July 16, 2009

Sunday Four Poetry, June 28

The last of the season's readings (the series will start again in September) at the Old Songs Center in Voorheesville, NY was introduced by Dennis Sullivan who introduced Edie Abrams to introduce the poets.

Tim Verhaegan started us off with memories of growing up near "Wiborg Beach," then an interesting sociological commentary in "Story." Larry Rapant gave us some improvised words with scat-singing. As more people arrived & the place filled up Dennis Sullivan read a meditation on Time ("Prepared to Turn Out the Light"), then a poem about his "bible"/favorite poet, Wallace Stevens, & ended with rain & poets, "Saturday Picnic Atop a Hill."

Dave had a poem on the class of Harvard Class of 1942 & a meditation on ice cream & adaptation. I read my poem "The Priest," the form based on the song "Softly, Moses" by Erin McKeown. Marion Mena read a couple of her simply-stated nature poems, "Shad Run" & "The Lake Turns Over." Alan Casline (today in a tee-shirt with half a word on it) also writes a lot of short nature poems, read "Water of Vision" & "Buddha Needs a Bath" (or was that just part of the poem?).

Tom Corrado tried to set up a tangle of electronics & gave out copies of the poem he was going to read, but the whole thing became a "performance piece" as he kept shorting out the mic. Obeeduid (Mark O'Brien) also did a performance piece, unwrapping a multi-layered package, down to a tiny piece of paper that was "the wrong poem." MC Edie Abram's poem of family memories "I Met my Mother at 42" captured a common experience as we grow older.

Each summer Mimi Moriarty's brother, Frank Desiderio, comes east for a visit, & in the last couple of years they have been making the poetry circuit together with their "companion poems" performance. They have found that they write poems on the same topics quite independently & get together to build a set of poems on related topics, alternating poems in their reading. Their topics today ranged from the Garden of Eden, to coffee, politics (I especially like Mimi's "Eleven" that recounts 2 dreams on the same night, one of Bush/Cheney's lies, the other about looking after young "Frankie"), grief, snapshots, cars, even Superheroes (Frank: "Electro Woman" & Mimi: "Like the Hulk"). A wonderful program of well-crafted, moving, humorous, thoughtful poems. Look for them next summer.

This series will start up again in September, the 4th Sunday of the month, at 3PM at the Old Songs Community Center on Main St. in Voorheesville, NY -- always worth the drive.