December 24, 2013

Third Thursday Poetry Night, December 19

Tonight was the annual, pre-Xmas, visit from Sanity Clause ("everyone knows there is no Sanity Clause"), a yearly opportunity for the old fellow to have the badly-behaved good poets of Albany sit on his welcoming lap. Ah, yes. With a gift of poetry. As has been my custom at this holiday gathering I read the exquisite "Holiday Poem" by Enid Dame to invoke her spirit for our reading tonight.

(photo by Wendy Dwyer)

First up, appropriately enough, was A.C. Everson with her annual rendition of her "naughty Santa" rhyme, usually performed with a piñata, that she then smashes. Fortunately for Sanity Clause she didn't smash him, just gently sat on his lap as did each reader. Avery read the effusive "To Be in Love" with "dancing fairies of the night" -- who knew? Alan Casline introduced his poem "The Good Boy" as being in the style of William Carlos Williams & based on a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. Joe Krausman read a poem written as an experiment, one written in 2-syllable words, "Knowing Oneself Baffling, Giving Advice Easy."

The night's only "virgin" was local peace-activist/Code Pink lady Wendy Dwyer with a poem about the use of drones by the United States to destroy others' lives just like ours.

Tim Verhaegen has long been a member of our writing community, a long-time member of the Every-Other-Thursday Night Voorheesville group & a frequenter of open mics, so I was pleased to finally bring him to the Social Justice Center as a featured poet. He writes family memoir & poems about the world around him. His first poem was from his childhood experiences, "Old People." "The Stones" was about being in the cemetery in East Hampton where he grew up. His next piece was the prose family memoir, "The Fuck Family," that kept us in stitches (& reverberated). Switching back to poetry he read the wistful portrait "Her Great Big Window," then back to another memoir, "Charles Verhaegen, Chronic Sufferer, is Finally Dead," which was written as an obituary for his brother, another exercise in outrageous family humor. In contrast his final piece "A Boy Walks on the Train Tracks Far From Home" is a sad poem, reflections about his self from his college years.

After a short break punctuated by lots of "fucking" remarks, inspired by Tim's reading, I continued on with the open mic with my only Xmas poem, "Christmas Eve, 1945." Sally Rhoades read 50 lines from a longer piece "I Carry My Mother's Tragedy." Dennis Sullivan could easily have impersonated Santa Claus & introduced his poem with a story from Lucretius, then read "Early for an Appointment" (with Death).

(photo by Wendy Dwyer)
Jill Crammond was finally back for the open mic with a poem about what she thinks about when walking her dog at night, "The True Story of Mary & the Spilled Milk." Tom Corrado handed out copies of his newest chapbook Screen Dump then read section #19 & 20 (as one poem). The night's last poet was Keith Spencer who read his poem "Monster," that if one is a "friend" one can find it on Keith's Facebook page.

Throughout the night, after each poet read she or he got to sit on the lap of Sanity Clause & explain how bad they had been during the year, for which they were rewarded by a gift of a book of poetry from Sanity Clause's big bag. It was quite a night, with perhaps Sanity Clause having the most fun of all.

More photos from the night can be found at my Flickr! site.

You too can join the fun each month (minus Sanity Clause who only comes once a year) on the third Thursday of the month at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY -- bring a poem for the open mic & support the featured poet.

December 15, 2013

Live from the Living Room, December 11

Back at the Garden Room (i.e., the basement) of the Pride Center of the Capital Region for this intimate, warm open reading (there is no mic nor no need for one), just our straight-friendly host Don Levy.

Brian Dorn (Left), Madeline & Joe Krasuman
Brian Dorn was the featured poet with a long set loaded with his (& our) favorites as well as many poems with Capital Region references, beginning with his "flag ship" poem "From My Poems to Yours."  Others included "Back in the Day," "Standard of Living" (on inflated salaries of athletes), "Words," & "Monkey Bars" (evolution).  A favored theme, which he does well, without being sanctimonious, is thoughts on spriituality, such as "I Need a Sign," "In God We Trust," & "Your Footsteps."  His local references ran the length of the Northway from Albany to Lake George, with "Paradox City," "Skyline" (on the Egg, & following the rhymes), "R & R" (Rachael Ray, from Lake George), "The Ethan Allen," "Huge," "Happy Dude," "Eyesore" (the ruins of Gaslight Village), & "Anna Lane" (where he grew up in Malta).  Brian has been reading at open mics poems about Schenectady, that he has now put together in 3-parts.  He ended with another signature piece, "We All," & recruited Avery's date, Madeline, to echo the lines in the poem.  Many of these poems can be found on YouTube.

Speaking of Avery, he was 1st on the open mic list & began with some untitled reflections from memory, then on to another of his "commercials" (enthusiastic promotion of one form of hippy spirituality or another), this for "Karma Yoga."  I took a totally other tack with my 1st poem, "The Anals of Perious Frink," then a poem about my father, "Asthma."  Adam Tedesco began with a poem he said can be read either way, "Front to Back," then what seemed to be an inner argument & negative view of a relationship, "Maximum Ordinate."

Joe Krausman read his poems in 1's & 2's -- "Union" about being married to a woman with 2 heads, & "Hard Time Did Not Write on My Door," a villanelle written entirely with 1-syllable words, a tour-de-force (based on the famous elegy of Chidiock (aka Charles) Tichbourne)Don Levy finished out the night with "Last Call at DeJohn's" (& referenced the passing of Lou Reed), & another in his series of blasts at homophobics, "No Cake for You!"

After such warmth of poetry, it was hard to go back out in the cold, but we can expect to be back on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Pride Center on Hudson Ave., the basement door under the stairs.

December 9, 2013

Caffè Lena Open Mic, December 4

A group feature tonight, local poets in the recently published A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley (Codhill Press 2013), Edie Abrams, Mimi Moriarty, Sue Jefts, Judith Prest, Sylvia Barnard, Barbara Ungar & Carol Graser (our host). To set the tone Carol read Susan Griffin's poem "I Like to Think of Harriet Tubman."

But 1st a little of the open mic. Rodney Parrott began with a short poem by A.R. Ammons (did he at one point refer to him affectionately as "Archie"?), then his own slightly longer take on it. Tim Snider got choked up reading his rhyming memoir "Changing Roads." Fiona read 2 short poems with longer introductions, including a new poem on aging & changing. Ellen Finn's short poem was about the Great Mother of us all, she then blended into another poem with images of a blue lotus, 2 intense pieces.

