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, May 28, 2010

Plus Eight

Ann Lapinski, our newest poet, offered up some compliments last night on how much she had already learned by being part of the group. She performed at her first open mic last weekend and, although nervous, enjoyed it (photo compliments of The Verhaegen Studio). She brought a list poem of mouthwatering items she could no longer eat because they contain gluten, which led to an enlightening explanation of celiac disease. We talked about list poems and the necessity of using unique expressions.

Dennis impressed with The Parable of the Butterfly, which everyone liked a lot. Dan mentioned its lyric quality and Paul the "hindu meditative feeling". Dennis explained the word bodhisattva and kindly provided (me) with an reference regarding Avalokiteshvara, the Buddhist God of Infinite Compassion, symbolically portrayed with 1000 arms. This god is venerated as the ideal of karuna, the willingness to bear the pain of others.

Tim (of Verhaegen Studios) had us all confused with Master, which Dennis referred to as a "complex psychological drama". Larry pointed out the negative connotations to the word master, which might have contributed to the confusion. Dennis suggested that Tim might benefit by reading the work of Rumi, who wrote poems of love and surrender.

We had a few suggestions for Paul as well. Several thought that some tightening here and there might be useful. We had to explain to Larry what Moving Up Day (the title of the poem) was. There was some discussion of the Norman Rockwell aspect of it, with me disagreeing with Tim's statement that Rockwell did not realistically portray American life.

Noname cracked me up as always with "...on the bumpy road to love Still..." which began with "men are just as jerky" (fill in the blank, I guess). Paul's Rockwellian portrait of life came to a crashing halt here with the white horse dropping large loads behind him. I loved Homo Pinball.

Dan wrote about a moving experience at the Viet Nam memorial, the smooth black wall, and the very personal feelings he felt there. I suggested reworking into consistent couplets. A number of opinions were expressed about separating the crucifixtion analogy into a different poem. Dan seemed determined to stir up some controversy tonight, emphatically putting forth the theory that that are no rules in poetry.

Edie was late, but she made it with a lovely little portrayal of Lucy and Lily intercepting her muse. We discussed enjambment (another subject that Dan brought up) and the use of singular or plural verbs with collective nouns, as in trio.

My Midnight on the Porch was a last minute 20-word, six-line poem, which actually inspired a good bit of dicussion. We talked about the definition of lost children, with Dennis pointing out the multiple levels involved in the poem, which was not meant to be rational, but to recognize an immediate feeling.

We added a couple of questions to the discussion list, one (from Dan!) about the weakness of gerunds as parts of speech. Paul informed us that there are only 4 months per year with a fifth Thursday and the next one is July.


Obee is off on his Civil War journeys, Beach Boy is at the lake, Susan and Tom and Mr. Willis and Math Guy and Ally and The Bird were just plain missing. I am limping off on my sore foot for a weekend of introspection and solitude with my dog. I was up at 5 a.m. writing a poem about my toe.

Happy holiday.

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