Last night the Island Queen, manned by O, Miami and The New Tropic, sailed like an endoscope into the mouth of the Miami River and through the scenic guts of Miami, from skyscrapers to the backs of restaurants, rusty tugboats, lobster traps, shipping crates, and small, palm-shaded apartment buildings where locals waved. Do they wave to everyone? Perhaps. But no doubt the Island Queen exuded some “familiar, poetic substance”: as the sun set over the bridges and Norfolk pines, and the bald head of the Marlins stadium glowed in the distance, local poets Steven Karl, Neil de la Flor, Jaswinder Bolina, and yours truly recited odes to Garcia’s, Fort Dallas, and Mark Cuban’s cruise ship—excuse me, yacht—and of course, the stadium.
A communal prayer went up for Bayside. We chanted for the Heat. Afrobeta played in their warm, gorgeous way. We drank countless cups of Biscayne Bay Brewing Company Ale, and Bolina was seen using his complimentary Aesop mouthwash.
When the boat docked, poets and lovers strolled to the Intercontinental Hotel, which has given its dancing girl a much-needed vacation and will be playing sign-language poetry for the month of April. Inside, we drank wine and beer and muddled-fruit cocktails served by a handsome giant. Shel Shiverstein passed out Poetry Pops, winning the heart of the hot DJ, and everyone else.
Welcome to O, Miami, 2015.