March 14, 2011

Poetry + Prose, March 13

also known as "2nd Sunday at 2" at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. Even with moving the clocks ahead there were 50 people there (according to the reporter from, & 20 readers. Nancy Klepsch & I are the tag-team host, & we even sign up to read.

Bob Sharkey was up first with a taste of the Irish, starting with Eaven Boland's poem "Daughter of the Colony," then his own prose memoir about his grandfather's dislike for (the) English, "The King's Speech" (& Bob won't go to the movie). Josh McIntyre came down from Saratoga County to read a couple of his short poems, "Hush" & "Old Songs" jogging on the path of memory. Carolee Sherwood confessed to being an avid fan of "The X-Files" & read "Scenes from the X-File on a Wife Who Didn't Really Die," then the poem with the working title, she said, "At Starbucks Waiting for Spring" -- both these poems on her Blog, I think.  Jean Powis read for the first time, a moving poem written 19 years ago about the death of her husband, "Assassination of the Soul."

It was also Dorine's first time & she read an essay about the dangers of AIDS & about prevention methods. It had been Heather Haskin's first time a few months ago, but now she keeps coming back, today with "Wooden Casualties" an excerpt from a longer piece, about learning about trees & lumber from her grandfather. David Wolcott's memoir, "San Simeon," was about trespassing at the Hearst castle on mescaline in his youth. Julie Gutman's 2 poems were from a chapbook dedicated to her deceased mother, "Bequeathed" & the artful sestina "Mother's Amber Necklace." Ron Drummond strung together a couple of dream pieces, one from 3 years ago, another that he titled "Never's Yon" about finding mythical books in a used bookshop. I read the recent, seasonal Winter's Light" & the old 3 Guys performance piece about earthquakes "the stones stand…"

Jil Hanifan's "The Exegesis on Mary Poppins" included her singing in an energetic performance of the piece. Another regular, Kate Laity, said she was going to read something that was unusual for her, a piece that was "unpublished, unfinished & truthful" travel notes & musings from a trip to Italy, read from her pocket notebook. Sally Rhoades piece "A Thousand Tribes" was also unfinished, on various pages & from her journal, an evolving bit of fiction (afterall, that's what open mics are for, to try out pieces that may -- or may not -- be unfinished, incomplete, in various stages of revision). Nancy Klepsch read a piece written 9 years ago that celebrated herself, effusive & ecstatic, now at the other end of that decade, "40."  Barbara Kaiser read a memoir, "In the Middle of the Night," about a couple of Brooklyn girls hanging out in the Village (ah, yes, interesting days), & a funny wordplay, "Ode to the Metric System."

Lauren Pinsley had planned to read last, but others coming in late filled in the list behind her, still she moved many of us to tears with a tribute to her marriage (& "un-marriage" through the vagaries of legislation) & wishing her partner, Nancy, Happy Anniversary (& many more my friends!). Elizabeth Gordon didn't tell us the titles of her 2 pieces, the first combining the need/desire to write & political action, the second a brief, gentler piece beginning "I agree with pink…" & ending with a drop of dew. Rachel Lyons rocked up with a long, marvelously intense piece written for an anti-war performance, around the images of the children's game rock, paper, scissors; I think the title was "First Poem Piece" (or Peace?). Anu slipped in at the end with a couple poems he said were from 2005 & 2006, "Romancing the Road" (on an Indian motorcycle) & the wistful desire of "Dancing in the Dark Nights."

This is an open mic for prose writers as well as poets, with a 5-minute time-limit, every 2nd Sunday of the month at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St., Troy, NY -- it's free, & it starts on time.


K. A. Laity said...

Nice write up, Dan. What a great turn out! I'm still smiling about "Mary Poppins" :-)

Anonymous said...

from Therese L. Broderick -- It's exciting that this open mic has become so popular.