April 9, 2009

Live from the Living Room, April 8

At the Gay & Lesbian Community Center our host Don Levy introduced the featured poet from Glens Fall, Mark DeVit (also known by his Slam handle, "Nuwanda"). Mark read from his recent book, I Make Stuff Up (looks like a print-on-demand job, try either www.lulu.com, or www.myalibiias.com). He bounced around the text, reading 2 or 3 poems each from the 6 sections, "Glens Falls," "NYC," "I Make Stuff Up," "Judgments," "Almost Love," & "Slams." Mark is my kind of slam-poet, one who reads good poems with expression. Tim at one point suggested Mark was reading too fast, a common tendency when the poems are memorized, but Mark could slow down when he needed to (& the poem required it). A couple poems had some interesting formal limitations, such as "42," on page 42, 42 words long, &, of course, a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; also, "It Takes Time to Love," printed horizontally in the book, going from a short (2 letters) line to long page stretchers. He did his "signature piece," "The Secret of the Mullet," complete with faux Scots accent, and the recent description of the President doing the "Dishes" & making national policy.

After the break I read 2 poems for the weekend, "Holy Thursday" & "Good Friday." The afore-mentioned Tim Verhaegan discovered a former lover on Facebook who was "Too Perfect for Sex," then read the family story, "He Likes to Drink." We all laughed at Kristen Day's new list poem on the different kinds of "Laughter."

Sarah Schaeffer & her battered ball-point scribbled notebooks also came all the way down from Glens Falls. The untitled first piece was late night musings on being unable to sleep, to think; her second piece she did from memory, for Mark & his New Year's advice, "stop, breathe," her world in chaos until she stops, breathes. Bob Sharkey read 2 new poems, one pondering one of those jockey lawn statues in the suburbs, Black no less! The only person who got "In Bed with a Couple of Eggs" was Kim's daughter Alexis, who had taken her iPod earphones out long enough to listen.

But Kim Henry got back at her by reading her anti-fashion police poem, "Mis-matched" that Alexis inspired. A.C. Everson recited a new song, "Nevermore," about all the bad things she used to do, then her funny poem "The Easter Bunny." Shannon Shoemaker also had new poems, an untitled piece wondering, thinking of the past from the future, & "Metaphor".

Don Levy finished us off, with a piece he wrote in the 1st Grade, "The Jumpingest Frog," then a new piece, considering how things could be "gay" (how can that be?), "My Gay Toaster Over Won't Let Go of My Eggo" -- hysterical.

Second Wednesday of each month, GLCC, Hudson Ave., Albany, NY, 7:30 PM -- featured poet, then an open mic & always straight-friendly.