Winter in Albany & the poets keep warm with words. At this night's open mic Jason Crane started us off with the poem, "Memorex Hummingbird" was from a visit with his family to 5-Rivers Nature Center. Rod Aldrich has been joining us lately at some open mics & tonight read on the opposite of writers' block, "Fountain from the Wide Open Hidden", overwhelmed with ideas to write about. Joe Krausman found an old poem, "Salad Days," a food metaphor for our life on Earth. It is a good sign when new poets show up at open mics & tonight's virgin was Christine Hollister; her poem, "Queen's Retaliation," used a bit tattered metaphor of Kings & Queens, but hopefully if she keeps attending open mics her poems will find their way to the 21st Century.
The Troy Book Makers) & read mostly from it, improvising his set list as he went along. His poems deal with social issues, like race ("on the boardwalk"), workers ("dignity"), and the political scene. He included a couple of poems about ex-President Bush ("a token of gratitude" & the scatological "so long suckers"), then "higher ground" on Obama, & "degreased democracy" which could've been written about the recent Supreme Court decision. He ended with the long poem, a history of Amsterdam, "the city of yesterday's tomorrow" from his first book, Umbrageous Embers (The Troy Book Makers, 2008).
After the break I read my poem written this summer "My Sather Gate Illumination," which was recently published as a broadside by Benevolent Bird Press (if you want a copy, email me). W.D. Clarke was happily back again, this time with a poem about childhood & family memories, "Grandma's Leg," finding it years later in a secnd-hand shop. I had to wake up Sylvia Barnard, overcome by jet-lag from the Mediterranean, with a recent poem about hearing the morning call to prayer in Turkey, "Istanbul."
Katie Vermilyea was instrumental in bringing tonight's virgin, read a poem singing the praise of love, "Oh love..." (& she promises to bring more of her students in the future). Dr. Moses Kash III was also back (said "everybody is everything" as he came to the mic), then read a poem incorporating his memory of being in Haiti in 1976, "Baby Steps: Haiti & the Earthquake." Anthony Bernini was the night's last poet, read a poem about having too many electronic devices "Let Us Shut You Down."