Sans Barbara, Sans Gavel, Sans Women ... Almost!!!
Without Beverly, it would have been Guys Night Out! No telling where it would have ended. Certainly not Smitty’s! The bowels of Watervliet? Who knows! So where were the women? And who’s Beverly? The women didn’t show! Mayhaps because Barb, out on big time bronchitis-leave (Be well, Barb!), had warned them that Der Fuehrer (moi) would be in change. And Beverly? None other than our newest member; hailing from Albany by way of Tribes Hill. She’d browsed this blog, and, voila, appeared! Introductions, a quick look at the RULES, and we were off and reading! Beverly’s Right of Passage, which some felt was actually two poems, spoke of her chubby five-year-old self and her brother and sister. Oddly enough, no one asked Beverly why Right was right, and not Rite. Dennis, however, did have a problem with underwear, not his, or Beverly’s, but Gram’s and Grampa’s, insisting that old people’s undergarments are best disclosed as drawers. Welcome, Beverly! Alan presented an alangory titled The Three Sisters, a riff on three sisters, three golden apples, the threes of life. Short lines, innovative rhyme schemes. Bravo! Obeedude took issue with issue, departing from his colloquial tongue of late, and laying out a tender snapshot of baptizing his baby girl! Presumptive perhaps - a la Dennis - but very well done! Tim, champing at the bit to head off to P-town for an extended weekend, did justice to a War Rant, and the cruel, despicable irony of war, however cloaked. There’s always been war. Top-notch performance peace! Dan conjured the mood of Edgar Poe’s Lenore (at least for me) with his well-wrought Romeo at Juliet’s Tomb. Captivating musicality. He really nailed it! Steeplechase Park, Coney Island, Paul’s contribution, replayed a newsreel of a faded, peeling park, and a memory of a steeplechase ride which kept its strength hidden / until it knew it was all / that was left. Superb! Paul also stepped in to rescue my Flash Fiction, a brief journey into one my sanctums, from the land of bicycles by transforming pedals into petals! Thanks, Paul! Readers shouldn’t be given multiple choices was a point well-paraphrased by Dennis-the-Red-Menace’s invocation of Shelly’s 1819 Defense of Poetry, before launching into his Fifteen Rules For Living Sanely, a reworking of a piece he had open-mic’d in July at Albany’s Social Justice Center. A cool, erudite, edgy, entertaining list of rules written for (I believe) a 13-year-old friend of his, it displayed his usual panorama of juxtaposing images and education, reminding me, at least, of the list, which, mis-attributed to the late, great Kurt Vonnegut, toured the commencement address circuit a few years ago. All good stuff! And with time to spare before the library’s 9 PM closing! Then it was off to Smit’s where, amid Bloody Mary’s avec sidecars, Black and Tans, some weird concoction that Alan found a recipe for in an old copy of Pilgrim’s Progress, tried and true chilled mugs of Bud Lite, medium wings, burgers, Deutchedogs, Kraut, and American wannabes, the discussion got sidetracked - thanks to Kathy-of-wait-staff-fame - into ghosts and witches and Dennis who goes bump in the night. The tab for $100 muted the raucousness. We became the Society of Dead Poets! We reached into our threadbare pockets. Obeedude jumped up on a chair; Dennis upped his pontifications; Beverly sat wide-eyed (She won’t be back!); Alan ended up putting in $35 (Hey, we’re poets not mathematicians!); I grabbed a Metroland, and ran to Pheasant Run, just as the Sheriff of Nottingham arrived on the scene! Yes, it was poetic!
Addendum from the Blog Goddess:
Good work, Commandant. I am glad to hear that Beverly showed up (she emailed me several weeks ago) and I hope you rowdy boys didn't frighten her. I am feeling better. I have one of those breath-y machines which seems to working on my cough and I will be back at work on Monday. I am sorry to have missed the festivities.
Aside to tHom - I couldn't open the attachment because I can't access anything in MS Word, but was able to copy and paste. Thanks for taking over. Did you have to gavel anyone, or did everything just go to pieces?