March 30, 2015

Open Mic at Justin’s, March 24

I was back once again for this new open mic in Albany, beer & wings at the bar, poet Sarah Sherman the bartender, & Samson Dikeman the host. There were a few readers who I’d seen here the last time (& elsewhere), but lots of new voices & faces — & nary a guitar in sight.

Jimmy was first up with one of his short-line rhymes, “Lucy.” Steven Roberts read a poem by Leah Umansky, “Elementary My Dear.” Lauren read a love poem so short it was almost not there.

Many of the other readers were from the College of St. Rose MFA program in creative writing, here with friends who were often much too loud at the bar, ignoring the readers. Lee G. read his poem “Serenity” then a longer piece, “Four Truths,” explaining who/what he is/is not.

Alyssa Cohorn, another MFA student, read “In Spite of, or, Steve Madden Saved My Life,” the kind of poem about shoes only a women could write, then a poem I could easily understand “My Father’s Ode to Bourbon.” Our host, Samson, read a poem by NYC poet Kenneth Koch, “Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams” & then Samson’s own poem “Drop Dead.” Ford McLane, who is now known more as a painter, read a poem “For Painting,” then 3 urban Haiku, & a piece titled “God Walks Out.” Jacky Kirkpatrick is a Beat poet MFA student, which I have to admit is a contradiction in terms, but here she is, with a poem about chess master Bobby Fisher “Game of the Century,” then an untitled “hate poem” written at the bar about nobody paying attention -- & they weren't. I continued to promote my new chapbook by reading “Coyote 5” from it, then a poem written here at the bar at Justin’s a few years ago, about being at the bar, “Jim Morrison.”

Amber was another student reading here a poem about picking strawberries, then a short love poem (“Salt Hill 2012”), & a poem about a man in a Hawaiian shirt “At My Father’s Funeral.” Brian Dorn battled the persistent chatter from the St. Rose folks at the bar, but he’s been at more open mics than they have so he was able to project a Haiku, then an apology poem “My Impropriety,” then one for the Mayor of Troy “No Comment.” The last reader, Dan Prokop said he was in a band (Tony & the Pancakes, if I got it right), & finished the night with a (welcome) Summer poem.

This open mic (for music, comedy, as well as poetry) takes place on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, or as one would have it “The Other Tuesdays,” of the month at Justin’s on Lark St., about 8PM — by the way the wings were great, & I hope Sarah's friends tipped her well.

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