May 20, 2023

National Baseball Poetry Festival, April 28 - 30

It’s not just “Casey at the Bat” you know. I’ve published a chapbook in April 2019 (A.P.D.) Baseball Poems in conjunction with a reading I did that year at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival in Ada, OK, & you should check out the online Baseball Bard for a website filled with baseball poems.

Inspired in part by Baseball Bard as well as the great interest in baseball by America’s (& the World’s) poets (including Walt Whitman), a group of baseball fans that included not only poets but also business folks, entrepreneurs, community activists, teachers, scholars, & the necessary etc.s got together & created the inaugural National Baseball Poetry Festival held at Polar Park in Worcester, MA, home of the Worcester Red Sox, aka the WooSox. I had to be there, & I wasn’t the only poet from Albany in attendance, Mary McCarthy, former President of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild, one of the winners in the baseball poetry contest, & her husband, Kevin were there, along with their daughter, Christine Fowler & her husband Chad.

The Festival started off Friday evening with a reception in Polar Park’s DCU Club, with the usual speeches by organizers & dignitaries, & included poems read by a couple of student winners of the Baseball Poetry contest. One surprise was the President of the WooSox, Dr. Charles Steinberg who read the lyrics of a song, one of many he has written about the city of Worcester, & the WooSox, with copies of his lyrics for all.

Then a grand tour of the stadium, followed by a game between the WooSox & the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the WooSox won 4-2. It was a very cool night, not what you would call “baseball weather.” 

On Saturday in the early afternoon there was a reading by students who had submitted poems in the student baseball poetry contest. The students, parents & friends gathered  out beyond the left field wall on “the Berm” for a reading, under tent pop-ups to shelter us from the light rain. There were about 17 students reading & many of them were girls. There were also a few adults who read at the end, including Steve Biondolillo, who performed, the first time ever, from memory “Black-Blue & White” about the Yankee’s colors & poetry (!). Steve is one of the forces behind the National Baseball Poetry Festival, & was at nearly every gathering reciting his own baseball poems, one can even find poems on the website of his consulting firm, specializing in fundraising.

I knew it was going to be a long night of poetry & it was chilly & damp, so I opted to go back to my hotel room to rest up rather than attend the afternoon game between the WooSox & the RailRaiders.

Saturday was the open mic night, with four different venues hosting featured readers & open mic sign-ups. I was scheduled to be one of the features at Steel & Wire Cocktail Lounge on Millbury Street, as was Mary McCarthy, so that’s where I spent the evening with my notebook & camera & poems. The place reminded me more a punk rock club (e.g., a smaller version of the QE2 in Albany) than a “cocktail lounge," with a bar filled with neighborhood clientele & a separate room with a stage, a sound set up & stage lights where the reading was held.

The host for the evening was Karen Elizabeth Sharpe, a Worcester poet, who had obviously hosted other poetry events. The program was divided up between sessions for open mic readers & featured poets, with breaks in between to freshen up our drinks or event to get some something to eat. Karen touched my heart when in her opening remarks she quoted writings on baseball by Walt Whitman (!), including his pronouncement that “baseball is our game” (but see this site for a bit of corrections on the story).

The first poet up was Judy Ferra with another surprise for me; after some brief remarks about the poet Stanley Kunitz, who was born in Worcester in 1905, she read 2 poems from an old (out-of-print?) anthology Diamonds Are Forever: Authors and Writers on Baseball, the first poem was “Where It Had Been Oiled” by Albany poet Paul Weinman (1940 - 2015) — I knew I was in the right place. 

John Gormond was described as a “big baseball fan,” read “A Game of Numbers” a poem in 9 stanzas about Pete Rose. Steve read a childhood memory of the 1986 World Series (Mets beat the Red Sox), referencing Emily Dickinson, “hope is a thing with cleats…” Dr. Mark Wagner read a poem about a pitch you can’t see, then one titled “Miracles: an Ode for Cleon Jones." Ace the Youth Poet Laureate of Worcester, read a poem just written in the last 30 minutes, “Baseball” (of course). Ron Whittle, who is a Viet Nam War vet & the man who had re-modeled Steel & Wire in recent years, read poems of pride & praise about Worcester.

