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O Miami, like a river or a boulevard we begin somewhere,
the sun’s orange glow matching the orange pedestrian glow,
picadillo chest hair singed, a saltwater contact high
signals our March through April so we May
flow yet no floe,
of an orange world, in kissimmee, on the way to the magic kingdom
underneath the sluiceways, the rivers and roadways of quiet resistance, the refugees’ riverine cries
and rests. Again, a toehold is the last and first bleary memory
and the hull where I saw you unmaking yourself– O leotard bacon rock candy light
though the nights are neon we pee on the beach, extending our reach
while we sway like the trees and dance in the streets
brass blasting the crowd, pride in the synchronized shuffle — drunk on hope and superstition
while packing up your loft for the move to Brooklyn, that Eagles song you hate ominously repeats in your head: “You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave”…
taking in all of the beautiful Miami beats we move our feet to the sounds and rythms and feel the city’s hypnotisms
playing the station of the sun, on repeat, the burning waters of the biscayne summer sings
and all this felt as pointless as wishing for peace in the Middle East
but “lanterns” burn, all kinds.
beat-hearts have to jive forward – and we do, silly or prodical.
A city so methodical with its people trying to be so logical, perhaps its biological but take the time to read the daily periodical. A city filled with so much art, poetry, music, film and everything your heart can desire yet so very few are concious and aware enough to admire. Take a minute and stop and smell the flowers it’ll fulfill your days every hour.
The shadow of the morning sun makes an imprint on the tiled floor of my studio. Outside I hear the hustle of the buses, the cars as they stop to yield at the roundabout with the pink snail in the middle of a grass and flower filled circle. The birds tweet as the sun gets brighter and the sky turns bluer. Miami waves as the day commences.
We wave back and shift lanes across highway built Over
Town once called Colored,
past History reduced to exit signs.
Say hi to Ms. Tuttle
holding them off 2A,
Mr. McDuffie, upstairs in 6B,
And Black Caesar relieving boats in the Bay.
Like it is, like it was. We still wish, just because. Like a fish deep in scuzz. Hit the streets, find a buzz.
On summer afternoons, stormy skies,
violent and fleeting
cleansing the streets and the spirit,
replenishing the diminished, dreaming aquifer
We return to our moment of birth, We return to our moment of death. We return to sing of beauty both present and past. Like a smarting wound, we long to return to our original source: vast vast ocean, give birth to our collective voice.
Dear Barbara, I really didn’t need that box of cake.
hey Miami stop being built of tiny cellphones I am in love with you and oh Miami our boat is leaking no I didn’t get the text about your regrets Miami let’s just hold our breath and see what happens to each others hearts
All I really needed, Barbara, was your baby’s first corn flake.
spring break, I did not lift my shirt for you
you lifted it yourself & put the shopping mall down just a bit to the left of where it was before
by the Miami Seaquarium where my father used to frequently see the five dolphins who played Flipper
and the one child who played me. O Miami, I’m a — I’m, oh, a rock light, or a salt-gray boat
with a salt-and-peppered skipper at the helm. Miami, who are you?
A mangrove maze, a pirouetting weather system.
Eye level to the earth, humid womb of coral, mosquitos, and manatees
Oh, Miami! You are the cocaine-dream of Miami.
You are the sweltering sweat of long distance
working with the dream of working.
captain heart, you diagram of bull swallows
O how you disarm
ply me with your senselessness
pillage me with your dreams
stand me in a corner
and do unto me as you will
Miami bedsprings the seismograph
and turns to leave—
as I exhale what was borrowed
from that last kiss
I am freed from the distortion
promises falsely provide
Del Rey and Boca
sister city opposites
Heroin and Little Haiti
across the river from the shining first
of the sixth burrow
Stacking halfway houses
on the backs
of the relapsed.
