After a couple months subbing for each other, Nancy Klepsch, my co-host, & I were back together again doing our tag-team hosting act. It was a word-filled afternoon with 15 signed up on the open mic list — new voices & the stalwart regulars.
We started off with a reader new to this venue, Diane Sefcik, with a poem inspired by browsing in a bookstore “Grabbing a Line,” then one delving into her native roots “Quest (for Crazy Horse). Dan Curley, a classicist by trade, read a poem parsing the Latin expression “Carpe Diem,” then “Our Father” on his father’s passing.
Howard Kogan read the dream poem “Imagination” from his brand new poetry collection A Chill in the Air (Square Circle Press), a book that contains many of Howard’s fine poems I’ve been hearing him read at open mics in recent months. Dave DeVries read a poem inspired by a visit to a Canadian basilica, “The Oratory.” Mike Conner began with a poem by Rod McEwan on football, then to his own poem “Street Politics” inspired by the the street names in Troy.
Jil Hanifan read 2 poems she said were actually not from her own experiences but from that of Nancy, inspired by phone conversations, “Cat Attack,” & “Write #3 Girl Friend #2” a poem that begins & ends with actual text messages. I had to follow that & read 2 new poems “Lew Welch in Albany” & the brief “What Makes America Great.” Kate Laity read a piece of flash fiction, the sexy & violent “Repetition.” Karen Fabiane began with a love poem from the 1980s “Poet to a Sleeper,” then another relationship piece “Stealing from You.” Nancy Klepsch said she has been trying to not make sense (unsuccessfully it seems) & read a political piece perhaps titled “Grot Groat Great,” & another that dipped into politics with images of mushrooms “Schroom.” Bob Sharkey unfolded his poems from his pocket & read first a narrative about finding a place to pee “Between the Blue Lands” & a descriptive birthday poem “69.”
This was Charlie Rossiter’s first time here since returning to the Northeast from many years in Chicago & he read a Haibun “Picking Up the Pieces” (earrings & the leftovers of a champagne party in a Saratoga park), then from his collection of poems with Albert DeGenova Back Beat (Cross Roads Press, 2001) a poem from the 1960s “Campus Politics.” Peggy LeGee read a funny & political seasonal piece “The Trannie Claus.” Samuel Weinstein read for the first time anywhere, a true poetry virgin, the theatrical “Beautiful Madness the Super Sane,” then “The World is my Self-Reflection” mixing in Nietzsche & Abby Hoffman. & we ended the afternoon with still another new voice, Lana Harvey who read a family story addressed to the city “New York New York,” & a narrative of a break-up “Goodbyes.”
Lots of good poetry & prose again on this 2nd Sunday @ 2 at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St., Troy, NY. Join us the next time.
This post originally appeared on Dan Wilcox’s blog on December 14, 2016.