While this was the 2nd poetry event I went to this particular Wednesday, this was also the last in what had been an ongoing series of readings/interviews/discussions with individual local writers of note, with the final subject being el presidente himself, Thom Francis. Local poets gathered tonight at an ever-expanding cluster of tables in the back room of the Navona Restaurant. Thom has been the host/interviewer at all the events in the past, but since he was the subject, Mary Panza took on the hosting duties.
The poems that Thom read were a sample of the best of his work that we have been hearing, often gritty, personal, but with some surprises about newer poetic projects. He started with “Al” written in 1999, a portrait of a character who came daily to the beer distributor where Thom worked, then the classic “love letter” to his insulin pump “Machine.” “Bar” was a picture of a place where no one cares. A pair of poems about his parents were sad & tender, about their vulnerabilities, but one taking us on into the next generation with his daughter Molly. He also read some poems from a 30/30 project, including a couple inspired by random photographs he had seen, “Wanted for the Weekend” & “Running Away.”
|Thom at Border's in 1994|
As Mother Mary (Panza) says, “for all your poetry needs, go to www.AlbanyPoets.com” — see you out & about.