Sunsets that watercolor the skyline for the menagerie of eyes who flew, swam, drove to see the exhibit of the sun
Make it a habit
Like a nun
Until the festival is done
O, Miami… you’re so fun.
and the O’Miamis, and Art Basels and Ultras and Vice Miami’s that leave behind nothings and lure with them the best of us only leaving us wanting more.
o moreami–! o mammon–! say hello to my little anathema
No, she’s mine, swallowed my first breath and likely my last
The one who held me close to her shuddering bosom when the tight swirl of winds came early in the morning,
and held my hand in the rubble in 1926, or 1992, or 1995
or whenever the next one slides from the Horn of Africa.
The only reason I know the Cape Verde Islands is that they
stand between that nursery of storms and you, Miami.
And when the green blobs pinwheel and Max
Mayfield talks of what might be, and when
plywood creaks as screws bite into cinder in preparation,
And my hands are sliced by serrated panels sliding into place, I wonder what it must have been like
with no warning
for those who came before
They call you Holiday, I call you Home
these days it seems
is just around the corner
Like the themesong from a cartoon created by Aristotle,
like an organon, an organism,
cry like a spasm, city like a cotton-candy orgasm
all stuck on you, pink sunset brew
since daddy said We’re going to Miami, and the child said It’s not your ami, daddy, it’s mommy’s ami
Remerged through Atlantis Bimini Road Ridge — sea-salt suckled anew — Fool Moon holy coconut milk drunkards, phantom fairchild pirate-poseurs kneel repentant, chant: “Oh manatees’ Miracle Marjory, spiral our Circle, give Grass-River rebirth, Tequesta ecstasy!”
city of Latin sinners
salty flesh barely covered
swails reeking of dog poo
motley medley of patchwork skin
crack a Corona and dip your skin in
she’s up way to early no
makeup yet i thot its doesnt
the sewage we steep in
Everglades stew we sleep in
hovering in seaside canals
sand pumped on her shore
Miami, you Whore!
FYI: I hate beer, especially Corona.
sand, salt, tar, wood, glass, rain, rust
The big city cloaked by warmth and joy of climate and economy prevailing as the monument of intellect over instinct with reality not perceived emphasizing that quantum theory is the only truth.
It was that kind of place and that kind of night. The kind of place growing awkward in its new makeup. The kind of night when proving your having been there was valued more than your even being noticed. Although it was nice to make your aquaintance, I will, like rain from muggy air, wring-out the little fidelity left of you. Born yours, we bards.
y ahora vamos pa Playa Giron (en sueño)
From here to the ends of I am me I rustle my intensity and meekness to the open-closed sky, O Me O My O My_Am_Me.
Captains? slap them. Them, rapping maps in flaps of clapping laps. Leaving traps by happenstance to take a stance on scantly clad dads of lads. Scnaps on pants. Panting Lance in advance of glancing Blanche? Grab a branch?
Sapphire glow amid an ocean, dropped gem from belt of stars, water, sand, and green and grain. . . since the fifties I have held your heat . . .
And I say again,
“One thousand nights are not enough
to see my city’s soul.
Calle Ocho hums its spicy song, South
Beach never closes its eyes, Coconut
Grove hides beneath its canopy, an artist’s abode.”
meeting place of mismatched souls,
where the lonely are not alone
Yet from time to time it is better to be alone
For one may truly appreciate Miami in her splendor
When with others, one is so oblivious of the nature adjoining them
Passing by the streets without even a fleeting look
As if the streets are the very rubbish that lies on her hackneyed concrete pavements
And then, one proceeds to carp about how there’s nothing to see or do in Miami
And before their friend can even respond, they’ve boarded a plane and are long gone
But, if one just takes a second and opens their eyes
They will understand that Miami has a copious amount of sights to see and sounds to hear
That is after all doing something, correct?
