April 12, 2016

2nd Sunday @ 2: Poetry + Prose, April 10

For the National Poetry Month edition of this monthly series at the Arts Center in Troy there were 17 writers signed up to read, poetry &/or prose.

Sylvia Barnard was first on the list & read her poem about the only woman in the Bible who was identified as a “prophet” Anna, then the poem “Grave Stele” from a visit to the Kerameikos Museum in Athens. Sandra Rouse read 2 poems from her continuing series about birds, “Catch the Light” & “A Murder of Crows.” I followed with my poem about the end of Don Levy’s reading series at the Pride Center “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” then a new poem that was actual driving directions, “How to Find Clit Court.” Mike Conner read poems by others, one about using a rotary phone, the other Archibald MacLeish’s classic “Ars Poetica.” Howard Kogan read what he described as a combination essay & short story, poetic & humorous “Peanuts & Your Heart.”

Cathy Abbott shared 2 of her brief, quirky pieces, the first about “fools” then one directed at a “Cheater.” My co-host Nancy Klepsch read a revised version of her poem “When Rubylith Changed Her Name to Lith” that she had read last month, then read an interesting exercise from Bernadette Mayer’s workshop in which she deconstructed an essay. Kate Laity read a sad, short story, “Pink,” that can be found on the on-line journal Spelk. Kathy Smith’s “Rough Cut” was a dark piece about a boy & a horse, & “A Conversation” she said was a prayer deconstructed from a Leonard Cohen song. Matt Ryan joined us once again, read “Rehab” then the rhymed piece “Your Favorite Meth Band Sucks.”

I think this was the first time here for Bob Harlow & he began with a poem (based on a line from poet Weldon Kees, 1914 - 1955) about a party hostess, then a long, discursive piece about finding (gay?) men on a beach “Wellfleet, A Love Story.” Karen Fabiane read poems from her books, “54 Fuxx” about a trans-gender man, & “Chloe,” another love poem. Allison Paster-Torres read a new poem about a bar conversation “2 On the Rocks” & the funny list poem “10 Things Condoms Don’t Prevent.” Bob Sharkey began with “Essay on Poetry” but set as an anecdote in a doctor’s office, then a piece about one of his aunts, “Understanding Anita.” Somewhere along the line Nancy & I had skipped over Joel Best’s name on the list but he was good-humored about it; his first piece was like a fantasy tale set in a castle after some sort of revolution, then a piece that was the musings of a woman persona “Packing for the After-Life.”

Also skipped over, but returned to her rightful place, was Ainsley Pinkowitz, who told us the tale of exchanging diaries with a friend & former lover then finding it years later & wrote her reactions in a poem, then read a new love poem. Peggy LeGee read a rhyming poem about schizophrenia “Mind-Cluttered World,” then a self-assertive, humorous poem “The Traney Christ.”

Most months of the year 2nd Sunday @ 2: Poetry + Prose happens at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St., Troy, NY — free! I think you can figure when & what time.

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