Poets Speak Loud, October 24

Another raucous evening at McGeary’s with Mary Panza as host. The featured poet was Anthony Bernini, debuting his new book, Immediate Worlds, & he did his work by bringing friends & family to pack the audience.

But first some of the open mic. I was first up with an old poem & a new poem for the “Occupy Albany;” “Park Closes at Dusk” was written years ago, & “One Day Longer” was written in response to my experience at Occupy DC early in the month. Bob Sharkey read poems about 2 Portlands, “Taming the Rogue” (Oregon), & “Monument Sq.” (Maine). Jan Tramontano is coming back out to open mics now that she has published her novel, & read an Autumn poem for a gone lover, “For Mark.” Don Levy read a new political poem, “Choice Words for Herman Cain.”  Dain Brammage began with a short piece from his phone, then a poem that plays on the word “strings” & the Blues. Dan Nester’s piece was a list, “Hated Things.” L.A. was a poetry “virgin” & began with “Bored in Study Hall,” then attempted another piece from memory that but had to stop.  But shecame back later to recite a short poem to her friend.

Anthony Bernini’s new book of poems, Immediate Worlds, is another beautifully produced volume from The Troy Book Makers. He read mostly from the book — “Twister,” “At an Unscheduled Appearance of the Moon,” “Fretting for Gaia,” “Small Craft Lost off Cape Cod,” “A Stowaway’s Prayer,” “Remember the Alamo,” & “Sound at Large.” But in between he sandwiched in “The Providence Atheneaum” from his first book, Distant Kinships (A.P.D.), a long, ponderous poem by Tomas Transtromer, then a recent poem by Anthony responding to the TV news in the next room, “Held in Place.” He finished with another poem not in the book, “The Dance of Dish & Glass.”

L.A. with Mary Panza

 Back to the open mic & after the return of L.A., Shannon recited a Columbus Day poem. Songsten (formerly known as “Joe”) Hollander free-formed a piece about guy in a nice suit at the bar. Sally Rhoades began with a lament, “Michael O’Donovan Why did You Change Your Name?” then searched her notebook before settling on “The Forgotten Child.” Sylvia Barnard read “Hurricane,” about the 2 folks killed here during Hurrican Irene. Ed Rinaldi did what he called a study of flash fiction & Tweets, then a short piece on “single searching.” 

RM Engelhardt was the only one of the night who put his sunglasses on to read; his first poem was about “the old QE2 & the old days” (“Disintegration”), then “Saint Poem,” then he took his sunglasses off. Kevin Peterson recited a doomed-date-from-last-night piece, “Sausage, Egg & Cheese Defined,” then read about a catastrophe, “Deviant Behavior.” Avery‘s seasonal reading of E.A. Poe’s “The Raven” was a bit over-dramatic, but then so is the poem. Leslie‘s poem about the need for understanding & compassion for the homeless was a good thought to go home with (for those of us with homes).

While this night’s reading was held on the 4th Monday of October, this open mic is held most-usually on the last Monday of most months at McGeary’s on Clinton Square, in Albany, NY, under the auspices of AlbanyPoets.com.https://hvwg.org/