The last Monday of the month is when Poets Speak Loud! at McGeary’s in Albany, NY, & since it was the last Monday of May, it was also Memorial Day in America, the parade long over & the bar quite quiet. Mary Panza served as house-mother to the poets who gathered around the tables, no mic, no music stand. el presidente Thom il papa Francis was there with his daughter Molly who charmed us all.

Sylvia Barnard read first, just one poem, “Dusky Sally,” written about a trip down South to Thomas Jefferson’s home. I read a couple poems for Memorial Day, “John Lees,” then to lighten it up the salacious “Partriotism.” Joe Krausman read a cluster of serio-comic poems, including one about a young woman marrying a much-older man “Pre-Shrunk Love” & the more more political/apocalyptic “Panacea.” Bob Sharkey celebrated the “real Memorial Day,” his 44th wedding anniversary, with a poem about where they lived in the early years of their marriage, “Cohoes,” followed with a collaborative poem written with his wife many years ago “Wednesday,” then a reprise of “Boiler Room” that he read the other night.  Emily Gonzalez began with a love story of a hot summer years ago “Once,” then a couple poems of color, “Indigo Blue” (saxophone jazz), & the memoir piece “Cool Red Satin.”

Sam reading, Bob on right

While we were reading a group of young poets came in & Mary graciously added them to the list. The first was Sam with a poem like a letter to her Dad. She was followed by Bob with a poem titled “Nebula” that was a string or list of words.

Mary then proposed a second, 1-poem go around & some of us jumped in. Sylvia read an untyped piece about being trapped in the snow. I followed with “A Pain in the Neck” from my chapbook of political pieces. Joe recited from memory “Things Passing.” Sharkey read an unread poem for his daughter “Fed Up.” & Emily another favorite “Moon Goddess.”

So, once again, the last Monday of the month, Poets Speak Loud! at McGeary’s on Clinton Square in Albany, NY (near where Herman Melville lived when he was young), always an open mic, often with a featured poet — check AlbanyPoets.com for information & a full calendar of poetry events.