Carol Graser The first Wednesday of every month Caffe Lena presents Caffe Lena Poetry Open Mic on Wednesday March 5. Doors open at 7:00PM, reading starts at 7:30PM. This months featured poet is Jan Marin Tramontano. This reading is hosted by Carol Graser and there is a $3.00 admission.  This month has been sponsored by Coral Crosman

Caffe Lena is located at 47 Phila St. Saratoga Springs. For more information contact 518-583-0022 or go to their website,

Jan Marin Tramontano’s poems and stories have appeared most recently in: Poets Canvas, Women’s Synergy, Byline, Knock, Chronogram, American Intercultural Magazine, New Verse News, Mom’s Literary Magazine, Ophelia’s Mom, and Surviving Ophelia. She has also written a poetry chapbook, Floating Islands, her father’s memoir, I am a Fortunate Man, and she is a contributor to the Times Union’s Book Section. She is on the advisory board of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

Urban Renewal

I was downtown looking at an apartment
in a building once elegant, now shabby.
The brown stones marred, exposed
to the harsh air, weathered like the face of
an aging starlet.

There was a crack in the glass door
and a can rolled down the stairs
bouncing down each step
its rhythm even and steady.

I stopped it with my foot,
picked it up and started slowly
up the wide, creaky stairs
ready to see if charm was enough.

I pushed hard on the door
swelled in a frame that opened reluctantly
into a room filled with pitiless light
and a tattered, familiar couch.

I ran my hand over the scarlet fabric
now worn and stained and sat down,
feeling at home in a place
once grand, now merely dependable.