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, July 24, 2009


A sarabande is a dance of Spanish origins dating back to the 1500s. It is the title of Tom's poem, which I will be saving forever because it references my attention-getting fall at the arboretum and my aspirations to become a tattoo artist. Thank you, Mr. C.

We were tres heureux (so there, all you language droppers) to welcome Stacy back after a long hiatus. She has new curly hair and brought a very good poem. Brief, in lines and words. Wave - "frozen in an impossible arc of time". Nice.

Jim was here - is soccer season over? - with a political statement about living in the suburbs (of Delmar). Included some good rhymes and a few bad ones which can be easily fixed. Tim, by the way, thought Midas was only a muffler shop, but I won't laugh because he brought me a beautiful sweatshirt jacket from Cape Cod and I love him.

Tim's poem oozed sensuality with his description of men playing baseball. It was so rich in detail we marveled that he could have observed so much during a traffic stop. Thought it might be tightened up by the elimination of the fourth verse; Stacy suggested expanding to story form.

Who was "The Iron Horse of Baseball"? In fifth grade we were playing King of the Hill in class one Friday. I was in the hot seat, and had been for a long time, when Bobby Bergman, the most gorgeous boy in the whole elementary school, raised his hand, drilled me with his blue, blue eyes, asked me that question. I had just finished a biography of this guy and knew the answer as well as I knew my own name. Somehow the gaze from those eyes dried my throat up like the Sahara and my brain as well, and I just sat there with my mouth gaping open while Bobby Bergman took my chair. 50 years later it is still one of the great humiliations of my life.

Which brings me in a roundabout way to Philomena's poem about going to blackboard and besting some bright boy with a right answer a girl should not know. It was a good statement about audience which needed some tweaking. Mark made an appropriate remark about the ability to go "pfft" - he had better sound effects - at the not good stuff and lose it when you need to. Oh, yeah, Philomena's artwork is still in my office from the exhibit, and the Iron Horse was Lou Gehrig.

Mark's poem had my best line of the night: "opening great veins and white rivers to its soul. " He then taught us the typography tip of squinting your eyes at a page of text and finding the white rivers. I loved it.

We talked a little about Paul's habit of writing with no stanza breaks. Generally his work is short (this one is 19 lines) and so economical with words that there is no need for breaks. The topic of junk spurred some conversation and the suggestion that the title might be changed to Junkman instead of Junkyard as it was really a character study of the man not the location.

Joyce broke my heart with Life Measured in Cat Time, which was Cleo's obituary. Very nicely done. It was rather like prose written in poetic sentences and our only suggestion was to try a rewrite into a more traditional poem form.

Larry's Confessional Poem is walking away with My Favorite of the Night. It was laden with unacceptable-in-polite-society language and references, but totally, hysterically funny and I love it. I had no poem, having been embracing my arty self recently. Alan had no poem because he misunderstood the directions.

At the beginning of the meeting, we exchanged our inspirational trinkets to write about for August 27. Tom and Larry both brought safety pins. What does that mean?

No comments:

Post a Comment