December 8, 2019
Poets Speak Loud!, November 25
Always a “must-go-to” on my list, this night even more so with the featured poet Mary Kathryn Jablonski. & this was the last of the 2019 season since the last Monday of December falls in the midst of the holiday season on the eve of New Year’s Eve. Tonight as always the host was Mary Panza.
First on the sign-up sheet was Sylvia Barnard with a poem from a workshop at church on the poetry of T.S. Eliot, an eco-poem titled “The Chorus of the Earth,” then the 3rd version of a poem she has read at open mics previously “Grandma Moses.” Tess Lecuyer read 2 haiku, one for a rainy Fall day, another with a title “Mum’s Just Want to Have Fun!” & then “November Sonnet.” Julie Lomoe’s poem about depression was titled “11 Ways of Looking at November” with a look to Wallace Stevens.
It was good to see Ian Macks back at open mics here, but upsetting to hear his poem “The Black Problem” about racism he experienced on the job at Whole Foods & at a vegan restaurant he called “Skinhead & Mustache.” D. Alexander Holiday read a poem titled “Nigger Lips” by Martin Espada on the same issue, then read from local poet Victorio Reyes’ book The Rebirth of Krazy Horse the poem “For Dna, Emily and Thora.” Joe Krausman read his much-published poem “The Passionate Accountant to His Love,” based of course on Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” then the more ethnic “My Son the Meshuggenah.” Carrie C. read a couple of her older poems, “Isolation” on PTSD, & “Hard & Forceful Punishment” like being tortured by the weight of stones. Tim Verhaegen read a memoir of a young friend who died years ago, “Squinting through the Darkness.”
Since there will be no Poets Speak Loud! in December, Joan Geitz had at the distinction of being “the last reader here of the decade,” & read a poem from 31 years ago, like a prayer for the future, “I Want to be Free Again.” & thus this decade of poetry at McGeary’s ends.
Poets Speak Loud! will be back at McGeary's Irish Pub on Sheridan Square in Albany, NY on the last Monday of January, 2020 (January 27) with the Annual Tom Nattell Memorial Open Mic with your guest host, Me! at 7:30PM — preceded by the ceremonial beret toss in Tom’s honor at the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park. Watch for information on AlbanyPoets.com & on social media.