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 29, 2009

The Great Honkers Mystery

I am naming names: Paul, Mike B., Kathy and Cathy, Tim and Jim, Art and Dennis, and taking numbers, whatever that means, of those of you who have not shown up with artwork yet. Edie and Obee have contacted me and made arrangements, but I am expecting the DELINQUENTS to drop work off before Sunday when the show goes up. Thanks, Moriartys and Alan, for being so prompt. I am particularly impressed with Alan's great effort with Chutes and Ladders.

I passed out invitations to be taken to friends and rels for the show reception here on June 18. Ask me for some. We will have refreshments between 6 - 8 p.m. and hang around to impress the art critics who will be swarming to review our exhibit. Wearing black is de riguer and cigarette holders are acceptable as long as they are not holding actual cigarettes.

The Moriarty girls seem to be thinking along similar lines if their poems were any indication. Philomena wrote about "her" saint - Philomena, of course - guarding the gates of her womanhood. It was an assault on the universal theme of the value of female chastity. Paul suggested reversing the final two verses, which was a good idea. The intrusion of the saint made it a little confusing and someone suggested a title change to what worth woman. Mimi wrote a prose poem about women taking charge of their sexuality, also with "gate" references. Weird coincidence. Mimi's ended on a triumphant note and a laugh.

Strangely, Paul Perfect's Gold Star Mother took a little heat last night, with some wanting lines to be eliminated. It was powerful subject matter and, as usual, Paul stuck to his Big Berthas.

Alan must have expended all his creative energy on painting because his poetic efforts were a little on the lazy side: LAST LINES OF THE POETRY GROUP ON THE FOURTH THURSDAY IN MAY by The Every Other Thursday Night Poetry Group. The poem was not much longer than the title.

We entertained (at least I think we did) another Alan in the person of first-timer Alan Siegel. He jumped right in and took our criticism of his poem with good humor. It was another philosophical concept womb poem with some good lines, but some glaring faults which detracted from it the message. (written in all caps, quotation marks, underlines). Mimi reminded us all: "It doesn't matter if you know what you mean if you are not communicating it to the audience." Best advice.

Ally Cat communicated very well with Toxic Silence, about a 14 year-old boy who was shielded from his father's illness and subsequent death and the effect it had on his whole life.

Tim presented a clean, powerful poem we all liked. It turned out that we did not get the message from it that Tim intended, but the audience felt it was very effective with the message we heard. Good controlled repetition, Mimi suggested couplets. Tim thought he should write another version.

I dragged out a poem I had written in April that I wasn't crazy about but people pretended to like it. Called it Leaving Without Luggage re my father's death. In response to a query I just said I thought it was not bad, but mediocre. I still think so.

Okay, on to the honkers debate. To sum up, Obee used the word in a great poem - "upon my honkers as I lie" - and refused to tell us what it meant, so we all guessed and I promised to look it up. I guessed "butt" but Merriam-Webster said "nose". Today Obee caved and told me look in a neat site called the urban dictionary, where it describes honkers as haunches, which is close to butt, and also something Alan mentioned. Now I have forgotten how it was used in the poem, but the mystery part is put to rest. The poem, called Travelers, read like a prayer or a lullaby and we liked "dipping (the) ladle into sleep."

On to the news and gossip: Mimi asked that I report that HVWG is having a picnic on Sunday afternoon, August 2, in the Paint Mine area of Thacher Park. It is a "bring a dish to pass" type party and it sounds like fun to me. Details to come. Also, remember poetry extravaganza on June 1 at Smitty's. Larry's philosophers meet June 4. Lifelines is on vacaton until September. There was a good turnout for Sunday Four and Mimi is the feature in June.

Tom is out of town, the Beach Boy has moved to the lake, and Obee just called with news of a computer disaster. I have a headache, if anyone cares.

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