February 28, 2014

Third Thursday Poetry Night, February 20

It was an interesting night of virgins, regulars, & welcomed old friends, &, of course, our featured poet, Philip Good, on a spontaneous night of eco-poetry. I invoked the Muse in the guise of gone poet Ted Joans (1928 - 2003) by reading his poem “Laughter You’ve Gone and …” dedicated to another great-gone, Bob Kaufman.

Schenectady poet Alan Catlin was first up with a piece about his neighborhood, “The Inconvenience Store.” Obeeduid came down off the hill to read/sing an old song that Bob Dylan once stole from. Joe Krausman was just back from Florida, read a short poem, “This Journey,” written on the plane. Tess Lecuyer read her ironic “Love Sonnet to February” for being short & cold. Bernadette Mayer, poet & work-shop leader extraordinaire, read the eco-poem “Today is the Beginning of the Maple Syrup Making Season,” from a sheet that contained “about 25 different poems.” Another eco-poet, Alan Casline, followed with one of his hexagram poems, #16 Enthusiasm from January 2010, titled “On a Cold Morning Walk.”

The featured poet, Philip Good, had a couple of very new books for sale, From Where We Watch Weather, recently published by Benevolent Bird Press, & the even more recent (published just today) Hibernation Collaboration, with Bernadette Mayer & Marie Warsh (Mademoiselle de la Staples Press). But he began with untitled #65 from Untitled Writings from a Member of the Blank Generation (Trembling Pillow Press, 2011). Next, he read what he said was the first of 2 political poems tonight, “Parents with Guns Kill Children” followed by “Weather Watch,” both from From Where We Watch Weather. “Imagine Where We’d Be Without an Imagination,” somewhat in the vein of Ted Joans, was dedicated to New Orleans poet & publisher Dave Brinks . Then on to some poems where he made no attempt to make sense, “Deep Blue Magic” (beginning with images of tattoos), the workshop generated string of words “Dorothea Tanning to Max Ernest,” “Radio Waves” & “Brand New.” “It Isn’t Polite” was his 2nd “political” poem, with its humorous take on global warming. His piece “Bernadette Wrote a New Biographical Note” served as an introduction to bring Bernadette Mayer up to read with him the collaborative “Thrift Shop Blues,” imagining clothes that turned color with the weather, & more. He ended with 2 short pieces from a series of Coffee Poems “Governor’s Coffee” & “Coffee for the Sake of Coffee.” His poems were playful, discursive, joyfully playing around with words & the idea of poetry.

After the break I returned to the open mic with my new poem “Peacocks in the Driveway.” Jessica, who has been known to read eco-poems as well, tonight read a poem about looking for peace in her life. Along the same line Keith Spencer read “Love Doesn’t Live there Anymore” from late in 2013.

Tonight’s virgin poet, her first time ever reading a poem in public, Heather, did a fine job reading about pondering Time & the journey of life. The last reader, Gerald, was new here (but had read recently at McGeary's), gave us a choice & read an old poem “One Step” about a suicide.

We are at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY every third Thursday for a featured poet & open mic beginning at 7:30PM for a $3.00 donation. Bring a poem.


Gerald said...

Awesome! However, the title of the poem I read is "One Step" ;)

-- Gerald

Anonymous said...

It's Trembling Pillow Press.