This is the occasional series run by Rebecca Schumejda out of the Half Moon Books in artsy Uptown kingston. Tonight there were 4 quite different poets, but evenly split over the gender divide, half local, half visiting.
Woodstock Poetry Society readings, read first, with old work that he is in the process of revising, specifically his theatrical performance piece "Approximate Poet Falls in Love & Can't Get Up." This is an extended piece composed of poetic vignettes that I've seen staged, most memorably a few years back, with his (about to be ex-) wife at Caffe Lena. Hearing him read it tonight made me think of some of the lines from Samuel Beckett's plays. The poems are whimsical, romantic, & I look forward to hearing it "redux" so to speak.
Connecticut Beat Poetry Festival a couple of years ago, & this night he was passing through from his home in Toledo, Ohio on a poetry tour with friends. His poems tend to have clever, catchy titles, such as "The Vanilla Ice Age," "Love in the Language of Howling Dogs," & "The Night My Heart Threw an Emo Dance Party," as does his new chapbook, Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books), a good marketing device to wake the reader up, & they frequently end with a clever punch line. In the middle they are built around an equally clever image or smoke-induced image. Unfortunately, every poem was read in exactly the same way, a shouting rant derived from the worst slam style with rising emphasis on the last word in each line. For one or two poems it could have worked but not for all 10 -- at least he's stopped rocking back & forth as he did when he read in Connecticut.
Keep on the lookout for announcements about this series but expect it to continue to have the same eclectic mix of local & visiting poets to test your poetic attention.