November 29, 2009

Third Thursday Poetry Night, November 19

Once again at the Social Justice Center. I invoked the muse of the recently star-dusted Lenore Kandel, then our poets lined up. Since the Tour Bus got lost in the back streets of Ravena, we had the rare 2-poem night. You had to be there to benefit.

Alan Catlin did an animal poem "The Dogs on the Beach" (but not your fuzzy, warm animal poem); then read a 5-part poem at Cape Canaveral, Florida, 1986. Sylvia Barnard was going to cheat by reading "a poem in 2 parts" but now could be honest about reading 2 poems, also harassed me with animal poems, "Frogs" & "Ducklings" in Cambridge; there are animal poems & then there are animal poems.

Therese Broderick said "How It is Said", twice, on a death & life . She was followed up by her husband, Frank Robinson, with nods to Therese, "Teenager Looking at Comic Strips" (he rewrites one of her poems), & a literal-minded description of what he was seeing.

Anthony Bernini was "shocked" to be able to do 2 poems tonight, but only read 1, "Border Streams" (a stream in Troy). But I read 2 poems, "Kandinsky's Red Spot" & "This dream is not about you," both recent works.

The featured poet, Barbara Adams, had a bunch of her friends to cheer her on (if your friends & relatives don't come to your readings who will?). She read "backwards," from a new manuscript first. She started with "Butterfly Mood" (that includes an appearance of a deer, another "animal" poem); "In the Oyster Bar" with an old friend, "Squatter's In Eden" (the title poem of the manuscript) is Eve's musings, "Dry Rain," "Thieves" in the British Museum, a poem on Sappho's poems & the "death of poetry", "Closure" (a love poem), & "Sonnet to a Lazy Lover with Apologies to Poor Will." Then on to poems from her previous books, including "Helen's Ghost" on her mother, "Self-Portrait of my Dad," "Prescription," & "Baby Skin, Notes for a Grandchild".

Then after all the announcements as we were just ending, Cyrus who had wandered in from the street to use the bathroom recited a love poem -- life in the big city. & poetry at the Social Justice Center, every third Thursday, 7:30 PM.

November 23, 2009

Community of Writers Series - Hudson Valley Writers Guild

This year the Community of Writers series sponsored by the Hudson Valley Writers Guild included 3 readings in area public libraries: October 24 at the Albany Public Library, November 5 at the William K. Sanford Town Library (Colonie), & November 22 at the Schenectady County Public Library. The project was made possible in part through Community Art$Grants, a program funded through the State and Local Partnership Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency, and the Arts Council of the Capital Region.

The reading at the Albany Public Library presented 3 local writers in different genres. Harvey Havel is a fiction writer who has published novels & most recently the collection of short stories, From Poets to Protagonists; he read a short fictional memoir about trying to pick up women. Amy Biancolli is familiar to local readers of the Albany Times-Union, where she was a movie critic & arts writer, & currently is a film critic for the Houston Chronicle. She read one of her recent columns & discussed the biz of a film critic. Alan Casline read a piece that incorporated his "3 hats" as a poet, editor & small press publisher, weaving his poems throughout his discussion.

The reading at the Colonie Library included student storytellers from the Maple Hill Middle School in Castleton Stephanie Muller & Emily Bonin, memoirist Susan Morse & author Eric Luper. The main event was the reading by the winners of the HVWG poetry contest. Local poet & HVWG Board member Alan Catlin introduced each of the winners who read us their winning poems & a couple others. First Place winner was Cecele Allen Kraus for "Love Blooms" (after John Ashbery), second place to Will Nixon for "The Prophet of Protrero Hill", & third place to Kathleen C. Elken for "Worn Irish Lace." There were also 3 honorable mentions who read as well, Kathleen A. O'Brien, Susan E. Oringel and Marie-Elizabeth Mali.

