So after the UAG reading, then some gossip & a beer, I headed down to South Pearl St. to this open mic at Simply Fish & Jazz. I had gotten the notice last month but didn't make it. Start time was listed as 9:00PM but I got there around 9:30 & had time to settle at the bar before it started. The host was Bless whom I'd not seen since the gone days of "Soul Kitchen" at Clayton's Restaurant (also gone, alas), & who started us off with a lament about the great poets & how he wants to write a great poem (which was pretty darn good as it was); later he read another piece on not drinking.
The format for the evening seemed to be for each poet to do 1 or 2 poems, then go around again, if they wanted. I left after the first round (even I can reach my limit of poetry for one night, no matter how good). It was a mixed bag of men & women, white & black, songs, hip-hop, poems, some read, most recited from memory. Some, like Bless, were accompanied by Neil on acoustic guitar.
A poet who I think Bless called "The Cookie Monster" read twice, once alone & later in a group performance with Pale Writer (from the "Drive-by Poets"), who also did a solo piece on "The Misconception of Hip-Hop." So, most, except honkie me, had handles/stage-names, like Illiptical, the Wizard of Mars who forsook the stage for the floor to describe himself in rhyme as "The White Knight of Hip-Hop."
I'd seen Sister Treasure perform at the Community of Writers series in the Schenectady Public Library in the Fall. Tonight she read 2 hip-hop poems, unfortunately read too fast. I gave it my best shot & hit them with "I Want to Read My Love Poems to You..." & hoped they liked it. Blue Waters read a piece on religion with real images, then a piece on domestic violence from a woman's point of view. Past Poet read "Viet Nam" for her uncle, then a clever love poem, "He Got Me." Nicky Black was another poet I hadn't seen in a while, & he too got down among the tables to do the funky, bad-mouth "Why Do I Cheat?" (Answer, his girl cheated on him).
I aim to go back -- 2nd Fridays of the month at Simply Fish & Jazz, 147 South Pearl St., Albany, NY -- the notice said sign-up at 8:30 & 9PM start, but expect it to start late. I'm going to try the food next time.