September 6, 2009

Poets Speak Loud!, August 31

Summer may be coming to an end, but the poetry readings keep happening & there was a full card of readers tonight, corralled by our host, Mary Panza.

I was there early for dinner, with Don, & so ended up #1 on the list, to nobody's great surprise. I read 2 Summer poems, one old, "Cutting the Lawn for the Ex," & the new piece, "Respect." A.C. Everson is everyone's coolest grandma, & she did a "white granny rap" & another on her grandchild's 2nd birthday (I hope her present wasn't a tattoo!). Sylvia Barnard was relaxing from the first day of classes, read a poem from her visit to England this summer, "The Work Love School." We haven't seen Rich Tomasulo for some time & his poem was entitled "Refugee."

Tonight's feature, Dominick Rizzo began with a poem for his beloved Mets, then on to a reading of "happy or positive poems," most from his book The Spiral Staircase of my Life, as he has at recent months at open mics & when featured at the Third Thursday Poetry Night. You can find out more about his book at

Brian Sullivan tried out a couple poems with interesting titles that he wrote for a creative writing class, "Not Another Soap Opera" & "I'll Need a New Pair of Levis Before This is Over." Don Levy read his ever-hilarious 3-chin poem, "Can You Count the Chins on the Angry Homosexual Poet?" Kevin Peterson was a virgin & apparently didn't hear the rules so Mary let him read 3 poems: "To a Stranger on a Plane," "First Day of Work" (a failure at selling cosmetics on Central Ave.), & "Never Had a Sister."

My immediate, visceral reaction to Amanda Rose's poem "Should've Been a Man Not Amanda" was NO! Then she took apart cliché's in "If One More..." Joe Hollander wrote "On the Way Here" just then on the back of a Third Thursday flyer. Shannon Shoemaker's poem "Metaphor" made the point that "the sea ... just a fucking metaphor;" then, "... for now" "The Last Poem." We ended the night with "the most dressed poet in the capital district," R.M. Engelhardt, who read his poem on Paris Hilton wannabees at a trendy bar, "Amateur," then "Unprogrammed," another in his ongoing series of poems on "phonies & fakes."

Come back to the Lark Tavern (in Albany, NY) on the last Monday of any month for another night of poetry among the burgers & fries, from your friends at Maybe by then I will have washed my cheek where Nicole the waitress kissed me at the end of the night -- do you think this is love?