A FEW HIGHLIGHTS
-Richard Moyer's poems about the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team and a boxing match were clear, quick, and punchy.
-Awilda Castro was passionate.
-Janet Mason was funny.
-Lesbian street-poet J. Mace III opened by saying, "I have a foul mouth." A practiced performer, she was very good.
-Mace should've been a tough act to follow. Joe Roarty, while banging a drum, read a zombie poem. The performance was terrific, and not a little mAD. I jotted, "Off the deep end."
-The folk music duo "Silver Wind" were surprisingly good. The lyrics to their song "Indigo Joe" came from a poem by Brian Sammond, who'd read his poetry earlier, not long after I'd got there. While listening to the song I thought that Sammond had to be the best pure poet, as a poet, of anyone there.
-One of the Master of Ceremonies, Emiliano Martin, was wryly funny about a poet on the list who hadn't shown up, as was succeeding Mistress of Ceremonies Tamara Oakman, who kept asking for "Alien Architect" and wondering where he could be. She asked if someone could beam him up please.
-Steve Delia brought down the house with a poem about a lady on a Progressive (Insurance?) TV commercial.
-Amy Small McKinney, having to follow Delia, commented dryly that they always put "a semi-depressed poet after the funny guy." Hilarious.
-Janet Spangler, a character, performed a schizophrenic poem between two characters, the difference between them signified by her putting on and taking off an eccentric-looking cap.
-Michele Belluomini, who I've seen read before, was a contrast to the characters who'd preceded her, in that her words work through their quiet simplicity. When you tone down the performance, the emphasis goes onto the words themselves. This works well in a reading of contrasts, like a baseball pitcher's change-up after a series of fastballs.
-Alien Architect finally showed up at the microphone. Apparently he'd been on the porch, building suspense in the audience. He throws standard white hip-hop fastballs. His reading wasn't bad, though not as good as he thought it was.
-Leonard Gontarek received an impressive reception for what seemed a modest performance-- by then I was watching the time more than the podium because I had a train to catch.
-Kudos to the behind-the-scenes conductor of the poetic orchestra, Eileen D'Angelo, and her able assistants.
Photos from the big event will be up on this blog by early next week-- I hope.