Thursday, April 26, 2012
LAST NIGHT (HANGING LOOSE READING
So, a lot of good poetry read last night in Brooklyn. And a lot of old friends and folks I knew back when. Good to see Harvey Shapiro still at it and pushing ninety, and Jack Anderson and Hettie Jones still going strong. I can't mention everyone (and apologies to those I don't) but Gerald Fleming read a poem that brought the reality of female "adulterers" experiencing execution by stoning that was as powerful as anything I've read or heard on that subject. And Dick Lourie used his poetry chops to explicate from his alter ego's musician chops an alternative reading of what the "delta blues" mean, while Chuck Watchel used his novelist's skills to evoke a dead friend's presence in a way that had me present in the scene he made real.
Donna Brook read a poem that metaphorically and literally captured the sense of loss so many felt at poet Paul Violi's passing. Terence Winch read poems that displayed his unique wit and insight in ways few poets can match and none can surpass. There was lots of laughs, not just for some of Terry's lines, but for Ed Friedman's riff imagining some of the poets present in more surreal drag than anything on "reality" (or "surreality") TV, and Charles North, Larry Zirlin and Bill Zavatsky, among others, got the audience laughing as well. Though none got more laughs than Bob Hershon, and well deserved.
I hope we see some of the work that came out of the reading in future issues of HANGING LOOSE (and wasn't already published there in past issues). In the meantime the 100th issue, now available and the point of the reading, contains some of the poems read last night as well as a variety of others. But what I'm most grateful for in HANGING LOOSE 100 is a long interview with the late Paul Violi, a poet many of us loved and miss. Check it out.