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, June 26, 2009

An Oatmeal Named Jonah

A very personal observation from me: it felt good to have Larry Rapant join us last night. Larry has been a huge part of my poetry life. He and Tom and I "toured" the open mics in the 1990s, performing as a group, sometimes with Brian Kennedy and Tom's musical accompaniment. I doubt how good my poetry was then, but I had fun. It felt like old times to have him with us, and at my age, old times are very meaningful. I am not going to attempt to critique Larry's poem or Tom's today. They have been my teachers and mentors and frankly, I consider them perfect in every way. The blog title is my favorite phrase from Larry's poem.

BTW, my research into Merovingian Dynasty shows it to be the Satanic Bloodline of the Antichrist or False Prophet. Or, a Frankish dynasty that ruled in Gaul and Germany circa 500 a.d. Your choice.

Couple of other poems received little or no critique. Everyone loved Mimi's Parked on Pavement. Great title. Amusing. Jim Williams, who slipped in at the last moment in his soccer ref's uniform (quite green) had us laughing with three versions of his Comely young woman from Wiesbaden, one in German, one French, final in English.

Paul (who was in charge of the gavel for a portion of the evening until he fell down on the job) was pretty much letter perfect as usual with Cookies and Cakes. Some quibbling over "dolls and bicycles". Paul had assisted Ally with a successful rewrite of Toxic Silence. I love it when people actually put into practice the advice they are given.

The Bird wrote a Perious Frink adventure with a surprise ending and a pretty good rhyme scheme, which could be made excellent with a little closer editing. Alan Other rhymed not quite so successfully but musically. I was proud of him, too, for revising last week's poem and bringing it for a return appearance. He is striving to become a good poet.

Rachael was back with another of her thoughtful works, with good tone and feeling. Someone suggested better lines breaks and relocating the first stanza. Several people were enlightened by the idea of a phone cradle. Ah, you babies.

Philomena equated true poetry to a juicy peach. It is hard to avoid cliches, I opine, when describing peaches, but here the addition of the ripe young woman and the heroin addict led it out of the realm of the mundane. To carotid or not to carotid.

Personally, I thought Tim's poem had transition problems. I liked both halves - the office crowd and the big ugly woman - but wanted the way smoothed or made into two poems. His characters sketches were right on, as always.

Saving Markle-Farkle until last as my favorite. Just great imagery. Interspersed with conversation. Nice font. Ditched the title. Whole last verse is dyn-o-mite.

Lots of events going on. Check out post-ettes.
Sunday Four is this weekend, with Mimi and her brother. 3 p.m. with food.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Okay, it's fixed

Tom helped. Just click the link, then click on the first picture to see them all.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Okay, I made a web album of yesterday's pics and succeeded in linking it to the blog. If you follow the link, however, it tells you it can't find it. Don't know what I'm doing. Mark tried to help me over the phone, but it obviously didn't work. I'll try again from the office. It is giving me a headache.

Yesterday was lovely and wet. The food was great. Everyone was jolly. Mike and Donna were good hosts. I forgot to take a photo of the parrot plates. I brought Tony. Significant others were present (Ginny Rapant, Dr. Jennifer, Dan M., Steve Schreiber, Georgia, Donna and her dog Annie) - about 20 of us, and some dogs, including Susie The Summer Dog. I ate a lot, got soaked, was particularly happy to see Dee and Larry who make rare appearances. Georgia took pictures of feet. Ron and Edie and Tim and Ally Cat were no-shows. Dennis ate a lot, Mark made Black and Tans with his turtle thingy - there's a photo if you ever get to see them. Mike made good burgers, sausage, hot dogs. I shared with Susie.

It was a trip down Memory Lane for those of us who used to frequent Lil and Bill's in our youth, including Dan Moriarty. Sad to see it in disrepair. Fun times there. Made me want to dance. Jack, the owner, hauled out old photos and we saw young Mikey Burke.

I left before any poetry happened. Don't know if it did. Wasn't in a poetic mood and felt bad that Eli was home alone most of the day.
Also, half drowned.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Oops

I was having a very hectic day and in my confusion, I forgot to blog Tim's wonderful poem. In fact it was my favorite of the night and I was saving it for last, ended up leaving it out altogether. I felt that it was kind of a breakthrough poem for Tim - no repetition. Great sea, fog imagery, a real lonely feeling. Everyone liked it. Only suggestion was to save the last few lines for another poem and he seemed receptive to that idea. My apologies.

Monday - I can't believe it. When I got to work this am I found Alan C.'s poem, forgotten, forlorn and unblogged. It was another favorite of mine. Called Surface Ice is Walkable, includes plunging a foot into the semi - frozen creek. Beautiful: "stone heads all found wearing imperfect icy halos". So, if there 's anyone else I need to apologize to, consider it done.

Paul Perfect is Dead

...killed by his own hand, acknowledged by his own lips. "Old George" was less than perfect. Tim and the Bird and the BlogGoddess were all disappointed that George lacked the emotional punch that we expect from Paul. Philomena contributed "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" and Mimi lauded it for its clarity and cleanliness. Tim suggested that the comic element of the old guy burying his drinking money should be pushed.

Alan Siegel strove and succeeded in attaining clarity in The Eternal One. There was some discussion over the repetition of "moment to moment" and Mimi brought up some weird thing about counting syllables, which didn't seem to matter to anyone else, but thanks, Mimi.

Mimi's poem From the Attic was a masterpiece in my view. Great imagery, emotion, a message. Led to a discussion on enjambment (leaving a deliberate pause to let your mind change direction).

Mark was brimming with emotion in a two-titled poem about his mother. I think we talked him into The Keening. He confessed a phrase pillage from Yeats - "decked and altered" but had a lot of his own good stuff in it - "extravagance of breath", "lost to a notbook on the bedstead of a lifetime".

The M sisters thought that Edie's Surprise was the best she had ever written. Paul said "it could have been trite but it's not because of the way it is done." "Ah, but friends..."

"Zen up" was a phrase applied to Philomena in a good poem called Perspective, but her specific intention passed right by us (the same as another recent work). I suggested ending the poem at "death's foot hovering", following the popular ant stanza. The final verse was a great one, but misplaced.

No poem from me. Short blog because I am busy. Visit the HVWG website for guidelines for a current poetry contest. Hope you got the directions to Thompson's Lake.