This turned out to be quite an historical event here at the Old Songs Community Center, but you’ll have to wait for the end to know what I’m talking about (just like we did that day). Our sole host today was Dennis Sullivan.
Somehow I ended up first on the sign-up sheet & read 2 related poems, “A.J. Muste” & the ever-expanding “The Communion of Saints” in which A.J. Muste appears, & to which I have just added Ed Bloch. Alan Casline read 2 of his hexagram poems based on the I Ching, “#22 Grace” & “#52 Keeping Still.” Our host, Dennis Sullivan, talked about poet Denise Levertov & Whitman biographer Horace Traubel & read his own poem thinking about a perfect world, “In My Society.” Bob Sharkey read his cento “Velvety Heart” (revised somewhat from last we heard it), & a funny piece about his young daughter hiding & hoarding “Missing.”
|Thérèse Broderick & coffee filters|
Carol Jewell read a bunch of snippets from her journal, on kidney stones, a line from Emily Dickinson, an "un-love poem," on not doing housework, & carbon monoxide. Peter Boudreaux (who will be the featured poet here next month) read a new, untitled poem mulling over the past, how things could have been different. Joe Krausman also read poems on changing, “Becoming Something Else,” & another on an old couple changing over time. Thérèse Broderick read a poem, “Holiday,” about a trip to Jordan to visit her daughter who is studying over there, then a poem about the death of her cat (no comment), written on paper coffee filters & made into a little chapbook. Howard Kogan ended the open mic portion with a poem about attending a Catholic funeral, looking at it as an outsider, “Burying Paula.”
The featured poet, Elizabeth Gordon, has published a wonderful book of poems, Love Cohoes (Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, 2014) which I have commented on here & read from it today, but first a selection of other poems, a new poem “Instead of Meditation Looking,” “On Not Going to Paris or Anywhere This Summer” (sitting in a diner in Waterford), & some of her performance pieces, “Fig Newton” (on writing a slam poem), the in-your-face “Are You Really Working Class?” & “Carpenter’s Helper” (which she said would be coming out soon in a recording with music). Later she also did another slam piece “White Privilege.” From Love Cohoes she read “A Heron I Know,” some lines she wrote in response to a poem about the Falls by Thomas Moore, “Practice Cohoes Lacks,” & “The Spinner’s Defense.” She ended with a performance from memory of her poem in 2 parts, “Proof,” recalling family & music. Always an entertaining performer doing good poems.
In the long history of the poetry scene in the Capital District I have witnessed 2 other on-stage proposals. The first was when James Dutko proposed to poet Rachel Zitomer at the Third Thursday Reading at the Lark St. Bookshop in February 2006. The other was at Caffè Lena in October 2007 when poet Josh McIntyre proposed to Beatriz Loyola. Sure beats a billboard on the Northway.
This series continues (with or without marriage proposals, death-threats, etc. on the 4th Sunday of each month at 3:00PM at Old Songs Community Center, Voorheesville, NY, a donation supports the featured poet & Old Songs.