Mary Panza put on her sexy high-heels, then made sure we noticed, as we gathered in the Back Room of McGeary's, chasing out the interlopers on their way to the Palace Theater movie or the Capital Rep. Hey, all the theater was here! The featured poet, Ben Figueroa, brought some of his poetry peeps with him (you could tell by their hats), & Mary cracked the whip as our host. Meanwhile competing with a music open mic out at the bar area made me think we were back at Valentines, exiled to the attic. But we were poets speaking loud & we prevailed.
Sylvia Barnard was up first (an early arrival for dinner at Don Levy's table in the Back Room), with a couple poems from her poetry chapbook, Trees. I followed (I was also at Don's table) with the new poem "Living in Wilcox" & a poem for this night, "What Passover Has Taught Me."
Don Levy was up next with one of the finest of his new poems, "Growing up Queer," then on to getting lots of laugh with his dream poem, "NRA Pride March." The night was getting long & raunchy (&, like I said, Mary Panza was in heels) & Ed Rinaldi was getting the brunt of it; about the poem he read, "Portage Reported" I can only report what I wrote down in my notebook: heading towards the Promised Land. Brian Roessel was last month's Featured Slam poet here & made the drive again to support his friend Ben, but he forgot his notebook of poems so did one from memory a poem he had performed last month, "Microsoft Word is a Mother-Fucking Prison." One of Albany's Slam poets, Algorhythm, followed with his dialogue-in-dialect imagined conversation with his father, but almost got derailed before it began with a lot of in-joke heckling from the crowd.
RM Engelhardt is definitely not a Slam poet & began with a poem about drinking at an open mic, "Poetry Whiskey & Buk," then a poem from his new book, Resurrection Waltz, remembering the 1980s. Julie Lomoe's poem "Library Sale" was about the trashing of books. "K.P.," another member of the Albany Slam team, had a couple of short poems, an untitled piece on writing a clever folk song, then a good Ketchup poem, "Realization Over Eggs." After much joking & snarky comments, the Albany Slam team's coach, Mojavi, did a tender poem about his new son, then a sadder piece about a dysfunctional relationship. & that was the night.
The last Monday of the month finds this event at McGeary's on Clinton Square in Albany, with lots of open mic poets & a featured poet -- check AlbanyPoets.com for compete information.