April 28, 2011

Poets Speak Loud!, April 25

A dozen or so poets & listeners gathered in McGeary's back room for this series that started at the now burned out Lark Tavern. Mary Panza was the Mother-Host.

Some of us got there early for dinner (recommended) so I signed up first for a change & read 2 poems about breath & reading poetry, "Book Store Reading" (about the Half Moon Bookstore readings in Kingston) & the response to a prompt, "How to Read a Poem." One of 2 redheads in the room, Carolee Sherwood read a sestina for a school assignment, "Drought" (ironically full of rain, husbands & wine), then the chilling tale of natural terrorism, "Raccoon." Joe Krausman read a Spring poem about dating service mis-match, "Out of the Running," then a tale of an "old man" giving a young girl a boost "In the Parking Lot."

Our night's featured poet Jill Crammond's hair was perfect!  She began with a poem to her very young art students, "Arts Studio" (you don't think she sits around & writes poetry all day, do you?). "Sometimes Nothing at All Happens" had Jesus delivering milk, a wedding was the setting for "I Should Mention Love,"& in "Domestic Dispute" the wife strips all the Barbie dolls when the husband walks out. Jill also had a poem in a venerable form, a villanelle filled with peonies & azaleas, "A Short History of the Gardener’s Marriage and Eventual Uprooting," followed by "Buddha's Feast" after a visit to the divorce lawyer. Others on related themes included "The Year of the Divorce," the dark side of mothers in "From the Book of Moms" & "All the Pretty Mothers," & "Love's Lunchonette" (a dream poem). The prose poem "Slip Into this 40-year Old Turn-Key Charmer for a Song" is coming out in an anthology soon she tells us, then ends on the cosmic "What the Universe Makes of Ex-Wives." Sometimes I wish I was going through a divorce so I could write such funny/sardonic/bitter-sweet poems too.

Sylvia Barnard began the introduction to her poem while she was getting up from the table & continued on to the microphone, a poem encompassing scenes of children (including her own daughter) in her neighborhood over a period of years, each generation repeating & supplanting the previous one. The second of the night's redheads, Tess Lecuyer had birds in each of her poems, crows of course in "This Sound", then "Driving Poem" & "Summer Solstice 1999" from her series. Stacey Stump read a couple of older pieces, "A Winter's Lesson," about a childhood friend & memories of the beach, written in college, & what she said was one of the first poems she read at an open mic in Albany, "Goldenrod."

Usually held on the last Monday of the month, next month this open mic will be take place on May 23, 7:30 PM for sign-up, reading at 8:00PM at McGeary's on Clinton Sq., in Albany NY. Good food & beautiful waitresses.

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