January 19, 2014

Live from the Living Room, January 8

A cold night but into the warmth of the Garden Room & the company of poets, at least for an hour or so, with our host, Don Levy.

The featured poet was one of my favorites, who was featured back in August at the Social Justice Center, Jacky Kirkpatrick. She said she was reading, with 1 exception, poems she had written in the last 7 days, beginning with a pile of snow poems, "Caught in the Snowbank," "State St. Snowstorm" & "Arriving Poem." "The Pub is Closed Because of the Fire on Dove St." was reacting to another recent event. Of course there were some poems on motherhood, "Popular" & "To Her." Her poems of love tend to be edgy, like the short "Kirkpatrick Love Poem," "Every Sunday" & the "older" poem that brought in Pablo Picasso, tattoos, past lovers & songs. She ended with a rhyming tour-de-force "grievance poem" commenting in a letter to future children about the current Slam poetry scene. The reading whizzed by, partially because many of these poems were quite short, partially because she often went into the poem with little or no introduction, & partially because she reads a bit too fast, leaving us all breathless.

There were a half dozen of us for the open mic. I was up first with 2 older poems, "My Sather Gate Illumination" & "Freckles." Both of Avery's poems could be described as love poems, the first, "When You Find Someone," commissioned for a friend's wedding, the second, read in a faux pompous/British accent "Should One Be Fortunate Enough" for the suburban Jilly-bird. Jill Crammond also read a (new) love poem "Reading Snowflakes" then an older piece "In Case of Fire Fly a Kite" in her characteristic 2nd person/advice mode.

Adam Tedesco's poem "Cannot" seemed to combine a pursuit with childhood imagination & sledding; his second, untitled poem was written last night, his past loves gather around his ashes at his wake while he remembers picking up a hooker. Samson Dikeman read his second sestina in 2 nights, this "Sestina for Work." Our host, Don Levy, ended the evening with a screed for Winter, "No Snow's is Good Snow" & then a grateful narrative of my New Year's Day open house -- ah yes, a good time was had by all.

This pleasant gathering of poets takes place on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the downstairs "Garden Room" of the Pride Center of the Capital Region, 332 Hudson Ave., Albany, NY, 7:30PM, with a featured poet, followed by an open mic. Always "straight-friendly."

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