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, October 26, 2009

from the President Pro Tem (thanks, Mr. P.)

Gathering of 10/22: Art, Philomena, Mark, Dennis, Paul, Larry, Jim and Cathy

Art’s poem Joey was much appreciated as a character study of a creative but underappreciated student. There seemed to be general agreement that the first stanza who be better placed at the end. The poem reflected the concerns and sensitivity of a master teacher.

Philomena’s poem my husband had a procedure was also very well received. It considers the question of indispensability in a humorous and thoughtful way. There was some discussion of the wording of the middle stanza, and fisticuffs were threatened over whether “I am replaced” should be “I could be replaced.” What the right answer is we may never know. (This is an aside from Larry to Philomena: What is the relationship between Rights & Responsibilities? i.e. If I am behaving irresponsibly, am I not in danger of forfeiting some or all of my rights?)

Mark’s poem Hoops was enjoyed immensely. The conceit in which barrel hoops are compared with love was sensitively portrayed. The last line of the poem was stolen from Yeats with impunity.

El Poeta’s poem REFLECTIONS ON A BODAL MOON doubles as an imaginative entering into the reality of newlyweds and a lovely rendering of a romantic reconnection of the poet with his own mate. The war between Spain and France ended with a pyrrhic victory for Dennis. We also wound up with about 5 different pronunciations of the word “mien.”

Paul’s poem ROADHOUSE OF SHADOWS was a wonderfully realized portrait of an old speakeasy and its characters, both then when they were young and in their present dotage. It was suggested that the title be changed to ROADHOUSE so as not to make its later appearance in the poem anticlimactic and some specific examples of minor paring down were suggested.

Mr. Polanski’s poem MEN ARE MORE WATERY THAN WOMEN (“Fat molecules are very hydrophobic and so fat tissue, containing fat cells full of fat molecules, have a lower water concentration than other tissues. As women in general have a higher body fat percentage (partly due to the presence of breasts) they have more tissue that has little water and the so the total body has less water per weight.”) was favorably received. The war between Pinky & The Blue Notes lyrically drags on. It was suggested that the title might not be helpful as is.

Jim’s poem(s) SEVEN KINDS OF SUICIDE was (were) mightily (and cruelly?) encouraged. It was agreed that the beginning three stanzas, aka the early years, were extraordinarily vivid and wonderful. The suicides themselves didn’t always succeed, at least to those of us who were left behind so to speak. I thought the highlight of the discussion was the comment by Dennis to change “Lenny Bruce OD’ed” to Lenny Bruce got needled. We are all happy that Jim is still writing poetry.

Cathy’s poem Arlington was a poignant reminder of the overwhelming sorrow and absurdity of war. After which there was nothing to do but slit our wrists or gather together for Bloody Marys at Smith’s Tavern.

As president pro tem, let me just say it was an honor and a privilege and I didn’t deserve it based on the little I have accomplished so far but I will fight extradition to my dying breath. Larry

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