Impromptu poetry slam at Lux Lounge

Impromptu poetry slam at Lux Lounge

As we have happily gained new readers and as the archives are filling up, from time to time we reach back into Talker past. (BELOW)

Coming up on two years now, we went to Lux Lounge for an impromptu poetry slam.  That was back in the day when Talker was still a Democrat and Chronicle blog.  Back then, we were just developing the Talker gonzo oeuvre where the event itself becomes the story.  see Talker is doing experiential journalism (formerly gonzo journalism)

That night we had a blast as Lux owner Karrie Laughton let us solicit Lux-themed poems from unexpecting patrons. And, despite the constraints of time and alcohol (or maybe because of alcohol), those partying patrons were able to produce some really fine spontaneous pieces.

Their creative burst would inspire our Poets Page.  For my brief 15 minutes of poetic fame in three chunks, I managed to publish three pieces in The Criterion.  see Some more poetry from the Mystic.

After that short lived upsurge, we turned the page over to more prolific and accomplished poets: Kitty Jospe, Bill Pruitt, George Payne, John Roche, Frank Judge and Bart White.

We heartily welcome all and any poetic submissions.

On the Road. Destination Little Bohemia in the South Wedge.

bo ho 2

Hey, it’s a work of art!

• August 21, 2015

For those unfortunate few following my On the Road summer sojourn, I must be the last vaguely hip Rochesterian to have discovered Lux Lounge at 666 South Avenue. My first encounter was revelatory. (Get it, 666, Chapter 13, New Testament.) Actually, my first encounter was revelatory.

Needing an entre on a soft summer’s Saturday night, I meekly asked three comely young women if I was “too old” for Lux:

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Lux is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. You can be a drag queen!

Not yet a drag queen, I nonetheless saw the light at Lux. Next destination, of course, photo op on the Phallic Chair!

As for more of what Lux is (besides Sanskrit रोचते ), hack writer that I am, I stole everything from the website and past articles.


Bartenders Gerry Lembke and Dan Ross fighting over jukebox selection

The Insider Magazine described the carnivalesque décor as “scary but kitsch.” Skulls, shrunken heads, extra large spiders, red walls, black ceilings wrought-iron (electric) chandeliers and horned red figures above the bar. In 2004 Kayla Zarby, also of the Insider, summed up the vibe: “funky, eclectic, with an ultrahip aftertaste.” On September 11, 2002 (ominous date no?), the City Magazine said opening night attracted a “flock of jaded, black-clad bohemians.”

Naturally, inhabitants include some Bukowskian antihero poetic barflys. As my summer of love has had some excursions into poesy — and because I want others to do the writing for me — the rest of the post is dedicated to haikus and poems written by actual Luxites.

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D & C blogger groupies, Hoby Amityville Horror and Tootsie Dean

On movie night Wednesday, owner Karrie Laughton and I arranged a little impromptu poetry making event. I played the fool, black clad with beige fedora, as the beatnik ghost of Jack Kerouac. The scribes of Lux shone. It was deluxfull. I received far more poems than space allows, ranging from the comic to the cosmic to the profane to the Croatian. The poetess says you must google translate her poem.

Vladamar Nabakav visits 666 South Avenue

Luxlita, lux of my life,
Fire of my loins.
My sin, my soul. Lux-lee-ta:
The tip of the tongue
Taking a trip of three steps
Down the palate
To tap, at three,
On the teeth.
Lux. Lee. Ta.

–Rochester, Summer 2015
David Kramer


Starving artist passing the fedora hat


The address is 666

With a hip, oddball mix

Where art is king

And the music makes you sing

Where drinks are cheap

And there are ample lays to reap

It’s a quick roam

Hence its my second home

–JDB-R 8/19/2015

Halcyon Days

Red umbrellas

Pic-nic benches,

Sometimes Hipsters,

Sometimes Wenches.

Sundays spent on

Summer days,

Crisp beers n’ burgers,

In a cigarette haze.

Evil address

Holy neighbor.

Heaven’s fun, but Lux

Is safer.

–Brandon Brooks

bo ho 6

Too many haikus!


In the space between the

Shadows and in between the bricks,

Lies a spot between the worlds

Where conversations thick


Anonymous should have dropped by the condom barrel on his way out the door.

We come to find the center,

The liminal space.

Where we find each other

And also find our face.

–Ian Warren


PBRs are cheap!

Hooked up with someone

Last night

Now I got a rash.


bo ho 7

And to think some people were watching a movie instead of writing their poems!


There is a spot

Between the light and dark

Between the day and night

Where a convent abuts

A den of iniquity

Where booze pours

And flames flicker

And lost souls drink

And come closer to heaven

In the twilight

Fiat Lux


Pjesha O Lux-U (Croatian)

Pece David

Pjesmu Hoce

Pjesmu Na Hrvatskom

Hrvatskom na pjesmu

Pjesmu o lux-u

Ne tna David

Da ja pjesnik nigam

Nepocudno pokucstvo

Nepocudni ljudi

Yo je Lux

Dosta pisanja


–Ch.Buntitled 4

Lux Haiku

Lux w/the red lights

Freaks Geeks Poets and In Betweens

Drink and be merry

–JDB-R 8/19/2015

LUXbo ho 8

Come expecting Lucifer,

Instead encounter angles of light.

What’s the difference,

Among the open & the bright?



Lux is a place

Lux is a face

Where sexuality

Is in flux

Don’t wear you tux

Luminous ducks

Right on your crux

Back in space

Better know your place


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The evening was to die for. Time to hang up my poetry!

Now She is Yours

She was my Lux

My Luxembourg

My Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

My Deluxe

My Deluxe Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

My Luxury

My Luxurious Delux Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

She was my light

– David Kramer


What Millennials think of the Bridge Generation at Lux Lounge.

“Looking at the Genesee River” by Kitty Jospé

Pruitt breaks new ground with “The Pennant Races in Rhyming Couplets.” Keeps eyes on the Talker baseball prediction prize.

“Joy Abounds”

RIT’s John Roche offers “Orange Golem” and “Trumped.” And the Donald’s parting shots.

“45” by Frank Judge

Invitation to Equal Grounds and more from Just Poet Bart White. And “Wait and Watch.”

Says who you can’t get rich being a writer.

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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