Carol Graser started the featured poet section with her poem from the book, "Laid Off Summer," followed by an old poem, "Vagina," looking for a better word for the marvelous.

Edie Abrams just read her one sexy poem, "Edie's Mikveh," from the book (but returned at the end of the open mic to squeeze in a few more).

Mimi Moriarty's entry in the book is a dream poem, "Interpretation: Three Variations," then "Prayer of the Introvert" & another dream poem "Crying Baby."

Sue Jefts read 3 new poems, "A Tired Day," "August" (eating well), & "Traveling the Lake by Train." I've had A Slant of Light for a number of months, dipping into & out of it frequently, so when Sue read her poem "Returning to Earth (or Rediscovering Neruda," I wondered if she changed the initial of the name of the person in the poem, or was I not paying attention?

Judith Prest began with "Naming the Scar" from the book, then a poem from this Summer "Heron at Dawn." "Wild Woman Closing in on 62 Takes Stock" was just what it said, as was "Poet's Prayer."

Sylvia Barnard's poem in the book, the classical "Helen," had been previously published in Open Mic: the Albany Anthology, as was another poem she read, "Gallows Hill." She also read "Change" from her own collection, Trees, then 2 recent poems "The Seven Cyclists" & "Roman Baths, Bath 2013."

Barbara Ungar's poem from the book, "Hypatia," was also on a theme from classical antiquity. She also read "Geronimo," the anti-war "Ode to a Porcupine" & the chilling "Dead Letters."

After a short break to buy books we were back for the rest of the open mic. Andy Katz likes to rhyme & read a tasty holiday food list in rhyme then the funny story about hiding Xmas presents too well, "The Ghost of Xmas Past." I read just one poem, Enid Dame's classic "Holiday Poem." Effie Redman, perhaps the bravest poet of the open mic, read a poem written in January about snow melting. Jessie Muse likes to recite his poems from memory, but got tangled up in his first attempt, so had to move on to something else, a breathless piece about what is, & why. Barbara Garro was the first person of the night to (attempt to) adjust the mic, although the sound had been just fine all night; she read a tribute to poet Lucille (whom Barbara persisted in calling "Louise") Clifton, then a poem on the arts, "The Gathering."

Jackie Graven was a new voice; she read a poem about her lisp & being a young student, then another poem on her dysfunctional childhood, "Drawing in Paradise." Thérèse Broderick's poem was also a memoir, about her mother's table over time, 1968, 1998 & 2012. Sue Oringel's first poem was a descriptive piece about dessert, a girl & the gooseberry bush in her garden, then another poem "India: Delhi Imagined." Then Edie Abrams returned at the end to read "Under Tree Branches" & a new poem about an old cat dying, one of the grand themes of open mics.

It was a wonderful celebration of an important collection of poems, & the customary diverse open mic crowd. This open mic, with featured poets, happens each 1st Wednesday of every month at the historic Caffé Lena in equally historic, & occasionally hysteric, Saratoga Springs, NY.

December 6, 2013

Nitty Gritty Slam #59, December 3

I had to go to this one, the "Dead Poets' Slam," just to see if anyone was going to read one of my poems. Phew, thankfully, not. It was a crowded Valentines because students in the College of St. Rose MFA program had a short fiction reading before the gathering for the Slam, & some hung around to read in the open mic &/or Slam, & have a headstart on the drinking. But the night seemed to flow along nicely -- someone pointed out it was because Mojavi was not there to host the open mic.

Sarah Sherman
Poets reading in the open mic could read their own work & most did. Samson Dikeman started us off with a piece titled "Lincoln's Day." Jacky K. referenced Kerouac, Ginsberg & Lou Reed in a piece set at the Dead Poets Bar. Avery did his best to combine a guru with a motivational speaker in a performance on "padme hum." Adam Tedesco said his poem was inspired by a dead poet, whom I think was Richard Brautigan. Kayla, who went on to become the loudest cheerleader during the Slam, read 2 short rhymes. Sarah Sherman's reading was an intense piece of journal writing, to a younger sister (?).

K.P. & Avery adjust the mic for James Fox (center)
It took a bevy of poets to adjust the mic for James Fox who then read about "The Little Blue Pill." Juliet Barney performed the song from the movie The Jungle Book, "I want to be like you" (which took on greater significance as the night wore on, as you will see). Sparrow hung around after the short fiction reading to read what he called prose read as a poem, "Forget About It" -- but then we never know where the line breaks are anyway. Justin read a gay fantasy about George Clooney. Marie Frankson challenged the mic stand in the other direction then was enthusiastic about "Monday Morning Coffee." Kevin Peterson recited the "Unicorn" which had been a horrible pop song many years ago. Poetyc Visionz ran through a piece about women's self-images, & as the Fugs once said, "it's an old cliché but it's an old cliché." & that was That.

Algorhythm, Avery & Samson, Thom at the mic
It was a huge field, about 14, for the Dead Poets Slam, but ably moved along by el presidente Thom Francis. The poems ran the gamut from William Shakespeare (Marie Frankson) to William Bronk (Adam Tedesco), to Dr. Seuss (2 slammers, K.P. & Brian Dorn). Kim the bartender read from Mark Twain, & I channeled Lou Reed ("Pale Blue Eyes"). P.V. gave a spirited reading of Langston Hughes, as did Algorhythm of "Lower East Side" by Miguel Piñero. But the shocking surprise of the night was the number of "whigger" performances, in all 3 rounds. James Fox performed Tupac, & Justin read "Judgment Day" by James Weldon Johnson, one of the few poems not originally a song. But Avery & Samson, together & separately, did everything but put on black-face: Samson did Gil-Scott Heron's "The Revolution Will Not be Televised" & Lord Buckley on Julius Caesar, while the only dead poet Avery could find was Jimi Hendrix -- twice. But, hey, it worked -- Avery was #1, Algorhythm 2nd & Samson 3rd.

For now, the Nitty Gritty Slam is at Valentines on New Scotland Ave. the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Pay at the door.

November 18, 2013

O.P.P., November 17

i.e., Other People's Poetry (or Prose). I was just getting back to Albany on the train from Philadelphia & made it on time to this event, the guest reader was Daniel Nester reading from the new anthology he as edited, The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013). Of course, copies were for sale. Host of the event, Victorio Reyes, got us started by reading a sestina not in the book, one by Julio Alvarez that isn't included in the anthology because the author wanted a fee that was too hight & Nester was not willing to pay (out of his own pocket).