There were 12 readers at the Schenectady County Public Library on November 22, moderated by Catherine Norr. Alan Catlin introduced Schenectady County's new Poet Laureate, Steve Hillard Swartz, who read mostly humorous poems with pop culture references & mostly subtle & unobtrusive rhymes. Other poets who read were Melinda Morris Perrin with a string of nature poems, & Malcolm Willison, who included his poem to the Hudson River, "North River." One poet not included on the printed program was Ginny Folger, from the Library's writing program. Most of the rest of the readers read memoir-type story/essays, or history. Sylvie Briber contained both in her dramatic account of tracking down the story of a mid-19th century occupant of her house. Wonja Brucker read about being a young girl in Seoul during the Korean War. Bonnie Harlan-Stankus' stand-up routine was about her mother attempting to return a rice-steamer to Macy's. Sarah Howes told about her happy 4th grade, while Jack Rightmyer described the misery of high school under the Christian Brothers heavy hand. Bill Buell read about the founding of GE & William Patrick read from Saving Troy about his time spent with the Fire Department there. The one foray into prose fiction was from the youngest writer/reader, Rhema Boston, whose stunning piece contained simple, vivid descriptions of rural life & a moving scene between a mother & a daughter.

Many of these folks knew each other from interconnecting peer writing groups, particularly the SCPL Creative Writing Program.

For pictures from these events go to my Flickr! site.

November 19, 2009

The Memoir Project, November 16

This was the third in a series of readings at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy (NY) going back to May. Tonight's theme was "Family" & was hosted by Marion Roach Smith.

Dona Brent read a series of vignettes that sounded like stand-up comedy bits, complete with a Bronx accent. Each little piece, titled with the apartment number, was about the tenants of that apartment in a building on White Plains Rd. in the Bronx where the author grew up.

Desiree M. Roberts' piece, about the onset of her blindness & it's impact on her siblings, was read by Marion Roach Smith. In it, the family goes for genetic testing to see if any of the other members carries the gene that caused the author's blindness, & their reaction when none do.

Tina Lincer was another author whose piece sounded like a comedy routine. "Cheap Thrills" was about her mother's penchant for bargains & coupon clipping, & how those skills have returned to the author in the midst of the recession.

Rosemary Christle-Renaud's account of caring for her mother with dementia was filled with the irony of her taking on the day-to-day duties while her mother (& the rest of the family) battled over declaring the mother "incompetent".

Elisabeth Henry's piece was the only one told in the third person, skillfully blending the account of a still-birth of a child with a story about raising chickens.

Everyone likes stories about other people's lives, but for my taste I like to see the hand of the artist in work presented to the public, not just for therapy. Someone once said that all writing is autobiography, which we recognize in all the great novels of the past. Somehow today we value the "authenticity" of memoir over the craft of a good story. Personally I think it's just marketing & pandering to the same impulse towards voyeurism that sells gossip magazines, & makes Oprah, & Jerry Springer & "Entertainment Tonight" so popluar. I prefer the art of On the Road to the "memories" of Angela's Ashes.

November 17, 2009

No Gimmick Open Mic, November 13

... so I didn't go anywhere after the Jawbone reading & just hung around the UAG Gallery while the University folks headed out & the rest of us settled in for the open mic (run by hosted by Mary Panza.

Todd Fabozzi had the perfect seque from one reading to the other with "University of the Streets" from his just-out new book, Crossroads: radical poetry; "The Other America" was about the colonization of native people, then he presented what might happen if "Darwin Twitters Nietszsche".

RM Engelhardt's new poem "2012" has him as tired of the Hollywood Apocalypse as the rest of us; his next poem, as he said, was "Excedra, Excedra, Excedra" an old poem from one of his books, but I couldn't find it ... I read my new poem "Kandinsky's Red Spot," then the older pieces "Poets Talk" & "Her Ass."

The Albany virgin for the night (we always need one) was Marla Segol, imagining "Dream Horses," then "To an Old Lover" who keeps intruding into her thoughts, & then something about mulberries.

This is AlbanyPoets' series on the 2nd Friday of each month at the UAG Gallery on Lark St. (Albany, NY) -- just an open mic, no themes, no features, no free weed, no respect -- perfect.

Jawbone, November 13

This series seems to be resuscitated at the UAG Gallery, though I didn't catch a mention of anything upcoming after this. Anyways, Anna Eyre, who is a grad student in English at the University at Albany, did the introductions to what was a study in contrast.

James Belflower was the first reader. He is the author of Commuter (Instance Press) & he had read back in October with Anna Eyre in the Yes, Reading! series. He read a new piece, "Bird Leaves the Cornice," which seemed to combine a discussion about birds with text from an architectural manual, including a discussion of contour lines. Then he read from the Prologue & an excerpt from the first section of Commuter, having to do with bomb making, like something out of the Anarchist Cookbook. Now I guess this entry will make it on the NSA watch list, if I'm not already.

