Saratoga Springs in August means mortal combat over parking spaces, crowded bars. But I was able to negotiate both to get myself & my guest Ken Hada to the reading on time, after a convivial time at the Parting Glass with the other featured poet, Mark Obeeduid O'Brien & others of his loyal supporters.
Carol Graser, our host, began with a poem by Galway Kinnell, who had been in the area recently, then on to the open mic. Jessie, a young slam poet, had been here before, tonight did a slam rant philosophical love poem. I was second with 2 old "seasonal" poems, "Altamont Fair Poem" (read for Alan Casline who has taken over the duties as organizer of the poetry event at the Altamont Fair), & a poem for Saratoga in August, "…And the Mary Lou Whitney You Rode In On." Mike Burke followed with the descriptive piece, "Saratoga, The Track." Kate McNairy's short Nature poems were about stars ("Kneeling") & in the woods ("Forgotten"). Mimi Moriarty had 2 poems about childhood, "My Best Decade" (her first) & the later "Peter Pan & the Theory of Flight."
We took a short break, then Carol Graser was back with the hysterical poem of "The Haiku" as a character. Joe Krausman has the theatrical ability to present a poem in the voice of the wife of a gambler's wife, then another in the voice of a bull. Susan Riback read a meditation on "Living Alone," then another on noticing "Lovers at the Next Table." Rodney Parrot was a new voice here but said he had a bunch of poetry chapbooks out & read from The Pleasure of Moving Through 3 Dimensions. Frequent reader here Carole Kenyon read a long, funny piece, "Libertarian's Lament." I hadn't seen W.D. Clarke in a while & his ballad "The Lieutenant's Confession" (about a massacre in Saipan) reminded me why I missed his work.
Ah, Caffé Lena, with featured poets & great regional open mic poets every 1st Wednesday, 7:30PM, Phila St. in Saratoga Springs -- no horses allowed.