Poetry and Prose

Poetry + Prose Open Mic, May 13

Back on our regular day, the 2nd Sunday, at the Arts Center in Troy, me & Nancy Klepsch your hosts. It being Mothers’ Day there were some pieces on that theme, but in general a wide-ranging open mic like we are used to.

No one signed up in the first slot so I took it & read Julia Ward Howe’s 1870 Mothers’ Day Proclamation, then my own “Mothers Day Meditation,” both anti-war statements.

Harvey Havel had a strange, untitled prose piece about a coup by a pitt bull in a nation of dogs (with this great line, “with approval the audience barked like mad”). Brett Axel has just had a children’s book published, Goblinheart: A Fairy Tale, but his poems circled around his mother, the very short “Red Paint,” “My Mother Became an Artist…” (painting pictures with mercurochrome), “Mother” (as an invalid), & “Birthday.” Tim Verhaegen is known for his poems about his family & included one for his mother, “Is She Crazy or Just Plain Mean?” but began & ended with rants, one about “writers who don’t write” & the other a list culled from the news about heroes, some ironic, some not. Howard Kogan began with “This Dream” then the tender, chilling account of his mother’s family stuck in Poland in “The Great War.”

A new reader, all the way from across state lines, was Naomi Bindman, beginning with an older poem “Spring Waking,” then touching on the day’s theme with “In Praise of my Daughter’s Navel,” & the sad, & tender “Run Over;” “Fallen” was a love poem & she ended with “Invisible.” My co-host, Nancy Klepsch, hadn’t signed up to read, but before she announced the next-to-last reader “stole a moment” (as she put it) to pay tribute to a teacher from high school who was her “poetry mother,” Nancy Fagan. Ron Drummond spent some time rattling his papers before he launched into the end of his piece he had read excerpts from previously, “The First Woman on Mars.” Trina Porte ended up as the last reader of the afternoon (after a battle over who would be the last reader) with the graphic description of a hospitalized person, “Inpatient” then a piece whose title I think was “Rose.” And that was the end.

This series continues next month on the 2nd Sunday at 2:00 PM at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St., Troy, NY — free! & open to writers of prose & poetry.