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!

No comments: