In the time of the world’s night, the poet utters the holy
Like the words or like the song
Or like the man or like the poem
His muse, his wife, his dog
And if it ain’t gonna walk
And will eventually die
Solitary-slow, old & torn up,
Soul screaming like some bloody
Blood drenched pathetic heart or like
The sonnet that once ached now lost
That once breathed new life into the void
The history of the poem now only
The mere echo and the ghost fuck of
The shell-shocked & the literary damned
All of them
Silent, still secretly whispering
Around the world
All of them,
Still wanting the words
All reaching with their new formalist minds
And still secretly dreaming
And waiting for the return of
Sirens to come and save them
A messiah, or
And lo, as I walk thru this valley of despair
I still hope that there be some cigarettes
There, or perhaps some literary corpses with
Anything interesting left to say
In all of these
Silent & dead verse days
Repeating and repeating
For it is not enough
To write or to see, or to believe –
To become this disease or feel it
To become a now love,
A now hope which
No longer breathes with
Too many stars forgotten
Still clinging to it’s lost beauty
So Dear Poem
I ask you
To please see us through yet another day
And may to thee I pray with the words that
Doth flow like a river, a dream like inspiration
With this lost voice, a generation
Forgotten and left behind
Or like a prophet
Who has lost what
Remains of his soul
And his mind
For in the beginning?
We only know that there was no heaven
Or earth but only the words, the hipsters,
And the rebellion, the beginning of the cool
As the nocturnal music past midnight blared
Of jazz & revolutions that guided its
Disciples in leather jackets
Who only lived & wrote
Sung the blues alone
In the starry night
Like a transmission
To the damned
And the unaccepted
But where are you now
Saint Poem, Saint Muse?
Where are you now?
To see, to sing of this humanity
Living in the streets
Living un-alive un-dead,
Scattered & trapped here
In a new century
Where are you now
To tell us that
The human heart
Isn’t dead that the myth
Isn’t dead just yet?
And the every
And all the
No one wants
Are still waiting
For the next
Among all these
Lost, in their
Still, always returning
Back home again with
The same damn
Drunk & alone
And singing The
FROM THE RESURRECTION WALTZ, 2012
By Jack Kerouac
The moon her magic be, big sad face
Of infinity An illuminated clay ball
Manifesting many gentlemanly remarks
She kicks a star, clouds foregather
In Scimitar shape, to round her
Cradle out, upsidedown any old time
You can also let the moon fool you
With imaginary orange-balls
Of blazing imaginary light in fright
As eyeballs, hurt & foregathered,
Wink to the wince of the seeing
Of a little sprightly otay
Which projects spikes of light
Out the round smooth blue balloon
Ball full of mountains and moons
Deep as the ocean, high as the moon,
Low as the lowliest river lagoon
Fish in the Tar and pull in the Spar
Billy de Bud and Hanshan Emperor
And all wall moongazers since
Daniel Machree, Yeats see
Gaze at the moon ocean marking
the face –
In some cases
The moon is you
In any case
AND SO IT BEGINS … THIS WEEKEND!
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Albany Poets is proud to present the 2013 Albany Word Fest featuring the poetry and spoken word of upstate New York. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, April 14 – Saturday, April 20, 2013.
“What a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month right here in Albany. With a full week of poetry and spoken word, there is something for everyone.” Thom Francis, Albany Poets President, said, “Whether you would like to take in a featured performance, celebrate the launch of a new, local literary journal, attend a regional poetry slam, or be part of one of the largest annual open mics in the area, the Albany Word Fest is the place for you.”
Avery Stempel, Albany Poets board member, adds, “Word Fest is a celebration of spoken word spanning a full week of events that incorporate the diverse forms of expression ranging from impromptu skits to rehearsed and choreographed slams. Poets, philosophers, performers: all are welcome in this growing community of Albany writers. I am excited to be a part of the team coordinating the festivities this year!”
