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

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Two new guys and one old one

Well, old in the sense that we had not seen much of him all summer. Beach Boy Burke made an appearance, as well as two visitors. Michael Whelan, a loooongtime friend of Dennis', was here from D.C. and had a great poem about the collapse of the Towers, a subject he had personal acquaintance with. Terrific title: Before the Fire Fell

The other guest was Jerry Seminary, who may turn out to be a regular. He is a Viet Nam veteran who pulled off a good rhyming poem heavy with meaning. Fort Hood, Texas: why was the Army band playing a jaunty "Georgie Girl" as it sent the young recruits off to be killed? Obieduid pointed out the emptiness in the lyrics of that particular song.

The group would have consisted of ten men and me if Edie had not shown up with Life, a poem which brought out some strong differences in opinion; some of the guys considered it victorian, archaic and stilted, too flowery. Mr. Willis thought it witty, sensual and feminine.

We all agreed that Art had one especially great verse about an old woman being "knocked down among the rocks on Mount Battie by a stout eighth grade girl..."

Markle was fresh off the ship from the Old Sod and immersed in the Ulster Scots dialect, which none of us understand well. He did print on lovely sea paper and it could have been song lyrics.

Paul took a political slant with Election, consisting of "pranksters, promises... rich with tricks, treats...words on the wind". Good stuff.

Alan's Hidden Valley was an experiment in combining Native American and Asian culture with another tale of Grandfather Carp that we agree could have been tightened up.

I noted strong similarities between portions of Dennis' Morning Prayer and scriptural verses. "Thus the very sins I condemn, I bury in my self...". It was certainly not a serene poem, but one of self examination.

Mike B. observed passing a church when a funeral was being held, with his New York Times and his sausage and egg on a hardroll, everyone going on with their everyday lives.

Tom's long work reflected a lot of Provincetown and was compared to a John Updike novel. Why did I write down Mary Poppins and was Art sleeping?

Tim "Showed and Telled" with a photo of his studly body xeroxed next to his poem The Stud, which brought up questions of audience and who we are all addressing our work to. (I write for myself most of the time.) The Stud contained what might be interpreted as insider information for a gay audience.

It was a bit of a rush to get all in before 9 p.m. Whole crew went to Smit's.

Oh, I almost forgot me. I wrote about my catalpa tree and memories of my father as the first anniversary of his death approaches. It seemed to strike a chord with several people. Tom made an interesting suggestion for rearranging lines.

Sorry to have missed Larry and Tom on Sunday, but I was chaperoning the Skip Parsons concert here at the library. It was a great concert and had a big audience so I didn't get out until almost five o'clock.

Yes, we can have a Fifth Thursday meeting on Oct. 30. I booked the room for us. Happy Halloween if I don't see you. I am wearing my spider hair ornament today.

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