July 3, 2007

Albany Poets Present the No-Gimmick Open Mic, July 3

[This is el Presidente fiddling around, at the Bayou Cafe, when there was an attempt at Slam.]

The only gimmick was the host, Thom Francis, but he's the President so nobody fucks with him anyway. So the night at Valentines started with beer drinking, the guy-bonding kind, with Kim 13 telling (woman) bartender stories of 17-year old punk rockers in the men's room with someone else's Mom. Sometimes playing Nintendo in a van with sweaty young guys is just not video games, I mean, why do they call it a joy stick?

So then it turns into one of those nights you can only imagine, really. I clearly remember Dain Brammage scribbling a poem at the bar that I enjoyed hearing (all this is out of order since my notebook got covered in beer at some point & "I lost the best poem I ever wrote".) Some poets actually wandered in from the proverbial tour-bus, scrambling for the bottom of the list -- hey, there is only one last poet folks!

I read a couple bar poems, like the recent "Photo at the QE2", & "The Punk Rocker's Panties," which at that point I wasn't sure there were any.

A surprise was the reclusive Delores D. who read a poem about an incident in the Ladies Room of the Spectrum theater when when she was in high school, then a journal entry whine about a lost girlfriend. We know where she's been, but why not out here more?

Passing through, Bill Powell stumbled (almost literally) into Valentines with his spiral notebook (it looked like someone drove over it). Then read a tribute to that forgotten 20th Century poet, Mina Loy; says he's not a Ph.D. & doesn't "look" like it, but one never knows, do one?

Keith did his Dylan imitation of "Highway 61" -- I always wondered if it was really about Canal St. in NYC? For a cover, pretty good. Speaking of which, Keith took care of the sound for us & of course knew what he was doing.

We had been talking films at the bar & when he got up to read Shaun Baxter read a poem based on Robert Altman's film "3 Women," sort of, maybe, not really -- but you never know with Shaun.

A short night & I was done (2 beers & didn't use the bathroom once) but a night I could only imagine (& who was that rinsed-out blonde on my left?).

First Tuesdays at Valentines, approximately 7:30 but don't hold me to that. Come & drink beer & maybe some poetry will break out.