October 2, 2014
Poets Speak Loud!, September 29
— again, in the backroom of McGeary’s, with Mary Panza the host.
Before the featured poet there was a quartet of open mic poets to get it started. AC Everson was up 1st with a ghost story in rhyme “Jack’s Song.” I followed with a couple of vacation poems, “Imagining the Mews” & “Summer in California.” Kevin Peterson read a very short untitled piece, with spiders. Nick Bisanz made a rare appearance without a guitar to read a couple pieces from a 20-year old notebook, a bit of angst in rhyme “Failing Life,” then “Davey at the Dokken Show” about a character he knew.
Jay Renzi, the featured poet, is one of those poets who were unknown on the scene until they appeared on Metroland’s Best Poet list. Since then he has shown up at a few venues as the featured poet. He began with an anaphoric piece (“time to…”) like the famous passage in Ecclesiastes. He read from his published collections as well as from a forth-coming one, explaining that he is inspired by medieval literature. All of his poems are rhymed & many were very short, no more than a couplet or a quatrain. One of his collections is titled The Thorn & Thistle, the name of a made up pub, each chapter a character, like a Canterbury Tales; he read short excerpts from a chapter titled “The Old Miller.” From his new book head read a selection, including “Edward III,” “Wasteland” (a political, piece he said) & others. It was odd, anachronistic poetry, the kind that makes young students avoid poetry & take up Medieval sword-fighting video games instead.
Tess Lecuyer brought us back to the 21st Century with her sonnet “Autumn Equinox 2010.” Brian Dorn, who is also a practitioner of rhyme, read an excerpt from his collage piece he wrote for his performance at Caffè Lena, “Hallowed Ground.” Julie Lomoe read a biographical piece of childhood memories & beyond that she wrote for her brother’s funeral. Adam Tedesco finished off the night with a spooky horror movie set-up “The Terra Cotta Sonnet” & a intricate piece “In Defense of Cults,” reading from his phone since he left the printed poems on his desk at work -- uh oh!
This series started out 9 years ago at the Lark Tavern, then moved to McGeary’s Irish Tavern on Clinton Square in Albany, NY, on the last Monday of each month, starting at 7:30/8:00 or so. Come for dinner & drinks too.