After a short, drink-refreshing break, there was a cluster of featured poets, beginning with Albany’s own, Mary McCarthy, who began with a poem dedicated to her father, “My First Game.” Next was her poem “The Little Leaguer Grows Up” which was one of the winners in the Festival’s Baseball Poems contest, then on to “Playoff Angst” (a conversation with her husband Kevin), & “Jump Throw” (Derek Jeter), & finished with a poem on weather, not baseball.

Christopher Reilley edited & designed an anthology for the Worcester County Poetry Association, The Baseball Issue, for Opening Day, May 22, 2021, copies of which he was giving out. He talked about the history of baseball in Worcester, & the history of “Casey at the Bat,” written in 1888 in Worcester by Worcester native & journalist Ernest Thayer. He read poems from the collection by Xaulanda Thorpe, Joe Fusco Jr., Tim Kahl & Doug Holder. Still another surprise for me was to see Ron Wallace’s poem “A2000;” Ron is a avid baseball fan whom I met at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival in Ada, Oklahoma.

Karen Sharpe, our host this night, & one of the organizers of the Festival read a mix of her own poems & a couple works by others, including January Gill O’Neil’s “The Rookie” Karen’s own poems included a couple of erasures, paying tribute to the online Baseball Bard, another about the Earthquake during the 1989 World Series, & a poem for fellow Worcester poet Paul Szlosek “Hot Dogs: the Rules.”

On to more open mic poets. Rex Arrasmith was another contest winner & he read 2 poems about umpiring amateur games. Robbie Gamble read a poem about the end of Pete Rose’s hitting streak, written by someone else. Paul Szlosek talked about Stanley Kunitz, then read a baseball poem & one about his father. One of the poems that Anne Marie Lucci read was “The April Fool in us All” from The Baseball Issue edited by Christopher Really. Paul Leary, another of the contest winners, read poems titled ”Sadie Hawkins Day” & “The Antelope,” as more folks came in from other Baseball Poetry venues that had finished, thus adding some late readers to the line-up.

Audrey Roth, in full Mets regalia, read a poem on a Mets win, with the help of a (Jewish) God. Tommy Twilite, a contest winner, read a poem about minor league baseball, then one that began began with the line, “There is no Time in Baseball…” Bert Heffernan had been a featured reader at another venue & seemed to think he was a feature here too, starting with a football poem, then an interminable baseball poem in rhyme like a bad, pitch-by-pitch modern version of “Casey at the Bat.”

Then on to the last of the featured readers. Mark Sickman, from La Jolla, CA might be called the Father of the Festival. He is the man behind the curtain at Baseball Bard: the Poetry of the Game, which he founded in 2011, to encourage the writing and reading of poetry and verse, & he has been lobbying for this Festival for a few years. A few years back he published my poem “The Cardinal” on the website. I was very pleased to be at Steel & Wire to share the stage with him, &, more importantly, that I had gotten to know him over the days of the Festival. His poems were brief, to-the-point, including a series of triolets on on Rickey Henderson, Ron Darling & others. There was a poem about a short stop (“Soft Hands”), another on a 1st base coach’s advice on stealing, a sonnet spoken by a boozy bartender on Tommy Johns. He opened with “Imperfect Men,” ended with “The Wife of the Home Run King.” Makes me think that I need to write more baseball poems.

Matthew Sisson read “The Baseball,” a meditation about one found in the grass, made in China, then performed one from memory “Knees.” 

Then it was my turn, it was late, so I kept it short, 4 poems from my 2019 chapbook Baseball Poems (A.P.D.), the Wasteland pastiche “Octoberland,” the political “Baseball in Palestine,” the poem for my daughter Anna “Waiting for Jacqueline Robinson,” & one written at a Tri-City Valley Cats game, “Vamos Gatos.”

It was only appropriate that the night ended with the force that helped make Mark Sickman’s vision a reality, Steve Biondolillo who reprised the poem from memory that he had performed earlier about the Yankee’s colors “Black-Blue White” (see above).

The next morning there was an informal meeting of a few of us as we had breakfast in the hotel lobby  as we basked in the words, & people, & images of baseball that had filled up the previous 2 days. We traded stories, ideas, suggestions, comments, but we all agreed that we would like to be back in Worcester next year. We all had new friends, made connections to other poets & we saw the potential for the energy & the poems to continue next year — after all, “next year” is a timeless baseball mantra.

