August 31, 2016

Poetic Vibes, August 22

Poetic Vibes is a weekly reading/open mic series at the Troy Kitchen on Congress St. in Troy, NY. The usual host is D. Colin who is currently on a poetic tour of Europe. Tonight’s host was Poetyc Visionz, another “P.V.” — which is the kind of obsessive linking of data that he likes to exploit in his poems. The night’s featured poet was AlbanyPoets el presidente Thom Francis.

Hanging out at the bar I signed up & despite at least 10 others on the list, the #1 slot was open, waiting for me; I did 2 new poems “Finding Pokémon” & a poem with a hopefully short expiration date, “When Donald Trump Farts.”

The very poetic Ainsley was next with a piece from memory about first kiss, first sex. Randee Renzi also did her piece from memory, about the break-down of a relationship, with lots of references/sampling of well-known hip-hop hits. Mary Panza read one of her Housewife Tuesday pieces published on, this episode titled “Ass Over Face.” Carrie Czwakiel read a new piece riffing on a date in August of her divorce, her ex’s birthday & the nasty things he called her. Kim said her poem, “It Is None of My Concern” was new today, & got her emotional reading it. Casey did a cluster of short pieces from his big notebook.  B. Classic sang & then got us finger-snapping along with her.

Thom Francis, the featured reader, began with 2 love poems, one to his daughter Molly, the other to his insulin pump. Other family oriented poems included “Easter Visit” about his grandfather in a nursing home, & one about his father & his mother “Listerine.” He included poems about characters he has known, “Paper Messiah,” & “Al,” & the Troy-based poem “Why I Look Out Windows,” as well as others, then ended with his own favorite poem, the classic, “Trucker.”

Back to the open mic Genia got us going again with a couple short break-up (again) poems, followed by Sharone with a long rant. Katelynne is a coached performer whose Slam piece was titled “The Things I Never Said.” Poetyc Visionz took his own turn with an audience participation piece on the birth of poetry & on becoming a “Po-et”.

Devon Simms took on both of the night’s “themes” with an angst-filled relationship poem & then with a therapy poem titled “Nativity” about being abused by her father. Jasmine decided to free-style, beginning with some singing, on being proud to be a black girl. Olivia was another Slam performer, this time with a love poem to words. Avery came back out to the streets of Troy read an exuberant poem “In Billowing Darkness.” Lauren Stork read about being pulled over for a traffic violation, white privilege, police violence & the Trump campaign of hate.

Dionte Jones stepped off the stage, did his hip-hop rhymes from the floor. Kat Carter referenced performers in her first piece, then read about her aunt in North Carolina (”Just Enough”), then the faux-apologies of “My Bad.” Earlier Thom’s daughter Molly had wanted to say her poem, then lost her nerve when she got on stage, but now she was ready so Thom brought her back up & with help from her Dad got through it, a piece about the animals she likes. Shania K.’s piece was about what a Christian is (useful for these times). Morgan H. read “A Letter” to a friend, but a really her own self-affirmation. Ed Rinaldi is back in town, read a new poem written only yesterday. Leneea read another piece of self-affirmation, this about working in a lab.

As the night wound down, P.V. brought Thom back to the stage for another classic, another Troy-based poem (written at 119 4th St.), “Female Pedestrian.” Somewhere at the beginning of the night P.V. had started circulating a page for the audience to compose a group poem (otherwise known as an “exquisite corpse”) that eventually went to 2 pages; when he got the finished product back he struggled to find where it began, but then, did it matter? This exercise is a tradition here & I do hope that someone is saving them, perhaps will post them (or at least a couple of them) online at some point. Then P.V. finished up with one of his signature pieces, a riff on the meanings of the number 7 (& maybe someday will write a similar piece on the various meanings of “P.V.”).

You can get food, beer, wine here at the Troy Kitchen, 77 Congress St., while you wait each Monday for the poetry to begin (around 7:30PM) — a featured poet & a wonderfully diverse & varied open mic. Do come.

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