September 12, 2016
Caffè Lena Poetry Open Mic, September 7
Host Carol Graser was back in the temporary spot in the Children’s section of the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs as the Caffè Lena site on Phila St. undergoes rennovations. She started us off right with a poem by Czeslaw Milosz (1911 - 2004).
I led off the open mic with 2 recent poems, “Finding Pokémon” & the driving directions “How to Find Clit Court” (a real street in Colonie, NY). Barbara Garro read a piece about using the computer at the local public library, “This Writer,” then a poem on “The Hollow Life.” Eric Krantz managed to squeeze in 3 short pieces, the rhyming humor of “Enigma,” a more serious “There is No Closure,” more rhymed humor about being wakened by the Muse, “The Downside of Poetry.”
Tonight’s “featured poet” was actually a poetry group that started out in 2012 in the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT, with 4 writers making the trip tonight to read. Some read from their 2015 collection Border Lines.
Back to the open mic, Jesse did a brief break-up pantoum, then a free-style in hip-hop rhymes that was mostly about itself. Effy Redman has returned to Saratoga Springs, & recently had a piece published in the New York Times, & tonight read “The Wall” about a place in New York City where she would sit when she was lost & homeless, then a happier piece about being back here, “Solitude Lyric.” Rachel Cullen was visiting here & said she had just started writing again (she had been a feature at the Caffè Lena open mic a few years ago) & read 2 post-break-up poems “When the Silence Settles” & “Past Tense Comes Naturally.”
Drew read from his phone “Lost” about missing a good friend. Hannah also read from her phone, a rambling, unedited piece written on the 1st day of Spring, tracking her free-flowing emotions. Our host Carol Graser took a turn with a descriptive poem “Beach on the Great Sacandaga Lake.”
As of now, it appears that the renovations at the Caffè Lena site on Phila Street will be completed in the middle of November, & because Northshire Bookstore, starting in the Fall, closes at 7PM, the fate & location of this 1st Wednesday open mic for the next couple of months remains uncertain. One will just have to wait & see.