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Old haunts and new styles



The Elbow Room (605 N. Pennsylvania Street) serves up great beer (Fat Tire!), a tasty sammich (cluuub), and a low-key place to laugh with friends. It’s my hangout from my college days and remains a place I feel ultra-comfortable. When I heard about a poetry slam taking place on the premises, I was more than happy to check it out.

Billy Tuggle
  • Billy Tuggle

Once a month, the Indianapolis Poetry Slam meets in the restaurant’s banquet room to throw down mad words and fierce emotion. I checked out the happenings on Wednesday, April 14, when Chicago-based Billy Tuggle was in town. The event got started around 8:00 pm and opened with poets Jason Ammerman and Tony Brewer (members of the spoken-word troupe Reservoir Dogwoods), who competed in three rounds. (A wrestling round was suggested but vetoed.) Subject matter included plastic bags, sporks, and Super Bowl commercials. The judges declared Brewer the winner and, after a break, Tuggle took the stage. He incorporated song into his performance, shared haiku from his cell phone, and smiled mischievously during “Something Like a Friday Night,” a poem from his CD “Turnstyles,” which includes the phrase, “Sorry if checking out your ass is getting on your nerves but brown-skinned earth boys love girls with crazy curves.”


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