"Waves, undulating waves—liquid, uneven, emulous waves,
Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves,
Where the great Vessel, sailing and tacking, displaced the surface"
Have you ever longed for the days of yore, when the wind was at your back, the ocean parted majestically at your stern and all the sirens called your name? O, Miami feels your pain. For Poetry Pirates, we took over the Miami River with a drove of swarthy, eyepatched, hookhanded, tattooed, tipsy barons of the high seas.
We invited all of Miami's Pirate Poets to join us in our band of riotous recitation. Careening motorboats, wooden rowboats and a collection of kayaks and canoes made up our fleet. As we moved down the river, packs of megaphone wielding orators recited selections from Walt Whitman's After the Sea-Ship. The river's length of winding water was transformed into the very poem we recited.
In the midst of our navigation, we were lured by a barge of beer-sipping mermaid and merman sirens. Our bleary eyes beheld their golden and green flapping tails and glittering bodies. Their black island steamed in the midday sun. It was only by our lyrical, flea-bitten and scurvied persistence that we were not lured to an untimely death.
After a day of pillaging, the boats were docked and a party commenced. Pirates and mer-people alike enjoyed buckets of pineapple rum and enough beer to intoxicate a small sperm whale. We did not speak like sailors, we spoke like pirates, Poetry Pirates. We gorged ourselves on cooked meats and those pirate staples, hummus and baba ghanoush. Ah, the life of a Poetry Pirate.
*All photos courtesy of Javier Sanchez and Rudy Dubouè