From the living room of the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Center where Don Levy hosts this monthly open mic (2nd Wednesday). Tonight, before the featured poet, Don paid tribute to the recently deceased Harold Norse by reading his poem "You Must Have Been a Sensational Baby." In spite of which, this is a straight-friendly reading, in case there is anyone out there who might be worried about that.
The featured poet was Ed Rinaldi, whose poems are typically short notebook observations/descriptions, on poetry, love, memories (like the one written today, "Remembering What to Carry"), & on himself, his inner & outer struggles. He also included a tribute poem to Mary Panza, "Mary on Top a Troy Monument." There was also a little piece describing Autumn in an apple orchard that I took to be a love poem to the Earth. As he said in "Poems," they "ooze" from him.
I started off the open mic with a couple new pieces, "Albany, Kentucky" & "Mother's Day." Sylvia Barnard's printer went berserk so she passed out copies of her poem written at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, "Portrait by Ammi Phillips." Tim Verhaegan tried out again his memoir of "Wiborg Beach" & "Story." Dan Stalter did some "short poems for a change," as he said, including "Shame" written last night.
Carmen Mojica was "watching the weather change..." her first time here. A.C. Everson, after passing around a petition to keep the county nursing home open (hey, I'm gonna need it someday!), did one of her little ditties on birthday babies & sharing. Our "poetry virgin" of the night, Jeremy Iigness described "Cloudscapes" in rhyme, then a love poem, "In the Darkest Times." Sue Cerniglia comes to a lot of readings & open mics, but rarely reads; tonight she wrote a piece right here, "The Certainty of Things Not Done," & read a descriptive "Sun Shower."
Shannon Shoemaker rode her motorcycle in the rain to get here with 2 new poems, "Addiction" (about stalking a lover) & "The Last Poem" (which we hope isn't). Before Don Levy read Tim started to leave, thinking the night was over, then raced back in when he heard Don start his poem, "All We Have to Queer is Queer Itself" (about how he frightens straight men, some of them at least).
Join us, the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 7:30PM, 322 Hudson Ave., Albany.