October 11, 2013

Poets Speak Loud!, September 30

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 first was Adam Tedesco with "The Freedom Diaries," then an urban, memory piece, "How My Mother Signs a Painting." Virgin 2 was Maxwell Ross with "Vapor & Dust," an over-heated love poem -- good debuts by both. Julie Lomoe read a seasonal poem about the September rain, written this afternoon. Brian Dorn read his rhyme "Hard as Stone," followed by a poem on being a poet, "What's the Use?" Avery performed 2 similar pieces in his evolving role/style as what can best be described as "New Age Preacher," all nostalgic over love-beads & patchouli. Carlos Garcia's first poem was another type of preacher-act, this full of personal advice & aphorisms, while his other poem, using images of tap, tapping, was about his experience in the military.

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.

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