October 1, 2013

Poets of Earth, Water, Tree & Sky, September 13

& tonight Poets of Puppets as well, at the Pine Hollow Arboretum, as puppets was the theme announced by our poetry host, Alan Casline, in honor of the featured performer, A.C. ("Breaking My Art") Everson.

My poems were connected to "puppets" loosely, "The Kingfisher" (a satirical commentary on Charles Olson's poem), & my contribution to a continuing series, "The Anals of Perious Frink." Tim Verhaegen ramped it up a couple notches with the outrageous "Just Another 3-Way OK, OK A Really Good 3-Way," then a meditation about why he is the way he is, in the 2nd person. Don Levy's poems were a product of his recent trip to Italy, "Assisi" & "Last Night in Priano."

I've seen many performances over the years by A.C. Everson of her poems, accented/accompanied by a piñata -- cupid, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, even my head. But tonight's performance, titled "In the Garden of Ma," was an complete work integrating poetry, piñatas, even music with Joan Reilly on cello. The piece took us through the life & death of Annine's Mom, using the 4 Seasons as a frame, starting in the Fall. The piñatas were 4 large, brightly colored flowers, one for each season, with favors inside replicating the piñatas in miniature, & candy, of course. The poem itself reminded me of nothing less than Allen Ginsberg's elegy for his mother, "Kaddish."

I should mention that in between poets MC, Alan Casline read snippets of his research on the history of puppets in various civilizations over millennia.

We took a short break, gathering up our piñatas goodies, then John Abbuhl, our host at Pine Hollow, read 3 short poems from his pocket notebook, working back in Time from the most recent, "If There is Time," "Mother's Love" on Nature, & "From Them." Frank Robinson has that wry twinkle of a satirist, read "Migration," a funny piece on aging, & a selection on the economy of "road rage" from his collection of essays, Angels & Pinheads. obeeduid read just 1 poem tonight, pondering life & words in a garden. Bob Sharkey read a poem referencing a poem by Seamus Heaney, "Shuttle" about a ride to the airport, then a short prose piece, "Cello," with one of his recurring characters, Slocum Meany.

Therese Broderick's piece, "That Tuesday," was a 9/11 poem written a while ago, but revised over the years. Brian Dorn was in the spirit of the night's performance, juggling while reciting his poem "We All."

Deb Cavanaugh, the acclaimed local folksinger made a rare appearance as a poet with a poem written this afternoon, on the theme of puppets, "cutting strings" of her daughter at school. Alan Casline finished off the night with a long introduction to a short poem, "A Tour of Jonathan Switft's 'The Puppet Show.'"

We all went home with goodies from the piñatas & poetic goodies we had shared with each other, as often happens here at Pine Hollow Arboretum.

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