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, May 15, 2009

The Deadline Looms

Art show masterpieces must be here before May 31. Tom and I will be hanging the show that day. Feel free to stop in and criticize. I'm joking. I thought O'Bee would be helping, but no! We are meeting again on May 28, if you want to bring your stuff then.

Congrats to Rachael who had a short story accepted for publication (for money!) and promised to share the address of a good website for submissions.

Several EOTNPs are reading at the Oriel Cafe at Philomena's church on the 15th - that's tonight - at 7 p.m. 405 Washington Ave, with good music and cafe food.

Reminder: Will Christman reading at Smitty's on June 1. On to this evening...

My nominations for best line/phrase of the night:
Philomena: Dislodge this hot rock from my throat
Rachael: ...he swears to love it longer than the cats will live.
O'Bee: he will never have enough of women's love.
Tim: ...reluctant little ponds
Jim: Now the muck and sponge of peat where once a forest stood...

Best entire poem (my opinion only!):
Tom's Screen Dump: In Perugia;Tim's Still Here; Alan's Rhea saved Zeus
Rhea saved Zeus, which began with a surprise gift to the monstrous Kronos, was a gift to all of us from Alan. He captured the mythical story in an airy and humorous poem we all enjoyed, and was kind enough to capsulize the tragic story for us as an addendum. Excellent stuff. I thought Screen Dump was clever and it carried me right along, but Art commented that it was in danger of becoming epigrammatic, which can be tedious, said his attention flagged. We talked about being an artist vs a craftsperson, but tabled the discussion for another occasion. Tim was complemented on both the story line and the presentation, with short, terse, Hemingway-like sentences and no -ing endings, which it seems no one likes much.

Musth - with an "h" - is "a state of violent frenzy occurring in rutting season in male elephants, accompanied by exudation of an oily substance from the eye and mouth glands." And that settles that - Professor Willis prevails, misspellings don't count. (Paul suggested substituting "elephant sex"). Tim remarked that it is still a bad odor, either must or musk, and Art wittily replied "Not to the elephants." I also looked up opprobrium. Oh, Tom wanted the poem broken into 4 stanzas is a good idea.

Tom had another good idea for Jim's work, which began with the Shakespearean-sounding line quoted above. Tom suggesting moving the first stanza to the end to solve a transition problem that Mark pointed out between stanza 1 and 2. Jim had some good alliteration in this Golfing in Northern Ireland saga in which he compared it to love, golfing and love both being psychoses. I mistook the 12D & E reference as apartment numbers rather than airplane seats.

Philomena wrote some terrific lines citing her desire to be a better person in Meditation on the St. Francis Prayer. We had to explain to Ms. Abrams, our little Jewish poet, who St. Francis was (the guy from Assisi who befriends animals, much like Edie does herself.) The Prayer is also a work worth reading.

Mr. Amidon, who will in the future be referred to as Paul Perfect, brought another faultless poem about Drought. I don't know what was the matter with everyone tonight, but we wasted a lot of time quibbling about verb tenses in a number of poems, including this one.

Edie claims to have heard Paul's voice as she was writing her Spring poem, which began with a recitation of green shades and a reference to the Hudson River School, and ended with she and Caesar stumping through the preserve. Nice one, despite more controversy over verb tenses.

Rachael told us she had halved her leather couch poem and it was still a work in progress. Not realizing this room/couch actually existed, I inadvertently insulted her interior decorating abilities - sorry, Rachael - and she likened poets to navel lint experts. We talked in general about what details to include, what details to leave out. Thanks, Mark, for LTD. I was not familiar with that phrase.

Great title nomination:
O'Bee's The events that were soon on top of him:
Neolethean - O'Bee's new river Styx. Love that. Alan mentioned that this reflection on women and aging was autobiographical and not only did we all agree, we all related. You "never have enough of women's love" (or men's either). Art helpfully contributed a line on "finding your body seeking friendship with gravity". Ha.

Who am I forgetting? Only myself, I guess, cause we ran out of time, but that's okay - after the critics flapping their jaws tonight, I need to check my verb tenses before I offer it for inspection.

A few photos follow. Good alliteration, Barbara.

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