Sometimes it is difficult to write about this event. Not because I don’t know what to say, but that my notes start to disintegrate towards the end, either due to the spirit, or spirits, of the night. If I leave something out, please feel free to comment with your corrections, additions, whatever. Of course, it’s just as likely that your recollection is as faulty as mine, whatever.
Mary Panza served as our host & instigator for the night. She began by announcing that our wonderful waitress here on the last Monday of the month, Allison, who is in the military & is being deployed overseas so this was her last last Monday with us. Walt Whitman said, great poets need great audiences — but we also need great waitresses: thanks Allison, & be safe.
Tess Lecuyer began the open mic with the marvelous poem she read at the Third Thursday Poetry Night, “Wild Pumpkins.”
Sylvia Barnard‘s poem “Boston Public Garden, November 2012” was written today (!), which she followed with “Russell Square, London” written in 1975.
Don Levy also gave us a tour of London with his imagining of “The Queen & I,” followed by the elegy, “Twinkies.”
I was up next, repeating “This is Not Trick or Treat” followed by a very ancient piece, “The Pool Shark,” read for tonight’s featured poet …
… who was Rebecca Schumejda, reading from her long-awaited collection Cadillac Men (NYQ Books, 2012), poems about a pool hall she & her husband once owned, & the characters who hung out there. She began with a poem about her daughter, “First Steps,” then on to an introduction to some of the characters, first Mikey Meatball (“Table of Truth”). Next was Spanish Fly in “Afterall This is a Bad Neighborhood,” “Wheeling & Dealing,” & ” Because a Smart Man Can Dignify a Lousy Moniker.” The eponymous “Bobby Balls-in-Hand” shows us what’s it like to be a loser. She ended with the pool-hall regular, Aristotle, in the metaphysical poem “Sober on a Snowy Day.” I’ve said it before & I say it again, buy this book, it’s like a short story collection, only shorter — & more fun.
Back to a continuing list of open mic poets with Shannon Shoemaker reading an old piece from 2010, filled with the cold moon & loneliness of lost love.
el presidente Thom Francis‘ poem “Stuck” was from a prompt, no less.
Jill Crammond, who is the prompt mama at Up the River, a Journal of Poetry, Art & Photography, read a love poem to a fisherman, “The Last Thing This World Needs is Another Poem About Flowers,” & the villanelle, “Jude (10) Schools His Mother on Psychedelics”.
Carolee Sherwood‘s poem was from a prompt from a headline, “Salmon Swims Across Flooded Road” (to be eaten by a dog), then to another “dinner poem” (or is it romance?) “The Surprise of 2 Red Roosters.”
Kevin Peterson began by reading from his pocket notebook a short list of “things people have called me since I’ve started growing in my mustache” (of course, one doesn’t grow a mustache, one just doesn’t stop it from growing), then a poem he said wasn’t a “slam poem,” but had the heft & attitude of one, an angry put down of a sad girl on a train.
Sally Rhoades read from the 2007 High Watermark Salo[o]n journal, “The Cardinal” & the poem for her daughters, “Roosting.”
Avery returned us to the Twinkie theme with the distraught poem “Meanwhile at the Hostess Outlet,” then the descriptive piece on a flock, I mean murder, of crows.
Poetyc Vysonz ended the night with the new piece he did at the slam last week, part 2 of “Upside Down Inside Out.”
I’m sorry I couldn’t do justice to the entre poete remarks of our hostess but you just had to be there, it was fast & furious, funky & not true, or at least almost not true — you had to be there. Poets Speak Loud is at McGeary’s on Clinton Square most last Mondays (not in December), about 8PM, sponsored by AlbanyPoets.com.