The week will kick-off with the launch of Albany Poets’ brand new literary journal, Up The River. Editors Jill Crammond and Keith Spencer have been culling through hundreds of submissions and will debut their selections for the first issue on Sunday, April 14 at McGeary’s. The evening will also feature performances by some of the poets published.
On Monday, April 15 we head to the UAG Gallery on Lark Street for a night of poetry and spoken word from Poets Against Fracking featuring Band of Bards, a community of Binghamton area writers, artists, and activists who have turned their talents toward helping to preserve their community against the threat of hydraulic fracture gas drilling in New York State and beyond.
Also on Monday night, Jill Crammond will be hosting an open mic for students in grades 5 – 12 at the Bethlehem Children’s School in Slingerlands. This will be a great opportunity for young poets and writers to share their work with others.
On Tuesday, April 16 the festival continues with the Nitty Gritty Slam at Valentines. For the Word Fest edition of NGS, Mojavi and Thom Francis will present the first ever Haiku Battle. This long awaited event will finally make its Albany debut on the Nitty Gritty stage.
For Wednesday night, April 17, the Word Fest heads over to The Linda – WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio on Central Ave for a screening of the film Louder Than A Bomb, “a film about passion, competition, teamwork, and trust. It’s about the joy of being young, and the pain of growing up. It’s about speaking out, making noise, and finding your voice. It also just happens to be about poetry.”
Thursday, the poetry comes back to the Social Justice Center with the Third Thursday Poetry Night hosted by Dan Wilcox. This monthly poetry series welcomes poets to step up to the mic and share their work along with featured performers from the College of Saint Rose.
Friday night features two poetry events with the annual Word Fest Open Mic taking place at the UAG Gallery on Lark Street while UGT will be happening at The Linda on Central Ave.
This year Albany Poets is going back to a familiar place for the Word Fest Open Mic. We are returning to the UAG Gallery on Lark Street for this annual Word Fest tradition. The UAG has hosted the Open Mic five times in the past (2006 – 2010) and it is great to be back home for the 2013 Word Fest.
Poets who wish to participate in the open mic can sign up online by going to the signup pageuntil Sunday, April 14. Performers will also have a limited opportunity to sign up at the event itself. Each poet will have 10 minutes to share their work. The open mic is open to all poets and spoken word artists with no style or content restrictions.
Meanwhile, right up Central Avenue, at The Linda, Urban Guerilla Theatre will be presenting the second Skit Happens show. UGT President Mojavi explains, “ ‘Skit Happens, Too’ is an eclectic blend of poetry, comedy and skits. UGT is dedicated to bringing you funny, incredible performances and even crazier skits. We continue to bring you the best in poetry, comedy and performance as part of the 2013 Albany Word Fest.”
Finally on Saturday, April 20, the Word Fest comes to an end with the first ever Word Fest Invitational Slam at Valentine’s starting at 6:00pm. Albany Poets, Frequency North, and Urban Guerilla Theatre are proud to welcome six teams from all over the Northeast to compete in this event. Admission for this event at Valentine’s is $10.00 in advance / $12.00 at the door. This event is 18+ (21+ to drink) with a picture ID required. Tickets will be available online beginning on March 14.
Additionally, all throughout the week, Albany Poets will be publishing local poetry on their website as part of the Word Fest Online Open Mic. Poets who wish to participate are encouraged to send their poems to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Online Open Mic” in the subject line, starting Sunday, April 7.
The 2013 Albany Word Fest is sponsored by Albany Poets, Hudson Valley Writers Guild, Frequency North, Urban Guerrilla Theatre, Valentines, McGeary’s,Upstate Artists Guild, and the very generous donations of supporters of the arts in upstate New York including Matt Galletta, Dan Wilcox, Howard Kogan, Kenneth Salzmann, and Bob Sharkey.
