This series, held a the Old Songs Community Center in Voorheesville, NY, has become one of the region's premier reading/open mics. Today, instead of the usual individual featured poet, the series presented a panel discussion billed as "Three Poets Read and Speak Poetics." But first, the open mic.
In honor of the panel's topic I read 2 poems on poetry & prompts, "Poetry Prompt" & "The Lesson." Sally Rhoades read a poem from one of her visits to Cyprus, "The Mound" (about seeing a burial mound). Alan Casline had 2 poems, "The Flower at Night" & one of his "spontaneous poems" "34th Chorus." Our host, Dennis Sullivan, read a poem on the nature of memory & it's control on our lives, "A Visit from Nobodaddy" (cf. William Blake). Jill Crammond started off with "Carrots Don't Grow Overnight…" with Curious George but, of course, about marriage & a poem you can find on her Blog, "Marriage as Occupation." Jim Williams gave us a "Silly Song" in a Scots accent. Carolee Sherwood's poem also can be found on her Blog, "An X-file on the Wife Who Didn't Really Die," & then the mix of images in "Recurrences."
Tom Corrado read a selection of his aphoristic "Scripts for Today." After doing a brief commercial for Lodge's on North Pearl St. in Albany, Joe Krausman read a couple post-seasonal poems, "Season's Greetings," & "New Year's Eve" (his resolutions). Howard Kogan proposed a way for poet's to make money from our poems with his hilarious "Product Placement," which did just that. Margaret Bryant's poem "Composition" was a poem on a poem, while "A Spring Poem" was a perfect way to end the open mic, with hope for the end of Winter.
(In the photo, left to right, Mimi Moriarty, Therese Broderick, Marilyn Paarlberg.)
Marilyn Paarlberg talked about "voice" or poetic persona, which led into her poem which was a dramatic monologue in the voice of a working-class women in Maine.
Therese Broderick talked about her concentration on sound in her poems, poems as physical things, like breath (cf. Allen Ginsberg on this). She read a poem with lines from the children's book Madeline, a poem that she recently revised for more effects from sound.
Mimi Moriarty's contrasting focus was on "hammering" her free writing into a form to make it a poem. She read 3 examples in different line lengths, the angry, rambling long lines of "Very Nice Person," the slow pace, short lines of "Track Photo," & the mixed long/short lines of the shape poem, "In the Dark."
The afternoon was rounded out by a few questions & discussions then some of us found our way to Smitty's for another type of "panel discussion" over food & drink.
Every 4th Sunday, at the Old Songs Community Center, 37 S. Main, Voorheesville, NY, 3 PM, bring poems for the open mic & attention to the Featured Poet.