Michael read first & his first poem, “Reality’s Well,” was perhaps a Catholic poem, then on to an old piece about smoking crack on the A train, & a sad piece on a recent death in Woodstock due to heroin. Roberta Gould began with a recent poem “Ready to Fall Off,” then “Haunted & Humming” (at the piano), & a poem to her dog “Best Friends,” followed by Lord Byron’s poem to his dog. Cheryl Rice’s first poem was titled simply “Dawn,” but her second poem was a bit more gross, “Inchworms at Opus 40.” Victoria Sullivan’s poem was seasonal & funny “To My Jewish Boyfriend at Xmas.”
The grand poetic elder, Donald Lev, who reads here every week & always goes before the featured poet, tonight read a string of poems, beginning with “December 21” full of peace & growls, then a piece about falling off a ladder, followed by “Riding the D Train” written by his late wife, poet Enid Dame; back to his own poems, “The Nature of His Crime” was about baseball gambler Pete Rose, a poem on Hemingway “Spanish Wine," a bird Haiku, & ended with “Poem” on poetry & Time.
|photo by Dayl Wise|
Continuing on with the open mic Leslie Gerber, who runs a poetry series at the New World Restaurant down the road, read 5 poems, ranging from one about taking down an old building, to his dog, to revising a poem, as well as a couple others. Alison Koffler’s poem “The Museum of Isinglass” was a descriptive piece that felt like being right there in the museum shop, then she read a seasonal poem “February.”
Shiv Mirabito, who is the proprietor of the Shivastan Poetry Ashram of Woodstock & who was on his way soon to India, ended the night with a poem just written at the bar, a memory of Italian Xmases past, “All I Ever Really Wanted for Xmas.”
If nights in Woodstock ever come to an end, this one did as I drove back to Albany, but I thank my Woodstock poet/friends for being there, & Michael Platsky for asking me back to read — they even paid me, which will go to my A.P.D. fund to publish poets.