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, October 10, 2008

When Worlds Collide

Okay, I may be a little dramatic, but an enjoyable crossover happened this week, as philosophers met poets, with both meetings on the same night. I sat in on the last five minutes of the philosophy and found it pretty heated. Good going. I wish I had the energy to attend more often.

At everyone's suggestion, I will attempt to create a calendar here on the blog with poetry events you submit to me. As there are various other calendars available, I will only use listings which involve EOTNP members in some fashion.

As you all have probably heard, Obeedude arrived in Ireland (thankfully with no stroke, heart attack or other stress-induced ailment). Now for the meeting...

I'll start at the end as Dennis wow-ed us with the last poem of the evening, perhaps his most accessible to the rest of us ever. It was "A Godly Plan" with a strong flow, some unusual-for-Dennis repetition, not a single unfamiliar word. A bit of confusion over the word "liver" - as in one who lives, not the slimy organ. Most popular line: an orphaned bundle on the porch. Dennis was present in the poem as "yes, me, who walks likes Moses parting seas" - how Dennis-y.

Tom's poem prompted a spate of conversation, as his poems never do. This one seemed to strike a chord. I liked the title and am thinking of writing about it: The World According to (Your Name Here). Tom spoke of Ezra Pound as his inspiration and I am also going to look at Pound further as it sounds like he was a terrific character and I don't know a lot about him. Art, Dennis and Alan all referred to the poem as reminiscent of the beats, "beyond existential", flavored with Gregory Corso, Kerouac, etc. To me, it was merely another of Tom's mysteriously challenging events and, altho I asked, I am still not sure what made this one different.

Okay, I'd better write faster.

Mimi: North Carolina Morning, I liked the title. Great bird characterization - "blusterer" was a wonderful description, altho difficult to speak. Mimi shared the underlying meaning of the poem which wasn't, and didn't need to be, apparent. Btw, in my world bird have knees.

Letting Go from Philomena was a series of short verses all referring back to the title, not connected to each other which (duh) I didn't get until it was explained to me. Alan suggested asterisks between stanzas to make it clear. Philomena used Obie's word "cocoon", which seemed unfair seeing that he was not here to listen to it.

Opining from my own experience, Stacie was right on the money again with her library story of quibbling over new chairs, and took very little criticism. We also could find no fault with Art, altho My Sweet Crab began with a very colorful reference to castration found in Deuteronomy. Did anyone else see the PBS special on the Aztecs and the Spaniards this week?

Dennis remarked favorably on Dan's growth as a poet, whose I'm Out of Touch poem needed some tightening up, but was full of good imagery. Dennis also repeated his enthusiasm for Paul compiling a chapbook; someone suggesting the title of 25 Pictures of Days Gone By. Alan said it would appear as an autobiography of Paul as a juvenile delinquent. We talked about the efficacy of using first or third person.

Last up (actually, first up) was Alan who set up an interesting battle between the ancient carved warriors of Japan and the cheap plastic toys belonging to father and son respectively. Good mix of dialogue and narration, and a leap in form and subject for Alan. There was some debate about cutting and rearranging.

I am now going to work on our new calendar, and will also post your events on the VPL online calendar for the public.

Oh, I almost forgot - I will be guest-hosting Lifelines for Cathy on October 16 and would love to have some of you join me with a short prose piece. How about it? 6:30 p.m.

And - Larry is the featured reader at Sunday Four on the 26th. It is the same day as the VPL Fall Concert so I have to be here, but you should all go! If you prefer Dixieland Jazz, come VPL to hear Skip Parsons.

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