December 16, 2014

Sunday/Funday, December 14

It was a poetry double-header — after leaving Troy & the 2nd Sunday @ 2 open mic I made it into Albany to The Low Beat just in time to catch most of the first reader’s set & everyone else. Samson Dikeman served as the afternoon’s relaxed host.

Adam Tedesco was reading when I walked in. I caught 2 poems, “Day of the Dead” & a grim tale with a long title of a dysfunctional family during the holidays.

Joe Hesch talked about growing up in Albany not far from The Low Beat & read a cluster of poems mostly about Albany. But he began with a poem about a late night in the suburbs from his book Penumbra: The Space Between. Then on to a series of true stories/memoirs about Albany, including “Empties,” “Keys,” a bit of prose “The Best Gift Ever,” & “Silent Night in Arbor Hill.”

Sari Botton is from New York City. She read a memoir-sounding short story of mistaken identity at a Thanksgiving dinner with strangers in 1994.

The final 2 readers/performers were what could be characterized as “The Goofy Silly Guy Segment.” Douglas Rothschild, dressed for Albany Winter (on a pleasant, balmy day), complete with scarf, gloves & a snow shovel, did a rambling routine in the raconteur style of Jean Shepherd on that tedious Xmas song, “The Little Drummer Boy” mixing in Greco-Roman mythology with Xtian myths.

Sparrow has built his career on being a Goofy Silly Guy. He began by telling us we shouldn’t clap (but we did anyway) & by playing the tonette. His stand-up routine mixes rambling chatter with very, very short musings on palindromes, things overheard on the subway & a list of new words (without definitions, of course).

This series has been going on this past semester on the 2nd Sunday of the month, but Samson expressed at the end some doubt as to whether they would continue. I suggest you check the poetry calendar at for information about this & many other poetry events in the region.

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