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, September 28, 2009

Two Blobs in One

I begin with Benevolent Bird's beautiful homage to the ghost bird heron, white wings, crescendo in a strange clear light. It was a mellifluous masterpiece.

Cap'n O'Sullivan captured me immediately with the wonderful title - My Mind I Traded for the Moon.* As I mentioned, it brought to mind the illustratons from my Childcraft books, of stars and fairies in the moonlight, golden apples, downy beds. It also gave me what I thought was a glimpse into an aspect of Dennis I hadn't seen before. Just an opinion.

Dennis joined us just in time to hear Obeeduid's poem with him in the title, appearing at 2:44 a.m., carrying a little red basket filled with broccoli and, what else, Guinness.

Speaking of green vegetables, someone suggested an old growth of asparagus, rhubarb or roses would add specificity to Paul's description of the abandoned farm returning to nature. The marble jar in the yard was a great touch.

Tim's poem generated much conversation, as usual. A nearly-abandoned building, inhabited with the remains of a couple, one long gone, one almost gone. We debated line breaks and adjectives, the "rule" being: if you have to use two (adjectives), neither is good. And no multiple choices for the reader. Pick one and stick with it.

Edie's work called Courage was a hit, one of her very best, it "rises to a level of serious poetry".

Art opined that "profound observations were embedded in" Larry's poem No Hope or Crosby. Syntactically speaking (Larry says) I am continuously bumping into myself. Also, on the road to enlightenment, the first step is peanut butter - which with I emphaticaly concur.

Jim Williams wrote a tercet, appropriately called Tercet. It contained "katabasis", which is now on my list of words to look up. (I have a short list after every meeting. ) The poem was very powerful and Jim related the story for us of Hera, Zeus, Pan and Xion's wheel. I liked this: Pray, do tell the hanging man how of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

Philomena incorporated a segment of her job into her poem about talking with a parole officer: righteous indignation teeth clench, holding on to the knob of argument's door.

Art addressed a problem that all of us face at times in our writing lives: I've been barren of late, waiting for Prattle's fuller notes. Know full well what prattle means, I foolishly waited for someone to explain to me who Prattle was, thinking perhaps he was a famous philosopher or a colonel in the game of Clue. Sigh.

I redeemed my stupidity with a good poem, tho, that Dennis thought was "marketable". Marvelous mood, gently mocking, were comments on Protest Rally - the protest being the leaves leaving the trees.

So, it was a strong turnout, with Art bringing a friend named Dick, who seemed to enjoy us, but may live too far away to become a regular visitor.

Between September 10 and 24, many of us attended Tom's feature at the Justice Center. He pulled off a really great stunt, flipping through page after page of his own poems and reading just one line from each. Very effective technique, particularly in Tom's style. Dinner first at Salsa Latina was also noteworthy.

Now, stretch back to the meeting on the 10th that I missed blobbing. Briefly.

Tim's Perfect Stranger was a sparse, "stripped down version of too perfect for sex." One word, one-liners of an encouter.

It was nice to have Joyce with us with a rumination about a Skeleton Key. Joyce needed to "murder her darlings" - cut out some lines or phrases she liked, but which the group felt could be edited.

Lots of talk about Tom's Just Out of Reach. Tom's penchant for saying something original using cliches was obvious here. Joyce called it a mundane vehicle to reach such a depth of feeling and Jim called it a slit-your-wrist kind of poem, both accurate descriptions Tim said it showed terrific technique, with the cliches bringing out terrifying bitterness.

Also lots of talk about Jim's Math Kind of Guy, which we all know he is. I really liked the kind of sing-song quality of the poem, the repetion of the title. Leonard Cohen-ish, according to Larry. Art wanted more mathematical meat and Joyce just wanted to hear more.

I really liked Rachael's Full Moon/Slapping at Mosquitoes September 2. Great line: Moon pulls Ocean's protest right out of her wet, blue boots. "The longer I look (at it), the more I see", Jim said. It painted a great picture.

Larry's A Throwaway was, according to Art "electric, alive, a hot wire". My poem was a sarcastic throwaway about Eli humping my arm like a real man. Art had a clever technique himself in Off Beat in Quatrains, a rhyming effort that was in ruins, in ruins.

Paul wrote about an Antique Shop, a suggestion being that he write in the singular rather than plural form. The second Alan (Siegel) showed a great change in style with Waiting to be Filled, that we all appreciated.

Okay I am left with a couple of odd poems floating around that I am not sure belong with this group. If I omitted you, my apologies.

Alan reminds us that Rootdrinker dues are due. Next Sunday Four features Jay Rogoff, a professor from Saratoga Springs on October 25. Whew, I hope I am caught up.

*When I am done blobbing, I will attempt to link to this poem for you.

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