************

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guest Review - Lix and Kix @ the 806

Guest Reviewer
Christina Brooks aka Rune Warrior

Lix and Kix at the 806

I had the fun opportunity
of attending the “Lix and Kix” Poetry Reading on January 20th, 2009. The event is hosted by Poets Dianne Borsenik and her partner John “Jesus Crisis” Burroughs. It’s held every third Tuesday evening at the 806 Wine and Martini Bar in Tremont.

This was the fourth monthly installment of the Lix and Kix program, the first trial run occurred in October of last year, followed happily by a regular booking of the event into a regular poetry venue. They now have upcoming features scheduled thru June of 2009.

This was my second time to the Lix & Kix venue in Tremont. And I can say honestly it was a blast.

The 806 is not a large venue but it makes up for that in style and attitude. The art deco furnishings give the spot a very upscale feel and the wonderful selection of beverages keep the poets lubricated and content. John and Dianne’s hosting give it some amp and spunk. They run a very relaxed venue that is welcoming to the “virgin” poet, the savvy street poet and academic. My first visit in December and the second one this past week, were both very enjoyable.

The two featured readers this month were Elise Bonza Geither and C. Allen Rearick. Elise read several short poems, a short story selection titled “Through the Wood of the Door”, and also an excerpt of dialogue from an as yet untitled play. C. Allen Rearick shared several pieces from his poetry book, “Through These Eyes”. His piece,”Sizing up the Situation”, which I’ve heard him read before, brought gales of laughter, loosening up the crowd. I liked the contrast in the featured readers chosen and the material they presented. Elise’s material being touching and dramatic; C. Allen’s being both funny and personally poignant. Their performances were a yin-yang of one another as was Dianne and John’s hosting, a pleasant contrast and interplay of material. After the featured readers there was a rousing and sometimes wild open mic with more than ten participants from Cleveland and beyond which included a piece by a singer, Jodi Dobos, who shared a Joni Mitchell song.

The evening’s festivities were punctuated with offerings of music and poetry by John and Dianne. John singing three songs, one originally written by himself for a play that was performed at the Marion Correction Facility, and some poetry both original and by others. Dianne sharing a few pieces including a “colorful and bawdy” new villanelle she’d written.

I can say that the evening started on time and flowed smoothly even though things were very relaxed. Everyone felt comfortable getting up and sharing their offerings, and appeared to be having an awful fun time listening to poetry and making new friends.

I think the only thing I can honestly criticize is there is not enough seating in the 806 to accommodate everyone that was there or would want to be there. The place was packed with people seated even on the floor. Considering this is only the fourth month since their inception this will be a continuing problem. Many Cleveland poets haven’t even been to the 806 yet. I can imagine once they discover it, it will become a fixture in the poetry community just like the Lit Café, and Mac’s Backs, etc. Things can only get better as John and Dianne groove their niche there at the 806. So I recommend you go down any third Tuesday, check it out, and maybe bring a chair, because, between the drinks and the crowd you will need one. Things can only get better and better at Lix & Kix.

The Lix and Kix events postings can be found at:

CrisiChronicles Blog: https://www.crisischronicles.com/

And their Lix & Kix MySpace page

The 806 Wine and Martine bar is at 806 Literary Rd., Tremont. The program starts at 7:00 pm.

Christina Brooks

8 comments:

John "JC" Burroughs said...

Thank you for this very kind review, Christina! It was a pleasure to have you there and hear you read - and I'm particularly appreciative that you come all the way from Detroit, Michigan, to participate. I must say, for folks who don't know, that Chris doesn't drive all that way just for Lix and Kix. She's recently taken part in Poet's Haven and Tainted Coffee readings, as well as others in the area - which I believe speaks volumes for Cleveland poetry in general.

As far seating, there is room for spillover in the bar area, where one can hopefully still hear (but unfortunately not see) the action. We're looking into other options as well - like bringing our own folding chairs as a supplement. But we're especially looking forward to warmer weather, when we can open the door to the 806's very nice and rather spacious patio area, which adjoins the fireplace room where we hold the readings. The umbrella-ed tables and chairs on the patio will nearly quadruple our amount of seating.

Thanks for sharing you photos, too! I have to run for a bit, but will return for a few more remarks in a bit.

John "JC" Burroughs said...

Ignore the redundancy in my comment above - that's what sometimes happens when I write before I've caffeinated myself sufficiently.

I realize I'm not the most unbiased reviewer (though I try) - and I haven't been out in the "scene" for long - but honestly, this recent Lix and Kix was one of the most enjoyable poetry events I've ever experienced. Elise and C. Allen, who I fully expected to be great, were even better than I expected. The open mic was diverse, fun, and featured some fabulous poetry by old favorites and some talented newbies.

I should mention that I too have written a blog about Lix and Kix IV, including lots of photos. But in a lot of ways, I like Christina's better. ;)

Thanks to all the folks who came out and made the night very special - Elise Geither, C. Allen Rearick, Gina Tabasso, Miles Budimir, John Dorsey, Alex Nielsen, Claire McMahon, Jodi Dobos, Jen Pezzo, Vertigo Xi'an Xavier, Suzanne Savickas, Maria Belmonte, Brigitte Belmote-Jarc, Christopher Franke, Steve Goldberg, Dominique Glick, Ella Shurr, Jean Brandt, Allisun Hovater, Jamie and Robbie, my co-host Dianne Borsenik, my wife Geri Lynne, and all the folks I'm sure I've neglected to mention. Thanks especially to Christina for coming all that way and writing this review. And thank you, ClevelandPoetics!

John said...

Two more things:

Dianne and I finally got our own sound system for the event - so no more having to rely on others.

And we were ready to begin on time at 7 p.m. this month! All the kinks seem to be worked out, so there won't be any long delays before we start (as folks had to endure in November and December).

amanda said...

this was a wonderful read, thanks for the share :)

peace to you

Jen Pezzo said...

Christina,

What a well written spectacular review! I had a blast and think this was the best Lix and Kix yet as far as turn out and timing.

Dianne and John have picked the perfect place for creative talent to meet, mingle, drink and have fun, but it is also a great venue for those who want to come and appreciate the poetry and music.

I may be biased, because I was the very first open mic virgin at Lix & Kix...but a standing room only venue speaks for itself.

:)

dianne borsenik said...

There isn't much I can add to John's spot-on assessment of Christina's blog review, and the overall experience of Lix and Kix, except to say that I consider it a privilege and an honor to be hosting and reading with the caliber of poets and musicians we've encountered thus far. I also feel very lucky to have a "partner in rhyme" like John Burroughs, with whom I can share the responsibilities and experiences of the show. Thank you so much, Christina, for your
wonderful review of the fourth Lix and Kix. I am humbled by the support and the encouragement we have received from everyone.

Vertigo Xavier said...

Can't wait for the next one. :-D

Jesus Crisis said...

I just want to let folks know that Lix and Kix have changed locations since this blog was written. Through the summer of 2009 at least, our events will take place at 7pm every third Tuesday at Visible Voice Books on Kenilworth in Cleveland's Tremont neighborood. For the latest, please see www.crisischronicles.com or www.myspace.com/lixandkix.

Cited...

The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau