March 2, 2009

Poetry @ the UAG, February 27

The mini series continues with Mary Panza the officious, I mean official, host for AlbanyPoets, with 2 poets tonight.

Matt Galletta has featured in a couple of Albany venues. His generally short poems are witty, skewering social commentary, enhanced by the twinkle in his eye & his subtle smirk -- like a poetry Jack Benny. His topics include sex & love & poetry. He literally took us from "The Gates" of Heaven, through Mexico ("The Touch"), to the "24-Hour Laundromat," to swatting a fly during sex ("Vacancy"). But the biggest topic was poetry: "Lemons," on editing a lit magazine; "On Workshops" where lines were cut down to a blank page; "The Local Poet;" "Title of Poem," "An Honest Man" at a poetry reading, to what he called a "kind of ridiculous" poem, "Snakes on a Poet." Check him out, not like a library book, but at area open mics.

Margo Malia Lynch presents a more New Age persona than Matt Galletta, but some of her poems have an equally cynical edge. She began with playing a flute, invoking her native American Indian roots. Some of her poems were marred by sweeping profound statements uttered in cliches (such as "timeless day") in "Flicker of Hope", but these were offset by other passages filled with images of things. "Carving Owl" was filled with Hawaiian images, photos, family stories. The somewhat preachy poem beginning "I like the way I drive..." was an amusing meditation on herself, & her last poem, "One Moment Longer" was a compelling exercise in automatic writing, manic, solipsistic & ecstatic. Look for her out & about also as a solo singer, as Margot Malia, & suited up at the roller derby.

The readings are supported (hugely) by the UAG Gallery, & tonight's staff mistress, Katura, took a moment at the end to step out of her shell & share a couple of her poems -- I hope she is able to get out to some of the open mics in the community so we can hear her again.

The series continues roughly every other Friday up until WordFest in April.