March 10, 2016


Once upon a time in Albany
there were few concerts, few lectures
mostly drinking & bar bands
driving around in cars looking
for chicks, for kicks, for places to go
no poetry readings & no bagels.

Then poetry happened — the QE2
Borders’s, Stephanucci’s, the Lionheart
the Albany Art Gallery on Jefferson St.
Don Levy’s first poetry venue.
We had to go. Venues came & went.
Jefferson St. had a fire, the Gallery
moved on & so did Don.

“Absolutely Friday Night Poetry Reading”
at Lemily & Son International Gallery
until October 2002, then
“Live from the Living Room”
then the Gay & Lesbian Community Center
each 2nd Wednesday, starting February 2003
with Leo! & poetry regulars in the open mic
as it has been ever since, out of the living room
down to the Garden Room, like a
12-step meeting for poets.

Now there are plenty of events, conflicts
poetry every week somewhere here
even poetry in 2 places on the 2nd Wednesday
overlapping concerts, art openings
a lecture here, a reading there, conflicts
to be resolved, choices to be made
like picking out the right bagel.

Tonight is the last for
“Live from the Living Room”
as Don finds other poetry projects
to fill up his literary nights.

And tonight another conflict:
Should I go? to the last
“Live from the Living Room”
poets in the basement
of the Pride Center
or, Should I stay? watch
the Victoria Secrets Swim Special
near naked ladies on Channel 6.
Should I stay, or should I go?

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