The RPL is staying close with “Central Casting” and Rundenalia publishes “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!”

The RPL is staying close with “Central Casting” and Rundenalia publishes “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!”

David Kramer at the Tom Otterness sculptures on University Ave holding a New Yorker, October 2015, from  The New Yorker is NOT publishing my poem. Need your submissions.

As seen in Rundelania publishes “Providence, Summer, 1989″, “The Thirty Year Prophecy,” and “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection”, Rundelania just published its seventh volume. The journal is dedicated to the publication of original poetry and prose by friends and patrons of the library.

(left) Rundelania 2019 [Held at and scanned courtesy of the Central Branch of the Rochester Public Library.] From Behold. The first print edition of Rundelania; (right) Cover image: Port de Marseille. Konstantin Korovin, Russia, 1929; oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Rundelania, no. 7, May 2020 from Rundelania publishes “Providence, Summer, 1989″, “The Thirty Year Prophecy,” and “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection”

In August 2019, under the management of Andrew Coyle, Literature Librarian at the RPL’s Central Branch, The Digital Literary Journal at the Rochester Public Library launched its first print edition. Unfortunately, the print version is suspended due the closing of the library during the covid-19 pandemic.

The library may be closed but it’s staying close. As Andrew explains:

We are doing our best to stay connected to our patrons. Rochester Public Library and the Monroe County Library System have made it the staff`s number one goal during the Pause, to stay connected, reach out, do as much online programming as we can.  Part of that was the creation of Central Casting, a Central Library podcasting and audio site. Rundelania housed the site at first but it has since moved to SoundCloud, at Central Casting at RPL. The Arts and Literature Division at Central thought it would be a great way for authors, poets, musicians and more, to have their work-in-sound uploaded and shared.  There are also nature podcasts on the site, so it is not just art and literature.  It`s a way for us to communicate with each other, it promotes their work and let`s us reach out to an audience they might not have touched before.  We also really appreciate everything Talker of The Town has done for the Literature Division and Rundelania over the years. David is an incredible advocate for the Arts in Rochester. [Editor’s note: at first I didn’t catch the double pun. Central is short for Central Branch; casting is short for podcasting. Hence,”Central Casting.”]

Rundel Library. Photo: David Kramer from RUNDELANIA publishes “A Phone Call to Manhattan”

For the May 1st issue of Rundelania, Andrew has included, “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!” and “Two on a Rickety Bicycle.” The poems first appeared in 2015 in the India digital publication The Criterion: An International Journal in English. Sometime in the last couple of years, the journal became defunct. All its poetry evaporated from the ethernet.

Andrew is kindly giving both renewed existence.  In the spirit of Central Casting I added images audio clips. In the same spirit, I added audio clips to Rundelania publishes “Providence, Summer, 1989″, “The Thirty Year Prophecy,” and “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection”.

Rundelania’s About Page explains the submission process:

We are taking submissions for issue No. 8 – November 2020, deadline for submission: October 25th, Send works of 4,000 words or less, in Microsoft Word compatible format,to Andrew Coyle: [email protected], Subject line: submission

If you’d like, include audio clips as I’ve done, amateurishly.

The New Yorker is publishing my poem!


I who wrote one poem in college thirty years ago,¹

Walked into a cemetery,

Lit my first cigarette in ten years,

And wrote a poem in my mind.

Lacking pen, I found a Starbucks,

Scrap paper and a black Sharpie.

Within fifteen minutes, finis.²

The Brighton Cemetery off Winton Road, June 2015 [selfie]

The images and dreams

Taken from another person.

But who cares?


Then the letter.³

To be published in an upcoming issue.

A complete novice.

Absolutely unprecedented and unimaginable.

The luminaries who grace the pages

Of The New Yorker!

At the Tom Otterness sculptures on University Ave holding a New Yorker, October 2015

Friends and family for the rest of their lives

To be speechless.

The Department of English

In which I serve as an adjunct

To be dumbfounded.


I who never play the lottery,

Won the lottery.

(left) Memorabilia box; (right) In the box, “The Box,” a poem written to the poem’s narrator by the object of his affection.

The woman

Whose life I borrowed,

Who left me,

Will come back.



¹ The poem the narrator wrote in college could be “Providence, Summer 1989”

²  The poem the narrator wrote in Starbucks could be “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection”

³ The rejection letter David Kramer received from The New Yorker:

Dear David,

Thank you for submitting your poetry to The New Yorker. We regret that we are unable to carry your work in the magazine, but we are grateful for the opportunity to read and consider it.


Paul Muldoon, Poetry Editor
Elisabeth Denison, Poetry Coordinator from The New Yorker is NOT publishing my poem. Need your submissions.

Audio version — “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!”


Two on a Rickety Bicycle


Hey, thanks. Let me show you the house.

The ruse of the forgotten pen.

From when they exchanged numbers that evening at Jeremiah’s.

Her children now at home with her sister

Eating Reeses and Nestles Crunch.

Look, seniorita, a Cuban flag bought last August

When Obama established diplomatic ties.

Going to fly it right next to the American flag

On Independence Day.

Flag of the Republic of Cuba

Up against a certain wall,

Back to a certain chair,

Her on my lap,

Leftover Halloween candy,

In a bowl on the table.

*  *  *


The Healthy Relationships Seminar done.

Skylarking home on the Canal Path

Under a purple evening sky

Making purple water.

Two Asians on a rickety bicycle.

The same two as before and before.

He gangly with glasses, in back.

She, perched almost on his lap, in front.

Pleasant, short, more plain than not.

The Erie Canal Path in Pittsford, NY, August, 2015

The same couple, for years now, swooning and looping

The Canal Path, the Lehigh Valley Trail, the Genesee Parkway,

Riverside and inland.

He whispering to her in Chinese

Or Talagog. Or Esperanto.

Or is it even words?


The single encounter at the municipal tennis courts

That is not me watching them on their bicycle.

The cheap used yard sale rackets,

The found balls fuzzless and soggy,

Black socks and Walmart tennis shoes.

The tennis courts at Cobb’s Hill, Rochester, NY, August, 2015

“Hey, I think I’ve seen you guys on your bicycle.”

The returned stare as blank as this page before I started.

“Do you go to school here?”

We grew up in China

My husband grad student in Electric Engineering

Live in Whipple Park.

Back to forehands and backhands

Plinking into the net.


Funny, she and I never have played tennis like that

The way we talked about.


Audio version — “Two on a Rickety Bicycle”



Rundelania publishes “Providence, Summer, 1989,” “The Thirty Year Prophecy,” and “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection”

Literary and artistic impressions at Rundel

Boxes upon boxes of Rochester newspaper history

A periodical lover’s dream at the Rundel Memorial Building

Art of the Book and Nighan’s “The Accordion Book of Short Stories” in Harold Hacker Hall

Not letting the Vietnam War be forgotten at the Vietnam Learning Center with Central librarian Steve Nash

Kitty Jospé provides noon nourishment for the mind at Rundel.

Providing hope for the homeless in the back alcove of Rundel Library

On a Cal Ripken signed 1989 glove, prized possessions, and the Rundel Library

RUNDELANIA publishes “A Phone Call to Manhattan”

Behold. The first print edition of Rundelania.

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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