September 9, 2008

Third Thursday Poetry Night, August 21

We've had a string of featured poets with new books & tonight it was Will Nixon's turn; his book of poems, My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse, was recently published by Foot Hills Publishing. But before we get to that, tonight's muse was the recently departed Mahmoud Darwish (check out Pierre's Blog for an obit & some poems).

Sylvia Barnard was back early from her summer trip to England because of the death of her mother at 99 years! She brought her classical scholarship to bear on a new political poem, "The New Athenian." Bob Sharkey thought he heard Buddy Bolton shout at the "Shell Beach Station." Benevolent Bird Press publisher & Rootdrinker Institute jefe, Alan Casline, pondered "By Summer Greens Dispersion."

Mimi not-so-cranky-not-so-old Moriarty read her "cranky old lady poem" "Floater." It was a night of new readers, 2 to be exact, & the first was Doug White with an intricate meditation on grammar, punctuation, "Way Comma." Chris Brabham brought us back to recent tragic events in Albany with "When the Bullet Takes the Flight."

Will Nixon gave us a sample of 8 poems from My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse, including the title poem. The poems are a collection of vignettes & meditations, from childhood, through life in the city & in the woods, good stories that are pleasant to listen to & read. Others that he read: "When I Had It Made," "Dyslexic," "Easy Out," "Blood Brothers," "Insomnia," "Trespassing at the Leap," & "Miles." You can find our more about his book, & order a copy, at:

After the break, I started off the return of the open mic with an old piece, "I Meet an Old Friend on the Subway." I read recently that New York City is ending the "Poetry in Motion" program on the subways & this poem was inspired many years ago by seeing a poem by Lance Henson on a subway train. Frank Robinson read a philosophical poetic exercise on the paradox of a wish to want nothing. The other new reader was Diane Maiwald (who had read recently at Caffè Lena), on being empty & wanting to feel whole. Thérèse Broderick, appropriately enough, ended the night with a poem from her "artists dying" series, this one about her father, a color-blind painter.

We are every Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY, 7:30PM (7PM sign-up, if you want to get there early).