After a brief explanation of the sestina form, Nester read selections from the book, often commenting on the poet or how he discovered the particular poem. The poems he read were Florence Cassen Mayers "All-American Sestina" (in which the repeating words were the first in the line, not the last), "Dear Thrasher" by Sonja Huber, "Not an Affair" by Beth Gylys, "Refining Sestina" by Geoff Bouvier, "Sestina" by Elizabeth Bishop ("A Miracle for Breakfast" is also in the book), "Super Rooster Killer Assault Kit" by Sharon Mesmer, "Faust" by John Ashbery (also with 2), Anne Waldman's "How the Sestina (Yawn) Works," Quincy Troupe's "Sestina for 39 Silent Angels" (because the sestina has 39 lines), "Sestina: Bob" by Jonah Winter, & "Histoire" by Harry Mathews.

The Incredible Sestina Anthology is an extensive collection of the form by a wide range of modern poets, some playful, some serious; the book even includes a couple of sestina's done in comics form.

& as is the custom here, the "open mic" was for folks who wanted to read (or recite from memory) poems by others. There were a few takers, me with a poem by Daniel Nester "Masturbation Waltz," Sue Oringel with Elizabeth Bishops's other sestina & Victorio with Patricia Smith's sestina.

The schedule of the next series of readings has now yet been announced, but check the local listings of poetry readings in Albany & the Capital District. Plenty more readings & open mics in the meantime.  Support your local Poet.

Live from the Living Room, November 13

Or should this now be re-named Live from the Garden Room? With all the renovations that have taken place here at the Pride Center on Hudson Ave., the downstairs, or basement, space has finally been fixed up. We have been gathering on the main floor in the actual living room for years, at one time even actual sofas & over-stuffed chairs to fall into. But our host Don Levy informed us we would be meeting on the 2nd Wednesdays downstairs now rather then in the living room. It is pleasant enough but the plastic stackable chairs, the bare decor & hardwood floors gives it the feel of a place to hold a group therapy session or an AA meeting. Perhaps over time someone from around here with an interest in interior decoration will find time to spruce it up a bit. At least it is warm & keeps us off the streets.

It was a small, but attentive gathering for our featured poet, Chad Lowther, & the open mic. Chad writes experimental poems & began his reading with a couple of "procedural poems," one of which was titled "Econuage" ("economy" + "language,") written with a mix of choice & chance. He also introduced an old chapbook of his that he said he had grown to dislike, but reading it over recently now likes it better. One poem was "Baseball Fans," a long sociological consideration of why men like to watch sports & on his Father. Also from the book "Love Song" & "Blanket," which seemed to be a love poem too. Then 2 prose poems, "Joy" & "Death." I enjoyed hearing again his poem about the play of light & color in an old barn, "Come Fall on this Image." He ended with another poem from the old chapbook, a long political list/rant "The Great American Dream Sham."

I was the first of the 3 open mic poets & in honor of Chad's work on experimental poetry read my recent experiment with a jazz structure, "Saturday Hawk," then my baseball pastiche of Eliot's "The Waste Land" "October Land."

Sylvia Barnard read a poem just written today, "The 7 Cyclists," based on a story told her by a Danish friend, then a poem from her book Trees, "My Grandmother's Bones."

Don Levy read from the poetry anthology A Geography of Poets, first an hysterical poem by Mona van Duyn based on the personal ads in a Berkeley newspaper, then a poem by Robert Friend.

So this open mic, whatever it will be called, is on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at the Pride Center of the Capital Region on Hudson Ave. -- downstairs (the door is to the left of the stairs) -- in Albany, NY.

November 16, 2013

Harmony Cafe Open Mic, November 11

This the weekly poetry event held in Woodstock, NY at the "Wok'n'Roll" restaurant, with Michael Platsky as the MC/host. Jay Wenk, poet, World War II vet & peace activist, was asked to be the featured poet in honor of Armistice (aka Veterans') Day. Jay invited Woodstock poet, publisher & peace activist Dayl Wise & me to join him in a group feature. We are all also members of Veterans For Peace.

But first some open mic poets. Michael runs a tight ship, timing the 5-minute slots with a kitchen timer. First up was Jackie (the Bartender) with a rhymed poem on PTSD, her own & those of members of the military. Leslie Gerber read a march-of-the-dead poem "Memorial Day," "Armistice Day" for Jay Wenk, & Stephen Crane's grim poem "War is Kind." Joe Crow Ryan recited from memory all of his pieces, on sunbeams & dust, on sunsets, on colors, even a short Robert Service poem. Donald Lev always reads here just before the featured poets & tonight a series of short pieces, "Death Before Dishonor" (a kid with a tattoo), "Lonesome Jack" ("the kind of girl you would take to Blimpie's…"), then poems titled "Topology," "The Perimeter" & "Butter."

For our reading, we decided to alternate poems, first Jay, then me, then Dayl. Jay began with a reading of Wilfred Owen's "The Parable of the Old Man & the Young;" among his other pieces were memoirs of his youth, "Armistice Day," "Frenchy" (a World War I vet in Brooklyn), & "The Cost of War 101." My poems included "Peace Marchers at the Viet Nam Memorial," the humorous pieces "Patriotism" & "A Pain in the Neck," "What Really Happened" (from the chapbook Poeming the Prompt), & the hopeful "If Peace Broke Out Tomorrow." Dayl's pieces were titled "Dancing with Strangers," "War Movie," "Guided" (about the titanium in his leg), "Black & White" & "Nurture."

Dayl also handed out a small folded broadside of some of our poems, Armistice Day 2013, Wenk Wilcox Wise, Crossing the line of departure at Harmony (Post Traumatic Press). It felt good to read to a packed house of Woodstock poets.

It was a long open mic list, continuing with Teresa Costa reading poems by A.D. Winans. Richard read a variety of short quips & random thoughts not yet in a poem, then the rhymed biker ballad "Summer Bogie." Andy Clausen read an old poem from his collection 40th Century Man based on a quote from his young son "Start the Sun," then a new manifesto about changes to the world after he declares himself a god, "The Beat Generation Can't Die…" Pamela Twining read a long, wide-ranging piece of sociological poetry "Jazz Baby Blues." Victoria Sullivan asked for a series of words from the audience (like Mad Libs) then improvised a poem that got wildly political about Ronald Reagan.

