March 16, 2007

"The Black Door", March 13, at the Skyline

This new series brought up a lot of issues to discuss. Let's see if I can keep it under control. I'm sure someone will tell me if I don't.

First of all, on the "green plague", as Poet of All Ireland, John Montague, once described St. Paddy's Day in Albany. I picked up a postcard at the "Skyline" while there for the open mic. It hyped a "St. Patty's Day BASH 2007!" as "An All DAY Celebration" (the capitalizations are all theirs), with live music on the 1st floor stage by "Plan 9", & "The Schmooze" "w/ DJ Stepstool" (or was that Step O'Toole?). Also, on the 3rd floor, Hip-Hop & Dance by DJ Cru. I guess that is traditional Irish Hip-Hop, green-beer & plastic hats extra. Folks, it's amateur night.

Second, what is the Skyline, other than "the former Big House"? A Pub or a NIghtclub? It seems to me an oxymoron to be a "Pub & Nightclub" as the postcard states. With the world's most inattentive bartender it doesn't matter what you call it (on Wednesday nights it's a dance studio, go figure).

Next, to the 7th or 8th open mic venue hosted by Metroland's Readers Pick as the Best Local Poet, R. M. Engelhardt (see my earlier Blog on this). Rob's first question to me when I strolled in at 8:00PM (7:30 sign-up, 8:00 start), was "where are all the poets?" To which I was too gentle & too sober to say, "and where the fuck have you been?" For people to support your reading, you have to support others' readings. Granted, it's no guarantee -- there are some open mic hosts who are out once a month, on their particular Monday or Wednesday, but nobody else's. But if you're not to anyother readings, there's no point in wondering why people aren't at yours. Rob was sighted at Valentines earlier this month, but that was his first time at an open mic in many months, & only because he was handing out flyers. Of course, at 8:00 (did the flyer's state "8:00 start"?) his back up band, Love is the Devil, were just starting to set up & you know how long that takes.

Last issue is the new "poet" who stakes his claims to "about a thousand poems" & then at his first time out reads a mundane, trite journal entry trying to be a rant with confused politics & vague issues, as he were acting like an angry, radical, hip sort of guy. But, where have you been & will you show up again anywhere else, except in court? Enough to make you nervous, if you're the nervous type. Like poets who are chronically out of work but always have beer & exotic cigarettes, somehow the rent is paid; and we all know those "honors" have no cash attached.

Enough crankiness. There were real poets there: like the virgin Shannon's "Amerikan Ambition"; romantic James; Sebastion; Shaun Baxter (one of the open mic hosts who makes a point of going to other's open mics); & Joe Hollander, who would rather be playing poker but showed his stuff with a just-at-the-bar scribble on nostalgia (Joe once ran an open mic at Margarita's, which is now...? a Margarita to first person to answer that!).

Rob said there will be featured poets in the future, but didn't announce one for next month. The "Black Door" will be on the second Tuesday of each month. At the Skyline Pub, or Nightclub. We'll see. Don't look for a black door, it's not.