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

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Ant, part II

Boy, it has been crazy around here, getting ready for our September festival (more about that to come), among other things. So, I'm finally back to finish last week's blob.

It was good to see Mr. Willis who has been vacationing without us. As usual, I learned something from his poem, called Definitions - that flarf has been used in poetry circles since c2000. It means,'s hard to define and I can't repeat the word Art used to describe it. I guess I can paraphrase: FLARF is poetry that rolls around in excrement and picks up anything. Paul called it airborne barf. Google calls it an avant garde poetry movement of the early 21st century, a edgy representation of our culture by poets and artists, exploration of the inappropriate, deliberately bad poetry, and more. Look it up if you care.

Mark wrote in a "bardic" genre, lyrical, singsong observations about aging. An interesting aspect of the poem was pointed out - the stanzas can be rearranged without loss of coherence. Very nice. Paul remarked about his own work Audition that "revisions don't arrive right away", which meant, I guess, that our suggestions, few that there are, have to be digested and considered carefully.Everyone wanted Joyce to remove the word "awesome" ("awesome is irksome" :)) from her quietly beautiful description of mist rising on Pyramid Lake.

Alan's Tour of John Roche's Poem 'Exchange' Art called "free association on the subject of money". It was a little beyond me, I admit. I don't even know John Roche. Rachel wrote of an old collie, a front porch and bike ride. We all liked it a lot. Good line: "the spit of dried dread on your lips." Dan Lawlor was back from his travels as well, with a good, cleanly written prayer called Wherefore God? which addressed some of the eternal questions. Dan was singing on Sunday at the 3rd Reformed Church.

On looking things over I'm voting for Mark for best line: "we cling to the trash and tinsel of our hides." Or maybe Tom's conceit as used as a substitute for salt. Or maybe Rachael's "what of your naked leg, all smooth calf and thigh..." Or Larry's blood returning softly, without apologies. Heck , I can't pick one.

Check out the announcement about Tom and the Justice Center, dinner first. Dennis is keeping a head count.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Ant

Here is my ant. Poor, lonely, lost and, as the subject of my poem, with the exception of Rachael and Joyce, totally misunderstood. The guys were out in left field somewhere. The poem was ambiguous, deliberately so, but was definitely not sarcastic or about the homeless. Btw, O'bee, a morning survey shows that either "past" or "passed" is correct depending on my intent. So, I guess I scored a miss with this one, although everyone liked my photo.
That reminds me, we had a surreptitious photographer in our midst last night, as demonstrated by the following photos:

Good job, mysterious photographer.

I guess I'll work backwards today, starting with Edie's "beatific and blissful"-ly maternal offering re Caesar and Petey, her cat and dog children, and a thunderstorm. It was one of her best and I particularly like it. I also learned that algid means cool.

For reasons not too clear to me, the always entertaining Mr. Williams ripped his poem in half before passing it. I really enjoyed this one, too, and Art called it brilliant. I found out later that even Jim's twelve-year-old realized it was about sex - "watermarks of bliss" (at the laundromat with the bedsheets). Aha, lots of bliss and choirs tonight. Another word I didn't really know - palimpsest.

Lots of opinions on Tom's conceit and the definition of the word. He repeated "My conceit" in the same position all down the one side of the page, and the pro and cons opined. I offered that I thought some of the conceits were clever and some less so and should be worked on. One of the really good ones was the first: my conceit can be used as a substitute for salt.

THE BODY: Jim was ready to steal this from Larry- at least his ideas; Philomena called it incredible and everybody seemed to find it pretty perfect. As for me, Larry lights up my life.

Tim wrote a "really gothic" (Paul) poem and Tom said he really nailed it. I was a little unclear about the status of the father - I thought he was dead. We wanted to eliminate the eyeballs and replace with simply "vibrant blue eyes". Other than that, it was quite a lovely work.

Philomena is a high maintenance kind of gal, we found. Rachael complimented her on her economy of words. It was a funny and timely poem with a good humorous ending.

Okay, I don't have time to finish blogging today, so I will post this and the rest on Monday. We had a real full house with 14 of us in attendance. In case anyone wondered why I disappeared from Smitty's, I boxed up my chicken wings to eat at home in order to avoid a couple of drunks I knew :)).

Remember Philomena's picnic this Sunday and the Arboretum tonight.

Monday, August 10, 2009

from Philomena

I am having a potluck/barbecue at my house (instead of Bozenkill) on
Sunday August 2pm. All poetry folk are welcome. Marian Ct. is off of Gun
Club Rd. which is off of Rt. 146 in Altamont - it is near the Altamont
Fair Grounds, there is a new SEFCU bank on the corner of Gun Club.
Marian Ct. is the first right after that. My drive way goes onto Gun
Club. and is the house right across from the Bozenkill park. I think it
is very light green in color but others differ. Please RSVP so we know
how much meat to barbecue.