October 11, 2012

Professor Java's Wide Open Mic, October 8

Sad to say this was the last in this series that has run on the 2nd Monday for the last few years, an open mic for both poets & for musicians under the auspices of AlbanyPoets.com. The original host was Keith Spencer, with Kevin Peterson taking it on the last few months. Tonight, there were only poets to perform -- "only poets," did I just say that? There were a few regulars & even a new voice, & part of the night spent trying out names for Thom & Carissa's expected baby (with the last name of "Job" I think you can guess what some of the more snarky suggestions were).

I was up first (since #1 was still open after most folks had signed up) with a couple from a new series of poems based on a break-up letter from a few years past, "Opinions" & "different tastes in music." Harvey Havel, a prose fiction writer who has been here before without reading, read a short story, playing on the concept of "skeletons in the closet." Two of Joe Krausman's "3 poems of Death" involved famous people, "Is he Dead?" (Yehuda Amichai) & "Ted William's Head," the other was his "Salad Days" with images of onions & tomatoes. Our pleasant host, Kevin Peterson, regaled us with a recitation of the Gilbert & Sullivan piece from HMS Pinafore, "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General," always much better sung, but a tour de force in breath control.

The new voice, Misana, who said she has read at Caffe Lena & here previously, enchanted the poets here tonight with 3 poems, the first an intense saga of serial incest & brutality, then the sexy love poem "Unclothed Love, the Chosen" & the self-affirming "How Do I Love Me While Loving You," all delivered with a relaxed use of rhyme & bright, vivid images. It was only fitting that AlbanyPoets' el presidente Thom Francis would be the last poet to read, beginning with the new piece, "To the Darkness of the Night," a brilliant collage of lines of poems culled from an internet poetry site, then a piece he dubbed "the worst poem ever," about a night of drinking & smoking at the neighborhood bar (was this any different from the poems he pulled the lines from for his first poem?).

Venues come, venues go, that's the nature of the poetry scene. Check out the calendar on AlbanyPoets.com for many more open mics each month.

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