as we often do. & as usual on the Last Monday at McGeary’s Mary Panza was the whip-cracking host. Before the featured poet, we dove into the open mic, a sea of poets tonight.
I started it off with an old poem, “Belle du Jour,” that mentions Ted Adams, then on to the brand-new “Coyote III.” Introduced by Mary Panza as “very black [in his attire] & very smelling good” Ed Rinaldi started off with a short day/night piece then into a poem about his ex, “Breakfast at Stravinksky’s Bed of Nails.” Dain Brammage read from his smart-phone his poems “Damage Control” & “One Good Day” (which he is saving, hour-by-hour, in a blue box). Don Levy read his 2 new memoir poems, “Newsprint” about his father, & “Homewreck” (home ec v. shop). Mojavi (“Lord of UGT” per Mary Panza) also read his poems from his phone, beginning with a bit of surrealism & revolution, “Unconcious Explosion Inspired by Fate,” then with background music from a 2nd phone, a tender, love-lost poem about an ex.
Kevin Peterson was the night’s featured poet, with his new-grown mustache (actually, as friend once pointed out, one does not grow a mustache, one just doesn’t stop it from growing), started by reciting Def-poetry performer Steve Connell’s “Compromise.” He continued in the same vein, this time a monologue to a lover, “Tonight is the Night,” & a monologue, of sorts, “For the Twinds,” half of whom were in the audience. Next he read a series of short, aphoristic pieces, not quiet haikus, on art, poetry, & fucking & drinking. Actually, fucking & drinking (or other drugs of choice) was the theme for the rest of the night’s poems, memories of teen-age black-outs, his brother cooking crack, the traditional Wednesday-night before Thanksgiving partying, the sadness of “Saratoga on a Wednesday” after track season, STDs, to the cynical inventory of a hang-over diner breakfast with last night’s not-so prize score. The conclusion of the pondering of the question of poems versus dancing & debauchery in “A Good Day” was to burn your poems (which at times has seemed the right choice to me too). While Kevin is a facile performer of his own (as well as others’) poems, he was not well-prepared, having to ask the key question, “How am I doing on time?” (To which he received the time-honored standard response, “2 more.”).