Our host, Charlie Rossiter, likes to go around twice (so to speak), one poem/song, whatever, each time, but he can be a little lax & some folks do take advantage — but not as bad as some I’ve been to recently.
Ken Ash, a local, was first on the list with a piece he styled as “staring at the consequences of reality” but then & on & on. In the second round he played his trumpet, improvising to a back-up sound machine.
Mark O’Brien read, in his 1st round, a Haibun from his favorite time period, 1963, about black & white TV. & in his 2nd round I do believe he read something titled “Brooklyn” but now I’m not sure, he’s such a country boy.
Jim Madigan, from Charlie’s old stomping grounds outside Chicago, read a piece titled "The Narrows” about walking a trail on the Virgin River in Zion National Park, Utah. His 2nd-round piece, “Invasion of the Moths,” mixed images from belly buttons to grain, the fun things you can do with poetry.
Another local, Laura Ellzey, read the first 1st sonnet she ever wrote, humorously titled “Does this Qualify?” (to be a sonnet); she has a lovely singing voice so in the 2nd round sang in Spanish “Siempre mi mente,” a song by the late Mexican singer, Juan Gabriel (1950 - 2016).
I read next, a newer piece responding, after a fashion, to Red Pines marvelous travelogue Finding Them Gone: Visiting China’s Poets of the Past (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), a poem written on my back porch, “on the Reading Terrace.” Then in the 2nd round a baseball poem mixing in some Chicago & Chinese references “Dusty Baker.”
Elaine Frankonis has become a regular here on Zoom Bennington, read a tender piece on her Mother’s last days “While Words Fail.” In her 2nd round she read from a series of 3x5 cards reactions scribbled “At the Louvre.”
In the 1st round our host Charlie Rossiter read a piece about heading into New Mexico on I40 “American West.” He stayed on the New Mexico travel theme in his 2nd round with “On the Streets of Tucumcari” with his son Jack Rossiter-Munley on guitar.
Bill Thwing is another regular from elsewhere, tonight struggled with a bad internet connection but managed to get through “Dance of Death.” He had better luck on his 2nd round where he accompanied himself on guitar with 9 Haiku for his 9 grandchildren.
Charlie’s long-time friend Tom Nicotera read about a mouse in his kitchen “Have a Heart,” then in the 2nd round a much larger critter, a bear turning over trashcans in his back yard, & he lives in the suburbs of Hartford!.
I think this was Alan Casline’s first time here at the Bennington open mic, in person or on Zoom, & in both rounds he read from a book of spontaneous poems, a la Jack Kerouac.
The final reader, Barbara Sarvis, a Vermont local regular here, read from the 1st children book she wrote Too Many Feathers, about sharing & recycling, & in the 2nd round a very short piece, “Fire Twin Separation.” & that was it for this 2nd Tuesday.
If you want to attend this open mic held on Zoom on the 2nd Tuesday of each month & you are not already on Charlie’s list of favorites, send him an email at email@example.com & you too can join us.