Sally Rhoades

Albany Word Fest Saint Poem Reading, April 16

Uh-oh, a call from Madame Vice-President (of Mary Panza just as I getting ready to head down to the UAG Gallery for the Saint Poem series tribute to e.e. cummings (open mic) that the host, R.M. Engelhardt was under intestinal assault & they needed me to be the host. So there I was on Lark St., now the person to unlock the door & to set up (with some help from the Sherwood boys), make a sign-up sheet, etc., etc.

Kevin Peterson showed up & took the coveted #1 slot to read cummings’ poem “my girl is tall with long hard eyes…” then his own poem on his Saturday night at “P.F. Chang’s” (& why he didn’t eat on Sunday).  I recited cummings’ “In Just Spring –” then his “I like my body when it is with your body…” & my take on that poem, “On a Poem by e.e. cummings.”

Sally Rhoades read briefly from cummings’ Six Non-Lectures, then her own recent poem about swimming at dusk on the island of Anguilla, & what she described as “half a poem,” “My Father’s Slippers.”

Bret Axel announced he has a new children’s book coming out very soon, Goblin Heart. He read 2 poems, “Stations” (on being a poet), & “At Job Services Center” with the great refrain that he would be “a better poet than a …. ”

The night’s virgin had been waiting outside when I got there & waited patiently to read for his first time, & quite a debut it was. Jay Toraty read a poem he wrote yesterday, a marvelously affirming “If I Had a Daughter,” & based on this poem one hopes he does someday.

A short night, but it keeps Albany WordFest going. Saint Poem is regularly at the UAG Gallery on Lark St. in Albany on the 3rd Monday of the month, 8PM start, R.M. Engelhardtthe usual host.

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