Here we are...

...a group of Baby Boomers of sundry religious,
political and cultural orientations, who have been
meeting at the Voorheesville Public Library since 1991
to read and discuss each other's poems.

We include old fathers and young grandmothers,
artists and musicians, and run-of-the-mill eccentrics.
Writers are welcome to stop in and stay if they like us.

Some of Us

Some of Us
Dennis Sullivan, Beverly Osborne, Tom Corrado, Edie Abrams, Art Willis, Alan Casline (all seated); Paul Amidon, Mike Burke, Tim Verhaegen, Mark O'Brien, Barbara Vink, Philomena Moriarty

Friday, June 15, 2007

Yeah, right.

All praise and acclamation to Paul who made a hefty contribution (okay, I'm wincing) at the meeting last night. We now have a gavel that can lick its weight in poets and writers. We practiced a little with it (I allowed Mark to take a turn) and it works just fine.

Paul also gave us a good solid poem about tintypes which prompted a lot of conversation. I guess most of us have some and we all have the same thoughts about the people pictured - their lives, their fate, etc. In reference to the poem itself, Dennis made a valuable comment about being able to take out word connectors without damaging the essence of the work. I feel the same about adjectives, as Mimi does about adverbs, and Willow about exclamation points! I just purposely omitted the unneccessary descriptor "old" from in front of tintypes, as of course the nature of the tintype means that it is old.

The Red Menace also prompted discussion about how some of us feel inadequate when faced with a poem that includes literary references that are unfamiliar. His poem contains some magical lines for me about angels ("with a leg, a wing in every world" "to grow wings, will that make us angels"), but I am trying to disgest "angellein" and "pre-valence", words I was not familiar with. Willow suggested stanza breaks to make each idea stand apart.

Willow gave her audience a little rap on the knuckles with a witty presentation about the angel Gabriel trying to locate a virgin mother for Christ. Yeah, right. Dan Lawlor made a good rhyming poem about movie-watching on the couch. Alan was still in his Christman reverie and wrote a poem in half-Christman, half-Casline style which I can't quite describe. It was a lovely nature portrait but I found the structure and rhyme scheme of the poem disconcerting.

Obeedude was totally incomprehensible and if you missed it you will have to have him explain it to you. Something about making up the language. Check out his blog today, he does have a wonderful growler thing-y on it. Which reminds me, Alan's new broadside has Mark's growler poem on it.

Philomena had a popular offering about the erosion of relationships: "...I remember that perfect sunset and you the kind of car you drove..."

Personal pick of the week was a close call between Tim and Mimi, both of whom I thought were top notch. Tim continues to grow by giant steps and Mimi keeps fine tuning her already sensitive and funny voice. Tim was doing things his own way in a gay nightclub. Mimi wrote a stinging commentary on the "Pope Discredits the Theology of Limbo". Both winners.

It was a learning meeting for me as I picked up a few pointers. Oh, yeah, I had a quiet and simpleminded little poem about two Bambis beside the road. Made me feel like I didn't belong in the company of great thinkers either.

I am going home to write thank you notes in the rain.


  1. Anonymous6/15/2007

    I am so proud of the poetry in our group. The variety of poets and subjects is so motivating for me. Two meetings in a row Willow came out of left field for me with an angle on subjects I'd never dream of. Even the simplest form for Barbara succeeds. Theres always emotionality, clear vision and great language in her work. Mark always inspires me with his use of language. Alan's aura and approach to himself and writing is very calming,inspiring. Dennis the pope, I'm always wowed by his use of language, so prolific and focused on all his subjects. I always relate to Philomena's poetry, so I'm biased toward it every time. She is the coolest minister's wife I've ever known. I'm biased against Paul's nostalgia work every time. After the second read, he wins me over every time. I get to hear Mimi's work a lot. Her last poem was sensational. I really enjoy watching Mimi perform her work. She's grown so much in her oration. My Voorheesville mentors. I look forward to the poetry meetings very much.

  2. Anonymous7/07/2007

    Wait--that poem "Previously Unrecorded" is not about the scarcity of virgins but about the difficulty of finding a woman who actually believes that Gabriel has been sent to her from God. Nobody does until he accidently finds a very young innocent woman who has no idea to what she has agreed.
    Don't you think that's a far more original idea? Comments anyone?