October 31, 2016

Troy Poetry Mission, October 26

This was the 2nd gathering (I’d missed the first) of a new poetry series at O’Brien’s Public House in Troy, run by former Albany poetry impresario R.M. Engelhardt. The reading took place in a ballroom-sized space off the main bar area. There was no stage, or sound equipment for that matter, so it was hard to decide where to sit, & where the readers would would perform. But we figured it out.

Rob began in the spirit of Halloween (he had brought a talismanic copy of the poetry of E.A. Poe but no one read from it) by reading a poem by Tim Burton about Vincent Price. As often happens, I ended up as 1st on the open mic list, also with a Halloween poem “Zombie Gourd” & one on the election day horrorshow “When Donald Trump Farts.” Brian Dorn approached Halloween with his poem titled “Dark in Me,” then the love poem “Her Attributes.” In the Halloween mode, Tim Lake read a poem about the deceased William Robert Foltin “Killing Frost Descending” then a memoir written in France in 2011 “Flexible Flyers.”

Speaking of France, Mary de la Torre was back in town in the guise of the gentleman assassin, Pierre Francois Lacenaire (1803 - 1836) complete with blood stains on her white, lace-trimmed blouse on her breasts with a poem read first in French, then in English “Blood Karma,” then an erotic poem “I Want.”

Tonight’s featured reader, the first in this new series, was long-time area performer Jason Martin. He began with a piece about growing up in the Adirondacks, as he said, “one of those stories that rhyme” with guitar. Not all of his pieces were with guitar, such as the anti-government eco-poem, “Effects Not Proven,” or the manic “Last Night at the Office” based on Bob Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile…” & speaking of Dylan Jason ended back on guitar with Dylan-style lyrics, accent & mumble. If there had been a stage, Jason would have commanded it as he did the wide-open space of this dance hall — & I wish I had video of his footwork as he played his guitar, the still shot just doesn’t do it justice.

R.M. Engelhardt brought us back to the open mic with a couple of his poems, “Insurrection in Bohemia” & the political preaching of “Dear Candidate.” Karen Fabiane actually descended even further into the far corner of the room to read her poems, first one written today “At Best” with cooking for a pot luck & a drum circle, & another, “Sometimes People.” Devon Simms recited & performed “Nativity,” a Xmas nightmare poem that included the smashing of a creche.

Ed Rinaldi showed up (he only lives a couple blocks away) to read “Hone In” inspired by a photo, & an eco-poem from his Blog “a recycling wishing bird is bones and buttons.”  Perhaps Matthew Sekellick missed Rob’s note on the sign-up sheet, “2 poems,” as he tacked on a few more after his first 2, which were just fine, the first a list of titles of plays he hasn’t written, & the political piece “Where Are the State Funerals For…” (the workers).

It was a fine night of poetry, but no Poe. This series is slated to continue on the last Wednesday of each month at O’Brien’s Public House, 43 3rd St., Troy — 7:30PM sign-up, 8:00PM (or thereabouts) start.

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