Ron Whiteurs read a word-playful piece "Lorna Poema" through once, then more slowly to a recording of choral music from a boom-box.  Shiv Mirabito read his 2006 anti-war proposal "War Tax." Sally Rhoades & I had car-pooled to the reading; she read her poems in honor of her father who was a World War II vet: "Love in His Ease," "My Father's Slippers" (in the first issue of Up the River), & "What If My Father Was a Poet." Ron Rybacki is known for his quirky performance pieces, tonight reading as Dr. somebody (I missed the name) a strange tale from a small pocket notebook. Jeremy Irvik read a rhymed piece on history, war in general & World War II in particular. Lief also gave us a commentary on history, but his was a free-form ramble bordering on stand up comedy. Adam Tedesco also came down from Albany to read the hopeful (in spite of it all) "Blown" & "The Blame Game." Diane's poem was simple titled, "Lust." J.R., who had played guitar earlier for the dinner crowd read his "Fukashima Haikus." & our host, Michael Platsky, also read a Fukashima poem, "Power Shift," a surrealistic piece on greed.

It was quite a night, as it usually is in Woodstock, & I especially enjoyed reading with my buddies Jay & Dayl, poetry to end all wars. But the open mic here at the Harmony Cafe happens every Monday -- worth the trip from anywhere.

November 15, 2013

2nd Sunday @ 2, November 10

Back again to the Arts Center in Troy for our monthly open for poetry & prose, me & Nancy Klepsch the hosts.

First reader up was the 1st first-timer (i.e., "virgin") of the afternoon, Deb Allie, who read a poem about being bi-polar, then read "Falling Gently." Tim Verhaegen is anything but a virgin & read a prose memoir about his grandfather's store & about his mother, "Hearing Trains from a Distance." Mike Connor has also been here before & managed to squeeze in 3 poems, "Tactile Text" (on email versus a pencil), then 2 poems he had read Friday night at Pine Hollow "Night Time" & "Thanksgiving Painting." Howard Kogan introduced his 2 poems by explaining that the first poem, "Modern Farming in America" was making fun of modern poetry ("a play-date with confusion" was one of his phrases), & his 2nd poem was an example, one he wrote for a poetry workshop with Bernadette Mayer, "White Rabbit: Another Take."

Bob Sharkey's reading was themed for the next day's commemoration of Veterans Day/Armistice Day as he read an excerpt from James Jones' novel A Thin Red Line, then his own poem on war & youth "Ritual." Peggy LeGee had read for the 1st time last month & today had to read while her cell-phone rang back in her bag, 2 poems from her experiences, "Mind-Cluttered World" & "Mentally Ill Chemically Addicted." I'm also in the workshop with Bernadette Mayer & read one of my responses to an assignment, "Saturday Hawk." Last month Ron Drummond had read my poem "The End" (along with poems by others who come to this open mic) & later in the week I found it translated into Russian by Inna Erlich on my Blog; so today I read "The End" & Inna graced us with reading her translation in Russian -- wonderful to hear the music of the Russian language. Nancy Klepsch read poems just written this morning, "Necking" on relationships but using the trope of fixing ceramic figures, & "My Last Wish is My First Wish" from articles in today's New York Times.

Today's other "virgin," Dorothy Englander, read a cluster of poems from her phone, "Soul Sold to Devil," "In My Next Life," "Making the Bed" (she said it was from "a sort of romantic interlude") & "Under the Santa Fe Sun."  F. Russell Hawkins' poem "Paradigm" was a grim view of contemporary time, while "Biological Paradise" seemed to be a love poem of sorts. William Robert Foltin managed to sneak in a little late & began with a poem written in November in Dingle, Ireland, then a poem on war, "Identification" & the portrait, "Lisa's Smile." Sally Rhoades was the afternoon's last reader with the portrait of a "Battered Hurt Little Girl," then an anniversary poem "The Photographer," ending with a poem from this year's "Autumnal Equinox."

Somewhere along the line Nancy had shared with us a quote from Keith Richards about his 50 years with The Rolling Stones, "I'm still trying to get the riff right to 'Satisfaction'," a good metaphor for us poets reading at the open mics.

Most months this open mic is held on the 2nd Sunday (December 2013 it will be on December 15, due to other events happening on the 2nd Sunday) here at the Arts Center of the Capital Region on River St. in Troy, NY. It's Free!

November 12, 2013

Poets of the Earth, Water, Tree and Sky, November 8

This was the last of this season's series at the Pine Hollow Arboretum in Slingerlands, NY, with tonight's featured poets, the mighty mouthful of Mimi Moriarty & Marion Menna. Our host. Alan Casline, began by mentioning the night's non-obligatory theme, "under tree branches."

I actually had a tree-related poem, the urban musings of "The Lilacs," then read the recent "14-Round Magazine." Edie Abrams wrote a poem just for this night, titled appropriately enough "Under Tree Branches," then read 2 poems she had just written for a poetry workshop led by Bernadette Mayer, a lyric to the romantic theme from Bizet's opera Carmen, then a poem about a cat written while listening to the song "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?" Joe Krausman recited a tree poem, then read a funny piece about answering ads in the personal section, "Out of the Running" (the title gives you an idea of the theme). "Susie" (otherwise known as Susan) Riback read about "Writers Block" then a poem titled simply "Love" & a final short descriptive piece about Autumn.

The host of Pine Hollow Arboretum, John Abbuhl read a philosophical essay titled "The Journey of Reality" then an equally philosophical poem titled "The Common Bond." The poems Paul Amidon read were all seasonal in one way or another, "Burning Leaves," "Gold Star Mother" & "Election." Mike Conner read poems running from the dark ("Lonely" & "Night Time") to the cynical ("Thanksgiving Painting"). Alan Casline's pieces were also seasonal (& occasionally dark), the 2-part "Morning Chill Still in the Air," "Tragedy" (on changes), & a final poem on the darkness of Autumn.

