I’ve been to many poetry readings where the audience didn’t show up, but few at where half the readers were a no-show. Harvey Havel had organized this reading at the Hudson River Coffee House on Quail St. in Albany, NY with 4 readers, mixing poetry & prose. But, in addition to Havel, our host, the scheduled readers who did show up were Allen Parmenter & myself, Dan Wilcox.

Harvey Havel began the program with a reading from the anthology Coming of Age of a short story by Mary F. Chen Johnson about her experience with food in an immigrant Chinese family.

I followed with a selection of poems from various published chapbooks, beginning with “Where Were the Professors?” from boundless abodes of Albany (Benevolent Bird Press, 2010). The book is available in a Kindle edition.  Then on to poems from Poeming the Prompt (A.P.D., 2011), 2 from my latest chapbook, Gloucester Notes (FootHills Publishing, 2015), & a couple from Coyote: Poems of Suburban Living (A.P.D., 2015). I ended with a rare reading of “Baghdad/Albany” from Baghdad/Albany & Other Peace Poems (A.P.D., 2007).

Allen Parmenter read what he described as 7 brief sketches or poems form his spiral notebook, impressionistic image-based pieces that he ripped through without introductions, including images of dead birds, a dead god, night with plants & coyotes, & a voice as a hole. The last, & longest piece, I found the most beguiling, a list poem on mercy. I would like to see him read out more at some of the local open mics.

The Hudson River Coffee House is the scene of a weekly open mic that seems to cater mostly to musicians on Thursdays, starting at 8:30PM. For more information contact the Coffee House.

This post originally appeared on Dan Wilcox’s blog on October 26, 2015.