January 5, 2010

Sunday Four Poetry, December 27

Dennis Sullivan introduced the day's program & introduced Edie Abrams who introduced the open mic poets.

Alan Casline began with "Wintering in a Tee Pee" then a rhyming poem on sore Irish eyes from trying to find the image of the Virgin Mary in the sunrise, & ended with his flat-squirrel poem that you can find on his blog . I read a poem from this summer's visit to Berkeley, "My Sather Gate Illumination" (which Benevolent Bird Press has now published as a broadside -- thanks Alan) & "Kandinsky's Red Spot."

Mimi Moriarty's brother, Frank Desiderio, was in town for the holidays & they performed together as they did this summer alternating poems on related themes. First on Christmas, Mimi's "Inventing Reasons Not to Celebrate Christmas," then Frank's "Christmas Presents." Frank's poem from a workshop, "Home from the War" reflected off Mimi's "Back from the War." The last segment was on serenity, with Mimi reading "Debating St. Theresa" while Frank's poem was about the craziness of being in line & counting items. One of the best "tag-team" poetry collaborations out there.

Dennis Sullivan read about writing "the words of God" with his fancy fountain pen, then the funny rhymes of "One Cell Cowboy Joe." Larry Rapant's rambling Beat rants played off a news story in a funny poem of a donkey escaping from a Christmas scene, pondered about a "Pencil Where the Ear Should Be," & the irreverent "Ass Wednesday." Obeeduid (Mark O'Brien) gave us images from different parts of his life in a dream-state self-portrait.

Dennis' poet friend Michael Wheeling was visiting from Washington, DC & he joined in with poems written while he was in France, contemplating God (or god): "In the Kitchen of My Brain," "The Scent," and "Trinity Redux." Tom Corrado's "Surrendering the Plates" connected sounds & ideas & cliches.

This was Joe Krausman's first time here at this series & he impressed folks with his wry, Brooklyn humor, imagining being married to a 2-headed woman, then "A Tragedy Where a Foot-Fetishist Has to Settle for a Whole Woman," & mused on sending a generic holiday card. The afternoon's youngest poet was Morgan Keith, the featured poet's granddaughter, who read a poem, "Red," from a calendar she created where each month is introduced by a poem (keep writing, Morgan).

Tom Corrado introduced the featured poet, Mike Burke, by pulling a few lines from his poems, some of which we got to hear later in context. Benevolent Bird Press (Delmar, NY) published Mike's chapbook, Sonnets for a Summer Dog, & he read us a few from it ("Summer Shower", "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" & "Mr. Ransom"). His poems are generally short & easily accessible, often about his childhood or remembrances, such as remembering his mother in "The Homecoming," or an early home with his daughter, "10 Glenwood St.", or a favorite dog, "Bud." But he can also be humorous, as in "Departures" (at the airport). He ended with a recent poem written for a 3rd grade class, "Poppy," in which he describes all the roles he has had in his life. Certainly "Poet" is one of the better ones.

Afterwards, as is the custom, some of us gathered down the road at Smitty's Tavern where the discussions continued, a most pleasant Sunday afternoon.

Every 4th Sunday at the Old Songs Community Center in Voorheesville, NY, 3PM, a full schedule of featured poets & a congenial open mic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dan, thanks for the nice summary of our Sunday Four Poetry, and thank you for the kind words. Morgan was thrilled. She is the hero of her 3rd grade class. Who knows...you might have given her the nudge to get her pointed down the poetry road.
You perform a great service of keeping the local poets informed of what's going on. Keep up the good word. M Burke