April 19, 2015

2nd Sunday @ 2, April 12

This was the first half of a poetry double-header, with the start of the week-long Albany WordFest taking place later in the afternoon (more on that in subsequent Blogs). But it is a fact that the poetry scene in this area is an on-going, year-long event, & this open mic at the Arts Center was the 4th poetry event I had been to this week.  It seems like every month is a WordFest.

Bob Sharkey, a regular at the area poetry events, was first up to read with a piece from 10 years ago, a poem about traffic in Latham “Bemused Snake Transfixed by Distant Bell,” then a brand-new poem, 8 lines from John Ashbery, 8 lines of his own “Black & Tan with Ashbery.” Peggy LeGee read a piece summed up by her first line “I can’t worry about socio-paths & psycho-paths …” Joe Krausman is another frequenter of open mics, read a poem he found that he forgot he wrote “Defense of Poetry,” then “Ode to My Arthritis” (said he doesn’t have arthritis, he just made it up). Don Levy began with a poem describing his family’s dinner on the 10th anniversary of his father’s death at “The King David Deli,” then his funny poem about getting sick watching a sex-education film in school “50 Shades of Vomit.” Cathy Abbott read two very short poems of her own, “Tacky Pataki” & “Rotaries,” then “The West Wind” by John Masefield.

Kate Laity (had the best Spring outfit so I have to include her picture) read, surprisingly, poetry, first her pastiche of William Carlos Williams’ poem “This is just to say..” but with books, not plums, then recited the famous opening lines of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, in the Middle English. I read my newest poem “Didn’t We Do this in Saratoga?” & my co-host, Nancy Klepsch, read her poem about a friend’s paintings “The Modernist House” & a performance piece celebrating the sound of words in Hebrew, Hindi, whatever, “We All Pray for Different Reasons.” Jay Renzi read a very short witty couplet, then a piece that he said was the the only collaborative poem he’d written, “Someone Else,” written with some honey he met in a bar & didn’t even bother to get her name.

Jim Slattery was next, read a short story titled “The Boy with a Thousand Arms” but not by him. Karen Fabiane began with a new poem like a letter “I’ll Get You Tomorrow” & a poem from her chapbook from Bright Hill Press also like a letter, this to a guitar player she knew.

Dave De Vries was new here, his piece “Nostalgia” was about wishing he could press “Reverse” on his life, like he can on a tape-player, then another piece titled “Waiting.” Lynn Dean’s poem “Heart Paint” was a list of (metaphoric) colors. William Robert Foltin read 2 poems written in past Aprils, the first on touch & kisses, the second titled “Dancing.” Sterling Post slipped in at the last minute & was added as we were about to end, he read the family memoir “After Christmas Dinner” & a tribute to the jazz musician John Coltrane.

2nd Sunday @ 2 is a reading for writers of prose & poetry held at the Arts Center of the Capital Region on River St. in Troy at, like it says, 2:00PM on the 2nd Sunday of the month. Free. Your hosts are Nancy Klepsch & me, Dan Wilcox.

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