August 22, 2013

Live from the Living Room!, August 14

Our usual host, Don Levy, had called me earlier in the day to ask me to fill in for him tonight, so I tried to get there early, looked for a parking spot close by. Alas, there was a food festival with music at the Empire State Plaza & a play at the Park Playhouse so I ended up way over on State St. It didn't bode well for our out-of-town featured poet, Jacqueline Ahl. But when she eventually did find a parking spot, she came bearing brownies & seltzer -- & poems, of course.

But first the open mic, while Jacqueline settled in. Since Don was unable to be here, I thought I would read one of his poems & pulled up "Poetry Workshop Junkie" off Don's FaceBook page. I realized why Don often has problems reading his own poems -- there were a lot of typos, minor errors in the text that made me stumble too, including in the title. Maybe we should hire a secretary for Don to go over his texts, maybe a cute young guy, as editor?

Matthew Klauber was checking out the Pride Center & the open mic, didn't bring a poem, but recited one of Emily Dickinson's from memory (she would have been proud).  Alan Casline introduced his poem of belief & dogma & philosophy as "not a great open mic poem," but I did catch a reference to Botticelli. ObeeduĂ­d (Mark O'Brien) also referenced art in his poem "My Deposition" from a series he is doing on pietas.

Our featured poet, Jacqueline Ahl, began with her contribution to a new anthology just out from Codhill Press, A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley, "The Burial -- Sarah," a selection from a longer work.  The anthology is worth checking out (i.e., buying) as it contains work from many of the fine women poets in the Region. Jacqueline continued with a poem from another collection (Riverine, a 2007 anthology also from Codhill press), about the Civil War era house she lives in, "The Laws of What Happens." The next poem "What They Teach Us About Sin" was a meditative essay on just that, & she finished with a poem about waiting, hope, expectation, "Altars."

There were still brownies left at the end, which I neglected to save for Don. But he will return next month on the second Wednesday, here at the Pride Center of the Capital Region, 332 Hudson Ave., Albany, NY, an open mic with a featured reader.

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