Unfortunately our scheduled featured poet for this night, Mike Jurkovic, had to cancel, but the upside was that everyone in the open mic was the feature — poets could read twice as many poems as they normally could at this monthly reading at the Social Justice Center. But before the Albany poets came up to read I celebrated the recent appointment of Juan Felipe Herrera as the new Poet Laureate of the USA, then invoked the Muse in the person of Carlos Cortez (1923 - 2005) by reading his poem “Crystal-Gazing the Amber Fluid.”
Jessica Rae read an intense piece about an unpleasant college encounter “Space Invader,” & an old poem remembering a “Hot Summer Night.” The first poem Don Levy read tonight was about sports & his Dad “Jock,” then “At the Cellphone Store” about his struggle to get his phone fixed. Brian Dorn responded to the Pope’s comments on the environment with “The Ends of the Earth” & on having too much stuff, then a yearning poem “Wait for Me.”
At a couple points during the night random folk from the street wandered in. One sat for a while & was quietly talking to himself, then as he got louder & I approached him he got up & stepped outside. I asked if he was OK & he asked me for change; I gave him a dollar; he seemed fine after that. Another wandered in to quietly lean against the wall, listened for a while, then left, muttering, "Oh, it's poetry..." Such is Life on Central Ave.
Usually there is a featured poet on the third Thursday here at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., & there are always community poets willing to read in the open mic, starting at 7:30PM, just a modest donation to support poetry programming & the Social Justice Center.