May 29, 2010
Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center, May 20
My Muse for the night was the poet & biographer of H.D., Barbara Guest, a couple of her poems to inspire us. When we started reading only about half of the eventual open mic poets were there so I rewarded those present by letting them read 2 poems, while the late sign-ups were limited to the usual 1 poem rule.
Once again Alan Catlin was #1 on the list & began with a "true" story from his bartender days, "A Moveable Honeymoon Suite," then from a series of poems using animals as metaphors in surreal places, "White Whales in Fields of Wildflowers." Bob Sharkey's poems tonight were the first two in a long series of prose poems, "The Body" a mystery story, continued in "The Tokens."
Jason Crane read a poem about fixing up his truck, "Red Truck Elegy" then a poem for the jazz piano man Hank Jones, "91." Tedi Toca was back again, 2nd month in a row, with an old heavy-metal & lost love inspired poem, "Smudged." This was Anna Eyre's first time reading at the Third Thursday, with a chant piling up images & celebrating "Me" (I mean, her).
After the break we returned to the open mic & I read a new poem from a notebook entry from last year, "Berkeley Morning." Then another SJC virgin, Raurri Jennings, who was encouraged to attend by the featured poet, did "a live cut-up" of 2 letter/poems he has been writing lately, then read the sources, which kind of took the thrill away. W.D. Clarke read "The Outsider" (from his book Soldier Ballads & Other Tales), & a Canadian story his Dad used to tell, "The Pumpkin Pie."
Ellen Finn (an "Albany virgin") is a regular at Caffe Lena, & read "To my Parents this Poem is my Therapy" (as so many are). Moses Kash III's poem read one of his latest poems, "America 2" about the country's racism & decline & it's false dreams of celebrity.
Traffic-girl Carolee Sherwood read "Placing My Head in the Mouth of a Lion" which she said, to taunt me, was a cat poem, but I beg to differ. D. Alexander Holiday plugged his new book, a memoir, In the Care of Strangers: The Autobiography of a Foster Child; the poem he read was "I LIke to Think of Harriet Taubman" by Susan Griffin. The night's last poet, Jill Wickham, read a poem based on a wordle, "Behind the Scene at Dick & Jane's" another of her commentaries on suburban life.
Every third Thursday, the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., 7:30PM (sign-up at 7:00PM), $3.00 donation, featured poet & open mic.