November 16, 2013
Harmony Cafe Open Mic, November 11
But first some open mic poets. Michael runs a tight ship, timing the 5-minute slots with a kitchen timer. First up was Jackie (the Bartender) with a rhymed poem on PTSD, her own & those of members of the military. Leslie Gerber read a march-of-the-dead poem "Memorial Day," "Armistice Day" for Jay Wenk, & Stephen Crane's grim poem "War is Kind." Joe Crow Ryan recited from memory all of his pieces, on sunbeams & dust, on sunsets, on colors, even a short Robert Service poem. Donald Lev always reads here just before the featured poets & tonight a series of short pieces, "Death Before Dishonor" (a kid with a tattoo), "Lonesome Jack" ("the kind of girl you would take to Blimpie's…"), then poems titled "Topology," "The Perimeter" & "Butter."
It was a long open mic list, continuing with Teresa Costa reading poems by A.D. Winans. Richard read a variety of short quips & random thoughts not yet in a poem, then the rhymed biker ballad "Summer Bogie." Andy Clausen read an old poem from his collection 40th Century Man based on a quote from his young son "Start the Sun," then a new manifesto about changes to the world after he declares himself a god, "The Beat Generation Can't Die…" Pamela Twining read a long, wide-ranging piece of sociological poetry "Jazz Baby Blues." Victoria Sullivan asked for a series of words from the audience (like Mad Libs) then improvised a poem that got wildly political about Ronald Reagan.
It was quite a night, as it usually is in Woodstock, & I especially enjoyed reading with my buddies Jay & Dayl, poetry to end all wars. But the open mic here at the Harmony Cafe happens every Monday -- worth the trip from anywhere.