April 27, 2010

Psycho ClusterF**k, April 17

In the early years of the Albany WordFest, "psycho cluster-fuck" was the way we described how the event was unfolding. Over time the term became imbedded in the event, then began to be used to describe a separate performance, as part of the Wordfest, that included featured readers & music. However, sometimes it is not only a title but also an descriptive noun, as this night.

So we were back to the UAG Gallery on Lark St. (hey folks, do you get it? The marvelous organization that is known as the UAG Gallery is not just for hanging paintings on the wall, you know). Thom Francis was the host, & later part of the poetry-music group, "Murrow."

Ed Rinaldi has been reading out at open mics the last couple of years. He read a series of his generally short poems (or, as he himself said, "these are very short, like I am"). He began with a response to some comments about last night's WorfFest with "Epigram to Right Conduct," & "Some Words are Mortal," then into "Lupercalian Eve" & a poem about belladona. He included a couple poems he had read Monday night at Professor Java's, then one about a snake ("Mr. Tantalus the Egg Eater"), a piece on the fear of germs in the super market, "Another Beltain Poem," & ended with a love poem containing the line, "memories are perfumes for the eyes."

It seems we can't get enough of Rebecca Schumejda (nor she of us) as she was back with her fine poems (& I've learned how to spell her name without looking it up each time). She began with a poem by Nathan Graziano (who was listed on the program but couldn't make it). Then on into poems from her 2008 collection of poems, Falling Forward: "Four Months from Now," "Workman's Prayer," & "First Mother's Day" (which she said she hadn't read out before). Then some new poems, "Other Mother" (which she read for Mary Panza), a couple from a new series ("Burnt Pot" & "What Covers the Heart"), then "How to Tell Time" (for her brother) & "Snowflakes in Spring." She concluded with a bouquet of 4 poems from her 2009 chapbook, The Map of Our Garden, ending with "Anyway" ("it's my love poem").

A couple of Super-Heroes had been prowling Lark St. to save the day & wandered into the Gallery as Murrow was setting up; one of them read "Kick Ass" by Nate Graziano. Thom Francis & Keith Spencer, as Murrow, did a selection of their greatest hits, including "Leaving Home," "A New Day," "Doctrine," "Angels," "Aftermath" (dedicated to Geraldo Rivera), "December 4," ending with Keith's favorite piece, the one that has the line about her having "a body that could stop a train…"

There were more performers on the schedule, but since they hadn't arrived yet, we took a break. And before long I broke for home. Apparently a couple poets did eventually show up, but I missed them & so did you, unless you were there. I guess that's why it's called "psycho cluster-fuck."

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