzi, has been coming around to open mics recently promoting his book of poems, Umbrageous Embers (The Troy Book Makers, 2008). He started off with a long piece I hadn't encountered either at his readings or in his book, "The City of Yesterday's Tomorrows," a history of the re-writing of his native city of Amsterdam, NY, an example of what Ed Sanders called investigative poetry. Another poem for Amsterdam was "The Wave for My City," as well as another political piece, this for the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, "Freedom of Speech." Others he read were "Poetry Reading," "The Gift," "Bankrupt," & "I Am." Fabozzi seems to have been keeping his poetry under his hat, so to speak, for a number of years, but now thankfully has put his work out in a fat book & is coming around to readings & open mics.

Mary introduced the next open mic poet as "the most dressed poet in Albany, the leather bound R.M. Engelhardt" who read his rant on poetry & poets, "Word Eternal" & a lyric by Michael Stanley that was notable for quoting another lyric by Bob Dylan.

Dominick Rizzo read a piece about a confrontation with himself in Europe, "3 Year Old 19 Year Old", then a poem about a couple's fight, "Arrogance, Hers & Mine." Chris Brabham 2 poems were about love from different points of view, "Timeless," & the raucous "That Ass of Hers" (obliquely bringing us back to the first poem read tonight, if "m-f-a" = "mighty fine ass.")

& if you don't believe me about any of this, you can check it out on video at the Albany Poets website, Thom Francis recorded it all.

Last Monday of every month, at the Lark Tavern on Madison Ave., Albany, NY -- next month, March 30, 2009, Don Levy!