December 28, 2009

Third Thursday Poetry Night, December 17

The holiday edition at the Social Justice Center with "Sanity Clause" in the house. Each open mic poet got to sit after they read on Sanity Clause's lap, tell what a bad-boy they've been & get a gift of poetry. But it was a very, very disappointing night for Sanity Clause since the only poets in the house were men (& many of them quite large) -- there were no, I repeat NO, women poets & therefore NO women to sit on Sanity Clause's fine lap. Sanity Clause his-self must've been very bad all year to have such negative Karma.

After I read Enid Dame's wonderful "Holiday Poem" as our muse for the night, Alan Catlin was the first poet on the list. Since there were only 8 poets signed up this night, each got to read 2 poems for a change. Alan read the only poem he has with Christmas in the title, based on Stan Rice's painting, "Christmas in a Time of Wolves", then "Work Anxiety Dreams" (from a retired guy). Josh McIntyre read 2 short poems, "Calling" (a poem coalescing), & "Radio" with songs capturing life.

Don Levy said he must'v seen a pig fly & read 2 Winter poems, "Winter Wonder Films" (written last night), "The Fashion Police Says, Freeze Sucker." W.D. Clarke read a Summer poem, "The Sun Bathers" then one of favorites, "The Pipe Smoker." Jason Crane read David Chorlton's "The Invisible Demonstrator". Jason's son Bernie Crane was the night's youngest poet (& shortest) read "Everytime I Climb a Tree" by David McCord.

Moses Kash III made his way up to the mic with his cane, & read a prose poem, "Somethings Are Very Bold Because it's Christmas & New Years," musing on the Obama presidency. Gene Damm read a short poem, "Motivation," by Edward Michael Odour Soprowitz. I ended the open mic portion of the program with my poem, "Christmas Eve, 1945."

Our featured poet, Tomas Urayoán Noel, was scheduled months ago for this reading a week from Christmas with nary a thought of the significance of his surname. He began with a New Year's Day poem from A.B. Spellman's chapbook from the 1960s, The Beautiful Days. His offering for the season was his song "Police in Iraq" (think "Feliz Navidad"), then read poems from his book Kool Logic (Bilingual Press, 2005), "Nursing Home Injuries," "DobleTendre/Double Feature" (alternating Spanish & English), "Quicksand," the political commentary on the impact of Late Capitalism, half-sung rock'n'roll "Kool Logic/La lógica kool." Then a couple poems from the Spanish language book, Boringkén, with a sound track (the book comes with a CD). He ended with a voice-recognition software generated version of the first 13 poems of Cesar Vallejo's Trilce, a long, interesting experiment that would have been better appreciated early in the reading, but at this point many in the audience were already fading. An energetic, fascinating, multi-language reading nonetheless.

Your donations at this reading series supports the featured poets, the Poetry Motel Foundation, & the Social Justice Center -- each third Thursday, 33 Central Ave., 7:30PM.

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