The second of the night's readings, I was back again to Simply Fish & Jazz on So. Pearl St., this time I had some fish.
Our host, Bless, with Nick on blues guitar, started us off with "I'm on the Outside Looking In" in his deep bell-tone voice. "Storm" commented on the true meaning of "Child Support" (I've seen her out performing before with "Herbal Tea") (that's her in the photo to the right). Dani Hope did an untitled piece that said she was grateful to write these lines. I was seasonal with "What Passover Has Taught Me..."
La Siena [again, I'm hoping I got the names/handles correct since I forgot to ask to check the sign-up sheet during the break] performed a poem all over the stage where "Freedom" was a goddess, a beautiful woman, like a song, a chant. V. Campbell recited "Direct Communication" to Jesus in the language of the phone ads. "Passion Poet" said her piece was a "re-mix" from a poem written a couple years ago, on freedom & elections & the history of blacks' struggle. Bless brought us back around again urging folks not to trade their true heritage for a myth as a "Sucker for Love."
We took a break then back for a second round in a Bless-inspired order. He likes to give the poets their new poetry handles, so V. Campbell became "Expressive V." & recited her grand love poem "My Forever Valentine." Nicki Black was back from last month with another funky narrative, "I Should've Listened to my Conscience." "Storm" gave us her response to someone stealing her work. And I had another seasonal work from the Xtian perspective, "Good Friday."
"Passion Poet"'s feminist manifesto said that both men & women need to read the warning signs in their relationships. The recurring refrain in Bless' poem about the problems of a gentleman was "it's a damn shame what a brother has to go through..." La Siena was renamed "Spoken Soul & after a slow start got into "Chicago Blues." Bless introduced the night's last poet as "Elegance" but she didn't know that was her name; still, she was elegant. Her poem, "Determined," was on the theme of love & sex & being a fool for love -- yes, yes.
Not since the demise of "Soul Kitchen" has there been such intense spoken word in such a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Check it out on the 2nd Fridays of the month at Simply Fish & Jazz, 147 South Pearl St., Albany, NY -- the notice said 9PM start, but expect it to start late -- try the fish.
[I ended up missing the Caffe Lena Poetry Festival the next day due to a problem with my car, but with the 2 entertaining poetry events under my belt this Friday night I didn't feel like I hadn't gotten a good dose of the spoken word for the weekend. There's a lot going on & no one can get to it all.]