O, hi there!

For this year’s O, Miami Poetry Festival, Reading Queer is presenting “O, Hi There”, a free-form poetry reading that takes the cruising experience as its point of departure.

RQ begins by cruising local poets whose work they love and lust after by asking them to record one or two of their own poems, lyrical short stories and essays, or whatever other poetical forms they choose.

Then, on April 12th, they’ll again cruise the unsuspecting, this time setting their sights on the audience. Throughout the evening, a team of Cruisers will playfully proposition audience members at Poetry in the Park to listen to the recordings using headphones.

The goal, like all good poetry, is paradoxical: to create intimate encounters with a poem in the most public of encounters with the genre, Poetry in the Park.

So happy to be a part of “O, Hi there” along with a whole bunch of other South Florida literary talents: Julie Marie Wade, Ashley M. Jones, Nick Vagnoni, Yaddyra Peralta, and others. Reading Queer is still putting the archive together and it looks awesome! There are still many fabulous poets and writers to come. Their work will be housed permanently atreadingqueer.org.

If you want to hear our awesome poems in action, attend RQ’s O, Hi There @ Poetry in the Park, Sunday, 4/12/2015 at the New World Center – Soundscape at 500 17th StreetMiami Beach, FL 33139.  (map) Event is free and open to the public. 

Here’s one of my poems, featured on the site:

HOW TO BE A DANGEROUS GIRL

I wanted to be the kind of girl
who’d steal smokes from her mother’s purse
and booze from her father’s cabinet,

who’d sneak into R-rated movies
at the local theater
and lose her virginity in eight grade
to a high-school sophomore who had his own car
and liked to “do it” in the backseat,

become a dangerous girl
who’d drive in the middle of the road
and wouldn’t obey stop signs.

I imagined that girl, hurried, naked—
sweating with a forbidden lover
on her twin-sized bed,
under striped sheets
and posters of boy bands,

feeling no regret when daylight came,
turning the sky from purple to blue,
and then to a shocking bright light.

But I barely understood the language
of flirting, dating, love, passion.

While Papa broke the porcelain vases,
and Mama went to bed with a crust of tears
drying on her cheeks,

I stared at the dark television,
and in the curve of the screen, my reflection
was at the end of a long, black hallway.

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