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, July 27, 2007

The Bad Boys Blog

Can't get that song out of my head now.

Okay, tt seemed to work having the person to the left of the writer automatically be the person to do the second reading. Let's keep doing that.

Paul proposed that instead of taking the three-week hiatus when it occurs, we use that 5th Thursday for an extra meeting. This would, incidentally, take care of our holiday conflicts when we miss meetings on Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is up for a vote - opinions, anyone?

I am updating the "class list" - I have Dan's information and a couple of email changes. Anyone else have anything?

I have not yet talked to Mimi as I believe she is still at Pyramid Lake. There are a couple of people absent for the next meeting (The Red Menace is one), so I will ask her about another date to go her house. Nobody wanted to miss it.

Philomena was back after an absence and Ally can't seem to stay away even though she keeps threatening to do so. (She and Edie were both lovely in pink.) Philomena got in a nice dig at you-know-who (the "leaderofthe freeworld") with Pigeon Droppings. Ally presented her hero husband as a 19-year-old WWII pilot in the Pacific. We agreed that "kill" is a good word. I brought a show'n'tell photo of a child I met over the weekend and a commentary on seeing beneath the skin. Dennis had the best title of the night with When You Bow Your Head To Die. I want to write one with the same title.

Oh, gosh, Dennis, I just stopped to look at your other poems from last night and found the best one you have EVER WRITTEN! I command everyone to read The Presence of God (on his third page). We must workshop this. Dennis, why didn't you choose it for last night? Was this a test to see if we really read what you bring?

Tom and Obee and Paul got gaveled for chatting when someone else was commenting. I thought it was just Paul and Obee, but they insisted it was Tom's fault. Paul received a few suggestions for increasing the impact of his Highway Incident - a dramatic occurance that might have been made more so with a few changes. Mark had an unusual format to his ...Lament of a Simple Minded Christian and it was amusing and sad and autobiographical. I liked it a lot. It is curious that Dan has inspired some rhyming verse from the rest of us.

Bad Boy Tom (or should I say Deaf Boy Tom) wrote On His Partial Deafness (my favorite of the evening). He read it last week at Social Justice, so some of us had a preview. It is a performance piece and he performs it perfectly. Also a good second read by Mark.

Tim did a hilarious update of his mother rampaging through the house and neighborhood. Tom suggested trying it as a prose poem, no paragraphs. I was busy paring it down. Great material either way.

Alan offered A Design on Your Attention, a reflection on linoleum slicing. Make your own metaphor. Alan, I liked it and the poem which begins on your opposite page, too. Lastly, Mr. Lawlor, who says his life is music, had a perfect verse to start off What is Music? "...the melody of dreams that lovers keep..." Sweet and well written.

Lively conversation followed at Smitty's, all ten of us engaged with our seating companions. General question posed by Dennis regarding my experience with Moses about my white Bible. I think I "won" in the opinion poll. Lots of wings consumed.


  1. Anonymous7/28/2007

    Dear Blogmaster,(Mistress?)
    tHom could not have possibly been involved in the talking-at-the-wrong-time incident with O'Bee & Paul. tHom is a patron saint and therefore can do no wrong. I know how obvious this is, but sorry folks, I just love tHom! My age gives me permission to say what I think -- finally.

  2. Anonymous7/30/2007

    I can assure anyone who is interested (which may be a limited number) that what Mark and I were talking about was of earth-shattering importance, poetic consultation of the first magnitude, wisdom for the ages, etc., etc. I forget what it was just now, but it had to be prime. Maybe. Maybe not. Anyway, I don't remember if Tom had anything to say, as I was too busy talking to Mark. Until the gavel hitting the table nearly jolted me out of my socks, that is.


  3. Anonymous7/30/2007

    What I found so pleasing about our poets get-together at Smitty’s Thursday was the wonderful buzz our conversation had.

    Everywhere I looked I saw folks engaged as if they were solving the problem of metaphor or speaking of a lover they left behind at a rest stop on the Thruway one year in their past.

    I mentioned this to Barb and then I set up a jury to hear a case she felt I had mis-judged. The verdict was 2-0 in her favor.

    Sometimes when we discuss the poems of each other, I see that we get a bit caught up—is that too itchy an adjective?—in the politics of the poem, its political or economic contents and lose focus on the poetic issues.

    One of the points of discussion among Tim, Cathy, Barb, Alan, Edie, and myself was: would you sell out eternity for a price? I had mentioned $50 million in my poem and to our surprise Tim shouted Sold!

    One of our colleagues shot back: What! Remember we are talking about eternity here? You want to poll the audience, call a friend?

    That question is so interesting especially with people new to me who maybe think I have a price. Old friends long know it’s red ants in the eye first but then again maybe I’d be over to the Xanax [sp?] tent in a few minutes for relief. Maybe better.

    What is so amazing about our little group so far—pour moi or pour me a martini—is that despite the levels of consciousness and talent, every person I can see and have met is trying to tell a true story and for me that is cooly metamorphic.

    Off to edit my first poem again, 20 times since Thursday. I wonder if there will be an end. If there is I will not rush to it.


    PS: wrote this on the 27th but it did not seem to make the issue.

  4. I believe what Tom was saying,
    If I'm not mistaken,
    I can't really remember right now...
    Its an age thing I guess...
    Oh Yeah! THATS IT!
    Tom said: "What did you say?"
    "I can't hear anything over Barbs gavel...."