October 10, 2013

Third Thursday Poetry Night, September 19

So once again the legendary Tour Bus had to circle the block, but the lucky poets who arrived earlier got parking spaces so we began the night with an excerpt from the recently late Seamus Heaney's translation/version of the early (i.e., late medieval) poem Sweeney Astray. Then on into our open mic. 

First up was Andrew Sullivan, who has read recently at Caffè Lena in the open mic in Saratoga Springs, now for his first time here, where he admitted to an inordinately number of tennis poems & so read "Sharapova in Straight Sets." Carole Rossi is also a regular in Saratoga Springs who made a rare appearance in Albany, reading a tribute to we (us?) poets, about our reading, & our festering doubts in our work. Alan Casline read a short, "symbolic" poem from 2011, "The Old Cellar Blues," about obeedúid's (our featured poet) house. Joe Krausman read a 40-year old poem he found in his archives, "Apples," sounding like the poems he wrote yesterday, which I guess is the definition of "age-less." Pearse Murray alluded to a poem I had read here about baseball in Palestine before reading his poem, "Serpent Fence," also about the line between Palestine & Isreal. I concluded the open mic with my tribute to Caffè Lena host Carol Graser, a pastich based on one of her poems, "The Wild Twitter of Their Stencils."

obeedúid (aka Mark O'Brien) has been fucking with the heads of future graduate students in English with his manuscript Telluric Voices, just now published by Foot Hills Publishing -- back a year ago when he was a featured reader at Caffè Lena, & the mss. was still pending -- accepted but not yet published --  Benevolent Bird press put out a limited edition of 20 copies, including a DVD & a fold-out broadside (I have a copy if you book collectors out there want to make a deal) -- someday some scholar will have to deal with this. Tonight, obeedúid had copies of the new Foot Hills edition. However, most of what he read were poems not in the book, beginning with "Judas Goat," on the multiple others with his common Irish name (Mark O'Brien). He included some poems paying homage to the influence of Seamus Heaney on his own work, remembering his father giving him a copy of Heaney's poems. He did include a couple poems from Telluric Voices, tentatively pronouncing the Mahican titles, the ancient Indian language the impetus for the cycle of poems. Others he read included a poem for the late poet Catherine Connolly, a poem about his poems as children, & ended with "De-Fib," a romantic lyric for a broken heart.

Bring a poem for the open mic each third Thursday, 7:30PM, at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY & enjoy a reading by a local or regional poet for a tiny ($3.00) donation (cheaper than the Slams).

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