May 1, 2016
Sunday Four Poetry, April 24
You might think of this monthly open mic held in Voorheesville as “WordFest +” this month, following as it did on the heels of the week-long event in Albany. Dennis Sullivan was the sole host today, with Nancy Klepsch as the featured poet (who read at the end).
I ended up as first on the open mic list & read my revised “Labels & Names” (the “Love version”) I did on the streets of our nation’s capital, then for the season “What Passover Has Taught Me.” Paul Amidon read a poem about a grim anniversary “June Third,” then lightened it up with the humorous “Minor League Poet” — hey, it’s good just to be in the league. Dennis Sullivan read about a visit from the ghost of Thomas Merton (“The Visitation”), then, after a brief discourse on language, a poem to his grandson “Birthday Song for Patrick.” Joan Gran, a retired librarian, read just one piece “Rape of the Library.”
Tim Verhaegen reprised the outrageously funny poem he did Friday night at the WordFest Open Mic, complete with show-&-tell photos, “Talking Shit About Eileen Myles & Other Famous Gay Poets…” Joe Krausman returned to the theme of “names” with his poem “What’s In A Name?” (contra-Shakespeare), & another piece titled “At This Threshold.” Karen Fabiane said her poem “Portrait of a Frankenstein Monster” was written in 1978, but finally published only recently in the online journal Misfit, also read “Andalusian Girls” the title taken from the feminist writer Alison Bechtel. Thérèse Broderick ended the open mic portion of the afternoon with a poem about her father, who was an artist, “Growing Up With Angles.”
I hear Nancy Klepsch read her poems almost every month at the 2nd Sunday @ 2 open mic at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, but it is only 1 or 2 poems at a time. Today we got to hear her stretch out a bit as the featured poet. She began with an elegy for a cousin, a poem of grief & mortality, but then on to something lighter, a pastiche of “Howl” about the gentrification of Troy “Kvetch.” The poem “The Invisible Lesbian” was, like Tim’s poem, inspired by Eileen Myles, then a dual-voice piece with Jil Hanifan, “The Negro Traveler’s Motorist Green Book.”
Sunday Four Poetry takes place on the 4th Sunday of each month at 3:00PM in the Old Songs Community Center in Voorheesville, NY, but will be taking the months of July & August off.