This month’s featured poet, RIT instructor Gail Hosking, churned through a number of turbulent and affecting poems about war, family, the “collision” of different points of view, as well as love and its devastating effects. Several stirred the audience to stillness as she recounted insanities played out as normalities. A clever reach was her grab at Marvin Gaye’s classic “What’s Goin’ On” and threaded it with impressive lines like “…rusted tanks left slow moving ghosts…” that reflected on her “army brat” upbringing. Her poem “Crossfire March 1967” brought back Vietnam, and “Damn the Moon” put a new spin on that old standby in the sky with her lunar persona watching the wreckage below. Her work was cadenced and her complex thematic weave played deceptively easy.
A schooled and accomplished essayist, Gail also spoke of how she came to tackle poetry –“I just sat down and wrote 100 poems” a comment that speaks to a modified slogan: “just doing it”. Her poems and list of accomplishments indicate her years of work have paid off.
David White opened the open mic portion of the evening with short burst poems that brought laughter and contemplation to the audience. Kitty Jospe’s persona poem “Dear Piano” is right at the top of her game, and Breven Bell rolled out an intimate and fierce, yet delicate, five section love poem with several gutsy lines gutsy including “I murdered your indifference…” Jim Jordan read his poem “They Say that Normans Enrich the Language”—a look at our origins and what could have linguistically changed had history been altered. Roy Bent recited his “Poetry Died on Friday” with professional presence. Bart White brought out a new poem “Brutal Proof” that too stilled the audience. JP MC David Yockel started and concluded the evening with Gail Hosking’s poet of choice Stephen Dunn.
You know, this little bookstore, Before Your Quiet Eyes, in the heart of the Monroe Avenue is a pretty cool place for a reading (thanks to Ken the owner). And Just Poets is pretty cool for making poetry happen there. Monthly open mics are second Wednesdays of each month at 7 p.m. Enjoy the neighborhood, some good poetry, or better yet, come out and share one!
Review by David Delaney