September 30, 2018

Poets Speak Loud!, September 24

Another busy night in McGeary’s back room for this AlbanyPoets event, hosted by Mary Panza, & the featured poet Margot Malia Lynch-Steiner. But first on to the open mic.

The first poet on the list Rhonda Rosenheck was here for the first time & announced that she has a chapbook out from Elephant Tree House, Looking: Out, Up, In & Under Rocks, but the poems she read were not in the book, “The Conifers” speaking to each other (a villanelle), & “Synesthesia.” I was next with “Reading Dead Poets Listening to Live Jazz” & an older, Lark St. poem “The Spoon.” Judith Prest gave us a preview of her forthcoming book After with “Wild Woman Closing in on 62 Takes Stock,” & a new poem also on aging “Extra Beats.” Sylvia Barnard has been working on her poem “The Owl on the Water Jug” & read us the latest version, then on to a new poem written this morning, also on aging, “Hair.” I think this is the 3rd time I’ve heard Don Levy read his new poem “Meat the Beatles” & it is just as outrageous as the 1st, & left the audience, who were hearing for the 1st time, stunned.

Our featured poet was Margot Malia Lynch-Steiner, a rare but welcome appearance reading her poems. She began with a poem about finding “the lotus,” the inner light, with images of gardening, then a prenuptial poem “Engaged to Be” & the philosophical “The Night David Bowie Died.” Another poem, untitled, was a love poem about performing her music, affecting others. Margot is also a singer/song-writer & took out her guitar to sit & sing about a lover who has swept her away “Better Number 4.” Then on to a poem about another singer, Robert Plant, in her dream “Turtle Circle,” then ended with a good-by poem to a dead poet. In addition to reading, Margot had for sale a couple of lovely, eclectic DIY editions of her poems Tropical Storm from1996, & a more recent Carefully banded with Love.

Julie Lomoe once again (I’ve heard her a few times at recent open mics) read from her “Colorado Chronicles” the pieces “Hope Dawns Eternal” (the actual title of her earlier novel), & “Age & Altitude.” Sally Rhoades read 2 contrasting pieces, the ecstatic native images of “I Heard the Drumming” & a poem about her past “Sorrow So Deep.” Rich Tomasulo also made a rare appearance to read “a persona poem” titled “In the Antique Store: the Customer’s Dilemma.” Tom Riley showed up tonight with 2 short poems, “My 32-year Old Dryer” (confronting his own mortality), & “Still Life.” Mary Baker was a stranger to the poetry scene but held her own well with a poem & a song about rebellion from age 15.

Annie Sauter was done up in her best rock-star regalia to read 2 rambling stoner poems that pretty much sounded the same “Trailer Love” (in Colorado) & “Slow” actually read fast. Robb Smith did what was basically a stand-up comedy improv on giving the Bishop the finger. Karen Fabiane, who likes to sign up last, read “2 older poems” the first titled “Glass Door” & the 2nd published in Home Planet News years ago about what happened to all those Sunday comic characters “Popeye Revisited.”

There is no “typical night” at Poets Speak Loud! so this was a typically atypical night here at McGeary’s, Sheridan Square, Albany, NY, the last Monday of the month, with food & drink & poetry & whatever else happens. Check out the website at AlbanyPoets for details.

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