Poets Speak Loud!, April 30

So the center tables in the back room of McGeary’s has become the place where AlbanyPoets (or Albany poets) gather with our drinks & food as we wait for the open mic to begin. There is lots of room & even if you are a poetry virgin, if there is an empty seat you can sit there. Of course there are other tables & booths to cluster at as well. I’ve never heard anyone say, “you can’t sit here,” we’re just not like that. So when a couple of poetry virgins wandered in this night they joined the shenanigans at the table as if they had already been here.

Chris McGoff

With Mother Mary Panza as the host, the first of the night’s virgins was Adam Gorman with a reading of “The Dr. Seuss Bible” from the Canadian sketch comedy group The Kids in the Hall. I followed with 2 “seasonal” pieces, “Crane Alley” (for May Day) & “Mothers’ Day.” The second of the night’s virgins was Chris McGoff with the quite literary “Preposition” based on the poetry of Louis Zukofsky. Tess Lecuyer read 2 poems from her 1993 chapbook, Loping Through the Fields of Abandon, “The Woman Who Smelled Like the Flowers of Death” & “A Glove and a Glass Brick to See Through.” Joe Krausman read his poem titled like breakfast “Bacon & Eggs,” then another that provided the excellent advice to never wash a hedgehog.

The 3-times Slam winner Elizag (Elizabeth Gordon) was the featured poet with a selection of all new poems on a variety of themes & topics, read from her notebooks, such as poems to her students (“Advice I Can’t Give My Students,” etc.), & a untitled Autumn piece that included fly fishing. There was also the “Slamery” (her term) poem “Late Night Phone Call to My Ex,” & a string of poems about living in Cohoes, such as “The Cats of Cohoes,” “Above the Harmony Mills Condos,” “I ask Questions of the One Left” (on racism) & others, ending with the poem “Scientist.” Elizag is a harsh & probing critic of our political/social scene, the kind of poet who fits well in the slam scene, but can also liven up the more mundane open mics.

Emily Gonzalez is back in town with 2 “just written” poems, including one on love & loss, humbly title “Just a Poem.” Avery read a Billy Collins poem, then one about camping with his son in 24 degree weather, “Camping with Fox.” Poetic Visionz performed a piece about history & Time & elders passing down the stories, & another piece titled “Money.” Kevin Peterson was the night’s last poet, with a list poem from an old notebook, “Self-Portrait,” & the 2-part “A Shitty Night’s Sleep.”

Another night at McGeary’s, which, if you weren’t there, you missed it. Usually on the last Monday of the month, in May we will gather on May 21 (a week early) to avoid the Memorial Day holiday. Check the listings on AlbanyPoets.com.