October 30, 2018

Third Thursday Poetry Night, October 18

A community night as well as a poetry night — as always. I was suffering with a pulled muscle in my back & Doug Holiday took over the heavy lifting to set the chairs up — & put them back at the end. Our featured poet was Dineen Carta, & our muse tonight tonight was Jackie Sheeler, who had read here in February 2011 & who died in March; I read her poem “Alien Periscopes” from Earthquake Came to Harlem (NYQ Books, 2010).

The first on what was a short open mic list (& thus the limit expanded to 2 poems) was the afore mentioned D. Alexander Holiday, who began with an early post 9/11 piece “How’s Your Invasion Going?” then read from an Academy of American Poets annual a poem by Patricia Smith “Ethel’s Sestina” about Ethel Freeman an elderly black woman who died outside the New Orleans Convention Center waiting for help. Tom Bonville returned to read “Reading” instead of watching football & what he felt like the next morning, then “Out for a Drive” a couple together among the wild flowers, a poem of love & loss.

Bob Sharkey had just announced the 4th Annual Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Contest, deadline January 15, 2019; Bob likes to read each year’s Best American Poetry & write a cento including lines from his favorite poems & read this year’s cento “We Wept to be Reminded of Such Colors,” & then an “Ode to Krausman” that he wrote in a Bernadette Mayer poetry workshop. Interestingly enough the next poet up was Joe Krausman, recently returned to the scene from a medical sojourn, read “The Game of Life” (snake house vs. mouse house), then one about the changes in life until Death “Things Passing.”

Karen Fabiane didn’t bring her new poems she said, so read 2 older relationship poems, “These Chocolates” from the ‘90s, then “a combination barbecue jazz session” titled “Your Are The Verithin On the Wood Paneling of My Life.” Then me, a poem for my older daughter “For Madeleine” set in NYC’s Village, & one for my younger daughter Anna from a Valley Cats game this Summer, a ditty titled “Vamos Gatos.”

Our featured poet, Dineen Carta, explained that she was a life coach & a writer, & the  motivation in her work was to be authentic, & to accept all the things in our self, & to love one another. She began with “Choices” from her book Loving the Ache: A Woman’s Journey (2015), then on to other poems in the book, “Driven,” a poem to her daughter (now 23, but written many years ago) “My Daughter Dreams,” “Neon Summer,” her tributes to #MeToo “Please” & “Disillusionment”, then to other poems not in the book, “Life” a tribute to the essence of Love, then one to women & their strength in spite of what they have lost, & she ended with a piece about the need to love yourself, her answer to it all. It was a practiced, thought-out reading with a message that reverberated with many.

& we will be back at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY on the third Thursday of each month with an open mic & a featured reader, starting about 7:30PM, bring a poem & make a donation to help pay the featured poet & support the work of the Social Justice Center.

No comments: