I’ll never see poetry in the same way again.
Last night I went to the poetry reading for the Downtown Asbury Park Third Thursday event; a marketing initiative put together by the business community and the Chamber of Commerce.
On Wednesday I saw a post on Instagram that was a reminder for the ‘Third Thursday’ Poetry Crawl by WORDS! bookstore. We were having the Artist’s Way writer’s group that night and would be learning how to write a rhyming poem, (there’s actually a formula to it). “What synchronicity!” I thought. So I suggested the Poetry Crawl to the group as an ‘Artist date.’
Third Thursday is part of an accelerated Art Movement that’s happening in Asbury Park. We all know how great Asbury Park is for music and restaurants, but do we know how great Asbury is for Art? And art comes in many forms; from the painter to the sculptor to the writer to the dress and pocket book designer.
Art Gallery’s are holding all kinds of classes to educate, teach, and inspire the budding artist, or the artist who wants to hone-in their skills, or perhaps learn something new.
The poetry reading at Words! started at 6:30. Scott Asalone, Co-owner of the bookstore, was the first reader. Scott has written many books, including novels, children’s books, and poetry. Our first Artist’s Way class was held at Words and Scott spoke to the group about his experience as a writer. I was glad to see Emma from the group come to the reading.
Scott’s poems were excellent. So masterfully written. My favorite was his poem about Super Storm Sandy; a heartfelt account of being far away from home and feeling helpless. He read them all with such elegance.
The next reader was Michael Thomas. I must admit that I did not know him, although I didn’t know any names on the list of readers.
Michael P. Thomas, M.F.A. is the Associate Dean of the English Department at Monmouth University and Director of the Visiting Writers Series. As Thomas began to read his poems, I immediately knew this was going to be a completely different experience.
Michael read with great fervor and passion, infusing his words with life. It was captivating. His poems came from the heart, as poems often do. And his honesty was raw and unfiltered.
I’ve never seen anyone read poetry like that before. But then, I’ve never seen anyone read poetry before. This was my first poetry reading. And I can say with certainty, it won’t be my last.
Nancy Sabino of The Showroom is the organizer of Third Thursday’s Poetry Crawl and coordinates the poets and the venues. Based on the amount of people strolling up and down Cookman Avenue, and attending the readings, I can see this event growing into something big and very cool.
My advice: the next Third Thursday in June, take a stroll down Cookman Avenue and listen to life expressing itself through the spoken word.