May 3, 2016

Poets Speak Loud!, April 25

Although WordFest 2016 ended, officially, on on Saturday, there was a continuous chain of poetry, thru Sunday Four Poetry, to this event on Monday night, so one could characterize this as “WordFest ++,” in the back room of McGeary’s. Mary Panza was the host, as usual, & the featured poet was Julie Lomoe, honored & pleased to finally have a featured spot in this venerable venue. But first a bit of the open mic.

Mary had signed me up first while I was having dinner out at the bar & in honor of National Poetry Month I read a poem on poetry, “The Sestina Sestina,” then a poem that is driving directions, “How to Find Clit Court” (an actual street in Colonie, NY). Sylvia Barnard read next, a poem written today “Spring Break” remembering it from her childhood, then one from her book of poems Trees “The Frog Poem.” Mary introduced Ian Macks as the featured poet in September; he read “The Frame-Cutter” then the short piece “A Different Way.”

Janie Oliver, who had read at the WordFest open mic on Friday read a self-assertive list poem, “If Perfect I Can Be…” Her friend who also read Friday night, Mary Dickinson Compton, read a poem written 20 years ago, “A Special Need,” about teaching a young boy to read & write (& the first word he learns to write is “penis”), then a poem about belated birthdays. Adam Tedesco read a poem for “4/20” (the pot holiday) written from the point-of-view of the person with whom he first got high, then (“love poems are stupid”) “Love Poem for my Boss’ Boss.”

Tonight’s featured poet, Julie Lomoe, is also a novelist, her most recent, Hope Dawns Eternal a vampire soap-opera story. She began with a recent poem “The Benjamin Franklin Effect” (that asking for favors makes you popular), then one about being interviewed at her voting place for the recent primary elections, & being quoted in the New York Times, “Hope Dawns in a Grundgy Gun-Club.” The poem titled “Eclipse of the Super-Blood Moon” was about walking her aged dog & thinking about mortality. A poem about performers was “Blinded by the Light,” & she ended with a poem in the words of the protagonist from her latest novel, “Jonah’s Poem.”

As Nick Bisanz took up the collection, Tom Riley read his poem that appears in Up The River #4, “Art” about meeting a ghost at his (the ghost’s) funeral, then a poem with 2 pine trees as characters, & another cemetery poem on the epitaphs on old tombstones. Carrie Czwakiel said her poem “Understood” about dating “a selfish prick” was “a poem to spit it out.” Karen Fabiane was introduced as the featured poet for August & read her stream-of-conscious “Someone Laughs,” then a poem about 2 women talking, “Legionnaire,” read out for the first time. Robb Smith read 2 sections from from his novel Granny Porn (available as a Kindle from, no one sure how to react -- depends. Annie Sauter was just as sexy but in a more appealing style, with a piece about living in the sticks & listening to Bob Dylan, then the sensuous “Touched to Skin.” A nice way to end it & to go home to.

Poets Speak Loud! happens on (most) last Mondays — except May — at McGeary’s on Clinton Square in Albany, NY, about 7:30PM — come early for dinner, stay late for drinks.

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