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, February 26, 2010

Theatre of Her Teeth (Corrado)

We had a great night last night. Susan returned- I hope her attendance is going to be permanent because she is an asset to the critiques - and got us talking right away about her poem On Love. Larry suggested substituting the pronoun "it" for "love" in much of the poem, because the power of the word love needed to be underplayed for more effectiveness. We wanted to eliminate the first stanza and use the line "I see how love works" for the title.

Philomena professed a sense of indifference in her Perspective about the universe. The suggestion was to get rid of the personal references and make it a more universal comment. Example: Is the universe indifferent (to me)?

We did a lot of talking about Tom's work starting off with a Lewis Carroll quote which led to a discussion of Tim Burton's new movie Alice. We questionned Tom about his technique, how he "loses" his mind - perhaps unleashes would be a better word - to float into disconnected thought and access a part of the brain the rest of us don't usually go to, Larry being the exception to that. Philomena and I may discuss that privately with Larry. Susan said the poem totally took her down the rabbit hole. Tom quoted (somebody) about "distract the watcher at the gate, let the wind come in". I am going to try that. Particularly successful poem for Tom.

The other two women present did not recognize Captain Morgan in Larry's title. Not much of a drinker myself, I know the rum king from my bartending days, but that's another story. Larry was playful as always. We all learned what Gnossiennes are (little piano pieces) and picked out some favorite spots: "is is like a magic wand", "opposites attack," "the party has flopped over a couch". Susan talked about keeping a journal and going back to dog ear poems with "energy" for further exploration. Good idea.

Tom complimented Tim about the enormous strides Tim has made in his poetry recently. Tonight's titleless poem was accompanied by a photo his brother sent him of his parents ashes on the table in their Florida lanai with an absolutely funny line about them, unrepeatable here. The poem was a commentary on their relationship that needed revision only in one small place.

Paul's Business As Usual generated another swell of conversation, regarding Paul's general presentation and practice of guiding the audience safely through his stories to the end. Although Paul's work is always well crafted and finely tuned and accessible, Tom opined that it needed more excitement to be challenging to the reader.

I Always Return My Shopping Cart - Despite my dissembling about throwaway poems, the group liked mine, describing a visit to Hannaford. I questionned the order of the verses - starting with the fat ripe olives and ending with the deaf lady bagging the groceries, the decision being to keep it chronological, and to meditate on a substitute word for "intrusive". Philomena commented that it was beautiful.

Mark's contribution to the evening was visual poetry in the form of manipulated photos that he makes into watercolors in that wonderful way he has. I am looking forward to his art exhibit here in April.

Mr. Willis and Ms. Schreiber are both unable to attend temporarity, but sent wishes. Cathy was missing because of the weather. I am particularly looking forward to seeing Jim Williams' chapbook that Alan is working on. I will be in Florida swimming with the dolphins for the next meeting and Larry will be in charge.

Miriam Axel-Lute is the feature at this Sunday's Four. I don't think I have ever heard her.
See you there.

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