from afar your waves soothe the soul,embracing the fury of restless hearts
Old Miami, how sweet and bitter thy are
Tourists versus Miamians
Celebrities versus the unknown
Wealth versus poverty
Gunshows versus gun-buy-backs
Death versus life
Crime versus freedom
But whichever side you choose to walk on
Miami is home to us all
Who sees what sea may part our ways that use to part before
A land in which our history came from the sound of crashing shore
What once was loud and full of life stands only in the dark
To a reign in which the tears have shown the tyranny in its’ mark
As past has shown from oppression’s own and Nazi’s deathly grip
That peoples’ own come to their own and settle all but quit
But what has done has done so much as from a gift from God
To change the route to which we travel to travel much abroad
And where to land our ships ashore and our feet kicked with sand
And call this place a place to live while seemingly unplanned
For those brave few who faced the fear and fear itself was cast
Now we can call O’Miami ours with the future of the past
where different cultures merge and sounds
harmonize to the rhythms they create
City with amaizing Beaches or B(?)(?)ches?
City where Wishes come true or Wi(?)(?)hes are real?
For Homework find the (?).
oh Miami, where spanglish is your language and everyone understand it does not matter nothing as long you know how to say can i have un cortadito….oh mi miami
Far from being the olam haba
Still with the wings extended, leaving the sky above appeared a picture thousand times drawn in my dreams,
My feet lay upon your soil and suddenly this sense of belonging that no longer inevitably escapes from my being;
may be your smell penetrating my lungs, may be your waters so warm as those, perhaps the majesty of a sun setting behind your towers, those I used to dreamed about,
As it may be your unconquered and unknown horizon, contrary to that one they made us believe was sleeping behind the shore;
But certainly calling you home gave me the freedom, the air, the sun and also the ability to draw thousands of pictures now on my own.
-such fretful bodies arrive, portraying naivety.
Skins adamantly accept the down-cast ‘cure,’
this shrieking, seeking, paradoxical beating.
To voyage on, historically unseen-
through the sun-drenched black-hole existence
O Meeyahmee, way out in tidbits at the end of your earth,
your vices redouble in mirrored factory stairs.
The brightness is something for helicopter photos.
O Miami, I’ve seen the trailers for your parties,
your shrieking white hotels, the funny jade
of your poolwater. I’ve seen your teledramas, Miami, and I too have wanted your women.
But inward, Miami, where the concrete persists
in its fantasy of neon–if Batista didn’t build you,
it must have been his friends–
the storm shutters stay eminently closed.
Tell me about yourself, Mayaimi.
Put on your sunglasses and tell me en SAP
that Tony Bourdain doesn’t know the half of it.
Tell me, Miami, of the tiny little misfits you know
who haven’t said a thing about LeBron.
I want every single Latin Syndicate haircut,
and as many Tide and Colgate samples
as Calle Ocho can afford, y dos–no, tres!–arepas.
What is it about heatstroke and hurricanes, Miami,
that makes us all such savage romantics for you?
Well, who doesn’t love the bludgeon of August air,
the salty plastic chairs of every minor patio,
miscreant limbs, glittering, and lazy, and fiddling
with a phone, maybe? What is it with sweat
that makes love seem so harmless? The promise of mixture, Miami.
Isn’t that what you hold in your neon green light?
Y pienzo en voz, en tu, en ti – Miami
and I think of you and only you
The way you’ve brought me up from the earth,
as a child growing up and as a woman now.
My legs sticking to the leather seats in the summer heat
when I was just a little girl and you were my mother,
the heat beating down, the traffic wretched
as my father drove us in our yellow WV bug down the constantly flooded Sweetwater streets.
My legs, much longer and stronger now, that take me through the imaginary tunnels of this city sometimes called Magic, other time called rude, incestuous, unwelcoming, unloved, restless, overwhelming.
Pero como me encantas!
Yes, I’ve developed deep roots from the beauty and pain of living here – mi ciudad, el lugar donde naci y creci, Miami.
Born, raised, thrown into whirlwinds, conquering storms.
I leave you soon, long after the harrowing fights I had
once believing you had nothing to offer me
and that I had even less to offer you.
