November 4, 2012

Sunday Four Poetry, October 28

I love driving up the hill to this reading on Sunday, not the least because we end up at Smitty's afterwards for food & libations & lively conversation. But the poetry is pretty darn good too. Today the featured poet was Lori Desrosier, but first, the open mic. 

I started off (as "#2" on the sign-up sheet) with a poem from Lori's journal Naugatuck River Review, written by a cyber-friend Lee Pursewarden, published in the Winter 2012 Issue 7, "Dreaming of Prompts," (a tour-de-force of piled up writing prompts), then my own tongue-in-cheek "Top Tips for Anxiety-Free From Prompts." Dennis Sullivan, our Patriarch & Herodotus here in Voorheesville read a poem for his impending grandson, "Notes for a Boy About to Board the Train." Obeeduid read 2 poems about spending time in graveyards looking for (& at) the tombstones of his ancestors.

Don Levy returned us to the thrilling days of yesteryear's TV with a poem referencing Underdog, "Have No Fear" (who else but Don could write such a poem?), then the outrageous "Obama at the Nursing Home."  Jim Williams extended the window with 4 poems, the post World War II "Europe Blinks & Goes Home Early," the modern Western "100 Ways to Die in Wyoming," then a prayer-like love poem deep in the woods, but ending with a bitter political poem. Jan Tramontano read a poem about a neighbor whose daughter was killed in an accident, "Hibiscus," & the descriptive "The Dog Walkers."

A new voice here, Arlen Westbrook, read poems from earlier in her life, the bright descriptive "India at Dawn on a Road in the North," & "Meditation During A dig on the Mohawk River" (on what is found there). Sean Heather McGraw was back with what sounded like a love poem, "Ice" then a piece on pain-killers from a broken jaw & a broken heart, "Dawn Breaks." Bob Sharkey drew laughter from the audience (as well he should) with his hysterical list poem "7 Actions for Age 65."

Alan (Frederick) Casline read 2 poems, dated like diary entries, "Does a Disaster Have a Side?" & the poem about a leaf, "Through Him the Gale of Life Blew HIgh." Rick Harrienger read rhyming pieces, beginning with being abandoned by the muse, then to the poem "Tempo" with its life advice, ending with the Autumnal "The Aviary Sanctuary." Jill Crammond's poem "A Town Witch Tries to Make Friends" is a divorce poem, as was the poem about her son & the D.A.R.E. program, "Jude (10) Schools His Mother in Psychedelics."

Today's featured poet was Lori Desrosier, the editor of Naugatuck River Review, "a journal of narrative poetry that sings." She has a new book forth-coming from Salmon Press in Ireland, The Philosopher's Daughter, & that's what she read from. Her poems are mostly short & for most she gave brief introductions so we could know what's coming. It helps when one is only hearing a poem once. Of course there were a number of poems about her father, such as "Conducting in Thin Air" & "Last First Kiss," but also poems of other childhood memories such as the descriptive "The Room in the House at Croton" & the school memory of "Last Seat 2nd Violinist." Her brother made an appearance in a couple poems ("In the Croton Wood 1965" & "Hastings-on-Hudson") & of course her mother (& divorce) in "Mother City" & "Womanly Ways." She also paid tribute to the Hudson River in a cluster of 3 poems, including the descriptive "Train Ride in Winter." Her last poem, "That Pomegranate Shine" is a stunning affirmation of her womanness, from bride to mother. I'm looking forward to when her book comes out early in 2013.

& as we are wont to do, we adjourned to Smith's Tavern for libations & sustenance & plenty of conversation, poetic & otherwise. The 4th Sunday of most months in Voorheesville, NY at the Old Songs Community Center, 3PM -- a donation pays the poet & supports Old Songs.

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