The poems of Lucyna Prostko were more the human/experiential side of poetry, rather than the manipulation of text or ironic philosophizing side. She read selections from each of the 3 sections of her book, Infinite Beginnings, the 2007 Poetry Book Award from Bright Hill Press, but just published this year. The first section was about the people & the village she came from in Poland. The second section was about her grandmother's, Paulina, experiences in World War II; the third section her more recent experiences, including her husband's experience in the Serbo-Croatian war ("Landscape After the War"). Faced with the choice of buying one book, I bought hers.

I was pleased to see that this series was back, but it was nearly indistinguishable from the Yes, Reading! series which of late has been held at the Social Justice Center: same 2-poet format (no open mic), same audience, even one of the same reader (but different hosts).

But this was only Part 1 of the evening ...

November 13, 2009

Yes, Reading, November 7

Another in the continuing series, tonight solo-host Colie Collen introduced the 2 poets who both have new chapbooks out from Brave Men Press.

Chris Tonelli read from No Theater, which played on images from Japanese Noh Theater with images of masks, short poems (one page each) with one-word titles.

Janaka Stucky's Your Name is the Only Freedom, again, has mostly short, one page poems (but his titles are longer). He gets his images from the Nag Hammadi texts, vodka & the Hindu goddess Kali coming in at the end.

The chapbooks from Brave Men Press (variously Northampton & Boston) are very nicely produced with letterpress covers, crisp text, about 5 1/2" X roughly 6 3/4". Worth looking for.

At the Social Justice Center in Albany, NY.  Check out the series at

Static After the Storm, November 6

I had been invited to read by Dan Stalter, along with others from the Albany poetry scene, at this event put on by The Intangible Collective. It was a night of spoken word followed by Hip Hop sets from Brainstorm/Dustwun Productions & NYC MC's Fascious, Bamboo MC, & B-Nice, at Valentines on New Scotland Ave. in Albany, NY. I was there on a kind of rushed night for me & the place was already packed when I arrived, clearly the oldest guy in the place.

Some of the younger poets from the Collective performed ensemble, with poems/lyrics memorized, like those talent shows on TV that are so popular (back even before my youth there was the "Ted Mack Amateur Hour" on radio). One thing I've noticed, & commented on this Blog previously, about hip-hop inspired spoken word is the tendency to preach, or harangue, typically using broad, abstract concepts like "oppression" & "pollution" (they like these female rhyme endings). I'm usually in agreement politically with these poets (I haven't heard any right-wing rappers yet), but I just don't respond well to preachers.

So when a couple of young guys are on stage telling me what's wrong with the world & what I need to do to change it, preaching, not doing poetry, I get rebellious, even when I agree. If it had all been worked up with images, & subtlety & not just rhyme & hammers I might have responded better. & it's not that I'm adverse to political poems, as anyone who knows my work can tell you ("sex, death & politics" are my 3 main themes -- what else is there?). So when it was my turn to read I scrapped the poem I had planned on reading & went for the first of those themes, snarky & sexist. I was rewarded by Mary Panza calling me a "bad boy." She, Don Levy, & Murrow were among the older poets who performed, including Miriam Axel-Lute, whose poem on refusing to be a quiet woman should have taught the crowd how to get your message across without finger-pointing & breaking in skulls. A few of the other poets gave good, poetic performances, including Shara Bender & Dan Stalter.

Earlier that day I had been reading an issue of American Poetry Review & found a short poem by Jane Hirshfield, "Returned from Long Travels." It is 15 short lines, unpunctuated, a bit more spare than her other work. There was also a short essay in APR's "The Poet on the Poem" series in which Hirshfield talked about this poem. In her essay, she describes traveling to Syria, Jordan, Israel, Ramallah, and Turkey, talking to young students about their lives in these difficult, war-torn places. The students told her she should tell people in the USA, "...that we are just like you, we want respect, we want to fall in love, we want to study. ... Tell them we are Syrians, not 'Arabs,' not terrorists. Tell them we are afraid..." Hirshfield then goes on to explain that the poem was written immediately after that trip, & she goes on to link the poem to her experience in the places she visited & the politics there.

Without the accompanying essay I would have no idea on reading the poem itself that there was any political content at all behind it. The poem, without the essay, is a failure as anything except self-indulgent poeticizing. The essay, which doesn't depend upon having read the poem, is an effective statement about the commonality & frailty of existence, & the struggle for Justice.