May 15, 2023

Zooming Around in the Poetry Scene

One of the reasons, perhaps the main reason, that I started this Blog back in January 2007 was to archive a record of the poetry events that I attend. It was, & remains, the digital equivalent of the stacks of hand-written notebooks that I had accumulated over the years, filled with names, dates, titles of poems, etc. During the pandemic many of these events I documented were held on Zoom, & many of these readings & open mics & readings have continued to flourish online, even as more & more in-person events have been reborn or have started anew.

Many of these online events are being recorded & it has occurred to me that this is how it should be. For example, the NYS Writers Institute program of in-person readings & craft talks by writers are video taped & archived, & links can be found on their website.

One series that I have attended online is Jules’ Poetry Playhouse Reading originating from Placitas, New Mexico run by the poets Jules Nyquist & John Roche. On March 28 of this year the featured poet was Mary Oishi, the former Poet Laureate of Albuquerque. It was an entertaining 40 minutes or so of poetry & rather than offering my summary, here is a link to the Jules’ Poetry Playhouse YouTube channel. Enjoy! & check out their website for future events.

Another event that introduced me to 2 fine poets I hadn't heard previously was the Zoom gathering sponsored by the South Florida Poetry Journal (SoFloPoJo) on April 25, hosted by Judy Ireland. The featured poets were L.J. Sysko & Sean Singer, 2 very different poets in terms of content & style but equally engaging & both careful presenters of their work. 

L.J. Sysko is the author of The Daughter of Man (University of Arkansas Press, 2923), a revision of Rene Magritte’s iconic The Son of Man; her poems are a feminist “clinic in irony,” humorous, irreverent social commentary. Sean Singer’s Today in the Taxi (Tupelo Press, 2022) is a diary of a cab driver in New York City, & was a National Jewish Book Awards Winner. Check out the separate links to each poet; there are other links up for past readings. 



May 9, 2023

Third Thursday Poetry Night, April 20

In Albany Everyday is National Poetry Month” so a poetry reading on the third Thursday of the month is not that strange — & tonight the house was packed for the featured poet Ellen White Rook promoting her just-out book from Cathexis Northwest Press Suspended. There was an ever-expanding sign-up list, but first we invoked the Muse, the recently gone local poet Noah Kucij (1979 - 2023) by my reading of his sonnet “Your Photos A Year Ago This Week.”

First poet up on a very crowded sign-up sheet was a former feature here Dawn Marar who read a descriptive piece “I Watched Him Play the Piano,” images of horses, birds, & the laptop keyboard. Sue Oringel, another former feature, read “Cardinal,” in all its meanings, starting with the bird. Linda Miller also read about birds, her poem titled “Bird of Prey,” her metaphorical self. Katrinka Moore referred to Ellen’s “On Waking” (in Suspended) about a Summer pond, then read her own poem about a Summer pond “Grace.”

A poet new to me, Rumara Jewett, & here for the 1st time, read in rhyme on the siege of Mariupol, Ukraine “Doom Scroll,” working in images of horrors from other wars. Naomi Bindman read her poem of birds “The Shape of Wind” that I’ve heard before & was pleased to hear again. Alan Catlin, who will be the featured poet next month, read “Eleven Seconds from the Finishing Line” on the bombing at the Boston Marathon in 2013. Alexander Perez read “Solemnities in White Leather” part of his series about desire with a character named Alejandro.

Starting at some point during the Pandemic I started printing out some of my shorter poems on 3x5 cards & giving them out to friends & strangers; I must’ve given my “Spring Haiku” composed of the repeated word “Boing” to Susan Riback. Tonight she read a poem she had written in which she uses the word “Boing”! Joe Krausman, who packed the house when he was a featured poet poet here in August; in an article in the Albany Times Union writing about the event Casey Seiler described Joe as a “flinty elf;” tonight read his brief, wry meditation on aging “Vertigo.”

Ellen White Rook is a poet, writer & teacher, & you can find her website here. She read a mix of poems from Suspended & others, beginning with the book’s title poem, then on to a couple poems with coffee (her favorite drug, she said), “French Press,” & the star-struck “Natalie Wood Buys a Cup of Coffee,” both not in the book. Others she read not in the book were the feminist “After Sunrise” & one on the theme of home, about a demon in the living room (“who doesn’t have one?” she mused). Other poems she read from the book were “Emigrant Song,” “At Cashiel Rock” about her sister, “Ruins” written in the Pine Bush during the pandemic, “Long Light Day” about her father, & ended with the last poem in the book “New Baby Poem.” Of course the audience was enthusiastic & generous with its applause, many may have had already heard these poems in peer groups & workshops in the poetry community — a community poet brings her friends as well she should.

