March 30, 2017
Poets Speak Loud!, March 27
This was a record-setting night with the most poets ever signed up for the open mic, according to host & ring-mistress Mary Panza, 21 at my count, not counting the 3 poets who read as the Reality Beach feature. Indeed it was a long night, with some readers having no idea of limits, of the old vaudeville rule axiom to “leave them wanting for more.” In any event, it was also an example of the variety of creative writers that live & write in Capital District.
First up on the open mic list was a stalwart of the open mics, Joe Krausman, who began with a poem about a summer job as a student “Riding Shotgun for Wells Fargo,” then a bit of apartment life “My Neighbor’s Parrot.” Carol Graser is the host of the open mic on the 1st Wednesday of each month at Caffè Lena & read 2 poems, “Health Insurance Addresses Her Supplents, then the chant-like "What Child Tuesday." Mark O'Brien said he had read “It is In the Shelter of Each Other that People Live” a long title for an proportionally long poem, the last time he was here, then a Haibun from his Blog.
Reality Beach with Editor/Founder Adam Tedesco serving as host. First of the readers was Michael Peters, who responded to Julie Lomoe’s crank that she couldn’t hear him by moving closer to her, which was perhaps better than any of his poems. Then he fiddled with his smart phone to bring up a recording of the Rosary to accompany his reading. He read from a series titled “Oh Beautiful Death” a long selection of hallucinogenic pieces, like watching a David Cronenberg movie — post-apocalyptic, often bombastic & filled with dystopian pop images. My favorite phrase was “like Mother Jones on the half-shell,” mixing Botticelli, Thomas Pynchon & progressive news magazines.
Reality Beach online.
Thérèse Broderick read a poem inspired by shopping at her neighborhood Market 32, a cross-cultural “Errands with Strangers.”
A new face & voice, Garrett McCluskey had a string of very short poems, which engendered a discussion on the bending of the rules with Mary; the poems were aphoristic plays on words & rhymes. When Sylvia Barnard attempted to get up to read, Garrett was kind enough to help her to her feet, which Mary couldn’t let go of for the rest of the night, but he was a good sport with all the teasing about him liking older women; Sylvia’s “Lisbon” was about having a cold in Portugal, & her second poem was for a friend who had died recently.
Sally Rhoades began with a New York City based poem “Winter Still Holding On,” then another place-based poem, this in far-Upstate New York & her Native heritage “Quiet in My Thoughts.” Doug Rothschild made a rare appearance at a community open mic to take off his shirt for the drive-by joke “Thursday’s Poem.”
Will they do it again? Show up on the last Monday of the month at McGeary’s Irish Bar on Sheridan Square, in Albany, near Melville’s boyhood home, with a poem or 2 — details at AlbanyPoets.com.