September 19, 2016

2nd Sunday @ 2: Poetry + Prose, September 11

Back for our 7th season (!) at the Arts Center in Troy, your hosts, Nancy Klepsch & I, were pleased to see so many of our regulars, even some who had not been here in quite sometime.

First on the sign-up sheet was Peggy LeGee with “My Letter to Werner Herzog,” a piece about her struggles with gender, & the “Tranie Christ.” Dan Curley read a story told to him by his father about that old staple of the medicine cabinet “Iodine.”

Joel Best began with “Dialogue,” then a funny piece filled with advice & bumblebees “Our Trip to the Moon.” Bob Sharkey read for us a 21st Century American version of what the Japanese call “haibun,” prose & poetry, about his youth & meeting his wife in New York City, “In the Beginning.”  Carolee Bennett was back after a hiatus with 2 poems, “Let It Be” fishing for trout & remembering her Mother, & then one that combines some of her frequent themes, family relationships & a fascination with outer space, “Juno Goddess of Marriage Struggles to Face Her New Career as a Spacecraft.” I followed with an old poem written after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 & before 9/11/01, “Song of the Tallest Tower.” Nancy Klepsch began with an experiment in not making too much sense, a piece shaped by dreams & desires, then a poem on the recurring gun violence “This Is Not My Beautiful Place.”

Kate Laity introduced her prose fantasy, “How to Seduce Anyone” as “frivolous” but it contained an important message from a Fairy Godmother: “don’t be evil.” Tim Verhaegen was allowed to keep his puppet from Friday night’s puppet show & read the same, sad memoir of his grandfather, back in the Summer when Tim turned 6 & “everyone was still alive.” Howard Kogan read 3 memories of working in New York City on September 11, 2001.

Jil Hanifan’s first poem was in the persona of a bus driver in post-apocalypse Albany, then another urban piece “4 Rabbits.” Karen Fabiane read new poems based on email & phone conversations, “Lark St. & Madison” a memoir of gay bars & of 2001, & a poem about the the sequelae of a foot massage. Elizabeth Gordon was back from a poetry tour & also read a memoir of gay bars, including finding the Pulse nightclub “A Hiding Place for the Orlando 49.”

A fine start to our 7th season at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, where we gather to read poetry & prose each 2nd Sunday at 2 — & it’s free.

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