October 28, 2010

Sunday Four Poetry -- October 24

Another wonderful afternoon of poetry & convivial camaraderie, with the featured poet going on first for a change, with tag-team intros by the over-dressed Mike Burke, Dennis Sullivan, & (later for the open mic) Edie Abrams.

Jim Williams, the featured poet, began with self-deprecating comments about not knowing much about poetry, then read a villanelle (about writing a poem) & a Petrarchean sonnet (on his cancer, with a humorous twist). He also included in his reading a bouquet of triolets run together, also about his cancer, then a humorous dialogue with Karl Jung "Poetry Won't Make You Happy or More Prosperous…" & a poem musing about writing poetry & suicide. Striking off in other directions he read a longer memoir poem about his sexual exploits while attending anti-war demonstrations in the 1970s, & a re-telling of the Oedipus myth (Freud v. Jung ?). But by far my favorite piece was a love poem about cleaning his rug, the stains like the scars on his heart, nice conceit. He ended, as an encore of sorts, with a solo instrumental piece on guitar.  Jim's poems are available in chapbooks from Benevolent Bird Press, Box 522, Delmar, NY, 12054.

The first of the open mic poets was Philomena Moriarty with 3 poems, the last of which "How St. Anthony Works, a Theory" that she later needed to put to the test for a lost notebook. Mike Burke was "Pissed" in a hotel bar until humbled by an armless beggar. Obeeduid (Mark O'Brian) read from his iPad the Oedipal "Dad Was Right You Had Great Gams." The not-seen-enough-at-open-mics Sue Oringel took us through the past to now with "Autumn." The reigning Smith's Tavern Poet Laureate, Barbara Vink, took us to a Thanksgiving dinner with the old folks. Then the 1st runner up, Carolee Sherwood, contemplated the meaning of patio stones in "Outside the Cafe on One of the Last Warm Days," then on love lost, the change of the seasons & a passing ambulance in "October 18."

I followed with my newest poem, the Eliot pastiche "October Land," then the seasonal "musical" performance/public-service announcement, "Put Down the Government Rag." Tom Corrado took us on a steam locomotive "At the Clinique Counter with My Daughter," then examined "Random Inattentiveness." Thérèse Broderick has been working a gift-book of poems for her daughter's birthday (sure hope she's not interested in reading this Blog), read "Elizabeth Verité."

Ann Lapinski's poems were from a class she took at the Arts Center, one about her father ("The Picture on the Living Room Wall"), & "The Wolf" (reworking "Little Red Riding Hood").  Howard Kogan (who was 3rd place in the Poet Laureate contest in April) read 2 poems of childhood, "The Way We Met," & the implications of "King Kong." Paul Amidon said he hoped the Yankees would've won last night so he could read this poem, which he read anyways, "English Class Report," about listening to the World Series in school, then his own timely, seasonal poem "Elections;" commenting on his "poetics" (referencing the Sunday Four Poetry program in January, 2011) he read "Poems as Children."  Alan Casline read a pair of somber, contemplative (outside) poems from April, 2009, "Contemplation of Buddha Looking Out" & "Sitting on a Wet Moss Mound."

Speaking of outside poems, Sheldon Carnes showed up in his tree outfit & recited a fable about the controlling the Earth. Dennis Sullivan was almost skipped, read 3 poems, each with a different color, "Red," green ("A Day Makes a Difference" but not about the color), & blue, a love poem in Barcelona, looking to the end.

A series that continues each 4th Sunday of the month at the Old Songs Community Center on Main St. in Voorheesville, 3PM, which if you haven't been to, you should.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Therese B. -- great photo of the tree. Thorough run-down of the large crowd of Sunday Four open mic readers. No, my daughter reads neither my blog, nor my Facebook page, so my secret is safe for now. Plus, she probably won't even read the poems in my gift book to her, but that's OK. I know she can't wait to get away from her parents and get out on her own.