July 20, 2010

Professor Java's Wide Open Mic, July 12

This is more like a poetry open mic with musicians rather than the usual musician dominated open mic with token poets, so I had a pretty good time. And there were some of Albany's finest reading tonight. Keith Spencer was the host, whose introductions contrasted lies & truths about the performers he was introducing; sometimes the lies became truths & the truths lies, just like everything else in life.

After Matt spent some time flailing around an instrumental on his guitar, the first poets up were me & Lisa Ann LoBasso, who was in town from Bakersfield, CA (she had been featured last year at Poets in the Park & Caffe Lena & in the Connecticut Poetry Festival). We performed 3 poems together; the first was my piece, "27 Things You Can Do with an MFA," then 2 of Lisa Ann's poems, "An American in London," & "Deconstruction Conversations with My Father and the Visiting Man."

Marilyn Day read 2 poems both called "Interpretation of Dream," One, & Two (which was in 6 part, remembering repeated dreams with snakes). Jan Tramontano's first piece was a rant on the health care debate, then to the Ferlinghetti inspired (I wonder if she was wearing his tee shirt when she wrote it?) "Leading My Life Quietly," then "My Husband's Garden." In his poem "The Check Out" Joe Krausman pondered the techniques for losing weight, then offered us the advice "Never Wash a Hedge Hog" (one had nothing to do with the other, I don't think).  Thérèse Broderick must've been scribbling madly during the last few poets because she came up with "7 Reasons I Love My MFA" (we love her mfa too); "Vandal" was about a tree, & was written on her front porch.

Carol Jewell read 2 of her many pantoums, both somewhat philosophical & abstract. I will be nice, say no more than that Sarah La Mountain's poem "Summerlands" was about a dead dog.

Todd Fabozzi read poems from his latest collection, Crossroads, including commenting on the "MFA debate" with his poem "University of the Street." Danielle La Rose described the work she read as "2 short poems by a short person," which they were & containing mainly platitudes -- images, more images please! Thom Francis ended the night with images (read from his pocket notebook) of a poet who was (is?) in one of the poems best lines, a "paper messiah, martyr with a pen."

In between the poets, musicians Erin Powers & Greg Gooba performed in their separate slots, but by far the best of the night was Mary Leigh & Zack, she on guitar & vocals, he on a drum; her "Hey Romeo" & the wildly suggestive "Candyman" both had creative lyrics with excellent use of half rhymes & clever turns of phrase.

This is the 2nd Monday of the month at 8PM at Professor Java's on Wolf Rd. in Colonie, NY; bring a guitar if you got it, but make sure it's in tune.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Therese B. -- Well, my MFA piece was a poor excuse for a poem, scribbled at the last minute and almost incoherent prose. I'll have to revise it. Maybe. Thanks for not tearing it to pieces.

Do you like my MFA or my m.f.a.? At age 51, I still have an MFA, but I no longer have a m.f.a. (as if I ever did) :)