poster by Dianne Borsenik
We had a wonderful reading in Toledo Tuesday night. I wanted to write about it yesterday, but instead Dianne and I spent most of the day figuring out where we were going to hold our St. Patty’s Day Lix and Kix event. You see, yesterday, Dianne got an e-mail from Lisa, one of the co-owners of the 806 Wine & Martini Bar. That led to a phone conversation wherein Lisa said the 806 is closed on St. Patty’s Day, because they don’t want “that kind of people” in their establishment. She said contemptuously that we should have cleared the event with ownership before we planned and promoted it. Her tone reminded me of John McCain when he referred to Barack Obama as “that one” during a debate last year. Problem is we DID clear the event with ownership – back in December when the 806 accidentally double booked us with a block party.
That time, we showed up at 6:30 for a 7 pm event and the owner told us there had been a miscommunication with management. No one realized we were scheduled to do poetry that night, despite the Lix and Kix flyer that was on the wall behind the bar, right beside the owner’s head, or the ones posted prominently for a month ahead of time on the restroom doors. Folks had come from Toledo, Detroit and elsewhere for our event — in some fairly treacherous weather — and we poets had to stand cramped together in the front room until 8:15 before we could hold our event. That December day was only the third or fourth time they’d lied to us or made a promise they did not keep (and bear in mind we’d only started Lix and Kix in October), so Dianne and I were very close to moving our future events to another venue then. But co-owner Jason said he wanted to keep us there and promised we would never have another problem. Since he’d also promised that after breaking promises in October and November, we were hesitant to believe him. Dianne specifically asked on that December day, “Are you sure we won’t have another problem – even on St. Patrick’s Day?” And Jason responded, “I promise you won’t have a problem on any other 3rd Tuesday, even St. Patrick’s Day. I give you my word. It’s not like we get many Irish people here anyway.” And he made a note of it on his PDA.
So at this short notice we find out again that you can’t always rely on some folks’ “word.” The 806 is not going to open on St. Patrick’s Day, despite promising us three months ago that we could hold our event there that day. I hate to say anything bad about the place because it’s a lovely joint, at least visually, and some of the folks who work there have been very kind to us. I appreciate the 806 (especially their former manager Matt) for giving us our start last year. But we need a reliable venue. Some of the featured poets on our schedule this year are coming all the way from California to read at Lix and Kix. But wherever they’re from, I don’t want to find out after they get here that we have no venue. That’s simply not cool.
Fortunately, after working the phones all yesterday, Dianne found another cool place whose owner is extremely excited about hosting Lix and Kix on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the Bela Dubby Art Gallery and Beer Cafe at 13321 Madison Ave. in Lakewood, Ohio. The fun will still begin at 7 p.m. on March 17th with featured poets Gina Tabasso (author of From Between My Legs, Disrobing, and the soon-to-be-released Front Lines) and T.M. Göttl (author of Stretching the Window), with musical accompaniment by Zach. Drinks will be much more affordable. And our famous open mic will follow, as always.
Future Lix and Kix events will go on as scheduled — but not at the 806. We’ll let you know where as soon as we can get it etched in stone. And despite the inconvenience, I’m starting to see a lot of good in the way things are evolving.
Speaking of Bela Dubby, they’re hosting another poetry event, As We Speak, this Saturday night (March 14th) at 8 pm. Featured poets include Dianne Borsenik, Lester Allen, John Dorsey, Lisa LaTourette, Zach Moll, and C. Allen Rearick. For more information, see http://aswespeakreading.blogspot.com.
Thanks for your understanding, friendship and support! YOU are the reason Lix and Kix events are so special. See you on St. Patrick’s Day, if not before….
Peace and poetry,