November 15, 2007

Live from the Living Room, November 14

[John Raymond reading at the NightSky Cafe in September.]

The featured poet tonight is one of my local favorites, John Raymond. He began with "Chicken" in which food becomes sex; "Reflections on Nothing" (which is in Other: Eight); "The Damned" (a fly caught in his window); the great sex tale of "End of a Fling"; "South"; another break up poem, "Surgery"; a camping poem, "Whiskey & Rain Water"; & the recently written cold city poem, "November." He ended by reading Richard Thompson's great song, "Vincent Black Lightening 1952." John has been coming out to open mics more & more lately -- you need to catch him. If I hadn't already had him featured at the Social Justice Center I would definitely sign him up.

We continued with the open mic portion of the night with our straight-friendly host, Uncle Don Levy. Another new voice on the scene, Matt Galletta read a poem about seeing pictures of an ex girlfriend wrestling in chocolate pudding, "This Will Happen to You".

Dan Wilcox (that's me) read 2 poems he's been reading together at open mics lately, "Poetry Prompts" & "Consumerism" because one of the sources of one of the poems was in the house. Jim Masters said he had nothing to read of his own so gave us a blessing of "The Breath of All Life" from The Book of Blessings.

Bob Sharkey told us he revised his poem "Arrowhead" after trying it out at an open mic & realizing he needed to give his brother his own poem; he also read a new poem, putting himself into an Edward Hopper painting (I wrote a poem many years ago where I step out of an Edward Hopper painting).

Hadn't seen NicoleK at a reading for awhile, & she continues to write these angst-ridden relationship poems (aren't they all?), both tonight untitled, one about letting go, the other overwhelmed by him. Anthony Bernini hasn't been around for awhile either. He read the "The Sirens" & the more up-beat love poem "The Wedding Vow". You have to listen closely to Anthony's poems; better yet, listen many times.

Our host, Don Levy, read a new piece, "Bathhouse Blues," where he juxtaposes the history of the NYC gay bathhouse scene with his own growing up. I was in NYC in the mid- to late- 1970s & just about anyone I can think of who frequented the baths then is dead; it was a scary time. With Thanksgiving Day coming & the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz looming, he read his piece written from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the East, "Begone Before Someone Drops a House on You."

& begone we were, at least until next month: 2nd Wednesdays, Gay & Lesbian Community Center on Hudson Ave. in Albany.