Poems from Last Night — 9/19/16

Overheard on the NYC poetry scene, as heard by LA Markuson

The Poet in New York kicked off last night with an impromptu and infuriatingly challenging grammar quiz from our Spanish-speaking tech wizard Marian. I wrote a haiku in protest using the word “doth” to really mess with her head. Then our guest host, the strangely hilarious Mason Granger, kicked things off with the open mic. Here is what I heard, and loved:

Kat(erina Pappas) shared a poem about the object of her affection, but instead of having a name or human identity, her love was replaced with the the glorious ringed planet Saturn. Genius.

John Michael discussed youth and cycling.

At age seventeen I speak about back in the day…
I know that I swam in the road, but, I am no longer a cyclist.

I wondered about the scrapes on his knees.

Emilio used no notebook and no mic, sharing charming thoughts on love.

We hang up our egos like coat check. We dance at Club Compromise.

Molly got real,

As if no one had ever told us before, to focus on the breath…
The innumerable bodies of breath.

Sergio took us all by surprise with a grippingly intense take on relationships and power dynamics in love (aka love MAKING)

The unapologetic femininity of her curves… just beholding her…
Do I want a kitten?

(Later a woman told Sergio his poem gave her an erection.)

Rich shared the stage with a compatriot — a conversation unfolded.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m destined…
Cheese is all they see when you’re lactose intolerant for them.
Yeezus is no Christ — Don’t let the grip of unhappiness get too tight.

The first feature of the night, J Mae Barizo spoke in such a perfect sensual tone that I wanted to record her voice and practice talking just like her. I did not do that, I swear. Even just a list of grocery items sounded like magic coming from her.

Fleshy jewish rolls.
Skin tight plums.
Tell me that I remember it correctly…
that the light will lick and lick
the damage clean.

At the break Mason said an ingenious thing. He said that there were books on tap, and that a poetry open mic was like crowdsourced church. We all come to hear sermons of ultimate truth from many different sources, and tithe at the bar. How does he come up with this stuff?

Maya Pindyck was the second feature. Her daughter is named Noa after the first feminist in the Bible by the way. About a mango, she said,

I plunge a fist into a fallen world.

About women she said,

A woman is not a grapefruit, not moonshine, not jasmine loosening from the vine, not bread, not sorry, not any way you slice it.

A few more diligent open mic-ers remained. TJ had an interesting take on a meeting with a prostitute:

I’m hungry — starving in fact. Even paid a whole family off. You keep your heart; Roxy likes it that way.

Genevieve slayed me. Such sexy wit.

When I say you’re sharp as a tack, I really mean you’re a prick. I bet you still nick your tongue on my name.


Bill gave me nightmares with his impeccable description of an epic rodent infestation.

Size and stealth.
Busy and bold.
I smell a rat.

Ciena destroyed the male gaze.

I’ve grown able to sleep while the sun still shines, and I swear I can speak with dead girls.

Sophia’s poem was surprisingly uplifting to me, and her phrases refreshing, discussing an ended relationship. Thanks for sending it to me by the way — highly enjoyed the second read.

Just to be clear, I wasn’t in your way, I was trying to be your way.
What if that naivete was an act of heroism?
Hallelujah to “All In.”

Valerie asked us to,

Tease me with word play, seduce me with your eloquence.

And E.R. wasn’t having it anymore.

I’m going to stop sending you free tickets, and saving you a seat, when I know you’re in a meditative state.

Rant portrayed her mother’s hands in an achingly beautiful light.

I watched her hands carry
sorrow till it dropped.

I should also note that I accidentally drank two epic gin martinis prepared by Frances the Bowery bartender extraordinaire, so by the end of the night my notes were getting a little loopy. Overall, a highly romantic and exhilarating night, that ended in a secretly fantastically talented audience member writing ME a haiku:

So yeah, now you know why, about the martini thing.

I also announced my new podcasting event series, starting this Sunday: A Revolutionary Woman. I really hope to see you there.

Much love.