December 22, 2018
Back to Bennington, VT for this open mic run by fellow 3 Guys from Albany member Charlie Rossiter, on his birthday (I won’t say which one, but it is less than 100).
I was first up & read 2 new poems “Are Ewe a Frank Robinson?” & “Last Weekend in Gloucester.” Laura Ellsey is a regular here & read “What is Depression?” & a poem written for a dog-grooming business (a first time for me for such a poem). Ken Ash, another regular, read a humorous rhyming poem titled “Christmas Redundancy.”
Jason Price Everett, another stalwart of this event, read a long prose piece entitled “Ostinado” a character study of repeating (thus the title) images & phrases written in the third person without dialogue. This was Michele Wiegers’ first time here & she began with a poem about her son titled “Caleb’s Cadence,” then “A New Poem” about what dragged her out of bed. Bridget Elder was also here for the 1st time, having recently moved to Bennington, read a short piece written today.
We took a short break to “re-fresh” in whatever was our fashion, then on to a 2nd round. I read another new piece, about MFA programs, “To the Consternation of …” Jason apologized for the length of his reading the first time & read a 2-page version of the same piece, both of which to my ear sounded like Samuel Beckett.
Laura also read again, a poem in English then it’s Spanish version, “I’m Going to Knit,” then “My Response to Stamps.com” both poems in rhyme. Speaking of rhymes, that’s what Ken does too, & read 2 poems about dreams & getting up in the morning. Michele read about soil & worms & birds in a piece titled “Backyard Prayer” then a poem full of ocean metaphors “Never Run Dry.”
Our host, Charlie, brought it all home with a couple poems centered on Bennington, “Coming Home” (from Saratoga Springs, NY), then a landscape poem about a mountain view, all too common around here.
According to Charlie it was a record-breaking attendance, counting readers & listeners — glad I was there for the historic event. & you can find Poetry/Spoken Word Open Mic in the back room of the Tap House, 309 County St., Bennington, VT each second Tuesday of the month, sign-up at 7PM, reading starts 7:15PM.
December 11, 2018
We were kicked upstairs due to a performance in our usual space, the black box theater (named after yet another crooked politician), but it was brighter, sunnier up there & not just because of the sunlight, but also because of the luminous poets & listeners. The hosts were Nancy Klepsch & myself, DWx.
First up was Bob Sharkey who read a magical poem about a visitation from his great-grandmother Brigid Connolly “Brigid Visits East Latham.” Joel Best followed with a poem perhaps titled “Nighting” that was perhaps a ghost story, then a poem about family “We Are 9 Old Chairs.” Dave DeVries began with a memoir of a ’58 Chevy “Car Fever,” then on to one titled “Questions” which was just that.
So if you write alone but want to share some of it there is this monthly gathering 2nd Sunday @ 2: Poetry + Prose at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St., Troy, NY — Free!
December 7, 2018
According to Thom Francis (el presidente), who should know, this was the 10th gathering of this open mic series at The Low Beat. It was also the public start of a week-long celebration of Thom’s birthday.
Always one to have cake for any celebration, Mary Panza passed around mini-cupcakes to kick off the celebration of Thom’s birthday (actually on Sunday, December 9) which strangely went well with the beer I was drinking & of course we all sang the Happy Birthday song.
Brett Petersen, wiping cake from his beard, read a couple poems from his Blog, like exercises in automatic writing, or a punk version of John Ashbery, “The Bottom of the Pool is Hungry for your Brain Damage” & “Have a Drink, Literally, On Me.” Alyssa Michelle has established herself as a regular here, with her first person poems, the first “Introvert” in which she tries to explain herself to extroverts, & the next about driving & watching the lights in the rain “Pause.” Kendall Hoeft read a poem titled “When the Body Breaks” then one starting with a quote from Anna Karenina & was about fear & desire & oysters & pearls “Of Sea & Sky.”
It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Poetyc Visionz out & about & he read a new piece “I Met God on Lark St.” which was a sort of re-make of his Number 7 poem, then another in his signature wordplay (& an example of why he has been dubbed “the Pastor of Positivity”) “Be Grateful.” The Birthday Boy, Thom Francis, shared a poem about water flowing down 4th Street “Jesus Walks on the Water.”
Getting Down to Brass Tacks is a open mic (primarily) held on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month at The Low Beat on Central Ave., starts about 7:30PM. Another fine poetry event brought to you by the folks at AlbanyPoets.
December 5, 2018
On a late Saturday afternoon I went to the Hudson River Coffee House in Albany for a reading by 3 women poets. After a late start Doug Rothschild did a lengthy, & somewhat repetitive run through of the upcoming readings in this series (more on this later), then on to the poets, Kenning JP Garcia doing the intros, such as they were.
BOOG City 10.5 Festival.
This series, like the Sage’s The Rev, often brings in poets from outside this area to introduce their work to the local scene. Interestingly enough, during Doug Rothschild's opening peroration, he mentioned that he was also interested in featuring local poets in this series, & has put that information out to the community. But, he said, he often hears from local poets whom he doesn’t know, meaning, he said, that they have not been to the readings. I think he meant to his readings. I attend between 8 & 10 or so reading each month in the region (you can verify this by checking my Blog), but I rarely — dare I say “never”? — see Doug at any of them. I can only conclude that the only readings he goes to are the ones he is involved in organizing — which means, of course, that he doesn’t know who any of the other poets are in this community since he doesn’t get out of his comfort zone. It’s a dilemma.
Saint Rocco was born about 1340 in France; he is venerated as the protector against the plague & other contagious diseases; other sources say he is the patron saint of bachelors & of (in the 20th century) laundromats. Be that as it may, you can find notices about this series at their Facebook page.
December 2, 2018
This reading series out of Sage Colleges is usually held in Troy, but tonight was in the colorful, bright Opalka Gallery at the Albany Sage campus on New Scotland Ave. The series is coordinated & hosted by poet Matthew Klane, formerly of the Yes! reading series. There were 2 readers.
The reading was followed by a mercifully brief Q&A, that somehow got into the topic of the apocalypse, which seems to be in the air, hopefully only for discussion.
The Rev reading series is taking the traditional academic break until next semester. I for one look forward to next semester’s program. Kudos to the Sage Colleges & to Matthew for making this happen.