Students in the brand-new MFA in writing program at the College of St. Rose came down off the metaphoric hill to Lark St. during the First Friday Art Walk for the first of what’s promised as a new monthly open mic at Ben & Jerry’s. The reading was hosted by student (& local poet), Jacqueline Kirkpatrick, & most of those on the sign-up sheet & in attendance were students or friends of students. But there were a few community poets in attendance, notably Joe Krausman, Kevin Peterson & me, DWx. The St. Rose faculty was represented by Daniel Nester.
I ended up first on the sign-up sheet (how does that happen?) & read 2 poems from my chapbook Poeming the Prompt (A.P.D., 2011), “Looking for Cougars” & “The Lesson.”
Our host, Jackie Kirkpatrick, read 2 untitled pieces, the first a list poem that she said is her email “away message,” the second poem was dedicated to the bees who swarmed her when she was younger & put her hand through their nest. Sadie Hickman read a cluster of poems from her tablet, the first was addressed to her fears & horror movies, then “Centralia, PA,” “I Blame Prometheus,” & the funny, sexy “How to Survive Laundry Day.” Cayla Zaluki had one untitled poem in rhyme, “uncovering truths of a wasted youth” (or was that the title?)
Sarah Sherman began with a poem analyzing dream symbols (“Incubus”), then a tender piece, “Visiting Hours,” falling asleep thinking of those dying; her poem “History of Violence” was not a dream poem she insisted, while “Math” was a portrait of an old professor (her father?) playing with numbers. Sampson Dikeman read from a bar napkin “The Kinder Gentler Charles Manson.” Monica Mitsaka‘s poem “Decadent Reminders” exhumed bones, while “2004” was memory & speculation of another kind, as was the hymn to her youth, “Yeah, We Were So Punk Rock.”
|Juliet waving her magic wand.|
Juliet Barney began with a poem using words from the Seneca language, recognizing her the culture, then to the skate-boarder poem “Fakey;” for her last poem (“a Harry Potter poem” she said) she pulled a magic wand from her boot & read “My Sister the Half-Blood Princess,” waved her wand & turned the entire audience into toads. Kevin Peterson quickly found his human form & read “Simultaneous Events” about dart & trivia night in a bar, then “Nature Hike” & the list poem from a college lit mag “Chicago Musings.”
Jackie was back briefly with another poem “On Being Gregory’s Lover” — I do believe she meant Corso. Dalla Trombley ended the night with observing “The Cracks Between the Deck Boards,” then an unkind portrait of a girl in New Paltz, ending with a funny rhyme on Xmas (alas, ’tis the season).
This open mic expects to continue each month at Ben & Jerry’s (they like poetry there) on First Friday. Watch for it.