In the back room at McGeary's things got raucous with "Vodka Mary" Panza as our host, telling stories, trading insults, & creating new grammar & vocabulary & no one was safe.
Sylvia Barnard began it nicely enough with her poem about a visit to SPAC, "Ballet on a Summer Afternoon." I followed, also quite nicely (if I do say so myself), with a poem in honor of visiting poet Ken Hada, "Oklahoma Sunday," then the recent chance-meeting poem, "City Life." Coincidently Bob Sharkey had a poem that referenced Indian Nations (as had mine), "Road to the Monuments," then a meditation on the use of military drones, "As Olympic Flames Burn." Emily Gonzalez began with a poem by Adrienne Rich, then one of her own, a tender poem listening to stories in a car, "Driving Me Back Home 7AM."
The featured poet had done his job & packed the house with his family & friends, so how could he not give a great performance. ILLiptical the Wizard of Mars is a teacher, wrestling expert, & member of the Nitty Gritty Slam Team. He began with a poem he described as being written 3 years ago & never performed, a declamation that "the stage is my life …" titled "Engraved." He did his next piece in a falsetto voice of a young student talking about a substitute teacher "Mr. Jenkins" then the impassioned "The Last Jew in Spain." Lightening up a bit his next pieces were haikus mainly about movies & in the voice of the movie character, then on to the prison metaphor love poem to his wife, "Sentence Complete," & more comedy in "Loner Full of Irony." He ended with 2 poems from the news, a Slam poem on the Aurora, CO shootings, & an eulogy for the local boy, Miles McAdoo.
Carolee Sherwood, after complaining that she didn't have enough time to read all the poems she wanted to read at her recent Poets in the Park appearance, read "Apiary" that had been the Split This Rock Poem of the Week (local girl gets national poetic attention!). Tess Lecuyer read "Sonnet for a Watercolor" (from 2003) & a new, FaceBook haiku for her coffee. Chad Lowther doesn't come to open mics often & his poems, like the one he read tonight ("We Admonishing Advice"), need more than one hearing -- complex, interwoven.
Always positive Poetyc Visionz began with an anatomy lesson on how marvelous we are, then to the long & preachy "You're Already Beautiful," which sounds so familiar he must have done it somewhere else. Introducing Mojavi, Vodka Mary used another of tonight's neologisms, "crotchily" -- hmm? Anyways, he did his vision of the Apocalypse & pantheon of the gods, "The First & Last Time I Smoked a Joint," then an excerpt of his piece on R&B, naming the names. Mary ended on a Slam note by bringing back Elizag to do her Slam piece riffing on "motherfucker/a" to promote the Nitty Gritty Slam Team.
Enough to make your head spin, even without Mary's vodka. Poets Speak Loud is at McGeary's on the last Monday of most months, check out AlbanyPoets.com for up-to-the-moment details.