Another night of wonderful poetry at the Social Justice Center in Albany, with our featured poet Jill Crammond Wickham. I selected as our Muse Anne Sexton & read one of her lesser-known pieces her poem "Song for a Red Nightgown."
Jason Crane, a former-feature here, began the open mic with a love poem, "Tennessee Horizon." Future feature (hear her here in November) Carolee Sherwood was next with "As Scary As I Know How, On Celebrating 6-Years of Poetry," inspired by her work with Jill, filled with myth & fairy-tales. Alan ("A.F." aka "Bird") Casline followed with "The Show Caves of Central Pennsylvania" dedicating it to the late Allen Hoey (1952 - 2010). W.D. Clarke's ballad for the night was "The Witness" inspired by a famous photo of a Western shoot-out.
Live from the Living Room) & she still thought of it as her first time, as girls often do. Those of us who have been hearing Jill read at open mics know of her twinned themes of marriage & suburban living, & we got a generous dose tonight, from the Anne Sexton-inspired "June Cleaver Breaks Down Calls a Caterer," to suburban Moms finding it where they can ("Love Poem from the Produce Section"), & "Behind the Scenes at Dick & Jane's," on to the "Origin of Marriage" on how her parents met, & the similar "On the Other Side of the Hollow Tree You are Not a Bird But a Bride." She also discussed some alternatives, such as "How to Join the Circus" & "Why I Have Abandoned Motherhood In Hopes of Running a Brothel & Being Called Madam." Another conceit she likes to use is turning into poems the things she hears wrong, as in "The Husband Renames Himself Everyman & Reclaims His Voice," "In the Telling of an Anecdote the Wife Remembers It is a Story She Made Up" (sex birth death), & "Buying Tilapia from a One-Eyed Fish Monger." "The A to Zs of Marriage" was an alphabet poem, as was her concluding poem, "You Get a Note from the Dry Cleaner : Your Costume is Ready to Be Picked Up…" which she read with her partner-in-crime,
Carolee Sherwood with whom she co-wrote the poem on Facebook. Lots of fun, sex & word play, twisting of cliches & common phrases -- & her hair was perfect.
After the break I continued the themes from my point of view with my poem, "Anne Sexton," then on to the rest of the open mic with Bob Sharkey & his poem "Actions Prouder Than Words," disappointed with Obama. Sally Rhoades danced to the mic with "High Velocity Dancing." A regular here, Moses Kash III brought me close to tears by reading my poem "Africa" -- Thank You Moses!! The poet who call herself "Screamer" (Amy Fortin) had shown up at Valentine's after months/years away from the scene & tonight read a dog-rant, "Ramblings of Insomnia on a Rainy Day." Anthony Bernini got away from his Thursday golf group to read "The Exiles." Then ending with Bless meditating on the yin & yang of "The Perfect Life."
Every Third Thursday, in Albany, NY at 33 Central Ave. at the Social Justice Center, 7PM sign-up, 7:30 start, always a feature & open mic for poets.