Last night at Cafe Magnolia off Hawthorne boulevard Smalldoggies held their regular reading night with three poets and music. The crowd was ample, warm, and participatory. People were welcoming and excited to hear out the poets.

Ethan Bull, Davey Mac, and Annelyse Gelman all gave rousing and distinct readings, their topics ranging from the personal to the political. Ethan Bull's meditations on the Tea Party were heavy on profundity. His language and images were very solid, something unique in the often abstract poetry world. Annelyse Gelman opened with a reflective poem, introducing the listeners to her quirky and nervous yet unapologetic persona. Following that were several examinations of social and private life, sometimes timid, sometimes shockingly perceptive, the strongest being a lengthy poem on a boy who died of alcohol poisoning in high school. Finally Davey Mac performed extended, rhythmic rants. His recitation was fluid and confidant, more about the music and attitude, perhaps, than the content. His greatest asset besides rhythm was his humor.

Matty Byloos and Carrie Seitzinger emceed the night. They were gracious hosts, eager to welcome listeners they didn't know personally (such as myself). The night was rounded out with music by Lithopedion, featuring members of the Invisible Orchestra. The set was minimal, the music haunting and melodic with the dueling harmonies of a reedy synthesizer and vocals. The series continues the second Thursday of every month at Cafe Magnolia.