Matthew Yeager launches his reading with a long poem, "Sleep Mothers," which makes everyone spontaneously burst into applause after he's done. The poem is a kind of inverse lullaby, verses to all mothers, sleeping everywhere. His reading is an incantation, the title is apt, it's like a Catholic prayer, weaving the threads of the words "sleeping" and "mothers." (Matt tells us during the break that it came from the experience of walking around sober in the wee 2-4am hours, thinking about those who are sleeping, rather than the raucous awake.)
Then, poems on blues and basketball. A half-man, half-flower. A knock-out "gut sonnet" (from his series sonnets written in the voice of a talking gut, with the basest motives) on envy. A very funny prose poem about what happens when you rent an apartment without a ceiling (response: a series of pleasant one-night stands in a tent).
David Lehman, ever prolific, reads all new work, including prose pieces. A poem inspired by the Johnny Mercer song "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home," another with the evocative title "Breeder's Cup," where Manet's Olympia stares and seduces, a flower in her hair. A prose piece on his favorite word... turns out it's "you." It's chatty, wandering essay that nods to Marvell & Eliot on its way - how "you" captures readers of all times. (There's really nothing like "you.") A final longer prose piece, an astrological-biographical reading of Kafka makes us giggle. The crowd is buzzing, energetic, asks for more.