During the short break Ellen was able to sell a number of her books, then we were back for the rest of the open mic. I was up next to read a new poem, a re-write/version/pastiche of William Carlos Williams’ “The Great Figure” with the same title. Joan Ilene Goodman read her sonnet “Words That Fly” an ode to paper without pen, the fabulous poem not yet written. Valerie Temple has come back, tonight read “Birthday Agenda,” looking forward to a celebration.

Jon Lloyd was here for the first time & read a playful piece titled “I, a Poem” dedicated to his family, & all his other influences, even the dog, the goldfish. Philomena was back after a pandemic hiatus during which she broke her leg twice, read the “The Betrayal of Objects” a prophetic poem written before she broke her leg. Marea Gordett came out to see her friend Ellen & read a love poem to a recipe “Rapture in the Soup Pot” with rich colorful (tasty?) ingredients. Catherine Dickert also read a food piece, a memoir titled, “My Birthday Dinner on a Friday Night in the Spring” having lobster as child with her family.

Melissa Anderson didn’t have a food poem but read one with the tantalizing title “Talking to a First Date About the Weather” about a Winter walk, a time for cold & waiting for Spring. Sally Rhoades read a piece from her memoir “Leaving the Mountain” about a time of changes in her family & her father’s surgery for cancer & her closeness to him. 

Rhonda Rosenheck was here for the first time, read a richly imagined genealogy “I Am From,” based on a poem by Judith Prest used as prompt in a workshop. Sylvia Barnard  made it here tonight, read a poem inspired by looking out her window “The Lamppost & the Tree” a little elegy for a friend. Josh the Poet ended up last on the list, but didn’t mind, recited from memory an inspirational poem finished yesterday, “Beneficial Gain.”

We gather each Third Thursday of the month at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY at 7:30PM —with a featured poet & an open mic (one poem limit) for the rest of us. Your donation helps support poetry events in the area & the work of the Social Justice Center.

April 19, 2023

Invocation of the Muse, April 3

Surprised — & pleased — to find this event downstairs from the grand Hall, tonight in the smaller practice room. If you want to have a poetry reading, do it in a small room that way if it gets crowded everyone will think it was really popular. This practice room with its wall of mirrors made for some interesting, & challenging, angles of reflection, not to mention the creaky floors adding a sort of obligato when folks enter the room as a poet is reading.

Out host, R.M. Engelhardt, noting that it was the start of “National Poetry Month” [In Albany, Everyday is National Poetry Month], invoked the Muse of the gone Jim Harrison by reading 2 of his poems, “Word Drunk” & “Complaint,” from his Collected Poems. Also of note was that there was no featured reader.

The first of the open mic poets was Billy Stanley whose first poem was titled “Indestruction” full of rhyme & word play, then a circus poem strangely titled “Zombie Airways.”

Ian Macks announced that he has a new book coming out very soon & read for us a couple sample poems, “The Good in People,” & a portrait of a street character “Lyrical Genius, Common Sense Failure." I followed with a couple older poems from my poems-on-poets folder “The Poet’s Coat” & “Poets Talk."

Our host, R.M. Engelhardt, read from his latest book RAW (Dead Man’s Press Ink, 2023) “Rumi’s Secret & Soulful Advice on Writing,” & the deeply serious “The Day that Poetry Died” (but then it returns through the spoken words of children).

Samuel Maurice announced that he was a new editor of Dead Man’s Press Ink, then read a couple of his own untitled poems, one about a vision of the Moon thru the windows of a bus, the other about seeing Dopplegangers. 

Alexander Perez read a few of his surreal fantasy poems, “Ritual of the Equinox” (like a ritual of death), “Dance with the Devil” (more death, with Alejandro the master), & “Ritual of the Blue Bird” (again with Alejandro).

I haven’t seen John Thomas Allen out at a poetry open mic since well before the pandemic; his work is characteristically dream-like, surreal. He mentioned having spoken to the gone poet Franz Wright (1953 - 2015), then read a poem titled “Dilator” mixing random, perhaps dream, images, & another of that ilk titled “Visiting Hours.”

The last poet of the night was a last-minute add-on, arriving late, Briel Mastriani, who read a political rant/threat titled “Reckoning” on the repressive anti-transgender laws being passed elsewhere in the country, thankfully not here.

