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 11, 2011

glad for the stink of it

CASLINE'S ARTISTIC MUSE TRIUMPHS: The Bird's artistic muse fought it out with his scientific muse and won. The result was an inspired work called Invoking which included lines such as "blindness occurs when you are shown everything" and "glad for life, glad for the stink of it". We approved.

If the stink line qalified for best line of the night, I'm voting for Tim's Your Eyes for best poem. For me, it edged out a field of extremely good ones because of its intensity, the passion, the sadness and loss that was so apparent in it.

Alan's muses were not the only ones at odds at this meeting. Several minor controversies arose, one revolving around Tim's use of "supposively" which Mark looked up and found in the Urban Dictionary on his ever-ready iPad. I enjoy made up words and will advocate for them except in situations where they appear to be simply grammatical errors, as this appeared to be.

Interestingly, the word "litanize" is also not in the dictionary (at least not in the Merriam Webster's I looked at) but it certainly sounded like a legitimate word and it was obvious to all of us what Dennis meant in his psalm I Am Moved To Litanize. Dennis the criminal justice professor revealed a momentuous decision he had recently made regarding his belief in the afterlife (reference The Will to Believe by Will James).

I was also thinking of the afterlife in a roundabout way as I described The Beast that is consuming all of us "one finger, one toe at a time". Not a lot of critique. Some quibbled with my making the beast male. Seemed logical to me.

Markle and I crossed swords over the composition of Ann's The Magnolia. It was back to the old issue of line breaks and breathing. I thought they were poorly executed in this work, but Obee defended them heatedly. The flowing poem was a nice breakthrough for Ann, who has previously been more reserved and structured in her expression.

Mark himself had a good one about listening to the sound of the Oniskethau creek which runs by his house. There was quite a discussion over whether or not streams "burble" in the winter, but the poem was concise and clear painted a perfect picture of the mountain shadow, full moon, and snowy landscape.

Alan remarked that there was no narrative in Paul's The Silver Lining, a "fantastic" poem (Tim) more conceptual and zen than his story poems. I accused Larry of channeling Tom in his war-is-interrupted-by-jelly-donuts work. Someone pointed out how acidic and bitter it was, making Larry happy.

Jim Williams impressed us anew with his guitar playing and the unusual instrument he was toting (we all smelled it). Beautiful. Beautiful. And it was good to see Jim.

I MISSED COLDFEST. Cathy and I chickened out because of the freezing rain. I understand a lovely time was had by all and I had to eat my appetizer for dinner that night, and for about three days following.

Which reminds me, I heard from Mike Burke, who is presently in sunny Mexico and not coming home anytime soon.

Afterthought: I have been investigating The Poets Laureate Anthology, a new library book which includes all of the American PLs ever (since its inception in 1937) with short bios and samples of work. Foreward by Billy Collins. Worth a look.

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