Latest Word Fest News
2013 Albany Word Fest – The Word Fest Kick Off Party and Launch of Up The River on Sunday, April 14
April 3, 2013 2:36:40 PM EDT
Getting Closer… Two Weeks Until the 2013 Albany Word Fest
April 2, 2013 10:44:56 AM EDT
2013 Albany Word Fest – Poets Against Fracking featuring Band of Bards on Monday, April 15
March 29, 2013 9:55:17 AM EDT
2013 Albany Word Fest News – New Events, New Features, and How You Can Help
March 14, 2013 10:26:52 AM EDT
The Albany Word Fest is © 2013 Albany Poets. All Rights Reserved.
THE ZERO YEAR
Voice Of Angels
Voice Of Nothing
Voice Of Prophets
The Voice Of Self
The Waiting, (The Dead)
Of No Certainty. Never`Land.
Stuck in denial,
To tell the tale,
Trans-MIT dim echoes
Of ancient lies, eternal
For Forever Is Never A Forever
That upon this precipice
You dwell like the haunted man,
Year Zero Once Again
Handed down by the
Of Kings, rising falling
That upon this earth
Somewhere a child awakens,
Joyful & naive
WORLD ON FIRE
(From “The Resurrection Waltz, 2013)
Like jazz… morphine.
running, thru the streets
Refrain Refrain Refrain
To Begin ~ To End,
To, Some Where Some Way
In Dead Lights And In Hyper-Space
And Unto The Holy Light of the
Last Cash Machine
As the Utopian Prophecy bleeds
In-To Thine Youthful Eyes Which Hears- Seas
Of Majestic rhymes & urban schemes,
A Salvation… Of Gun Shot Megaphone Deliverance
And Oh Unto Thee, We Deliver Great Hopes Of Miracles… Mercy.
Illuminations As Thy Cradles Rock Falsely
With The sad Arrogance Of Label Made Kings,
Offering Up All Your Dead sons,
father, mother, sisters, brothers
Who have killed the word, & the sound & whole world of grace
With the smiles of Money~Greed Messiahs
Sampling Out Salvation, A Promise, A Lie,
All Their Words Now,
Just An Epiphany,
In A “Box”
Moving on down towards
South Of Heaven
Non-Transcendence Dead Enlightenment &
The Dead Roar Of Time
Back-wards stealing From All the Lost Poets & the dead souls
With a weak childish snarl that says, “ME’ “MINE”
A place where no philosophers need apply.
With No More Gods To Worship &
No more new myths to create
As The Vessel Sinks,
Reeks Of Slamming bores
Rhyming Whores for all the same crimes
Pants Un-Fit With weak words that will not survive
The Tides Of Time
And that shall never ever make it
Unto The Shore.
As one-day they will all say:
Kill Roy was here
And he wrote a poem upon the WALL
Which said this
Except that he was here.
With his Bling Props No Props No Echo Your Masses Asses Making
Hip Gang Signs & Buying Up Your Video Product
No Rebels left But Cowards Who just Sing The Song Of Thy Puppet Selves
Little Boys Of Violence With Little Swords That Cannot & Will Never Plow The Field
Because, with weapon in pants, they are shit. Who do not mend.
Now amongst us silent
The very thought
That once we shit thru our veins, living
As non aware un-alive
Follows when time is measured
monosyllabic and in waning days
For death recurrence
And numbers on papers, not soldiers
Become A Waste Of All That Is-Was Life.
But Can such an Armageddon
Accidental circumstances exist?
Life? Made of location and color
When the door of words is finally broken
With All levels un-covered
And Boring sets made of dead set repetition?
Because every man
therefore may whisper in the wind,
tend to the madness,
up to him-self,
That these are all faults
because every man
therefore may whisper in the wind,
Unto the vast world
Which is Now Dead
(Once like jazz… morphine.. salvation… running, thru the streets)
A World On Fire
Which said something
~ R.M. Engelhardt
Poet R.M. Engelhardt finds hope in words
Engelhardt expresses hope in power of language
By Amy Biancolli Published 2:11 pm, Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The poems of R.M. Engelhardt don’t assert faith in much. Not religion. Not a society that ignores the plight of the downtrodden while glorifying the rich.
