January 4, 2014

Poets Speak Loud!, December 30

The eve of New Year's Eve was a fine time to gather for a classic open mic night of poetry, with lots of Albany poet regulars & some out-of-town visitors, all ably served in McGeary's back room by sweet Melissa. Our holiday host dressed in holiday black was the ever-snarky Mary Panza.

Somehow I ended up as #1 on the sign-up list & I began the night with a reading of Nate Leslie's poem "Billiards" from his book Moving to Find Work (Bottom Dog Press, 2000), then on to my recent experimental jazz-poem "Saturday Hawk" & an older piece "Balthus." Kevin Peterson breezed by with a short poem about cleaning & decorating his place while on drugs. Julie Lomoe treated us to the pastiche "'Twas the Night Before New Years," as indeed it was.

The evening's token virgin (her first time here) was Chelsea with a piece she said was written today at work (cheers from the audience for writing poems at work), a bitter-sweet tale of digging up pieces of old china in Oneida Lake, then this year tossing dishes into the lake. Pamela Twining was up from Woodstock & began with "Crushed Pearls," an intense poem, then a long rant/chant about human's wanton killing of animals, "Bald Eagle Woman's Song." Tess Lecuyer took one of her old poems about the fire at the old Lark Tavern & reworked it with the refurbishing of McGeary's, "13 Ways of Looking at a Tavern, for Tess Collins," then one of her classic seasonal poems, "Solstice 2002."

Elizabeth Gordon said her new poem, "Intervention with Trees," was a "depressing one," but a typically sensitive, moving one as well, then she recited "The Clotheslines of Cohoes" from her work-in-progress "Love Cohoes." Shannon Shoemaker read 2 poems of lost love, "Brought Low" & one just revised today, "I Pluck Petals." Adam Tedesco read from his phone his poem "Mind Treasures" like a note from God with a gun to his head, then the poem "Delilah" singing to relieve the pressures of life.

Avery assists Sally with light.
Andy Clausen also made the trip up from Woodstock & read from his book Home of the Blues: More Selected Poems (Museum of American Poetics Publication, 2013) the long political (& frequently humorous) screed "If Seinfeld Were a Poet." Avery read a pleasant little piece about planning redecoration, "Enjoying a Brisk Evening in my New Home." Sally Rhoades had difficulty seeing her text in the low light around the mic so enlisted Avery to be her "light-guy" while she read an excerpt from her long work "My Mother's Tragedy;" we've heard a couple segments of this poem in recent weeks but would love to hear the whole thing sometime.

Poets Speak Loud! is held on the last Monday of most months in the backroom of McGeary's on Clinton Square in Albany, 7:30PM -- good food, good drinks, attentive service & lots of words -- good, bad & indifferent.

So that does it for my reports on the poetry scene in 2013. & as they used to say in the Uncle Wiggly stories, "If the snow doesn't cover my doors & the below zero temperatures don't freeze my locks I'll be back out at more poetry events in 2014 & you can read all about them here at this Blog site."

No comments: