April 14, 2014
Poets of Earth, Water, Tree and Sky, April 11
Now that the snow is gone (?) & we can park on the lawn of the Pine Hollow Arboretum it means it’s the start of this year’s series Poets of Earth, Water, Tree and Sky sponsored by Rootdrinker Institute & hosted by Director Alan Casline. The featured reader was Martha Deed, but first the open mic.
& I was first on the signup sheet, & I read an older piece “Now, Listen” & my poem/tribute essay to Bob Kaufman’s “Believe, Believe” (April 18 is Bob Kaufman Day). Joe Krausman began with a piece that re-worked the Scriptures (perhaps in honor of the impending Passover holiday?), then a piece on the magazines in the check-out lines at Super-Markets “Mixed Messages,” & a short poem from memory exhorting us to “jump in.” Tim Verhaegen regaled us with another hysterical piece about his family, this about a phone conversation with his twin “Oh Brother You Are Such an Asshole.” Mark O’Brien read a collaboration he wrote with Tom Corrado, “How the Sky was Empty,” then a memoir piece “Portrait of the Poet as a Young Man, Circa 1971,” & a poem reacting to the tragic industrial explosion in Texas last year, “April Has Been Cancelled.” Thérèse Broderick read a poem inspired by a flower theme park in Dubai, “More Real Than a Mirage.”
Thérèse’s husband, Frank Robinson, read 2 poems from his new book, Love Poems, “The Poetry is You” & “Thérèse 5.1”. Nice to see Thérèse blush. Susan Kayne was new here, introduced herself as a former breeder of horses who is now an animal (horse) rights activist & her poem was the tragic story of “An Average Colt’s Life.”
After a break, Sylvia Barnard read a poem, “Cycling through Denmark” based an a childhood story a friend told her. Sue Riback drew on her daily work in a nursing home for a couple poems, one a list of characters, the other focused on a couple still together after 60 years, then “17th Century Flu Season” consisting of a list of remedies that would make you wish you hadn’t eaten during the break. Edie Abrams read a bouquet of post-retirement poems, “Who Am I?” “My First Day at Hebrew School” (as a volunteer) & “It’s Magic” (her experience reading for the RISE program). Alan Casline read as the last poet what he described as “some Thursday night poems,” a poem about a morning walk with the dog “Snowfall Mounds the Yard” & a bit of parataxis “Mountain Sky Bird.” (Parataxis, is that when your dinner party is so big you have to call 2 cabs?)
This series, held at the Pine Hollow Arboretum Visitor Center 16 Maple Ave., Slingerlands, NY, 6:30PM, continues on Fridays roughly a month apart through November.