The calendar can be an odd duck, but not so strange once you have observed it’s peculiarities over time — this week the 2nd Wednesday of the month (yesterday) was followed by the third Thursday (today) & that meant the monthly open mic at the Social Justice Center in Albany. But first, I invoked the Muse, another gone poet, one I only recently found out had gone back in December, Wendy Battin (1953 - 2015), & read her poem about what I call “Oil War 1” the 3-part “Mondrian’s Forest” published in Sam Hamill’s anthology Poets Against the War.
First up on the open mic sign-up sheet was Richard Jerin, “happy to be here” he said, reading from his notebook a piece titled “01” a remembrance of 9/11. As it happened, Richard, & the next 3 readers had read last night at the open mic at Arthur’s Market in Schenectady. Alan Catlin, many years a bartender, read “Friday Happy Hour at the College Bar” about the first Gulf War on TV. J.J. Johnson also read a political piece, this from recent news, the rhyming “Deaf, Dumb & Deplorable.” Don Levy was the last of the readers from Arthur’s Market last night with a heavily researched bit of Gay History “The Origins of Brunch.”
Another series of similarities this night was 3 of us folks with some variation of the name “Daniel.” The first of that unique group was Daniella Toosie-Watson who recited her moving childhood memoir “Linguistics of Broken English.”
After the break I started off the 2nd half of the open mic with a poem from this Summer “Finding Pokémon.” Then I was followed by the return of Jan Farrell who read “Nightlights” (about stars) to “help everyone sleep well.”
So join us at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, NY each third Thursday of any month at 7:30 for a featured poet & an open mic for the rest of us, your modest or immodestly generous, donation supports poetry events & the work of the SJC. Bring a poem, too.