October 28, 2016

Third Thursday Poetry Night, October 20

I was pleased to be able to offer to Charlie Rossiter his first reading since returning to the great Northeast from Chicago. In addition to traveling the Albanys of the USA with Charlie (& Tom Nattell) Charlie had fixed me up with readings in Chicago when he was living there. Before the open mic, as always, I invoked the Muse, tonight the sadly gone local poet April Selley, by reading her poignantly humorous poem “For Once, the Dwarf Gets the Girl.”

Richard Jerin started off the open mic with a poem from the 1970s “The Children of Thomas Station.” Joe Krausman read a true story “On Being Unemployed in my 40th Year.” Dineen Carta was here for the 1st time, read “The Dream” from her self-published book Loving the Ache: A Woman’s Journey.

Thérèse Broderick didn’t read a poem but announced her upcoming reading with the Breathing Lights Art Project coming up on November 4th & 5th when you can hear her poem about it which she didn't read tonight. Frank Robinson did read a poem, “Chicken,” instructions on how to play the game, so be it. Philomena Moriarty will be the featured poet here in December & tonight gave us a sample, with a new poem written today about Autumn “When the Trees Speak.”

Charlie Rossiter began his reading with “Up Early Reading Yang Wan-li” as an introduction to himself & his esthetic, then on to a poem from an early Albany workshop, “Yin,” imagining begin a woman (the title suggested by Tess Lecuyer). “My Billy Collins Poem” was just that, then a couple poems from his 2009 All Over America: Road Poems, including one of my favorites “It Was A Damn Fine Alabama River Wedding.” “Ceremony at the 42nd St. Library” was about reading Kerouac’s pocket notebooks in the archives, “Deep Understanding” about poetry, while “Who We Are & What We Want” was written to read at the Oklahoma Labor Fest in 2010. On to some poems inspired by Chinese poetry, from Cold Mountain 2000: Han Shan in the City (2014), from Winter Poems (2015), & from the recent Lakeside Poems (all from Foothills Publishing). As he says, “writing poems is a no collar job.”

After our customary break, I returned us to the open mic with one of my most recent poems, “The Poet’s Coat” (which I was wearing tonight). Sally Rhoades, who had complemented me on my new jacket, read the memoir/tribute “Sitting with Joy Harjo” (one of my favorites). I like the way Bob Sharkey pulls a folded up poem out of the back pocket of his jeans, tonight a descriptive poem about his hometown Portland, Maine, “Getaway.” Karen Fabiane read her latest poem titled “She’s Not a Kid Anymore” (none of us are, I guess).

Ed Yetto has also returned to the area & read a wondering & sometimes humorous poem “I Don’t Know.” Anthony Bernini could’ve been playing golf tonight but came to read instead, an eco-poem titled “Desert Rivers.” Tom Corrado brought the night to an end, predictably with one of his “Screen Dumps” this number 312 “After Apple Picking.”

We gather here at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY each third Thursday at 7:30PM with a featured poet & an open mic before & after, & your donation pays the feature, supports poetry events & the work of the Social Justice Center.

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