July 26, 2010

Poets in the Park, July 17

Once again on a Saturday night in July we gathered in Albany's Washington Park for the 2nd in this year's Poets in the Park. Robert Burns looked down from is perch & Tom Star-Dust saved me the parking spot I need.

Aleathia Drehmer, publisher of the micro fold-out zine Durable Goods, came all the way out from the Southern Tier of New York State to read to us tonight. She started with a sestina with love & Pi & a whale & an albatross, "The Core of My Dysfunction." Then on to generally shorter poems. Some had to do with divorce/marriage crumbling, as "Four Cents an Acre", "Nothing Ever Changes" or perhaps, "Waiting by the Window." Other poems responded to the work of other poets, as in "Dies Irae" (pondering her personal image growing imperfect), & "He Wanted a Love Poem." Her poems are filled with precise images of the world around her, as in the description of a street person ("Shabby Chic") or cops on a plane ("Survivor Guilt"), even among the "diner politics" in a rural Georgia waffle house. & watch for her poem "I Lose Things" to be on someone's rock CD someday. She ended with a longer piece, a 9 part elegy to her mother, based on the Catholic ritual of a Novena, "Lost Season".

Moses Kash III is well known to the Albany poetry community, but has done few readings other than participating in open mics. He is one of the Elders & I was pleased to have him as a featured poet. He took the opportunity to sample some of the themes & styles that those of us who hear him at open mics have come to know as his work. Race one of Moses' important topics & so he began with "The Negro" & continued with the longer celebration & litany, "Black Arts: My Soul is Burning" then on to the sad & angry "Black Babies." His poem "Comes the Dawn" meditates on love & loss & "By the Sands of the Sea" is a rare straight-out love poem. He also touched on another of his grand themes, religion & sports figures, with "The Great One." Some of Moses' work is written like songs, crying for a musician, so he ended with a sample in "You're a Ghetto Superstar." A good sample of his work.

The free series continues during July, 7PM at the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park, Albany, NY.

1 comment:

Lynn Alexander said...

I know some of these poems by Aleathia, good choices, and I'm glad that you were able to hear them.

I wish I could have been there.

Wonderful, the way you nurture the poetry scene in Albany. Maybe I will meet you soon!