January 28, 2010

Poet Rock Ritual, January 19

This is a new series that started about a month ago at the Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs, hosted by Margot Malia Lynch. What with the holidays & the puppet play Ubu Rex this is the first night I've been able to make it up there. The Putnam Den is a cavernous sports & games bar with 2 pool tables, big open floor space & a good sound system. There were few poets there, but some of the pool players & sports drinkers were in for a surprise when a poetry reading broke out. This reading is unique in having a rock band to backup the poets.

Margot started us off with "This is My Ritual," setting the mood (for some of us) with this poem about "air-fucking my living room floor..." I took the bait & did a couple of more raunchy poems: the new "Summer in California" & the just-published punk piece "Tritina." The band (drums, bass & lead guitar) did a good job of catching the mood & rhythm (first of a strip club, then of a punk band) without overwhelming the text. The bar-flies liked it.

Salik had read at the open mic at Caffe Lena this past summer & did a couple poems about personal spiritual development, "The Holy Gnosis" & "Room to Grow" (creating more prophets), doing the poems from memory standing still, his hands whirling, wheeling. Interesting work, somewhat out of place in this venue.
Galaxy Babs (apparently a regular here) did 2 pieces that were like dialogues on love & words & feelings, mixing well with the rock music. She was back again later with advice in what was perhaps titled "Enjoy Yourself" & another piece looking at faces.

Margot also did more poems in which she used the music as an opportunity to sing some lines, repeat others like refrains in a song. She is also known as "Mathundra Storm" when she skates with roller derbies with the Hellions of Troy. She looked good in her short skirt, mesh stockings & neon roller skates.

Throughout the night, with different poetic styles & voices, the band did a wonderful, respectful job of backing up each poet, & they seemed to enjoy it too. They were Chris Turano on drums, Marc Latzky on bass & James Gascoyne on guitar.

An interesting addition to the poetry scene. Give it a try -- every (!) Tuesday at the Putnam Den, 63A Putam St., Saratoga Springs, sign-up at 8:00 -- & there are drink specials.

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