Vodka Mary Panza was back as our host with that hot blue flame & during her pointedly personal introductions one spoke up at our peril. Thus, it was an energetic open mic, with the featured poet, L-Majesty quivering in the wings (if there were such a thing at McGeary’s).
I started off the open mic with 3 short pieces, all written this month: a poem for Mary Ann Murray, “A Note to Tom,” “Weather,” & “Alchohlism.” Joe Krausman also had a poem on weather (“Weather Report”) but before that he started off telling joke from the recent funeral for local philanthropist (& poet) Bob Herman, then on to a poem about Father Death, “Beware We Are Being Followed.” Julie Lomoe evoked the end of the season with a poem about Snyder’s Lake, “Last Day on the Beach.”
L-Majesty, tonight’s featured poet, had read at this year’s Word Fest &, as Vodka Mary recounted, elicited quite a personal response from a particular poet member of the audience, oh yeah! Tonight, though, he said his theme was “letting go of our bitterness,” beginning with the bitter piece,”Apologies Not Accepted.” Then on to “There’s Some Jim Crow-ity in this Poetry” responding to racism targeting his mother & himself, both direct & institutional. Then a sex poem invoking an absent father, “My Need.” & on to “an empowerment piece,” “Army of Me.” He ended with what he called the solution, a poem titled “The Bitter Fix” which was cast as an ad for positivity, but perhaps the weakest poem of the bunch in an otherwise well-constructed reading.
Bob Sharkey continued the open mic with a schizophrenic piece he has been working on, 2 poems he thought were 1 (& indeed perhaps they are 1 poem masquerading as 2), “After Poem” & “Entangled” weaving together, like the image of the trees in the 2nd poem, gun control & Poets in the Park, & a party, & love. Shannon Shoemaker performed a lost love poem (again) beginning “I pluck petals…”
Emily Gonzalez‘s piece “Just A Poem” was also about love, a long relationship now over, & about herself. Continuing the theme even further, Kevin Peterson read some execrable break-up poems sent to him by a friend & read his quite funny critiques of the poems, then a poem about reading in the rain.
Speaking of love, again, Mojavi announced that he & his girlfriend have “a bun in the oven” & so read a letter to his unborn son. Avery read a short piece titled “Picking Blueberries” that incredibly managed to include the word “yummyness,” then some dialogue from “a sci-fi future drama” in progress about a future where drugs are legal & education is not. Jill Crammond brought the night to a close with 2 poems with her characteristic long titles, “Romeo & Juliet Narrowly Escape Disaster at the Lake” with humor & sex, & the love poem to her son, “What Divorced A Mom Says to Her Son Who Unwittingly Reminds Her of her Ex-Husband.”
Poets Speak Loud! is an event of AlbanyPoets.comheld most last Mondays at McGeary’s in Albany, NY — check the website’s calendar for more information.