How wrong we both were, always realizing too late.
i don’t think a shit of you, miami
i think of life, just being life
i think of a place, just being a place
a place where we
to make us
to make us
your sun is bigger though
it blinds the most noble
it blinds the most
but you are you, miami
you will eat us, miami
i love this poem
but you will eat us
an this poem
will not be left
y que se joda, el que se joda
I don’t understand
I walk the sunny streets in the Gables
But I rarely hear a word
There is chatter around me
But I rarely hear a word
A visual surround
Bright light, reflected from all sides
Blue, tan and gold
Flower to flower
Cruising the light
Against a background
Of cool shade
loud voices drowning in the heat
like lobsters screaming in a pot
roasting in the eternal sun,
ethics boil away
leaving dried greed,
caked over preening ego.
so I think to myself,
I’m way too tired to do this
I long for you when I’m away,
But when I’m near I say no way.
Your like a drug that I’m addicted to,
Would I be more sane if it’t weren’t for you?
I can’t stop, I keep coming back
Your like a hangover that won’t go away
But I can’t wait to do it all over again.
O Miami look what you’ve done to me
I’ll never be the same you see
Your bright sunshine and brilliant colors have me blinded
I’m lost in this crazy sea of life
And when my life goes no longer, when my eyes see no further, I will remember you as you are everything I need to live.
with jelly fishes roaming free,
feeling no immediate misery.
we walk the crabby shoreline
stepping over dying chandeliers
and bleached bags of
Breathing in briny stench while picking out the blurry melon-colored moon
smudged with clouds
An impossibly huge O
Multiple cultures, Multiple languages…
A true Miamian laughs in the face of a hurricane
and cries over what it leaves behind: NO A/C!!
Hurricane Season —-
No school +1
No work +1
hurricane parties +1
flashlight wars +1
No A/C -1
No A/C -1
No FP&L -1
No A/C -1
No A/C -1
No A/C -1
Parmalat milk -1
No A/C -1
No TV, radio -1
No A/C -1
No A/C -1 …
1 year passes…YAY! HURRICANE SEASON!!!
A true Miamian has selective memory and math skills.
for really what I think of
is the air conditioning
you feel in a Publix aisle
where I wonder about the art of
floating along the intra-
moving, reflected, moving,
I am broken by a manatee
O Follow me
I am mnemosyne
O’ Miami is so fun… fun in the sun is all is done by the young.
while the old spend their days
laboriously crawling across town
their wrinkled bosoms
scraping the scalding pavement
But is there not charm in the edges of their crinkled eyes?
Just as the sun rises over Ocean and 8,
The young fall asleep,
While the old become awake.
amidst the gaze
soft, amber eyes
cursed diamond ring
a solid body cast made of gold;
solid black pupils lusting for stimulus;
There’s a store on the corner.
At night, the clerk locks the front door
and takes orders
from behind a thick pane of bulletproof glass. Vagrants and deviants
form a tidy line
and make their purchases one by one,
selecting blunt wraps and snack cakes
with transparent lust. Freaks (bags of flesh quaking with mania) circle the line.
Their voices tremble as though fastened to an earthquake.
They bob and weave in and out, between and around each customer, attempting to scavenge.
Each slithers like an asp
continually ascending and descending
a flag pole of focused, droning desire.
Their fingernails look rotten as do their faces.
I’m third in line when a junkie begins to berate the tiny clerk behind the bulletproof glass:
“Eres un pingüino!”
His taunting is mild at first
but quickly bubbles over into hysteria.
He begins to cackle and waddle.
He continues to do so until I reach the window.
The bags under my eyes are rich and voluptuous.
My eyes themselves are tiny buttholes.
not another trainwreck;
an open sore, a waddle home
the salty taste of a birthright
filtered into tiny pieces
beaches crack under the weight
of the many who see the sights
but fail to see the beauty
dancers mimic the clapping
of waves crashing into the seawall
home, a false avenue
shore, a battered lover
I’ve spattered life all over
this tiny-eyed metropolis
& I’m drunk on the spit
the surf has soaked me in
a time will come
when the television
will sing another tune