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, November 9, 2007

Good Night

First, thanks to Obie for linking the blog to the video Georgia took at the Social Justice Center.
Art passed out cards announcing a signing at Book House of Heart of the Matter, which he co-wrote with Marcia Greenberg about teaching - November 17 at 2 p.m. Art will send us directions to his house for the Willis Syndrome party on Dec. 2.

We have a new book of Robert Haas poetry in the collection and Mimi showed us Here, Bullet, written by a soldier who is in Iraq. Alan passed out a beautiful broadside with Cathy's fireworks poem. Also worthy of mention, the late Mr. Yeager was early. Dan was back. Joyce was there but is on her way to Europe again. (Do you detect a note of jealousy there?) Mike B. will be back today. It was a full house with 15.

I am offering a strong suggestion that we stop pointing out punctuation mistakes, for a couple of reasons. Punctuation errors are not vitally important unless the poem is being submitted for publication, in which case, the writer should be checking his own work before s/he sends it out. It wastes time during the meeting.

Everything went fairly smoothly as far as the critiques and conversation went. We seemed to be trying harder to offer positive reinforcement, which is good. It helped that we had a raft of good writing last night. I was not clock-watching and will continue to allow the talk to flow to a natural conclusion if possible, which should be better if everyone polices themselves. Not everyone has to speak after every poem.

Cathy, who happily made it through the whole meeting and looked lovely in a mauve-y sweater and beads, had a terrific poem about the man who mows her field. Joyce had a "four-star" work about Pavarotti. Philomena - good imagery, great line about "what is lost and found at the surface of flesh".

Beverly brought a moving work about tears which I didn't get a chance to comment on, but it spoke to me sharply - "peeling the layers of the onion of grief" (I think that was Dennis). The consenus was that Mimi's "lever" poem needed some trimming, but we (I personally) loved the content. BTW, she also brought an announcement of Pavoldi reading at the Schenectady Library on November 18 along with Miki Conn and David Kaczynski who I also recommend.

We had some masterpieces from the guys, too. I was practically jumping out of my seat because I loved Alan's Birdland Revisited - a "triumph" about Charlie Parker, the other Birdman. Alan commented that Dennis' Winter Wind was "rare", nothing but perfect meter, and it was a great favorite with all of us. We did note the similarity between his "tat-tat" and Obie's "knick-knack".

Our former stoner, Tim also got kudos for his economical language, (Tom, "excellent"; Art, "pure Kerouac"). Dennis made an interesting remark about novice poets offering multiple choices, i.e. many adjectives, more than one verb. I liked that. Art rather baffled a lot of us with a melifluous (did I spell that right?) offering about Why We Die.

Our American Keats Dan Lawlor did a great job with the content of A Young Boy's Literary Friends, citing many major works in kid lit. It was suggested he work on his meter. Our other rhymer, Mr. Y. contributed an excellent sonnet which included my favorite line "for she lies sleeping in my scribbled verse". Cathy compared him to Byron.

Paul's Footnotes of War inspired conversation about the subject matter (good). Suggested stanza breaks because of its density. Tom, whose toys were beckoning among the wine gnats, had a mood piece and the mood was sensuous according to Art, with sustained ambience. Mark did a good job with controlled rhyme in his poem, and had another line I loved "then stepped out of the gifting wrap you oftimes called your skin."

Mark (and I) also confessed to being Stephen King readers.

Spirited, spirited conversation flowed at Smitty's, along with supreme nachos, deluxe chicken wings, zesty fries, an extraordinary chef's salad and enough root beer, real beer and bloody Mary's to make us difficult to control. Kathy was rolling her eyes again.

We will be meeting on the 29th to make up for Thanksgiving. If I have forgotten anything, post a comment.


  1. ...Each of the images in the Youtube link are separate and different Videos. If you drag your mouse over the images and click on them you will then be able to watch both of them individually one at a time...

    OOOPS! was "one at a time" implied by the word "individually"?

    ...My-ya Cupola, My-ya Cupola, My-ya Cupola...

    I think thats Yiddish for "I'm sorry but I threw a snowball at your Weathervane and the Rooster along with your Calliope fell to the ground!"


  2. Anonymous11/13/2007

    Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa is from the Roman Catholic liturgy and means
    Through my fault, through my fault

    dan lawlor

  3. Anonymous11/10/2008

    Thanks for writing this.