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I WAS ONCE DEAD TOO
In a famous painting
of Christ nailed to
and crucified upon the cross
I am the watching
leper on the right.
And with my one good eye
I watch as Jesus dies
and screams up into
darkening sky asking
his father for a reason
And then, suddenly
as the clouds open up
and the rain begins
the Romans scatter like mice,
the water, burning off their
flesh like corrosive acid.
As I feel the wetness upon my
skin like the warmth of a beautiful woman
touching my face, I raise my
hands outward, and I am healed.
When a voice comes
which tells me I am now
the angel of death, and the
watcher in the eternity
that is time, wandering
The screams of both Jesus,
and his murderers the Romans
now a distant sound & memory
in a world without messiahs
or miracles to amaze us.
which remain unanswered.
~ R.M. Engelhardt
To be a boxer, or not to be there
at all. O Muse, where are our teeming crowds?
Twelve people in the room, eight seats to spare
it’s time to start this cultural affair.
Half came inside because it started raining,
the rest are relatives. O Muse.
The women here would love to rant and rave,
but that’s for boxing. Here they must behave.
Dante’s Infemo is ringside nowadays.
Likewise his Paradise. O Muse.
Oh, not to be a boxer but a poet,
one sentenced to hard shelleying for life,
for lack of muscles forced to show the world
the sonnet that may make the high-school reading lists
with luck. O Muse,
O bobtailed angel, Pegasus.
In the first row, a sweet old man’s soft snore:
he dreams his wife’s alive again. What’s more,
she’s making him that tart she used to bake.
Aflame, but carefully-don’t burn his cake!
we start to read. O Muse.
– Wislawa Szymborska
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Albany Poets is proud to
present the 2011 Albany Word Fest featuring the poetry,
spoken word, and music of upstate New York. This year’s event will
take place on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at The Linda
(339 Central Ave., Albany).
This year’s event is the 10th anniversary of the Albany Word Fest and with
that in mind, Albany Poets is promising big things.
Thom Francis, Albany Poets President, says, “When we started
this event ten years ago on a Saturday afternoon in Thatcher Park,
we never thought it would become one of the biggest ‘mark-your-
calendar’ events of each and every year. We are very proud of
how we have been able to continue hosting one of the biggest
poetry open mics in upstate New York for ten years.”
The 2011 Albany Word Fest will kick-off with the 12-Hour Open
Mic at 7:00AM at The Linda. Albany Poets Vice President
Mary Panza says, “After the success of the last two 12-hour open
mics, we have decided to do it again, but this time, during the day.
This will give poets a better opportunity to share their work and
also give the audience more time to appreciate the talent in the
poetry and spoken word community.” This open mic for poetry and
spoken word will be held from 7:00AM – 7:00PM.
Poets who wish to participate in the open mic can sign up online
by going to the Albany Word Fest website, www.albanywordfest.com
until 5:00pm on Friday, April 15. Performers will also have a limited
opportunity to sign up at the event itself. Each poet will have 10 -15
minutes to share their work. The open mic is open to all poets and
spoken word artists with no style or content restrictions.
After the Open Mic, starting at 7:00PM, the 2011 Albany Word Fest
brings the annual Psycho Cluster F*#k to the The
Linda featuring poetry, music and spoken word from upstate New
York artists David Fey, Olivia Quillio, Avery, Daniel Nester,
Poetyc Vyzyonz, Mother Judge’s Open Mic Showcase, Metroland’s
Best Poets of 2011: Mary Panza, R.M. Engelhardt, and KC Orcutt,
and much more.
Admission for this event is $10.00. Tickets will be available for purchase on
The Linda’s website and at the door on the day of the event. This event is
open to all ages ( 21+ with a picture ID required to drink).
The 2011 Albany Word Fest is sponsored by Albany Poets, McGeary’s,
The Linda, and the very generous donations of supporters of the arts
in upstate New York.