As he writes in “Burn,” a reflection on a homeless man in winter that appears in his 13th book, “The Resurrection Waltz”: “…the george bailey in / this story has no clarence.” “It’s a Wonderful Life” this isn’t.
But the works of this longtime Albany poet holds some faith in a few things. Late-life love, for a start. (“…happiness/That came later/and not sooner“). Smoking, too; he did, after all, title his 2006 book of collected works “The Last Cigarette.” “This is actually part of who I am in general. I’m smoking now as we speak,” he said, chatting on the phone recently.
But he has faith in something else, too: poetry. In “Saint Poem,” he addresses the form itself as a carrier of grace or salvation. “Dear Poem/Saint Poem/I ask you/To please see us through yet another day,” he pleads, coming around to a state of exhausted resignation. Both the faith and the exhaustion pop up throughout “The Resurrection Waltz” (Infinity Publishing), an 82-page tract of succinctly expressed disgruntlement flecked with hope.
“Poetry is very much like a religion. I wouldn’t say my complete religion,” he said. Nevertheless, “It’s the poem that saves you. You write the poem, but it’s catharsis, and what’s what brings you into being — what makes you stable, balanced.”
Engelhardt will read and sign copies of “The Resurrection Waltz,” from 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.
On April 11, he’ll kick off his School of Night open mic, to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Pearl Street Pub/Dirty Martini Lounge. And then, on April 19, he plans to read at the open mic as part of 2013 Albany Word Fest, set to run from April 14 to 20.
He dates his interest in poetry to childhood, when he composed a myth about a forged Bronze Warrior that wowed his sixth-grade teacher. His appreciation for the power of words never waned. Now a deep-rooted fixture on the poetry landscape, Engelhardt runs open mics, edits a journal (“The Literary Rogue”) and, in 2000, founded the Albany Poets collective (http://www.albanypoets.com). A year later, he started the Word Fest.
“He’s been around for a long, long time, and he’s the one that took me under my wing when I was in high school almost 20 years ago. And he’s always trying to innovate and come up with ways to get new people involved,” said Thom Francis, current president of Albany Poets. As for Engelhardt’s writing, “It’s very personal, and yet sometimes spiritual. And you know, it runs the gamut.”
Engelhardt is not a fan of slams — open mics with a competitive format. “You have people judging the work of new poets, people who have never read before. So the problem is people are just getting out — they’re discovering their authentic voices, and they’re being judged by people. I don’t believe that poetry should be judged.”
He draws his inspiration from a variety of sources. One is the woman in his life, Kali De La Cruz, the photographer (credited as Lona Cygnus), who designed the cover for “The Resurrection Waltz.”
Another is the city of Albany, where his family goes back six generations. After a stint in the Florida Keys some years back, he returned with a newfound appreciation for Albany’s creative vibe.
“It’s the place itself,” he said. “It has a great poetry and literary scene — a great writing scene — it has a great music scene, a great arts scene. And if you can’t find inspiration in that, well, you’re in the wrong place.”
What about those cigarettes? Can someone be a poet without smoking? “If it’s for them, sure,” he said. Then he clarified: “If they’re a nonsmoking poet.”
email@example.com • 518-454-5439
At a glance R.M. Engelhardt
What: Reading and signing of “Resurrection Waltz,” new book by Albany poet When: 7-9 p.m. today, March 14
Where: The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, 1475 Western Ave. Info: 489-4761;
Once in a very blue moon, John Tallow imagined his younger self standing down the timeline from his present life, bare toes curling in teenage beach sand, looking ahead to today and watching his future life collapse in on itself like a dying star. His future life becoming small and dark and dense, its gravity apparently grim and inescapable.
Once in a very blue moon, John Tallow spent some cash on a bottle of vodka and drank it at home within an hour.”
~ Warren Ellis, Gun Machine (2013)