May 15, 2017

Arthur’s Market Open Mic, May 10

It’s been a few months since I was last at this reading/open mic in Schenectady, what with weather, travel, & other commitments, so I was glad to get back there. Our host is Catherine Norr, who has a lovely singing voice & began with singing just a verse from the sad Irish song “She Moved through the Fair.”

Alan Catlin read “Recurring Graduate School High Anxiety Dream Poem” which he had attempted to read read last month, but had the wrong 2nd page. Richard Jerin read “There Are Blue Skies” & a lost-love poem, both with the introductions carefully written out.

Susan Jewell read a 2-part poem that she said was an experiment with tempo, an intense, fast-paced 1st part, followed by a slower, calmer 2nd part. Scott Morehouse said he is inspired by coming here to the open mic, read “Lip Reading” a portrait of an aging woman by a description of her mouth. Mary Panza read an untitled piece thinking about the past as she ages, then a poem for her daughter “The Little Blond.” Jackie Craven read “a science fiction poem” published in a feminist journal “Darwin’s Daughter in the Year 2135.”

Today’s featured poet was Philomena Moriarty who began with a selection of poems from her “spiritual memoir” My Moon Self (Bodhicitta Press, 2015), “If Poems Were Wishes,” “Walking on Rice Paper,” “Walking Meditation,” “Prayer Is…,” “St. Philomena,” & “Romance.” Then on to a couple of memoir poems, “Survivor” (as child in Buffalo taking chances), & “Shape Shifting.” She ended by returning to the book’s final poem “Benefaction.” Although I am familiar with the poems in Philomena’s book, it is always a pleasure to hear her reading them aloud.

After a break, our host, Catherine Norr, read her poem “Coffee Break” then a poem from a workshop in 2009 “Cento for All of Us.” Manuel Bonilla read “My Future Wife,” a letter of what he would say to her. Phyllis Kulmatiski read a descriptive piece, with touches of humor, about where they stayed in Cancun.

Issa Pulley’s poem “Buyer Beware” was a narrative in rhyme. Betty Zerbst also read poems in rhyme, “Farewell Tune” & “Back in Time.” Malcolm Willison read a sad, humorous piece, like a long song lyric, “Leftovers,” then a haiku. I read “What Makes America Great #26” (about the Chipmunk Cafe) & “The Day God Invented Wine.” Ginny Folger read a descriptive piece from a visit to Rome “Eternal City.”

Each 2nd Wednesday of the month there is an open mic at 7:30PM at Arthur’s Market in the historic Stockade section of Schenectady, NY. Next month’s featured poet will be Me! Hope to see you there.

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