I'd rather the preaching was left in the churches, temples, whatever; it's easier for me to avoid it: I just don't go in. Same with the limp, precious poetry: leave it where I know I can avoid it. But poetry -- indeed, all Art -- can be effective in making meaningful statements about philosophy, religion, politics, any Big Idea, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. It doesn't have to be "either/or", rather, as I heard Anne Waldman say, it can be "both/both."

November 9, 2009

Caffè Lena Open Mic, November 4

Carol Graser, our host, started off the night with a poem by Pablo Neruda, then on into a night of the cafe's variety of open mic poets, dancers, & Nicole Peyrafitte, the performance artist as the featured poet. The dancers were a troop of 4 young ballet students, "Lily Loveday & her Dancers," who performed a haiku to guitar accompaniment -- so good they had to do it twice, in the grand tradition of haiku performance.

The string of poets in the first half (in addition to the dancers), included "virgin" Tom Pikel with his riddle on the 40th anniversary of the death of Jack Kerouac, & Daniel Wilt whose wild-boy demeanor (& bad form of cutting out after he read) was belied by his stultifying 4-beat meter & rhyme, as well as Carol Kenyon & her dream, David Moak (whose "Compost Composit" is similar to my philosophy of writing), Sue Jefts (good pieces she described as "Fall poems"), the venerable Alan Catlin (whose poem for Erika, "Dwarf-tossing in Queens" was an anti-dote to last month's more somber piece regarding the same waitress), the political/topical/animal piece by Erika Shoemaker, & George Fisher's 2 "older" pieces, both involving memories of his father.

I have been a constant supporter of the work of Nicole Peyrafitte (& her friend) since she began performing her work after moving to Albany in the early 1990s. In fact, she & Pierre were guests at "the Poetry Motel, Hotel, B&B, Convention Center & Spa" the last couple days, & we all drove up together tonight. Besides, my bias always show. Her performance wove songs & poems & topics, a catalpa tree, the sculpture of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a singing bowl & kazoos, using English & French, even Occitan (also called Provençal or Languedoc) in the poem "To Ride the Line", even the mighty "river that flows both ways," "Mahicanituck." A varied & energetic performance from this bi-continental treasure.

During the break I scooted next door to check out the progress of what would turn out to be the last World Series game this year (even in the 3rd inning the Phillies were losing), & missed some of the open mic. I returned just as W.D. Clarke was finishing his poem. Todd Fabozzi read a couple from his book; James Schlett read a cluster of "Jersey haikus" & "Tipsy;" & I read 2 short "dirty-old-man" poems (as Carol characterized them).

Pierre Joris mixed autumn leaves & a double scotch in a haiku & included "Altars of Light" from his book h.j.r.; Ellen Finn's poem was titled (I think) "Drunk Chunky Donkey in the Dark;" & Nancy Denofio gave us portraits of patrons at the "Brandy Wine Diner, 1959".

Barbara Garro's 2 poems were wistful, nostalgic & had one-word titles, while Carolee Sherwood's poems had long titles (e.g.,"Cantina: Poetry & Fiction in Saratoga the Evening Carolyn Forché Reads from a Manuscript in Progress"). Ariela was another of the night's virgins, with "He's Not Dad," & a poem combining getting out of bed & growing up.

Jill Wickham took words out of a horoscope & re-wrote it, using it as a "skeleton" then read "Speaking of Skeletons." The last 2 young poets arrived late & probably didn't hear the "2 short poems or 1 long poem" limit. George read some travel musings, & then Brian Ellsenbeck also read some journal entries traveling in New Mexico, & another highway poem.

If you go there next month you'll probably have an equally good time, & hear some equally good (or not so good, or whatever) poets, in the grand mix that is an open mic, especially this one on Phila St. in Saratoga Springs on the 1st Wednesday of each month.

November 8, 2009

Guanyin and other poems, by Gene Damm

Gene Damm has been around the poetry scene here in Albany as long as I remember, in fact I remember him as a fellow student at SUNY-Albany (as it was called back then) in the late 1960s. He has now published a book of his poems, Guanyin and other poems (The Troy Book Makers, 2009). Recently he did a reading/book-signing at the Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza to promote it.

He has gathered together about 80 poems, only 1 more than a page, in various voices & personas, including his own. As expected from a book with the title the name of a Chinese province some of the poems are versions or imitations of Chinese poetry. I was pleasantly surprised to find a variation on a famous poem by Wang Wei ("A Mountain" in Gene's version). There is even a poem in Chinese which strangely doesn't seem to be translated. But he also plays with French settings & I even noted wistful nostalgia as in the poems of C.P. Cavafy in "Nocturne" & "The Nude Maja."

