May 7, 2015

Poets Speak Loud!, April 27

Poetry Month & the ripple effect of Albany WordFest finally was coming to an end, with the last Monday of April at McGeary’s. Mary Panza kept order/disorder as our MC.

Sylvia Barnard was the first of the open mic poets with an introduction about women writing about childbirth, then a short 4-line stanza in rhyme written in 1796 by Naomi Chandler Barnard, & her own poem in response, using the same meter. I followed with my “poem in a bag” “McDonald’s with Love”, then the poem I wrote in Oklahoma, “Didn’t We Do This in Saratoga?” Joe Krausman has been going through old files of poems & found one he’d forgotten he’d written, a sonnet in rhyme “The Pigeons in Eden Eat it All,” then the creepy “Ted Williams’ Head.” Jessica Rae read her powerful anti-fracking poem “The Rape of our Mother” which she explained was actually inspired by an engineer’s description of the fracking process, then a descriptive litany “Tulip Fest” with its disorderly crowd.

Back a few months ago (or was it only yesterday?) when there was ice & snow everywhere, Richard Levine was scheduled to be the featured poet but was ice-bound in Brooklyn. Today he had thawed out & made it here to be the featured poet. He began with a couple poems invoking Spring, one on dancing, the other about gardening, then on to poems from his chapbook The Cadence of Mercy (Finishingline Press, 2014), “Being Touched,” “Spirit,” the childhood memory “Saturday Night Fights,” “A Big Bang in a Small Place” (experience in Viet Nam), “The Drowned River” (the Hudson at Troy), others, & ending with the title poem about hitting a deer. His poems are plain-spoken, working class, filled with vivid images of everyday life.

Returning to the open mic poets, Annie Sauter read a very short poem from 1971 in San Francisco, then a very long poem “A Few Survived” about old friends visiting. Tess Lecuyer read a little trio of haiku on Spring from her poem-a-day project. Adam Tedesco’s first poem was titled “Doc Gooden” (like the Mets star from some years back), then a grim “Love Poem” with the phrase, “un-fuck yourself.” A new, young voice, Kathy, was convinced to read her sad poem for a boy who doesn’t even know she is there.

Another new voice, Libby, read a piece just written here with her Mom, random lines strung together. Poetyc Visionz had slipped in & read last, a new piece “Nine Clouds” on the illusions of life.

Poets Speak Loud! happens, most months, on the last Monday of the month, here at McGeary’s Irish Pub on Sheridan Sq. in Albany, NY, 7:30PM, featured poet & an open mic.

[A note on how many poetry readings there were here this month: I take notes about the readings I attend in a reporter’s notebook, & the one I’m currently using I started a month ago & am now half-way through it; the previous notebook took 4 months to fill — that means I’ve already been to 2 months worth of poetry readings in just 1 month. Phew! As we say, “In Albany, Everyday is Poetry Month.”]

No comments: