September 22, 2010

Third Thursday Poetry Night, September 16

Our visiting featured poet, John Roche, came from Rochester, NY to read tonight, & represent the Black Mountain North Symposium to be held in Rochester October 1 -3, as part of the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Charles Olson. Thus I read Olson's "Maximus to Gloucester July 19" from the first book of the Maximus Poems as our Muse for tonight.

Our first open mic poet was Sylvia Barnard who reprised the poem she read last week at the GLCC, "Christopher Slaughterford," the story of an English murder. Alan Catlin left home without the poem he had intended for the night, so read another bar poem with an intruder coming in out of the rain, "They Are Selling Postcards of the Hanging." Bob Sharkey (who had a Gloucester connection) read "Understanding Anita," recently published in Poiesis #4 from Propaganda Press, Palo Alto, CA. Edie Abrams (also had a Gloucester connection) read a tender poem "Art Willis on a Beautiful Autumn Day" about the local poet. W.D. Clarke's poem, in his characteristic ballad form, was the humorous tale about "Uncle Albert's Venus."

John Roche had sent to me a while back his book of poems, Topicalities (FootHills Publishing 2008), & came with a recommendation from Alan Casline. He began with a poem written during the Iraq War "Cultus", & no apologies for political poems, especially in the Social Justice Center. Then a couple of October poems, "Exchange," Columbus Day sales & the taking of native lands (that Alan Casline has written a poem in response), & "Haints of October." A recent poem, "Bee Sting," was written on the way back from the Worchester Olson festival. "Hermeneutics" considered our short attention spans, & the poet's role. Another road poem, driving back from Ashville, listening to Jack Clark read poetry with jazz, was a Beat enthusiasm of words. In "Baghdad Boogaloo Revisited: Blues for Obama," the musical word play was a political rant (& could've been called the "Pashtun Polka"). He ended with "Here's For All" a poem about open mic poets.

After the break I started off with a new poem "Coyote 2." Alan Casline read "Tour of John Roche's Poem 'Exchange' " which was alluded to above. Dennis Sullivan dedicated "The Cause of All Wars," with its Biblical quotes, to Mark O'Brien. And that poet read next under the nom de plume Obeeduid the wistful poem "This Foul Act." Moses Kash III read way too long as the night's last poet, a rambling quasi-autobiographical meditation framed by men on the Moon.

You never know what you're going to get at open mics, so check it out.

Every third Thursday at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY, 7:30 PM -- bring a poem to read.

No comments: