I’m a poetry geek and I enjoy shows like the Big Bang, but I had never gone as far as communing at major centers like Comic-con, where geeks congregate in the thousands. But I put my faith in these organizations, and gathered my crew—Plato, my canine kin, and Sara, my Game of Thrones geek/visual artist cousin.
The location was convenient for West Kendall residents, who often have to commute inconvenient distances to experience cultural events.
When we got to the park, I felt like I hadn’t traveled via car but via time machine. The last time I had been to a field with bounce houses and people organized by primary colors was over a decade ago, in Elementary school.
P. Scott Cunningham, founder and director of O, Miami, introduced the event and then himself with the disclaimer “I will be your highly subjective judge for Shakespeare Recitations” (Later on, while judging, in a moment of Geek fervor, the statement became objective: “No doubt people, I am simply a vessel, a mouthpiece for the Gods”.) Throughout the day, he would double as referee and judge.
The four team captains introduced their teams in epic geek voices or in some cases they went further, like the team Blue Flames, who expressed their dominance with an epic strut by Captain Cammie, Carmen Pelaez. Her performance strongly reminded me of the dramatic strut by wrestler Ric Flair.
“Red Wedding” (which my geek informant cousin informed me was the title for one of the goriest episodes of Game of Thrones), “Blueflames,” “Summer is Coming,” who were wearing green, and “The Slayers,” who were wearing yellow, would be competing against each other in Kickball, Mathletics, Assemble a Poem, Shakespeare Recitations, and synchronized slip-n-slide.
Geek behavior like fear of fast-moving objects did not take away from the fun in events like Kickball. For example, when I asked Jacky Carcamo if she was standing in the outfield because she didn’t think the ball was going to make it past the red clay, she chuckled and said, “Yup. I’m trying to stay as far away from the ball as possible.” Still, she was all smiles and cheering for her team.
Throughout the event, DJ Hotpants and Lolo pumped out jams, remixing artists like Whitney Houston, Fatboy Slim, and Missy Elliot. A few of the braver geeks broke it down on the floor.
As a lover of poetry, my favorite game was Shakespeare Recitations, where “Summer is Coming” won first place for their Miami Spanglish interpretation, “Ayyy, Romeo Romeo…deny thy papi…y si no puedes, be but sworn, mi amor, and I’ll no longer be a Capulete. What’s in a nombre…that which we call a bro? Romeo, bote ese nombre chico! And for that name, which is no part of thee, cojame toda que aqui estoy completa! Dale!”
What a joy, to see people of all ages come together for some geeky challenges. My earlier skepticism is gone. When can we do this again?
Farah Diba is a writer living in Miami, Fl. She will be contributing blog posts for O, Miami Poetry Festival 2016.