The second poetry event of a very eventful poetry day & a warm, steamy night at the Social Justice Center for the open mic & the featured poet, Sarah Giragosian, but lots of cool poets in the house, a couple I’d seen just a few hours before at the Altamont Fair. The night's Muse was the recently gone poet, professor, activist Harry Staley, in whose honor I read his poem “Chalk It” trying to channel his past, energetic performances. Then on to the start of the open mic.
First up, to honor another recently gone artist, Aretha Franklin, was D. Alexander Holiday who read Nikki Giovanni’s “Poem for Aretha.” Joe Krausman read from his poems about surgery, this about needing a specialist, not a writer. Jan Tranmontano was back in town, all too briefly, from Southern Florida, read a work-in-progress, “Solar Eclipse Totality” about her mother in a nursing home. Cicada read her “first city poem” read 1st in Denver with a punk band, an energetic celebration of urban life. Alan Catlin read a horror-movie styled poem, containing a prompt somewhere, beginning “We are planting the baby-heads by moonlight…”
After a break, we continued with the open mic — I record the audio of each of these sessions at the SJC, rather than take notes as I do at most other readings, but when I sat down to write this Blog I discovered that I for some reason the rest of the open mic was not recorded. I have the sign-up sheet so I do know who read, but other than a fragmented, vague memory I do not have the kind of information about who read what (including myself) that I had for the first half. I will give each poet equal treatment & just list who read. My apologies, not only to the poets, but to the grad students of the future who are writing their dissertations on the poets & poems of the Albany poetry scene for this incomplete rendering.
The poets who read, marvelously I might add (!), were:
Mary Ann Murray
Slay! the Dragon (who had read at Poetic Vibe on Monday as “formerly known as Kid Flash”)
Frank S. Robinson
Take my word for it, it was Greaaaat!
Recorded or not, the Third Thursday Poetry Night takes place each (that’s right) third Thursday of the month, not affected by any national holidays, at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY at 7:30PM — your donation helps pay the featured poet, supports poetry events in the area, & supports the work of the Social Justice Center. & bring a poem for the open mic.