Albany Poets were one of the early acts at the stage on the Washington Ave. end of Lark St. for the Art on Lark event. The weather was cool, cloudy but the rain had stopped. We did a "round robin" of alternating poets, starting with Cheryl A. Rice's recent poem "Nixon in China" (as much history as the Philip Glass opera), then I read my new poem from Cape Cod, "Imagining the Mews," while while Tess Lecuyer rounded it out with a poem about crows for the day's rain. I was having such fun up there on the stage with these 2 fine poets, but nothing like being between 2 women to make a guy feel inadequate.
Cheryl returned wondering "Is Nothing Sacred," then I with the prompts once again with "My Birds' Poem of Thanks," & Tess continued with another poem in a form, the ballade "Camp Little Notch Serenade." Cheryl read "Perfume," & I explained my absence at a peace demonstration in "A Pain in the Neck" (from Baghdad/Albany & other Peace Poems), then Ed Rinaldi joined us on stage. He seems to be writing longer poems these days, & some today seemed to be about gardening, this first one with the worms beneath it all.
Cheryl's poem about our "mid-life" issues, "Imperfections," was followed by Tess' "The Magic of the Broomstick" then Ed described a confrontation with a woman in the produce section of the supermarket in his poem about gardening "Planting Yellow Beans for Juna Luna." I looked to a future where "If Peace Broke Out Tomorrow," & Ed brought us home beneath a goddess in a poem about "managing the mechanics of what lust can be."
A varied presentation to the random audience of what is Lark St. festivals; there had had been other poets who couldn't make it like Mike Jurkovic, & Gary Murrow showed up late just as we were leaving the stage, spoiling his debut. But it was a statement about the presence of poets & poetry in Albany.