I hadn’t been to this venue in many months, & certainly not since Kevin Peterson took over the duties as host, not because of any particular reason, just a string of conflicts. This is one of the few (only) music & poetry open mics that I do go to, mainly because there is usually a strong contingent of poets to stand up to the guitar tuners. In fact, tonight, there was only 1 music group, regulars who help keep this venue alive.
Emily Gonzalez was the first poet up, with a decidedly urban piece about a woman going to rehab, “Hey Girl.” The music tonight was 2 guys from “the Normanskill Saxons” spending time tuning, selecting the right key harmonica, then a series of pleasant, toe-tapping improvisations (including a “solo,” with guitar accompaniment). I was up next with 3 very recent poems from my equally recent visit to Cape Cod — “The Transit of Venus,” the related “Transits,” & a spin-off/pastiche of Lewis Carroll, “Not the Walrus & the Carpenter.”
Part way through the event a little girl & her Dad & Mom wandered in & wondered what was going on, & were non-plussed when we told them it was an open mic. In fact, Dad, who said his name was Geo (or G.O., whatever) said he would read if someone could find him something to read. Carissa offered her old service manual for a VW Rabbitt, from which he read a short selection, such poetry these technical writers write, then Kevin offered up an iPad with “In the Curve” by the Avett Brothers. Geo(G.O.) was a good sport.
The final poet was Avery starting with a piece about life as dance (as Hakim Bey says, “Dance ’til you calcify”), then a description of his basement apartment as “The Mold Palace,” a piece from 1998 “The Skidder,” & his love poem to his chain saw, “My Gleaming Weapon.” From then on the evening broke down to paying our checks & marginal card game in which everyone seemed to be a loser. I just watched.
Professor Java’s Wide Open Mic is on the 2nd Monday of each month at 8PM at Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary on Wolf Rd. in Colonie NY, sponsored by AlbanyPoets.com.