In addition to the poetry one of the (many) things I like about this series is where it is held, at McGeary's: its food, drinks & -- wouldn't you know -- the wait staff, tonight the hard-working & dazzling Melissa. & then there is our host Mary Panza, another good reason to come back each month.
Kevin Peterson started off the open mic with a collaborative piece, "Words with Friends," then a piece commenting on non-fiction literature "Experimental Electronic Music & Tater Tots." Sally Rhoades' poem about New York City said "I Love to Dawdle…" then a poem for her father. Sylvia Barnard read from the new anthology A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley, edited by Laurence Carr & Jan Zlotnick Schmidt (Codhill Press, 2013), her own poem, "Helen," then a poem by Suzanne Cleary -- this collection contains a diverse sampling from some of the best poets in the region. I followed with a poem about a reading in Cape Cod "Imaging the Mews" & repeated my poem honoring Carol Graser. Don Levy wrote "Corkscrew You Barilla" this afternoon, with its poignant phrase "carbs full of hate," -- go Don! Tess Lecuyer was oh so seasonal, reading her 1989 poem "Apples" & "Autumn Equinox 2010."
Jackie Kirkpatrick recently was a feature at the Third Thursday Poetry Night back in August, but I can listen to her anytime, anywhere, one of the younger generation following in the tradition of the Beats -- personal, literary, urban. Her poems are frequently short so she said she prefers we didn't clap after each poem, but sometimes clapping is just a natural response (like a hard-on in a strip club). She began with a piece referencing Sappho, Kerouac & Whitman, then on to a sex poem, "Spooning with Oprah." There were poems about color-coding books, recovering from love, about an ice-bar in New York City, as well as poems on her father, her mother, rock music, short pieces like notebook/Beat diary entries, that sometimes got her emotional. Bob Dylan once said, "I wouldn't know the difference between a real blond & a fake." This one's for real, blond or not.
Bob Sharkey started the 2nd half of the open mic with "The Passing," & a love poem on marriage over the years, "The Lost Language." It's great when there is a (poetry) virgin at an open mic, tonight there were 2, one after the other.
The last Monday of most months will find me here, & you too, I hope, in the back room of McGeary's on Clinton Square in Albany, NY, for Poets Speak Loud! -- open mic with a featured poet, starts about 7:30/8:00.