Back when this series was at the Lark Tavern there was usually a featured poet. But since the fire & the move to McGeary's in November, it's been basically an open mic as the series re-establishes its foothold. With tonight's reading the featured readers were back in force, with the energetic Mike Jurkovic featured, in the middle of the open mic.
I was there early & read up first, "Birthday Poem 2011" based on a remark Mary Panza made at the Tom Nattell Memorial Beret Toss last month, next a brief untitled little love poem, then a seasonal piece about what I found in a snowbank at the bus stop.
Jill Crammond's first poem was called "Loud in the House of Herself" with an umbrella in it, then on to a twisting of a familiar story, "Grandmother Speaks Frankly to Red Riding Hood" about making your own fairytale. Tess Lecuyer ran us through seasons with "Anywhere" (ice), "Spring Equinox," & "Sonnet for a Watercolor" with its summer blue. We had no cake for Cheryl A. Rice's 28th birthday (!?) today, but we did sing (badly, but with feeling). She read a new piece, "Nixon in China," not the opera but her memory of that time), & then "Leaving Minnesota," a place she has never been.
Pudding House, Purgatory Road. He began with a poem with an interesting trope with his soul as a tourist. A number of his poems had references to rock music, not surprising with his background as a music critic: "The Guitarist Said," "Doesn't She Know" (Ritchie Sambora), banging "John Lennon's Daughter," & "The Art of the Opening Band." There were a couple movie references, "Remake" (of "The Hairy Ape"), "The Road," even "The Great Movie Begins" (on meditating). "My Inner Mexican" engages racist clichés, & "Pacific Trash Vortex" takes on Man's trashing of Nature. & then there is the recent love poem that I liked very much "These Guys." Mike ended his program with a string of I guess you would call them "driving poems": "More Balls" (about the first woman driver?), & from his book, "Tell Them, My Love," & the title poem, "Purgatory Road." What one could easily sum up as a really good performance.
RM Engelhardt made a rare appearance with a couple of pieces I think you can find on his website, "Poem for Sleep" ("this is not a poem about sleep"), & his stab at another political poem, "21st Century Dirge for America." Carolee Sherwood's poems were still frozen into the season, with "February Body Count," & the weak sun & a dream conspire for "Another Cold Monday." Joe Krausman wasn't sure to title his poem "Eskimos" or "Inuit," good just the same.
Last Monday of most months, now with a featured poet, at McGeary's at Clinton Square. Bring poems.