Alan Casline, Marion Menna, Mimi Moriarty
After the break Alan introduced our featured poets Mimi Moriarty & Marion Menna, who were known to everyone in the audience anyway. They read what Mimi likes to call "companion pieces," a technique she has used to great effect with her brother Frank Deiserderio, alternating related poems back & forth between the poets. The poems were heavy on the "Nature" side, with Marion beginning with a poem conceived here, "Butterfly Bush at Pine Hollow," & Mimi responding with "Camellias." A poem by Marion about the seashore led to a funny one about babies by Mimi, & of course there was the Moon, & food (Marion's "Foraging" & Mimi's about the Thanksgiving meal "Reduction"). Marion variously introduced the theme of the destruction of redevelopment with "Invasive Species" & "The Last Dusky Seaside Sparrow." They ended seasonally (the evening's un-announced, un-official theme) with Marion reading "Autumn Solstice" & Mimi "In Praise of Autumn Babies." A very nice combination of poems.

As Howard R. Garis used to say in his Uncle Wiggily series of stories, if global warming & fracking don't turn Albany into a beach community & Slingerlands into orange groves, & kill all the trees in the Pine Hollow Arboretum, this series will continue sometime in the Spring -- watch for information on the other side of the year.

November 10, 2013

Caffe Lena Open Mic, November 6

Our host, Carol Graser, began with invoking the Muse, reading a poem by the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz (1911 - 2004).

Rodney was the first of the (live) open mic poets with a new poem that reminded him of an old "micro-book" of his, then on to another philosophical piece on manifestations. Alan Catlin mixed his professional career as a bartender with personal recollections, the first poem "Hell on Wheels" (aka Helen Wheels), the second, a downward trajectory "From Bubbles to Bag Lady." Ellen Finn read a stunning poem playing on nursery rhymes, "What If the Sky Could Talk." Carl began with a short, concrete love poem, then another concrete poem, this a children's tale.

The first of the night's featured poets was Albany writer & performer Barbara Kaiser. She described her poems as short & that many are about writing. She said, "I write poems to amuse myself." Thus her reading was funny, playful, even whimsical. She began with poems about her childhood, memories of her mother & Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. The next segment of poems celebrated "domestic bliss," ranging from an argument about "Marriage" to washing machines & garbage pickup. But she also had plenty of room for her "wild poems" such as a poem about getting a doctor off the internet, or "BK's Rules for Living" or "Rules for Attending the Queen's Birthday Party."  She was clearly having a lot of fun reading her poems & I think the audience was too.

In contrast the other featured poet, David Messineo, was much more serious, reading from his tome Historiopticon, which he described as being about American history & time travel. His re-telling of moments in American history began with a series of poems, including a villanelle, heavy on Indian wars & tomahawks. His sorties into more recent times included poems about the Kinsey Reports, World War I & Armistice Day, on suicide as a result of attacks on gays, & the sinking of the Titanic. While he is touted on his Sensations Magazine website to be a "performance poet" his reading tonight was quite stiff, with stylized, theatrical gestures attempting to bring some life into tedious material.

Continuing on the open mic, Carol Graser read her poem about "Price Chopper."  Joe Krausman read a poem about mis-placing his life with his eyeglasses, then another poem in which he combined a "Jungian hat" with a "Freudian slip." W.D. Clarke followed with a rhymed ballad about someone being buried in a refrigerator, "The Fancy Casket."

He was followed by 4 students, members of the "Gomer Project" who each did a couple poems in which each of the 4 elements addressed each other. Unfortunately they didn't identify themselves so I don't have individual names for each of them, nor could I find them at the site they claimed to have. Perhaps they were only emanations of earth, air, fire & water.  The next reader, Isaac, is a high school student who has read here before, & tonight read from, as he said, "a pared-down version of a really long poem," "Tales of Our Downfall As Seen Through the Eyes of a Cannibal." As if to validate his work, Isaac's former English teacher, John, followed with an ironic "Ode to an Old Man." Andy read 2 poems he said he had written for a church group, predictably rhymed, "Thanksgiving Prayer" & "Fright Night's Plight." Inspired by Rodney's reference to his "micro-book," I read 2 poems from the tiny 1999 A.P.D. publication Behind the Barn: the Found Poems of "Jodi BlowJob".

Andrew Sullivan's poem "Hope Killed the Hopeful" was inspired by seeing the recent movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Jesse Muse recited 2 Slam poems, both based on drug experiences. Wayne said it was his first time reading, that he has been writing since 2003, & that he has published 1 book, with another about to come out; the poems he read were rhymed pieces, the first titled "Prevailing Darkness," the other about a suicide prevented by friends. Lisa read the long poem by Langston Hughes, "Let America Be America Again." Bringing up the rear was Barbara Garro with 2 prose pieces, "March of Times" & the tentatively titled "Fears' Mental Enslavement."

This series has been going on at Caffe Lena on the 1st Wednesday of each month for over 10 years -- an open mic for poets, with a featured reader, just $5.00.

November 7, 2013

Nitty Gritty Slam #57, November 5

It was a typically raucous Slam night, even itinerant poets as the features, as well as the customary open mic. Mojavi served as our gabby host for the open mic.

Adam Tedesco began the night with a 2-part poem "for her 15 years ago" filled with sex & violence. Ed Yetto read a poem titled "Dancing Janet" which began with a list in short phrases, then like automatic writing towards the end.

Marie Frankson has been absent for some time but returned tonight with her boy friend & an inspired poem, "Advice to My Teen-age Self." Avery performed a short, to-the-point piece about scratched on a page. Kevin Peterson gave us "Inappropriate Advice" in 2-parts. Mojavi took his turn with a rant about people taking guns to a club. "The Pastor of Positivity," Poetyc Visionz, after some thought, performed a piece using the number 7 as the subject & image. Chad Lowther read 2 poems, a rhyme "in the old style," "Her Eyes Following Him" & the descriptive "Come Fall in this Image." Billy Stanley read a marvelous, sonorous poem like a river, playing off Langston Hughes' "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." Brian Dorn rounded out the open mic with "Your Footsteps," a religious poem that doesn't sound like a religious poem.

The featured poets, Eirean Bradley & Leah Noble Davidson, are on a book tour (University of Hell Press) from Portland to Portland, Oregon to Maine. Fortunately they read tag-team style, alternating back & forth, with Eirean going first, his first poem set his style, really loud & lots of shouting "fuck." Leah began with monologue about her Mom & the animals she had. Eirean was back shouting again, this time declaring he was a manic-depressive stand-up comic masquerading as a poet -- he got that right.