This series has been held on the first Monday of most months at Lark Hall, but at the time I am writing this I have been informed that due to renovations being done at the Hall the series will be on hiatus. Check out the Facebook & Instagram pages for Dead Man’s Press Ink for updates.

April 18, 2023

In Translation, March 26

Another one of the evocative pop-up events, like the mushrooms themselves, at Collar City Mushrooms, billed as “a poetry presentation in multiple languages,” centered on a reading by Ukrainian poet Natalya Sukhonos, with an open mic — how could I resist? I’ve studied & dabbled in a few languages in my life but have never become fluent in any other than English (& profane) to be able to translate poems. But it was an opportunity to hear other community poets & meet others who up up until today were strangers.

Our host & the proprietor of the mushroom farm, Avery Stempel began approriatlely enough with a mushroom poem, “My Partner,” in the voice/persona of a tree in appreciation for its mushrooms.

I read my poem titled “Kadinsky’s Red Spot” that began in the Guggenheim Museum at an exhibit of paintings by Wassily Kadinsky (1866 - 1944), that was later translated by Inna Ehrlich Ph.D. into Russian, then even later transformed in a workshop with Bernadette Mayer through a Google Translate of Dr. Ehrlich’s translation, then my re-write based on the Google translation from the Russian; I rarely have anyone available to read the Russian version, but today that was done by Natalya.

Amber Jackson, who had read in another event here back in February read a poem in Irish & in English titled “Sensitive Spring.” 

I hadn’t heard Peter Monaco read out in a poetry event in a number of years, but here he was; he talked about his long-range project the “Hudson Valley Paranormal Vortex Blues” that he described as “not necessarily poetry,” sang based on John Cale’s “Paris 1919,” a song & a story for Albany (& the paranormal presence of Charles Fort (1874 - 1932), buried in Albany Rural Cemetery).

Johnathan read 2 poems about names. Freya read a memoir piece in the voice of her step-mother, who is a memoirist. 

The next reader was Ian Ross Singleton, who is married to Natalya Sukhonos. He read a poem by a woman Ukrainian poet who wrote the poem in Russian, he read the Russian text then his English translation, a triumphant piece “Life’s More Enduring than War.” Then a poem of resistance written in Ukrainian, reading it first in Ukrainian, then English, “This Is Still Us.”

The featured reader was Natalya Sukhonos who began with poems written in English from her book A Stranger Home (Moon Pie Press, 2020). “Holodormor” was dedicated to her grandmother, the title refers to the famine imposed by Russia in 1932 - 1933 to exterminate the Ukrainian people; next was a poem about her father from Odessa titled “Lost in the Stars;” then a memory of her mother titled “Specter Garden” & another to her mother about a painting “Night Sky #16 by Viga Celmins.” Then she read from her phone newer work, on the theme of translation, poems inspired by others' poems in Ukrainian, one titled “My Lover My Home My Earth,” another about her grandfather & a trip in a car, one on her own life & based on a poem by Elizabeth Bishop, one titled “The Goddess of Winter,” & ended with a poem about their new home in Delmar, “Space.”

It is such a thrill to be surprised by poetry & poets I did not know before & there were a lot of surprises here today among the mushrooms. Check out Collar City Mushrooms on Facebook for other events — & surprises.

April 15, 2023

Third Thursday Poetry Night, March 16

On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, the featured poet was Marylou Kelly Streznewski, with also a  list of of community poets for the 
open mic. Our Muse tonight was a repeat Muse the great, gone Poet of All Ireland John Montague (1929 - 2016); I read his poem “Brighid O’Neill” from his book Smashing the Piano (The Gallery Press, 1999).

First, a little bit of the open mic list. The first up was Valerie Temple, who had been here a couple times in the Fall, & who read in honor of the arrival of Spring on Monday her poem in rhyme “Spring Fever” on getting rid of Winter. She was followed by Alan Catlin, one of the most published poets in America, in the tradition of St. Patrick’s Day he read a new poem that he wrote yesterday based on a dream & his years of working as a bartender in an Irish bar, “Ex-Post Facto Work Anxiety Dream.”

