January Open Mic: Featured Poet Lisa Metzger

Only four poems. Imagine that. January’s featured reader and new Just Poet, Lisa Metzger, made it short and bittersweet. Metzger, a writing instructor at RIT, and former Adirondack Wilderness guide, covered a lot of hard territory in a very short time. Her first poem, about time with her grandmother in North Carolina Grannie’s Grapevine, held lessons learned as a child. The next poem, about the death of a friend on Whiteface Mountain, delicately blended winter scenery into the weight of the tragedy. Her final poems, The Knot about post-divorce, and Dis-ease, the need to end a difficult friendship, cut grit hard. All were set up and delivered well; an honest read.

Open mic was exceptional as well. There were so many poets (18) anxious to read, JP host David Yockel had to enforce the “three minute” rule. And Ken Kelbaugh owner of Before Your Quiet Eyes bookstore needed to set up another row or two of seats. Good stuff poured forth. Last night’s poets who read were: Laura Klinkon, Robert McDonough, Maril Nowak, Jere Fletcher, Frank Judge, Jim Jordan, Bill Pruitt, David Delaney, Kevin Minh, Gracen Lynch, Roy Bent, David Purdy, Jennifer Maloney, Reily Hirst, David Michael Nixon, Bart White, Charles “CB” Banks, and David Yockel.

Many outstanding poems; just a note on a few; Jere Fletcher’s Honor Them a poignant piece on the sacrifice of war; Bill Pruitt’s The Names of Algae an assessment of our world and need for action by those who have the means to act; Gracen Lynch’s original piece about corners “eight billion corners in this round world,” Reily Hirst’s I Will Never be the Same = a smart rock-and-river metaphor about love. And CB’s Murder of Crows about justice, cleverly cloaked in feather. 

A good night for poetry and good night for Just Poets.