Poetry + Prose, September 9

or as we like to call it 2nd Sunday at 2, into our 3rd year! Me & Nancy Klepsch (your hosts) & the fine collection of writers who show up to read. Nancy started us off with a poem she had just written, “Welcome,” & what better place to be than at the beginning:


 by Nancy Klepsch

Bring a sweater
It gets cold in here because
it’s hard to fund heat with grant money
Remember to help yourself to a glass
of wine or water Lauren stopped on the way and
placed it on the table to my left
Read two poems or five minutes of
prose that soars through this bright September
sky and ebbs and flows like the river right outside of our door
Hug each other
it’s been a rough year a good year the year all of our friends
over 50 lost their jobs the year I finally met a woman in her 70s to
introduce to Esther the year that I had 30 kids in each of my classes
Keep the front the door open
I missed you and the warm soft whisper of your words
and the entire Fuck family needs to pay me another visit because I left
some extra pizza in my refrigerator for them but it looked so good last night
at 3:00 a.m. that I ate it Fuck
My first client died this year
I did not know she was the one who taught
me how to help and I don’t think she ever really lived one day
at all but they found all of my letters around her house I kept her number
Delete the cell phone numbers of
your ex-best friend your ex-wife and your way-ward son because
the poets have come to town and somewhere along this road
you took a break from all of it to say
a few words or one long poem to the shit heads that run our
Congress the angry white guys who want a government small
enough to fit into my vagina the Nay Sayers
I’m so tired of being tired that I got up early this morning to tell you
welcome rest say here we will be okay and
some of our fallen will not only walk but
will run marathons long before I do because
you me and the crazy cat that now lives in my basement
we belong
we gotta right to be here so when you
sit back in the plastic chair with the crack in it
move over take a more comfortable seat
it’s got your name on it it’s your turn to read and
I’m so damn glad you’re here

George Guarino was involved in the local music scene here as a journalist many years ago & now, among other things, is a clinical hypnotist, so his piece this afternoon, “Creative Space for Learning,” was like an introduction into the hypnotic process, using his training in his performance. Joe Krausman‘s poems were on the theme of death & aging & writing (remember: always bring a pen). Howard Kogan also confronted Death, with “Caregiver at the Funeral” & “The Dead on FaceBook,” & wondered who he was in “Celebrity.” Harvey Havel read a quirky piece about a teenage romance & parakeets. David Wolcott‘s exerpt from his on-going memoirs was titled “The Solar Roller,” from 1978, promoting solar energy. Bob Sharkey‘s first piece was the confrontation of one’s high school past in a current a sporting goods store, then an odd sci-fi (?) piece “Curtains.” I read 3 short pieces written over the Summer, “The Meaning of Roses,” “A Note to Tom,” & “Alcoholism.” Tim Verhaegan‘s was a re-worked, poetic memoir about trying to get to work, “1981.”

A new face/new voice was Aleister Mraz who began with a series of titles (like “Animal Poem #2” or “Human Poem #1) followed by a short phrase or sentence, then on to a longer piece about the dead, “I Want My Grandfather’s Bones Back.” Ron Drummond has been coming to these readings since the beginning, usually with sci-fi based fiction or the occasional philosophical musings, today he stunned us with a beautiful a cappella love song; he has a deep, sonorous reading voice which worked well here as a singing voice too in the Arts Center black box theater.

We are here on, like I said, the 2nd Sunday at 2PM, in the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St., Troy, NY, for prose, for poetry, any written word, for free. Join us.