Guanyin and other poems is available at The Book House & at Market Block Books in Troy, or ask Gene about it the next time you see him out & about at a poetry reading. Support Your Local Poet.


A red spot fell on the floor
in the Guggenheim Museum
someone’s lost cinnamon candy
or a pill to stave off arthritis pain
a red spot on the speckled marble floor
inscribed in circles
a red spot exiled
from one of Kandinsky’s paintings
hanging on the wall
one of Kandinsky’s larger circles
compressed & boiled down
a red pill you take once a day
the Idea of Art alchemized.

November 6, 2009

ALL HALLOW’S EVE, A RECKONING: The Tribute To Edgar Allan Poe, October 30

Actually, if you notice the date, you will know that this event was held on the eve of All Hallow's Eve (where the word "Halloween" comes from). It was a benefit for the Albany Damien Center & held at the Fuze Box on Central Ave. in Albany, NY., hosted by Albany poetry impresario RM Engelhardt.The Poe-connection was, I guess, for his scary stories, not any particular anniversary (Poe was born January 19, 1809 & died October 7, 1849).

The early performers of the night did versions of Poe's work, beginning with AC "Breaking My Art" Everson performing Poe's "The Raven" then smashing a raven piñata. Then the poem itself was deconstructed by Terry Bat-Sonja (as Ophelia), who by the end of the night was back to sit on stage to read some shorter works by Poe, "Eulalie," "The Lake," & the sonnet, "An Enigma."

Then came a series of "bands" or troops or duos, beginning with Murrow, first Thom Francis & Tony "The Intern" performing Poe's "The Bells." Then Murrow in its usual form with Keith Spencer on guitar & Thom Francis doing his own poems. They were followed by John Weiler reading Poe's "The Conqueror Worm" then John on slide guitar with Mary Panza as The Johnny Bravehearts doing "Annabelle Lee."

The Black Heart Contingency was "Mr. Grey" (Will Nivins) & "Mr. Dark" (our host, RM Engelhardt). I couldn't quite make out what they were doing since the guitar was so loud as to mostly drown out Rob's fake English Southern accent. But I'm quite sure there isn't any Poe poem that goes "la la la la la la la..." etc. At some point I heard him say something about the Psychedelic Furs (which explains the English accent); I don't think it was "Pretty in Pink." It was during their set that Joanna Brown Flynn & her lovely friend, both in white goddess robes, danced & staggered about the floor, a welcome distraction.  Somehow I missed Terry McClain as he was announced from the stage; maybe I was taking a pee.

After that the evening seemed to break down, with J. Dalaba & Dan Stalter doing their own poems & Rob asking, "anyone want to read a Poe poem?" I hung outside with the smokers for a while, got another drink, talked to other non-reading poets in the audience & watched the goddesses make out.

When I left as the fake absinthe party was starting I ran into another group of poets hanging outside on the street (an old QE2 tradition), former Albany poets Leo! & Emily Gonzalez with local artist & poet Marcus Anderson. It was fun to catch up on the news & see these folks again (& not have to deal with goofy costumes). But with "Goth Night" on a regular basis in Albany it seems like Halloween happens a couple times a month -- at least they don't come to my house looking for candy.

Poets Speak Loud!, October 26

Our host, Mary Panza brought the crowd, including inadvertent diners, to order. The first poet, Marc Nadeau, had been hanging around for a long time waiting for the open mic to start & led off with an apocalyptic-America rant. I was bumped to number 2 & read "Planting Tulips" for the season & "Prayer" for all the young housewives in the audience. Carolee Sherwood had a different take on Autumn leaves & writing in "Revision" then read a poem she said was on the color red, but I got lost & now need to read the poem.

RM Engelhardt read a couple poems from his book The Last Cigarette, one, of course, about Truth & the other with Goth girls in it for Halloween. Don Levy's Halloween remembrance, "The One Time I'm Not Interested in a Trick," was about when he was egged on Halloween when he was 12 years old. Todd Fabozzi's poems "Suburbanites" & "HMO" are from his book Umbrageous Embers.

