Tonight’s featured poet was Ken Denberg, who jumped right in before Don Levy, our straight-friendly host, could do a proper introduction. No matter, it’s a casual group here.

Ken Denberg (left)

Ken read from his new manuscript of poems about, or rather mostly in the persona of, his dog. Now this is a guy’s dog, a Labrador Retriever, the kind that can have a poetic persona vis-a-vis a guy poet, not some fru-fru lap dog that is basically a stuffed-animal that shits. So this dog talks back — & bites. Some of the poems are sonnets, some in open form (not that one could tell from the reading), originally composed on post-it notes pasted all over his house. Speaking of biting, the titles included “Bite Me,” “One Bite Fits All,” & “Scratch & Bite.” Other poetic-dog titles exploring the nature of “dog-ness” were “I Dog Wolf,” “Good Dog, Bad Dog,” “Kiss My Dog Nose,” “I Dog Shrug,” & the title poem “Wolf Star Dog Bone,” some of which can be found on Ken’s Facebook page. ┬áHe ended his reading with a long explanation of his writing & composition process & the last poem “Dog Paws.” These are the kind of dog poems I’d actually buy a book of.

On to a short open mic. I began with “Baseball in Palestine” in honor of the season & read the corrected version of “Adirondack Life,” that I’ve inadvertently been reading a corrupted version of for months (I should pay better attention). Brian Dorn began with a discussion of the movie “A Place Beyond the Pines” then read his poem about Schenectady, “The City that Lit Up the World,” & then another poem in rhyme, “Invincible.” Steven Minchin, who is the Administrator Coordinator here at the Pride Center, read a couple of intriguing poems, “Duet Whispers Out,” & “Still Still” based on a suicide note. Our world-traveling host, Don Levy, read a couple poems from his recent trip to Italy, “The Sistine Chapel” (“Silencio!”), & one about having to pee & finding poetry as his religion, “Assisi.”

Each month on the 2nd Wednesday we like to gather here in the living room of the Pride Center on Hudson Ave. in Albany, NY for a poetry reading & open mic, starts about 7:30PM.