March 16, 2009

Poetry @ the UAG, March 13

The series continues up to Albany WordFest (April 17-18), with Mary Panza as the MC.

I have photos of Amy Halloran reading at the QE2 in April, 1988, & she's still young. She is primarily a prose writer, but poems spill out too & I for one couldn't tell if she was reading prose-like ("prosy" has other connotations) poetry, or poetic prose. Does it matter? She began with an untitled piece pondering what to do instead of a wedding, then read an exercise which was a list of book titles, most of which seem to deal with food or the things of the home (as did most of what she read tonight), such as the wonderful long prose piece on the family, full of the details of the home, being a Mom. Her political piece, "All the Emanuels" was from a dream about Rahm Emanuel's brothers. But then the poem beginning "I think I am baking bread..." also seemed political as it combined the language of food & investments. After an homage to her high school experience, she finished with still another piece piling up of images of the everyday, "The Facts of Life." One doesn't get many chance to hear Amy Halloran's work so I was very glad to be here tonight.

Now as it turned out, Amy & Matthew Klane, the other featured poet, are related by marriage. Amy had even brought a copy of a page from an old City of Troy directory listing their common ancestor. Matthew has read more frequently recently here than Amy, at open mics & as a featured poet. Last Fall Stockport Flats Press of Equinunk, PA (sounds like something out of one of Matthew's poems) published his B___ Meditations[1-52]. Tonight he read from his "Che" based on the biography by Jon Lee Anderson. When Matthew first came to the open mics I had no idea what his experimental, short, enigmatic poems were about. He didn't help us to understand by not explaining what he was doing. But just a short comment about what text he was appropriating (like the Situationist's détournment) helps me to grasp, if not the "meaning," then what-is-going-on. And sometimes they can be very funny. All text is borrowed text.

Such a great setting for poetry, at the UAG Gallery, 247 Lark St., Albany, NY.