Back in McGeary’s once again, our host(s) tonight, Mary Panza & Molly (little does little Molly, the daughter of Thom Francis & Carissa, know the seas her canoe is being sent out upon this night), with a loving hard-core of community poets for the open mic & tonight’s featured poet, Brian Dorn. But first, as they say, the open mic.
Sylvia Barnard got to the list first, & read a trio of poems from a recent cruise she took on the Danube River with her daughter Siobhan, including “Durnstein” about Richard III & a castle in Austria; another poem contrasted Mozart with the von Trapp family in Salzburg. I followed with 3 Albany poems, “Sort of a Love Poem” & 2 new Coyote poems, #5 & #6. Mary came back to turn the mic around (duh!) so that Don Levy could read poems from his recent trip to Italy, “Elio” (their driver in Florence), “The Sistine Chapel,” & “Assisi.” Il papa Thom Francis read a couple of domestic poems, the first to his new daughter (tonight’s co-host, Molly), & one about his parents cheating, “Listerine.” Sally Rhoades also had a poem about a foreign land, Turkey (is it Europe of Asia?) a love poem to her husband, “Old Love” & a poem about discovering the poetry of “Walt Whitman.”
Albany Poetry impresario, RM Engelhardt, said he was just back from a training session in Texas for his job & announced he was about to move to Maine for a position there. Rob has over the years organized many different poetry reading series under various monikers in bars & coffee houses all over Albany; he also organized at one time an annual Halloween reading of the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. He was a force to be reckoned with on the scene. He read a new poem written the other day, “Poets Are Welcome” & then an old favorite “The Prophet Drove a Taxi.”
The night’s featured poet was the rhymer, Brian Dorn, with a wonderful selection of pieces he has tried out at open mics, such as “From My Poems to Yours” (a poetic “Nameste“), & the commentary on technology, “Back in the Day.” Of course he included a “protest poem,” “I Need a Sign,” as well other political pieces such as the anti-war “Out of Whack” & “Standard of Living” (on the difference between the salaries of sports stars & ordinary workers). In between he described how he first got into poetry communities through internet sites, then branched out into the actual poetry community of the Capital Region (we’re glad he did!). Another of his favorites was “Monkey Bars” (on evolution). “This Day” was a new poem he had never read out before, what he described as “an assortment of stuff” on the mix of life. He ended with a performance with his wife, Laura, of the poem “We All.” Brian has done his “homework” going to nearly all the open mics in the Region, ranging as far South as Woodstock, & it’s gratifying to see him as the featured poet.
A late arrival — from out the past, one might say — was former Albany performance artist Jason Martin, now living in NYC, who did a typical free-style performance (this time without tearing apart the stage — as he was known to have done back at the QE2).
Old fart poets, younger poets, ghosts from the past, poets moving on, even infant (potential) poets — I guess this is why I stick around & keep showing up. Poets Speak Loud! is the last Monday of most months here at McGeary’s, Clinton Square, Albany, NY — check AlbanyPoets.com for more information about everything poetic in Albany & elsewhere.