June 28, 2011

Saint Poem, June 20

It's tough for me to get to this reading on time since I have another meeting at the same time. But tonight my earlier meeting ended early & I only missed 1 open mic poet (I can't write about what I don't hear -- actually … well, nevermind).

Joe Krausman was reading as I arrived his poem "The Game of Life," based on news stories he had read about a house infested with snakes. Robert Natello said he had nothing to read, that he had read out 15 years ago, maybe; then read a revelation of waking up alone, & naked, & a poem reflecting on his life as a poet. Our host, RM Engelhardt, said his poem "Walt Whitman is Dead" was written with the recent birthday reading of "Song of Myself" in mind & preached to Walt about the evils of our days, then a poem about a visit to the dentist, "Ghost of my Tooth" (Rob was once the host of a reading series called "Ghost of the Machine").

The night's featured poet/performer was Avery Stempel who began with a poem in a goofy pirate voice, "In Search of Plunder," about an artist seeking inspiration, then the anaphoric list, "I Found a Poem." I like the energy behind Avery's poems, but many are afflicted with abstract meditations on grand topics, like "Life Never Ceases to Amaze Me" (change is coming), or "Imminent Anticipation" which is saved by some images of leaves & rain, or "Onward Ever Onward." In his final poem, "Bottled & Labeled & Ready for Distribution," he used a series of drawings to illustrate the poem, which in itself was ironic because the poem was about a poet being filled with words, not images.

After a short break I read a couple "Postcards from New York," composed for a Chicago project instigated by my partner-in-crime, Charlie Rossiter.

Penny Meachem tried to have a musical accompaniment from her smart phone, but the images in her poem, "Jazz Blues," were good enough to carry it without the music, & her singing in her piece "Never Too Far" was just fine. Stacy Stump read from her 1992 journal ("Stacy's Journal: Don't Touch") a piece called "5 Days 2 Hours 58 Minutes" which she said is the length of her relationship with the boy in question, then read "part 2" written months later about the same boy -- ah, young love!

This is a new series hosted by RM Engelhardt, at the UAG Gallery on Lark St. in Albany, NY, on the 3rd Monday of each month (check AlbanyPoets.com for a calendar); his series at the Fuze Box on the last Friday of the month is now defunct.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dan writes:
"I like the energy behind Avery's poems, but many are afflicted with abstract meditations on grand topics..."

Isn't that the same affliction as 95% of all poetry ever written?