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, April 23, 2010

Susan was Silly

It was a mildly crazy night, with lots of good work, and good critiques. Paul (who tried to trick us by inserting his name into the #2 spot) led off with Stone Boats, a concept which needed to be explained to many of the youngsters present. Good solid historical which we wanted him to send to the (now defunct we learned) Yankee magazine.

Alan's Navajo Butterfly Song sprang from his recent expedition to New Mexico. We all liked the line with outdoor coffe, two musicians, a small black dog and a robin and a little boy in different trees. Obee gave us a soft and gentle bathing experience which Tim compared to "sharing a bath with humanity". Tim also inquired why the OWL should be required to pay rent to live in Larry's nose. Everyone agreed that the OWL should not.

Tim brought us a winner with a stunning picture of his mother, busty and bare-shouldered with black blank eyes. Art called it a brilliant photographic essay, Dennis wanted it published and Alan wanted to know if it was possible to be too personal in a poem. Never really answered that query. There followed some conversation about the projected figure of a woman, and men not knowing their wives.

It's a fairly reliable supposition that Susan was over-fatigued, as she spent half of the evening lounging on the rug and forgetting what she wanted to say. She also ATE HER PROPS, which seemed to give her enough energy to make it through a really nice Meditation on an Orange (minus, of course, the orange).

Mr. Willis dazzled me with his rehab of some 70's work that I find more accessible that his recent pieces. He captured the essence of an 8th grade boy. "I'm beautiful, beautiful me." Love that.

My own poem was a quick one on the days of my life going down like dominoes. Faster and faster. Somewhere along in here, several people broke into song. Ann, who sat beside me, offered a "fabulous" encounter with the realities of breast cancer, including mammograms. Everyone liked this, few suggestions, some questions about squeezing breasts.

Dennis also impressed with an ode to Lydia Tobler's son on his wedding, coming so soon after his mother's death. We all agreed it was a good one. Jim Williams wowwed us with a guitar/poetry presentation. He is a talented guy.

Dan Lawlor, who has been absent for awhile, returned with a whole new approach to his work which was, IMHO, a breakthrough poem about the sea. Best I've heard from him. He also passed out invites to his upcoming concert appearance at the Schenectady Library on May 16.

We talked about Michael Czarnecki's writing workshop here on May 15. Details available in the latest newsletter. I also passed around the poets' list for updating. If any of you have contact info changes, send them to me before I pass out a new list.

The Poet Laureate contest is this Sunday at Smith's Tavern. Sounds like it's going to be HUGE, folks. See you all there, providing I can decide on which poems to read.


  1. Tim V.4/23/2010

    The blog refers to the statement "Alan wanted to know if it was possible to be too personal in a poem. Never really answered that query."

    Excellent question.

    The question in itself is very interesting. Alan has a tendency to write about subjects far away from his own personal life. So I wondered does that question depend on the reader himself? In another words is the reader asking "Is a poem too personal - for my taste?"

    Or "is it possible to be too personal in a poem." a universal question?

    In many instances - men and women - write differently. In our group women often write about the biographical. The men often write about concepts and ideas, the comic, the abstract.

    With exceptions of course.

    So...those poets who write about things that are close to them - "is it possible to be too personal in a poem?"

  2. The poems sound powerful and moving. Congratulations of your Poet Laureate prize!

  3. Anonymous5/20/2010

    Dan said:
    Every poet writes about what is important to him/her...whether it is personal or not...
    some think that nature strikes their fancy while others comment on society or trends...some social comments are obvious while others are clouded and hidden...and without any explanation...they will remain hidden...write whatever the muse moves you...but write...