Back up to Saratoga Springs, this month with my friend Don Levy tagging along for the first time in many months. It was another full list of open mic poets & a similar program of the featured poets, the Nitty Gritty Slam team out of Albany, NY, fresh from their appearance at the National Slam Championship.
Albany's Nitty Gritty Slam Team members Kevin Peterson, Elizag, Algorhythm, D. Colin, ILLiptical, & coach Mojavi performed a wide-ranging selection of individual & group pieces. Kevin Peteson's "Self-Analysis" played on his name, & later he did his outrageous, over-the-top parking ticket poem. Elizag did her moving piece to her brother playing off the hymn "Amazing Grace" & later a series of playful haiku.
Algorhythm did a piece incorporating social commentary & his own personal record, as did ILLiptical's piece on hero teachers/mentors. ILLiptical also did a tribute to the singer Sam Cooke, incorporating (& singing) some of his lyrics. Mojavi "cheated" by reading his break-up poem off his phone.
Back to the open mic Carol Graser read her own piece "The Shopper" about the all-too-common response of being overwhelmed in the supermarket. Gordon Hayman's first poem rhymed about mixing & matching, while "Esther's Kitchen" was a childhood memory about a warm place. Patricia Kay first told us about an art exhibit she has at the Perrella Gallery at Futlon-Montgomery Community College (until December 14), then read a piece about painting a wall, "In the Company of Masters," followed by stories collected from animals in the forest, "Newstand." I followed with a couple poems written this Summer, "The Meaning of Roses" & "Alcoholism."
AlbanyPoets' el presidente Thom Francis read the tender poem to his grandfather, "Easter Visit," then his love poem to his insulin pump, "Machine." Don Levy's poem "70's High School Cafeteria Blues" was a letter to a classmate, while "Obama at the Nursing Home" was an outrageous response to Republican campaign rhetoric. Charles Watts was down from the High Peaks Region to read from his just-published book, Raptures: Tales of Darkness and Light (Ra Press); he read the "Stolen Preface" (a re-mix of sentences from Anton Chekhov), then a poem on the various ends of the World, "Raptures." Barbara Garro's "New Day Prospects" celebrated the "wonders" of aging, then another piece in rhyme, "Violence." A.C. Everson, the night's last poet, was also a Birthday Girl & began with a screed against the diseases that are taking our lives, then a poem for her recently-deceased mother, "Bad Daughter," ending the night with the pondering of "Probable Blunder."
Here at Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs, an open mic for poets with Featured Poets (there are also open mics other times of the month for musicians, comics, etc.) on the 1st Wednesday of the month, $5.00, 7:30PM.