The usual host of this monthly reading & open mic is Phillip Levine. But he asked me to be the host this day so he could attend his daughter's ballet recital. I once had those days too, with ballet recitals, performances, even a few Irish step-dancing feises thrown in, so I was glad to fill in for Phillip. There were 2 featured poets (as there characteristically are) & a cluster of open mic poets, for a wonderful afternoon in sunny Woodstock.
Trina Porte started us off with "a wood's poem", "As Big as My Hand" then took us to "The Library." Micky Shorr noted the approach of Father's Day & read "Family Bond" about her not-nice father, then, to give equal time, a poem on her mother's lies, "Change in Appearance." Apparently Angela Kozlakowska's mother was a bit nicer, based on "Hand Made," then read "On Guard."
After the break I tried out my new poem from the Provincetown Art Museum, "The Easel's Story" (based on an exhibit of paintings by Robert Fisher). Christina Turczyn's marvelous poem, "I Walked a Poem in Passaic" was filled with details of a stroll through the city, & equally vivid images in precise details were in "Winter Morning in Montclair" based on a painting by George Inness. The last poet was an ubiquitous area writer, this time signed up as "Hank Fellows" who did 2 pieces, one in the voice of a woman from "Visions of Mexico," a book he is working on, the other a moving rant by a guy, this one from the series "At the VA Hospital."
For me this was only the first stop on a busy afternoon of poetry. But it was a wonderful afternoon filled with good work, good performances. A quick beer in Woodstock, then on the road to New Paltz for part 2.