Monthly Archives: July 2009
On the Androscoggin,
ice imitates life, its gray luster buckling
under the thumb of time and weather until
the river gets what it wants
like the seventeen year old who
muscles into your party, draws everyone into her current, trashes the place;
and, in spite of yourself
you’re glad to see her;
she picks up the pace, turns on the jokes, throws sex in the punch;
she’s like the start of a rodeo
when the 4-H girls gallop in, all shocking pink and white
fringe, holding six foot flags streaming out behind palominos,
whose muscles surge under glossy skin
like water in spate – girls perched on a thousand pounds of power
as if they owned it,
and you want,
between your knees,
palomino – and a clear run, all the way to the river.
Susannah Lawrence is a passionate and active environmentalist and has been for many years. She is a member of the Monday Poets of Litchfield, and of a Block Island Poetry Peer Review group. She says she writes poetry ” to see what can happen out of my life.” She lives and works in Norfolk, CT.
Pete Dolack is a poet, essayist, photographer, activist and sometimes a wanderer in deserts who increasingly tinkers with different styles but often integrates a story-telling style layered with satire that is sometimes subtle, sometimes caustic and sometimes both, with a range of voices and characters to burrow into the fault lines of contemporary society and the inside of his head. He is a 2000 Pushcart Prize nominee and his poetry book, And Now a Word From Our Sponsors, is in its second printing. Currently, he is working on a book about the 20th century’s socialist experiments and the lessons that can be drawn from them, but is happy to remember that he is still a poet.
On the first of July, WNPS will hold a poetry slam!
Slam, for the curious, is a competitive poetry reading where judges, chosen at random from the audience, judge the performances & poems Olympic style – with a mark of 0 to 10. Each poem must be performed in three minutes or less, and must be the original work of the poet. Though poets may sing, humm, stamp and make weird noises during their performance – NO “PROPS” (objects or instruments, etc ) maybe used. Several rounds may be needed to determine a victor depending on how many poets compete. However ALL participants in a slam win because they have had the courage to share their poems in a rowdy and fun environment in the service of POETRY! Slam Judges are supposed to give equal weight to the quality of the poem AND to the quality of the performance. The Audience is allowed to BOO the judges!
Slam was invented in Chicago by Marc Kelly Smith (“SO WHAT!”) at the Green Mill – a bar! The goal was to put poetry forward in way that was fun – rather than the sedate perhaps over-dignified type readings that appealed to quieter souls. That was over a decade ago and now there is a National Slam organization and a National Slam held every year at a different part of the country. The movement has spawned several movies, an entire Youth Slam movement and many touring groups including Def Poetry Jam, etc etc.
For those not wishing to compete – an regular open myk will be held before the slam.
SLAM MASTER/MISTRESS of the evening is…
You can sign up at the venue for either the open myk or the slam. Sign up begins around 7:45 pm.