Some of Leah's pieces were from her book, Poetic Scientifica, such as the next monologue on breaking up. Eirean continued his shouting, upping the "fuck" count, proclaiming "I want to be gay" (I wish Don Levy had been there, he could've given him some lessons). Leah's next piece, also from the book, was about "How 'Falling in Love' is like moving into a new home …" Eirean's last piece was mercifully more quiet, a comic routine on God. & Leah ended with "Aspiring," a poem that seemed to keep ending until it finally did. Rather than travel the poetry circuit perhaps this duo would have a more profitable tour visiting comedy clubs.

Billy Buchanon, Casey, P.V. & Thom Francis

Then on to the 57th Slam, with a crowded field of 10 competitors, including me. I liked Billy Buchanon's piece "1965" & it was great to hear Shannon again. The others included Samson Dikemen (on porn), Adam Tedesco, Mojavi, P.V., K.P. (with a heckled love poem), Billy Stanley, & Casey doing a self-referential Slam poem. I managed to score a 25 with my "Put Down the Government Rag" & with a couple of others losing points for going over the time-limit I ended up in the second round.

I was up against Casey, P.V. & Billy Buchanon. I pulled out "The Slam Poem" & even garnered a 10 from one of the judges, but when the dust settled it was Casey & P.V. duking it for the final round (Billy B. was 3rd), with P.V. taking 1st place. Even a blond can't beat experience.

But I think that's it for me for the Slam for now, since I'll be out of town for the semi-final round next time.

Check it out at Valentines (for the time being), 1st & 3rd Tuesdays, 7:30PM, $5.00 (cheaper with student I.D.) -- brought to you by

November 5, 2013

Poets Speak Loud!, October 28

Another last Monday in McGeary's back-room, with our irrepressible host Mary Panza & busy & lovely wait-staff, Melissa. Before we got to our featured poet, first a bit of the open mic.

I ended up (again!) 1st on the list & in tribute to the late Lou Reed read my elegy to his former band-mate, Nico, "The End" then read the lyrics to Lou's classic tune that has haunted me through many loves, "Your Pale Blue Eyes." Brian Dorn was back to read a poem about regrets for losing a friend, "My Impropriety," then the environmental piece "The Ends of the Earth." Julie Lomoe confessed that, alas, she was not a "Chelsea girl," read her poem on depression, "11 Ways of Looking at November." Tess Lecuyer read 2 old poems, "Your Curses," & another on being a Druid for Halloween. Joe Krausman read a tour de force poem written without 2 syllable words, then "Alice" (& Nixon too!).

Adam Tedesco made his debut here last month & -- Poof! -- he's this month's featured poet. He began with poems about looking at his past -- a dream sequence about his father, his poems discursive, in the first person. "My Lazy Eye" (a pun perhaps?) was a pensive piece, then some short poems "How We Grow Oaks" & "The Waltz." I liked "The Lunatic Questions" & the lyrical relationship poem "We Soften." But "Athenor" was more self-consciously poetic with its allusions to alchemy. I missed the title an interesting piece about a vision of his grandmother in the condiment aisle of a Supermarket, & the music of the Doobie Brothers. He ended with a series of "how-to" poems: "How To See the Thing," "How To Sing Our Song" (for his wife), "How To Read Stone," & the hopeful "How To Love in a Degenerate Age." He explained at one point that he has been writing for some time but not sharing his work. I'm glad he has ventured out & begun to share his interesting poems.

Appropriately enough the next reader was a poetry virgin, Calley, with "To Coffee" & a poem for a friend "Tea." Lexington was back after a long absence with a Halloween love poem in rhyme.  Maxwell Ross must have liked it here last month because he came back, this time with a poem about hot Summer sex in equally over-heated language, "Warriors of the Night." Bob Sharkey cooled us off to end the night with "Morning Seaside Prayer" for the lost fishers & the Albany vignette, "The Dutch Girls."

This reading each month on the last Monday is presented by at McGeary's on Clinton Square, Albany, NY -- come & read.

November 4, 2013

Sunday Four Poetry, October 27

I'd missed the start of this year's series last month, having been at the beach for the 4th Sunday in September. So I was glad to be in town for today's reading, & so was Don Levy, so he could get a ride up to Voorheesville with me. Dennis Sullivan was the lone host today & he began with a reading of Sylvia Plath's poem "Blackberry," this date being her birthday.

When I had arrived there were 5 or 6 poets signed up on the open mic list, but the #1 slot was still available, so I signed up as #1; for the World Series I read my poem "The Cardinal," then, for the late Lou Reed I read my elegy for his band-mate Nico, "The End." Tom Corrado read 2 sections from an on-going work, "Addendums," images bouncing from one to another, the "meaning" in the links (& shouldn't that be "Addenda"? Dennis will know). Speaking of whom, Dennis Sullivan read next, 3 poems: "See," on what the title says, "My 747," after Emily Dickinson's #747 about inviting a god, & "As the World Turns," contemplating the audience & existence at a poetry reading. Obeedúid read his book, Telluric Voices (Foot Hills Publishing) "Interior Spiritual Voice," for his brother who died recently, then excerpts from a longer, dream sequence.

Tim Verheagen read the Joni Mitchell song "The Same Situation," which he said turned him on to poetry & is his "favorite song ever," then a memory of his grandmother's street in East Hampton, a poem titled "The Circle." Howard Kogan said that his poem pondering the universe & the meaning of life, "Gravity," was written before the movie of the same title, then read a poem on remembering, "Matinee." Don Levy read his new poem that he read at my Third Thursday Poetry Night, "The Brooklyn Book Festival" (in my Blog I described it as a "meandering narrative;" one reader took me to task, commenting that "It moved at a clip positioning people & things in a time-placement context that was infused with vivid images," which is what I said & I guess is why academic commentaries are usually twice as long as the work on which they are commenting). Don's 2nd poem can be found on his Face Book page, from a new series based on homophobic comments, "Rick Santorum TV Critic."

Leslie Gerber

Joe Krausman read a timely baseball poem, "Kill the Umpire" & once again Emily Dickinson popped up & her line "my life has stood a loaded gun" (#754), then another poem on life & poetry, "Stanley Kunitz Reads A.E.Houseman." Therese Broderick's poem "October Surgery" was about her sister, gardens & lymph nodes. Leslie Gerber was a member of our featured poet's entourage on their trip up from the Woodstock area, & read from the anthology, The Goat Hill Poets (Post Traumatic Press, 2010), a poem about "Meeting the Famous in Manhattan."

