June Open Mic: Featuring Laura Klinkon

Last night’s Just Poets featured reader, Laura Klinkon, did what few poets do with such an opportunity, she stayed completely from the dark side (sort of). Klinkon, quiet, crafty and so, so subtle, entertained the full-house audience of poets, patrons and friends at Ken Kelbaugh’s “Before Your Quiet Eyes” bookstore. So soft spoken herself, yet, her poems brought loud laughter and smile-wide surprise as she read pieces from her three published works. Her poem, “Salt Potato” a clear peak at Klinkon’s style: keen observations, comparisons (shapes and names of kindred potatoes) with some tongue and cheek, a whisper of bite, make her work well worth hearing and reading. In another set of poems about flies, yes flies, her lines speak about the nuance of them noting and charting each year, “… They are different, these flies from 2014.” Rich and intriguing she plays with object and idea. Or from her book “Looking Askance” the poem “I Liked You Before” referencing the change caused by a colonoscopy, etc --funny stuff and insightful (sorry).

“I offer no gravitas; most of my work here tonight is silly and satirical,” so says Klinkon. Satirical yes. Silly? Not so much. Klinkon, born in Sicily, masters level educated in Pittsburgh with work credentials that include the French Embassy and the Library of Congress, she is as seemingly unassuming as her poetry. But to assume there isn’t a keen eye on everything around is to mistake the strength of Klinkon.

Find Laura's work on Amazon: Looking Askance, Kitchen Abrasives, and Trying to Find You

The Open Mic, hosted by David Yockel was strong with a variety of good poets (15) bringing new and old to the metal music stand (podium). Bob McDonough with Maril Nowak and Bart White shared the reading of McDonough’s poem about the first (and only) death in major league baseball (1920); “Ray Chapman, HBP” (hit by pitch). David Michael Nixon, Colleen Powderly, Jennifer Maloney, Roy Bent, Mitch Valente, Bill Pruitt, Michelle Brown, Gracen Lynch, Dwain Wilder, Ellie, Charles Banks, Bart White, David Delaney, and host David Yockel rounded out the field. Really strong stuff. If I were looking for poetry I’d be heading where this group takes nourishment. Stop by in July (7:00 pm the 11th). Bring a poem. August’s JP featured reader: William Pruitt.

Review By David Delaney