Catherine Dickert who has been a regular here, tonight read a story about a warm Groundhog Day at “Beverwick,” after a warm Winter, no snow, no ice skating, then Snow, what might be turned “eco-fiction.” Julie Lomoe had a green hat (but not Irish), read a narrative written in 2016 “Bela & the Rats” about living in SoHo in NYC, the rats both 4-legged & 2-legged. Joan Geitz read “I’m Out of Here” a rhyming poem by Irish poet & radio personality Tony Fallon, about waiting for his own wake.

Our featured poet was Marylou Kelly Streznewski brought with her copies of her 5 (!) books; in 2019 Kelsay Books published her latest collection Sitting in the Shade of My Own Tree. Tonight, she began with her father’s favorite Pat & Mike joke. Her reading included poems from several of her books & some poems still in manuscript. There were family poems, such as one to her son, “Anti-war Mama Learns to Keep Her Peace,” & “For my Daughter, Upon the Changing of her Name,” & a tender series on grieving the death of her husband. There were other anti-war poems, & one on the shooting in Euvaldi “Voices.” The poem “The Irish Hunger Monument, Battery Park” reflected upon her Irish heritage, & she ended with “Poet Noodling” (a phrase from poet William Stafford) about writing a poem in Spring. It was an like a retrospective of her work — she noted that this was the first time she has been paid for a reading of her poems.

We took a short break & Marylou sold some books, then on to the few remaining poets on the open mic list. But first I read one of my own poems, this for St. Patrick’s Day from my 1995 chapbook Ireland (A.P.D.) titled “Tracings.”

Melissa Anderson read a new poem-in-progress about childhood drawings & communion “God Bodies,” & her new gods of cities & Nature & memories & love. 

Gene Damm has not read his poems out in quite a long time, but tonight he showed up to read about the coming of Spring “Crocuses.” 

Alexander Perez read an intense piece titled “Festivals of Saturn” from a series about a master called Alejandro & his subjects. Ellen White Rook, the last reader this night, will be the feature here in April, gave us a sample titled “Suspended,” a poem of March (& the title poem of her forthcoming collection of poems).

We gather at the Social Justice Center in Albany each third Thursday for a reading by a local or regional poet & an open mic for anyone else, 7:30pm — your donation helps support poetry events in the area & the work of the Social Justice Center.

March 28, 2023

All-Genre Open Mic Out of Bennington, March 14

Back in Bennington — well, not really, this event is on Zoom & on this particular night it was a good thing because it had snowed most of the day & I wouldn’t have made the attempt to drive the hour if it was an in-person event. Our host Charlie Rossiter does the 2-round thing, one piece each round.

I got into the Zoom room on time & was signed up 1st; my 1st round piece was a tribute to the poet (& my friend) Tamara Gabbard, titled “Tapestry;” in the 2nd round I read another piece about the witches in my attic “The Witch’s Necklace.”

Bill Thwing
also writes & performs songs, said he wrote 30 songs in last month & read one based on Kenn Ash’s humorous Brooklyn songs,”I’m gonna miss me when I’m gone;” then on the next round performed one based on a poem by Naomi Bindman (see below) “The Shape of Wind.”

Cheryl Rice has been writing poems about the Zeigfield Follies for years, & reading them out at open mics or at her featured readings, tonight she read a descriptive, back-stage look, “College,” at star Eddie Cantor in black face, & Burt Williams; her 2nd piece was her prize-winning poem from the Stephan A. DiBiase contest “Jed Clampit is a Happy Man” with a summary of all the characters from that iconic TV show, you know the one.

Naomi Bindman was a finalist in the afore mentioned Stephan A. DiBiase contest with her poem about an ice storm  “Blown Glass;” then on the 2nd time around the poem “No Small Thing” a gift of tulips from a friend, written last year, neither the tulips nor the poem no small thing.

Charlie Rossiter, in the 1st round, read a college memoir about Bar City Grill in College Park, MD; his 2nd round piece was from a dream talking with his Dad titled “Sometimes It’s Good to Sit in a Car & Have a Beer.” 

Alexander Perez read from his mss. “Drama Queen” what he described as “a weird fucked up poem" about his corpse in a magician’s lab that was like a morgue; for round 2 he read an untitled piece put together today about recovering what is lost.

Tom Nicotera tried to join us earlier, eventually got connected, with a new poem about aging “I Have Learned How to Slow Down Time” then got cut off again — nothing’s perfect, I guess.

So if you want to join this gathering of poets on the 2nd Tuesday on Zoom, & you’re not already on Charlie’s list, send him an email request at — tell him I sent you.