October 27, 2009

Third Thursday Poetry Night, October 15

I invoked the muse of César Vallejo (1892 - 1938) with a reading from his Trilce (in translation by Clayton Eshleman), then on to the open mic for a while. Alan Catlin started us off with a Halloween-related poem, "Mechanical Lazarus." Tim Verhaegen was back & read "What If I Said" deconstructing conversation, effective even when read only once. W.D. Clarke was anxious to get on the road to get to Canada but stopped by to read his short poem about "Taps" ("Butterfield's Lullabye" is the original title of that tune). The birthday-boy Don Levy read his poem about the Duggar family with 19 kids, poor Mom.

Bless, our featured poet, is an experienced spoken word poet who came out of the NYC slam scene. But his work is real poems recited with feeling & honesty & without unnecessary theatrics or a lot of explaining. He began with "sweet jazz sounds" that are his influences, saying he doesn't need the poisons of smoke & alcohol to write or perform. Then one about a conversation with a homeless guy, who picked his pocket. Then his take on "The Perfect Life": do we really want it? "Traffic" was a tale of being stuck in the madness & rush "to get there" but then realizing the delay was due to a child being hit by a car. He is now hosting Wize Wordz open mic at Ballingers, 42 Howard St., on the 4th Thursdays, that I will get to next week & report back.  Tonight, he left the audience wanting more, the best compliment.

I followed the break with my poem from the summer, "Respect." Moses Kash III followed me with "Gee, Thanks for the Party." The appropriately acting Matt Galletta read, again, his poem "Shooting Cats." Sylvia Barnard read "To Harry Patch," the last British World War I veteran who died last year, anti-war in his later years.

Anthony Bernini had his driveway sealed & "The Scent of the Earth" was the poem that followed. The venerable Ted Adams is often in the audience at community readings, but tonight was the first time he was signed up to read, & he recited a love poem to a tree. Shirley Brewer was back again visiting from Baltimore with advice on "How To Kill Time."

We do this each third Thursday at the Social Justice Center in Albany (on Central Ave. between Henry Johnson Blvd. & Lark St., starting about 7:30 PM.  Your donation helps support poetry programs by the Poetry Motel Foundation, & helps the Social Justice Center.

1 comment:

Sharkey said...

What a great picture of Ted Adams. Sorry I missed this one.

Bob Sharkey