Given the title of this reading series I ransacked my list of poems looking for some "nature poems" & began with "How I'm Doing My Part to Preserve the Adirondacks" an urban older piece, then the much more recent, rural "Leprechaun's Cottage." It's funny how some people don't know their astrological sign, say "I'm on the cusp," but in fact your are either one or the other (we're talking Sun signs here, al la daily newspaper horoscopes), so Edie Abrams said she is either a Sagittarius or a Capricorn. She read 3 poems playing to one degree or another on her Jewish heritage, the tender "I Remember" about lighting the yahrzeit candles, then "My Night With Leonard Cohen," & another memory poem, "Day of Rest."
Bernadette Mayer, a Taurus, read a poem she said was so short she had to give it a long title. Obeeduid, a Pisces, read a trio of "big idea" poems, beginning with one about Jim Williams, "As a State of Being," then the hopeful "To What Warmth," & "The Power of Maintaining Life" pondering school shootings. Michael Conner, Sagittarius, read some nature poems, "Auto Moment" (about rain), the rhyming "Almost Spring," & "Post Peak" (Autumn). Phil Good read 2 short seasonal poems, "Above Average Temperature," & another on the confusion of the names of flowers.
Gene Damm, a Leo, read a couple poems from his travels in China, "Congee" (the pale, rice porridge), & "The Gingko Girl." Brian Dorn, another Sagittarius, read 3 rhyming poems, "Playing for Keeps," "Plain to See" (on subtle beauty), & the environmental "Another Step Forward." Joe Krausman, another Leo, read a poem about Mary Baker Eddy, & taking a shit, & a poem based on a New York Times obituary about a woman funeral director. Our host, Alan Casline, is a Taurus, read "Good-Bye Shadow Poet" (for Jim Williams), then "My Navajo Butterfly Song," & a short poem with the long title "Born Along by the Propitiousness of the Times."
The first Scorpio of the night, Alifair Skebe, made a rare open mic appearance & read a poem to her daughter, "The Writer, After Richard Wilbur's 'The Writer'" then another poem for her daughter, "A Life for a Life," & the simply stated "Spring." The only Virgo of the night A.C. Everson began with a poem on being wrong, "Probable Wonder," then 2 related poems written 10 years apart, on clouds & dragons in the sky, "Surprise Scene" & "Waking."
|(left to right) C. Roohan, R. Mendoza|
This series continues roughly monthly on Fridays into November, at 6:30PM at the Pine Hollow Arboretum, 16 Maple Ave., Slingerlands, NY, sponsored by Rootdrinker Institute, the Delmar Writers Group, & the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.