Victoria Sullivan has been called the "Laureate of the Woodstock Roundtable" on on station WDST in Woodstock, NY. Today she read first from her 2012 collection (with illustrations by Barbara Milman) When I Wasn't Looking (Red Parrot Press), a couple seasonal poems, "The Coming" & "It Got Dark" ("… when I wasn't looking"). Then a couple of funny poems poking fun at a lover, "Renting a Farmer" & "Lost Dogs," then to the more serious "Night and the Soul" on the earthquake in Haiti. She moved on to poems from a couple of other publications, "Zelda Speaks" (from the recent anthology A Slant of Light) & "Benny the Dog" (from the new journal Up the River). I was pleased to hear a poem, "The Poet Declares Himself," inspired by a line from one of my poems. Her remaining poems were descriptions, comments & reflections on various aspects of herself, "Still Life" (a peaceful time), "On Stage," "Oh Spring!" & "Random Invasion" in which squirrels teach her vulnerability.

This marvelous series continues on the 4th Sunday of each month at 3PM at the Old Songs Community Center in Voorheesville, NY -- a local or regional poet & an open mic for the rest of us, then conversational & physical sustenance afterwards at Smitty's Tavern.

October 31, 2013

Yes!, a Reading, October 25

Finally was able to get down to the Albany Center Galleries again on a Friday night to catch this series, hosted by Matthew Klane & James Belflower. After spilling my glass of wine all over my patient companion, I was able to settle down in the packed house to listen to the 4 featured poets. Matthew Klane introduced the first 2 readers, with his signature fractured/cut-up intros.

DJ Dolack was up first, & opened up with an a cappella song, then into poems from his new book, Whittling a New Face in the Dark beginning with a love poem "This is What They Want Me to Tell You." Then on to a series "New York City Postcards." Another poem played off the native language (Yaghan?) of Tierra del Fuego, & a long definition, but was about people getting together. New poems were about his New York City apartment & his wife, &, my favorite of the bunch, "Snow Showing the Air," a tender letter to his brother. He ended with another poem from the book, the list "Where Our Data Lives."

Jennifer Karmin has read in Albany in the past, back in 2008 in the old "Jawbone" series, & I had crossed paths with her at the Split This Rock Festival back in 2012. She began by immediately rearranging the performance space, then engaging Phillip Good into a group reading of a piece on particle physics she had written with Phillip & with Bernadette Mayer. One issue I have with so-called experimental poetic works is when they are performed without an explanation of the context or method of composition to help me get into the work on 1st hearing. Have no fear, Jennifer was good about that, explaining her 4000 words/4000 dead project on the Iraq War, reading from the end of the piece, mixing in recipes. She ended with the dread audience-participation piece, handing out cards with single words for audience members to say when & how they pleased, while she read from her long piece "aaaaaaAlice" (not sure I got enough a's in there).

After the break James Belflower took over the introductions for the final 2 readers for the night.

Paige Ackerson-Keily got votes from me & my companion for the most compelling outfit, her work was also socially engaged. She began with "This Landscape of Request" a multi-part collaboration with a visual artist, from her book My Love Is a Dead Arctic Explorer (Ahsahta Press).  Her images were drawn from life & messages, strung together like automatic writing, edited to context. Another poem, "Lake Effect," was a narrative of pick-up in a bar of a man in a wheelchair. "The Pine Tree" used images of diseased pine trees being cut down to show her desire to leave Vermont, where she has been living.

Kate Greenstreet read from her "experimental memoir," Young Tambling (Ahsahta Press), jumping back & forth through the text. At one point she paused long enough to take a couple photos of the audience. The text seemed to involve a young soldier & a shooting (or was it thunder). A strange & compelling work.

This series, timed with the University semesters, offers a variety of experimental visiting writers, in the often as experimental Albany Center Galleries, 39 Columbia St., Albany, NY. For, as they say, "up to the minute event details" check out their FaceBook page.

October 27, 2013

O.P.P., October 20

This is a new series at the Social Justice Center in Albany, NY featuring a poet (or prose writer) reading the work of their favorite writer(s), i.e., Other People's Poetry (or prose). I had missed the first one last month so was pleased I was able to get here tonight for this fine evening of poetry. The series is coordinated & hosted by Victorio Reyes, Director of the SJC. The reader tonight was student of Russian literature, poet, & winner of the Joseph Brodsky Poetry Translation Prize, Betty Rothstein.

Victorio began with an excerpt from Sonia Sanchez's poem "Just Don't Give up on Love." He then introduced the audience to the work of Nuyorican poet Willie Perdomo by reading "Notes for a Slow Jam" & "Reflections on the Metro North Part 2."

Betty Rothstein prepared a nicely varied selection from 20th Century & 21st Century Russian poets. She began with a poem by modernist icon Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893 - 1930), "My Soviet Passport." She followed with "Steps on a Horse" by Alexander Vvedensky (1904 - 1941) (Russian punk rockers & dissidents Pussy Riot have claimed to be his disciples & heirs). Her final selections were from a young Russian poet & LGTB activist, Elena Limova, reading 2 poems in Russian then her translations. I do not know Russian (or most languages spoken in the World today), but I do enjoy hearing the music of poetry in the words, whether I understand their meaning or not. Then we were treated to a couple of Rothstein's own intense, very personal poems, "Confession" & "Out of Habit."

This was followed by an "open mic" in which members of the audience read or recited poems by others, some from smart-phones, some from books provided by Victorio (such as Dan Nester reading Etheridge Knight), I recited William Blake (& flubbed a line, which was noted by Joe Krausman). The audience was a diverse group from the community, many related to the featured reader, including local poets, activists, novelists, & scholars. Check local poetry calendars, such as found at for future readings.

October 24, 2013

Third Thursday Poetry Night, October 17

For a night with filled with other poetry events in the area -- Mary Panza opening for another poet at Proctor's in Schenectady, Dan Nester's Frequency North series at St. Rose up the street -- we had a good crowd of poets to hear Andy Clausen, who had come all the way up from Woodstock for poetry on Central Ave. in Albany. In honor of Andy's presence I read one of Allen Ginsberg's masterpieces, "Sunflower Sutra," as our muse for the evening.

Alan Catlin was back in his #1 spot on the sign-up sheet with "War Reporters," an intense existential commentary, intensely read. Joe Krausman mixed up "poetic license" with a radio operator's license in an old poem "Amateur Radio Operator."

