Friday night out & about & this was the first of 2 poetry events this busy night. Co-hosts Colie Collen (makes the back of my throat sore just typing it) & Doug Rothschild did the intros, announcements, etc.
Shane Jones read from the beginning of his short novel, Light Boxes (Publishing Genius Press, 2009) where 3 characters, Thaddeus, Bianca & Selah join a war against February (which all of us from the Northeast agree is a good idea). There seemed to be priests bent on censorship & February seemed to be waging a campaign against flying. In tone & in the use of typography the narrative reminded me of Kenneth Patchen's novel The Journal of Albion Moonlight (which was confiscated from me in Catholic High School).
The second reader was was Julianna Spallholz who, alas, did not have any copies of her chapbook with her (Poor Bunny, based on road-kill), but did read a couple poems from it, "Opposum" & "Heaven" (where she thought about the age she would be when she got there). The remainder of her reading was from a new manuscript, "The State of Kansas," which, based on the poems she read, has a strong narrative content. The title poem was a funny dialogue between a mother & daughter. Others she read were "Business Idea," "A Man of Regrets" (a conversation at a party), "Hero" (another conversation, about a roommate with a nice ass), & "Record" (a list ending with the repeated line, "... you are not broken ..."). Although she gave a long, rambling introduction to her reading at the start, once she got going was very engaging.
You can always tell the readings that come out of the university setting because no one claps after the poems & tongight I felt too self-concious to clap. Once someone starts, everyone else usually claps out of courtesy. And I was glad that I knew about the correct start time this time. The series continues every-other Friday, usually at the new Townsend Park Bakery & Cafe on Washington Ave. in Albany (across from, of course, Townsend Park), but one up-coming reading is going to be at the UAG Gallery. Check them out on Facebook.