The featured poet was the performance group Not Just Any Tom, Vic and Terri, from Connecticut. These folks are my friends with whom I've performed & partied & hosted at my house. They are Tom Nicotera, Victoria Munoz & Terri Klein. I like their work & they didn't disappoint the Albany crowd, performing a selection from their CD, including Tom's "Why I keep My Mullein," "When I think of You," Victoria's "Poets Erotica," the helpful "Things Not to Say on a 1st Date," "Hedonism 101," & the wonderful ensemble version of Hamlet's "Alas, Poor Yorick" soliloquy. Glad they made the trip, too bad they couldn't stay over. They have CDs available; ask me.

I noticed that Sean Gallagher had shown up with former slam poet Dan Stalter, but if I hadn't seen them together I would've guessed it, because when Sean performed his slam-style poem in tribute to Orson Wells' "War of the Worlds" he did it with the same accent & intonation that Dan Stalter does with his slam poems. Tess Lecuyer read 2 very scary poems, "Hamiliton St. Sonnet" about going down the Hamilton St. hill on a skateboard (or being in love), & the Halloween "Your Curses."

The afore-mentioned Dan Stalter performed a poem in his signature accent/intonation about a car & a relationship. Then Shara Bender did a sex & revolution slam poem in that same accent/intonation (guess what, she came with Dan & Sean); she also did a chilling piece on a friend OD-ing on pills. I'm suspecting that Sean & Shara have been coached by Dan on their performances, picking up his style & performance accent, or that all 3 of them have had the same slam coach, cloning the next generation of poets. I'd rather hear their own voices come through with their good poems & spend more time on "the writin'" rather than "the recitin'."

Brian Sullivan was back with another short short story, "The Cad in the Hat." & speaking of being back, Brigid Schmidt showed up (in a "Winking Witch" tee shirt) after a too-long hiatus from the scene to read a poem involving her family, "Poetry's Mother."

Another poetry filled last Monday at the Lark Tavern (on Madison Ave.) in Albany NY. Bring a poem -- & an appetite: the food is great! & so is the waitress.

November 3, 2009

Sunday Four Poetry, October 25

Our lone host was Dennis Sullivan, who did just fine, with a series of open mic readers before the featured poet, Jay Rogoff. So I was at the top of the open mic list with a chance to do 3 poems, "Red," "The Lilacs" (a city nature poem), & a moon poem with footnotes. Gene Damm read from his new book, Guanyin (Troy Book Maker's), a series of short poems (when you see Gene ask to buy his book, or contact the Book House).

Tim Verhaegen had poems about his grandmother & about his mother ("Is She Crazy of Just Plain Mean?"), & then read the wonderful "What If I Said." Dennis Sullivan read the tender "Reflections on a Bodal Moon," then an homage to the nuns who taught him as a child, & the deep "Shall I Pull Up a Piece of the Ocean Floor?" Alan Casline introduced us to a poem by Elizabeth Coatesworth then took a tour of the poem (Alan's invented form), then some Kerouacian Blues poems from a recent NYC trip.

Philomena Moriarty did old poems about being a facilitator for a therapy group, reacting to what people in the group were going through, even one about a dream a group member had. Larry Rapant said his poem about sex & smoking a joint was from 1977 in Syracuse, at the time he met Jay Rogoff, then read "Anal Clutching," about the shitting images not to be in the poem. Obeeduid (Mark O'Brien) who had on a Steeler's logo tie, read "Weekend in the City," & "Hoops" based on a poem by Yeats.

Not that I'm a groupie or a stalker, but this is about the 4th time in about a year that I've been to a reading by Jay Rogoff, which includes when he was featured at the Third Thursday Poetry Night. But like a good jazz performer, he is the kind of poet one can hear more than once & still enjoy. He read mostly from The Long Fault (Louisiana State University Press), which he described as woven with his obsessions with history, art & the human imagination, including such favorites as "The Guy who Passed Me Doing 90 MPH and Playing the Trumpet," "Jane Austen, the Inventor of Baseball" & one of my personal favorites, "Memorial Chapel". "Death's Suit" he said he had never read before. In the midst he read from a new chapbook of sonnets, & a new poem about his grandson & Michael Jackson, "Legacy". At the end he read, as he often does, "Poet's Park, Mexico DF," a good ending. Not a performer, but a good reader of his poems that I always enjoy, just right for a Sunday afternoon.

This convivial event is on the 4th Sunday of each month at 3PM at the Old Songs Community Center, 37 S. Main St., Voorheesville, NY -- with a schedule of featured poets up through June, & an open mic at each gathering.