Pamela Twining came up from Woodstock in Andy Clausen's entourage & read a riveting economic working-class rant "Hit & Run." Brian Dorn made the right choice by being here instead at one of the other poetry venues tonight & read his poem on environmental disaster, "The Ends of the Earth." Don Levy's poem, "The Brooklyn Book Festival," was a meandering narrative about being there with his mother & listening to Sharon Olds read a poem about a blow-job, while he tries to pick up the cute guy next to him.

Andy Clausen always gives a good reading, even when he is "just" one of the open mic poets so I knew it would be a good idea for him to be the featured poet here. If you don't know his work, his latest book Home of the Blues: More Selected Poems (Museum of American Poetics Publications, Boulder, CO, 2013) is a good place to start. He began with "a little story" of his life moving to the East coast, & leaving his latest poems home tonight, then a silk-smooth segue into "Enough About Me" being old, being himself. On into the poem "Seeking A Fool Proof Riff…" about all -- life, poets -- that has inspired him "to sign the open poetry list." "Idiot" another self-portrait mixed with metaphysical commentary, this with irony as well. "Ramona," a poem he said he hasn't read in a while, is a narrative of the birth of his daughter at home, back in Oregon in 1970. I had first encountered Andy's work in a CD-magazine from the 1990's, We Magazine, blown away by the performance of "Gokyo Lake Breaking Up In The Sun" so I asked Andy to indulge me & read it tonight, ending his set with this musical, ecstatic rant -- ah!

After a break we were back to finish off the open mic, & I read a new poem, inspired by emails with Charlie Rossiter, "12-Round Magazine." Mike Conner read another of his seasonal poems, "Autumnal Port."

Woodstock poet & publisher of poets in his press, Shivastan Publishing, Shiv Mirabito, came up with Andy, & read a poem about his Academy Award expectations for his new one-act play about Pier Paolo Pasolini & others in India in the 1960s meeting up with Allen Ginsberg. Elizabeth Gordon read an intense Columbus Day rant, wondering how to be "patriotic & honest." Our evening's last poet was Third Thursday regular Sylvia Barnard who read her poem inspired by a visit to the ancient Roman site at Bath, England.

We are here each third Thursday of the month for a featured poet & an open mic & your donations pay the poet & support the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY, 7:30PM.

October 21, 2013

Nitty Gritty Slam #56, October 15

I decided to venture out to the Slam & take my chances on stage, particularly since this the "Inappropriate Slam" & everyone knows I have plenty of inappropriate poems (though probably not as many as Prof. Nester). But first there was an open mic, hosted by el presidente Thom Francis, always the best part of Slam night.

Chad Lowther began with a description of a neighborhood scene, "Hooker in the Midst," then a long piece of childhood memory, "Baseball Fans." Samson Dikeman was inappropriate with "Unplanned Parenthood" then a series of sex Limericks. Avery, who had been busy taking our money as the doorman, read off his device for the 1st time at a reading, about getting the key to his new home today.

Victoria Edwards also read from her device, "Yesterday I Saw Love." Jaquille Dourngny actually read his poem, "Should It Be," from paper -- imagine that. Kerry DeBruce read an up-beat piece in rhyme. Mary Panza's read one of her hilarious Blog entries, "How I Ruined Porn Night." Bless' performance of "The Perfect Life" was a commentary on "shit happens." & ever the motivational preacher, Poetyc Visionz did his well-know piece on dreams playing on the words "impossible" & "haters."

Sarah McCormick
There were 5 of us (3 of whom we had already heard from in the open mic) for the first Slam round, otherwise known as "the dan-wilcox-elimination-round," with scores ranging from Samson's 30 (!) down to my 21 ("Homage to Lesbians"). Sarah McCormick distinguished herself with real poems in both the rounds she made it through, a bit too personal & not outlandish enough for the night's theme, but interesting work just the same. Samson made it into the final 3 with a funny penis poem & more sex, which may have made the audience toss up way too-many 10s, creating a tie between Samson & Bless for an final additional round. Good work, but 10s? Oh well, that's Slam, in Albany at least.

Poetyc Visionz, Samson, Bless & Thom Francis

It keeps going here at Valentines on New Scotland Ave. (for the time being) on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month, sponsored by -- discount admission with student I.D. (real or fake).

2nd Sunday at 2, October 13

A beautiful Fall day in the Northeast & "Chowder Fest" in Troy, NY & we still had a bunch of poets show up at the Arts Center. Sometimes you can do it all. & we were glad to have Nancy Klepsch back with us to co-host (particularly me, who is the other co-host).

Our first reader was one of the "legendary" poets from the early days of the Albany poetry scene & the Readings Against the End of the World, Druis Beasley, who performed a chant-like narrative/homage to the Harvest Queen, accompanied by the rhythmic vocalizations of Isaiah. Nancy Klepsch followed with a very new piece written just this morning, a portrait of a writer & wannabe cowgirl, then an older poem, "Another Troy, the Re-Mix." David Wolcott treated us to something totally different from his usual memoir segments, a recitation of the opening stanzas from Lord Byron's "The Prisoner of Chillon." Mike Connor read three seasonal pieces, the "Polaroid snapshot" "Days End," "November Already," & "Lakeside Reflections" with its crayon box of colors for which this season is noted. Inna Erlikh is our translator-in-residence, but a reluctant reader, so she asked me to read her translation from the Russian of the love poem "Dry Cleaning" by Sara Stolyarova, which I did.

A new voice today was Peggy LeGee with the rebellious "Little Girl Lost" in short line rhymes, & the memory poem "Revise the Echoes." I followed with "October Land," a baseball pastiche of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," then a new poem written to my friend Charlie Rossiter, "14-Round Magazine." Howard Kogan read his poem "My Mother's Salami Sandwich," then the meditation in a cemetery, "A Close Family." Ron Drummond's gift to us today was reading 5 poems by other poets, 4 of whom were in the audience: Howard's "On Doing Poetry Readings," Nancy's " Mrs. to Be," his own "4 Lines & No River," Jil Hanifan's "Dream Forgets Her Old Adventures," & my own "At the End" -- Thank you Ron! William Robert Foltin managed to sneak in before the end with a couple of seasonal poems, the 1st on Halloween, followed by "Sunday Night Football."

We do this each month at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY on the 2nd Sunday, at 2PM; it's free & you can read poetry or prose. Join us.