September 27, 2009

Third Thursday Poetry Night, September 17

Our featured poet Tom Corrado entertained with his stand-up bass as the poets gathered, then I envoked the muse, tonight Robert Creeley. Bob Sharkey began with a piece on the late David Foster Wallace, "Doing His Highness." Larry Rapant was a "flash poet" with his very short "My Kind of Wine." Marilyn Day pondered finding her collection of poems at the Barnes & Nobles in Niskayuna, "It Will Not Happen Here."

"The Theology Department's Lost & Found" was Don Levy hilariously taking apart the expression "finding God." Dennis Sullivan used his poem "My Mind I Traded for the Moon" to explain to a cousin who he is. Alan Casline told us that "Always I Quest After Detail."

There is a fashion among poets, particularly among younger poets associated with Academia, to make poems from the appropriated text of other poets or writers, mixing & matching lines like Allen Ginsberg picking out his wardrobe at Goodwill. Our featured poet, Tom Corrado, is a fan of John Ashbery's persistent non-sequiteurs. His reading tonight, which he described as "A Pastiche," was an appropriation of his own text. He rapidly leafed through the pages of a stack of his own poems, reading a line here, then turning the page to the next poem & reading a line there, a continuous self-anthology jambalaya for 20 minutes. I've read Tom's chapbooks & heard him read a number of times so there was that occasional shock of recognition when he got to a familiar line. It was a captivating journey through (parts of) the poetry of Tom Corrado.

When we returned after the break I read my Rosh Hashana poem "Taslich." Philomena Moriarty thought about "Indispensabilities" while waiting for her husband at the doctor's office. New voice & face Jim Williams, in his soccer referee's uniform, told "War Stories" of youthful protest marches prompted by the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. The poet known as "Obeeduid" copied the kids with his "My Emo Poem" mourning his Muse. Sally Rhoades captured beasts with words on a page in "Sovereign Minds."

Rachael Ikins watched insects under the full Moon on September 2. Benevolent Bird Press just published a broadside of Thérèse Broderick's poem "At the Site of Thoreau's Cabin," which she read with the correct pronunciation of his name (accent on first syllable). And R.M. Engelhardt gave us another in a series of lectures, "The Poet's Sermon on Sleep & the Nature of Reality" for those who need to know.

It's every third Thursday at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, 7:30, a featured poet & an open mic for poets. Support poets, poetry & the Social Justice Center.