August 21, 2016

Third Thursday Poetry Night, August 18

A hot night at the Social Justice Center, but some very cool poetry, with great support from members of the activist community for the featured poet, Schenectady poet & activist Martin Manley. Each month I invoke the Muse by reading a poem by some gone poet who is no longer here & this year the gone poets have been lining up faster than I can invoke them. Tonight’s Muse was the poet & activist Daniel Berrigan who died earlier this year; I read his poem “My Name” from the great anthology of Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness Against Forgetting, edited by Carolyn ForchĂ©.

Richard Jerin had been waiting for me when I arrived to set up so he ended up as the 1st poet on the open mic list; he read a piece titled “It’s Not Made Up” inspired by last month’s reading here by Amani O+. Philomena Moriarty, who will be the featured poet here in December, said she hasn’t written many poems about her day job as a psycho-therapist, but read one tonight on that theme titled “Restoration.” Sylvia Barnard read a poem about antiquity (& talked about her first job at LeMoyne College where she barely crossed paths with Daniel Berrigan); the poem, “Doggerland,” was about the ancient land bridge connecting Great Britain to mainland Europe. Malcolm Willison came over from Schenectady with a 2-part poem inspired by a piece in the New York Times “Please Don’t Thank Me For My Service” & writings about PTSD, “No Thanks/That Other Place.” Karen Fabiane read a poem titled “I’m Insane” complete with a pork pie hat & foot massages & etc. I followed with a new, seasonal piece, “When Donald Trump Farts.”

Martin Manley was tonight’s featured poet, an activist & poet from Schenectady who read from his new book Flint Knives. He paid tribute to his mother, Doris Vanderlipp (1924 - 2014), by reading one of her poems, “Ideas.” Before her death she had help create his book by typing & editing his hand-written manuscript. He also paid tribute to others in the community who helped with his book & to the myriad progressive organizations with which he as been involved over the years. The poems were arranged chronologically from 1973 to the present, mostly short, pointed observations on the human struggle for justice, like the jottings in a shirt pocket notebook of a church custodian & walker of picket lines, which indeed they are. He ended with a piece not in the book, written just a few months ago.  If you are interested in getting a copy of Flint Knives, email me at this Blog & I will hook you up, or look up Flint Knives on FaceBook.

Mojavi showed up too late to sign up for the open mic but I tacked him on at the end, & was glad he made it, to read a sad, bitter poem “Grieving from Paper.”

Join us at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY each third Thursday for an open mic with a featured reader from the local & regional poetry scene, 7:30PM a modest (or extravagant) donation supports poetry events & the work of the SJC.


Anne Neville said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne Neville said...

"Flint Knives" has a Facebook page -- to see some examples of poems and to order copies of the book, go there! Thanks, Dan, for the great event and the report!