It has taken a while but I'm losing my nostalgia for the Lark Tavern, the grieving process is coming to an end, with the success & vibrancy of this series at McGeary's. Perhaps it is the cozy back room where poets listen to poets, where the shocked dinner patrons can eat in peace & enjoy their conversation out in the main dining area. Or it is simply that the good & snarky energy of this venue has taken root here, as it had at Tess' Lark Tavern.
Tess Lecuyer started with an old Spring Equinox poem (jumping the gun a little), then another old poem titled "Strays." Ed Rinaldi is working at a-poem-a-day & read one about the reasons he writes poetry, then another, "To Know What's For Dessert." We all sang "Happy Birthday" to Cheryl Rice who read a couple of horse poems, "Horseshoe" (hanging over her kitchen door), & the nostalgic, family memoir, picture-poem "Water Trough Bench."
Shannon Shoemaker began with a poem titled "Valentines Day," then brought the house down (& started a continuing conversation) with the poem she performed so well at the last Nitty Gritty Slam, the strap-on/whip-it-out poem inspired by my old piece, "To My Penis." I followed (as well as I could) next with a total change of pace, last year's "Winter Light" & "Not Yet Spring." Sylvia Barnard dug out an old broadside put out by the University at Albany English Department in 2005, & read her poem from it "January 2004," then my poem (!) from the broadside, "Reading Bei Dao at the Great Wall."
Avery did, in his effusive style, 2 long pieces with long titles, the first a riff on the Muppet rainbow song & other borrowed ideas, "On the Magnetism & the Oscillating Personal Relationship …" then a slam-like word flow read fast, "My Spoken Word, Can You Her What I Am Saying?" Mojavi also had a piece with a long title, "So What … & the Letter Beef," about the "poetry wars", then into the more pleasant topic of a love poem.
Leslie Michelle brought us some humor & word play telling us she is "Sick of Twitter." I think Dain Brammage is either stuck in 3rd grade, or looking to repeat it, reading us 2 recently written cinquains. Poetyc Visionz ended the night (or, as Mary said, "bring us out of this…") with a piece from his CD Poetyc Visionz Presents L.I.F.E. - The Meaning, complete with backup singers.
There are lots of reasons to come to this open mic on the last Monday of most months at McGeary's on Clinton Square, in Albany, NY: good food, friendly staff, an attentive (if rambunctious) audience & great poetry (that is, if you show up).