Tim Verhaegen

Poetry + Prose Open Mic, June 10

The final gathering of the season, before we take a teacherly break during July & August, on a Summer-like day of 2 parades — Albany’s Gay Pride Parade & Troy’s Flag-Day Parade, you might say Albany knocked the “L” out of Troy’s parade.

It was fitting that most of the readers were folks who had read variously throughout the year & equally fitting that there was a also first-timer present. My co-host was out celebrating, I’m sure, & I was pleased to end the season with such a group of my poetry friends.

Erik was new here, quiet, read 3 contemplative poems that I want to hear again, to follow, to hear more of. Hope he wasn’t put off by our shenanigans. Carolee Sherwood, who hasn’t been here in a few months, read 2 new poems from this week, “Venus in Transit” & “On the Mend,” both to be found on her new Blog site.  Bob Sharkey shared some notes/pieces from his new 2-year project to record all references he hears to the word “race” in all its denotations & connotations, what he is calling now “The 26th of February Project” — expect more, & more & more.

Tim Verhaegen read a long prose piece (“it’s all true”) tracing a trajectory from a picnic & his task to report all gossip back to his friend Libby, to his friends’ illness & his sympathetic pain, his hyper-vigilance & circling back again. David Wolcott took us aboard his father’s (now his) sailboat, The Mistress, on Lake Champlain & a meditation on history, about “Split Rock.” I read my new piece “The Transit of Venus,” my letter to the editor of the Times-Union “Washington Park Flowers,” & the convoluted “The Poet Listening.”

Ron Drummond, a writer of science-fiction & philosophical/scientific prose has been a main-stay of this series & last month had wanted to claim the “Last Reader” position, but was elbowed out, so it was fitting that on this last of the series he was the “last reader.” Joking about his “6-eyes” he began with his most recent bio, certainly too long for a real journal blurb but entertaining, then on to selections from his longer piece “13 Improvisations.”

This series for writers of prose & poetry will continue on September 9 on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 2PM at the Arts Center of the Capital Region265 River St., Troy, NY — Free!