January 16, 2019

2nd Sunday @ 2: Poetry + Prose, January 13

My co-host Nancy Klepsch estimates that this is our 85th (!) time co-hosting this monthly open mic at the Arts Center in Troy. When you start to count you can be amazed at how many things — stars, people, grains of sand, poetry events, whatever, that there are. & it was made sweeter not only by the wonderful poets who come here on a regular basis but more so by the new faces & voices that showed up today, 16 all-together today.

I began the parade with 2 new poems, “Drones” on the beach & in Yemen, & a little piece I’m calling “writing.”  Lauren Levey read a long prose piece, a story/memoir of a childhood friend & sexual identity “Colleen’s Story” — & it was her first reading anywhere.

I sometimes see Dan Vollweiler at the open mic at Caffè Lena, today he was here to do a piece about aging in rap rhythm & rhyme “Generation X.” Karen Fabiane began with a poem titled “Cat Blink” which she said was revised from earlier versions she had read out, then one titled “Laughter Herself” (though I’m not quite sure, since she tends to mumble, particularly the titles) an even longer piece that didn’t end when I expected it to. Dave DeVries read an historical poem, “Plains of Abraham” based on his reading about that battle in Quebec in 1759. Mike Conner read 2 of his quiet, descriptive poems, “Open & Closed” about a bar catering to shift workers, then “Coffee Tea & Me.”

Bob Sharkey read his “travelogue” about the sounds, sights, tastes & places of East Latham, NY. Kendall Hoeft’s ecstatic reading about a creature, perhaps bird or fish, was so entrancing I didn’t catch the title, but it was fun. Ed Yetto’s first piece was untitled but could be titled “never give up on a thunderbolt, his second titled simply “Oakwood.” Joel Best read a memoir poem “Summer of 1967,” then one about a relationship “Broken Apart.” Nancy Klepsch has been studying with the Philadelphia poet CA Conrad & read an inspired poem about naming a constellation “Sugar,” then one in sexy computer images about talking to the machine “Siri.”

Linda Bacon’s 2 poems were both short, concise, “I Miss the Man Scent” & “Last Words.” Peggy LeGee read for us another episode of the continuing saga of Moochie the Dumpster Kat about the “Shopping Bag Lady.” This was Jon Matthews 1st time here & he read “$25 & a Single Stemless Glass” & about the cooling of the weather “Autumn Leaves.” V.K. Viktova began with a portrait of an old man “Decay,” then an equally grim tale of death beginning “On the back road…”

The final poet on the sign-up list was also a first-timer, Rod Wilson who read 2 poems with birds, the first about a crow eating a dead animal “Practicing Resurrection” then one titled simply “The Owl.”

2nd Sunday @ 2: Poetry + Prose welcomes all writers, poetry & prose, those we know & love (or sometimes just tolerate), & the new folk we haven’t seen or heard before. You must fit into one of those categories, so join us on the 2nd Sunday of most months at 2:00PM at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St., Troy, NY — & it’s always Free!

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