I’m in a new relationship with this lady. We’ve only been together twice, but there’s something about her. Something that makes me smile when I hear a song that played in the background. Something that makes me wanna visit her, but I know it’s too early. And so I wait. But before our next date, I reminisce. Her sweet nothings in my ear, and her aroma linger as I climb into my bed. And I fall asleep only to dream of future dialogues between she and I.

She is warm.

She is welcoming.

She is The  Bohemia Room. A quaint poetry event which happens at Vlada Lunge, downtown Miami. I was informed about this venue by the daughter of the hostess, Ingrid Bazin. And it felt like I had been invited to witness the traditions of a secret society.

My first time attending, the host for the night, Anomaly, called out my fiance and I for looking unhappy (this happens to us quite frequently).  And she actually did it over the mic. I was mortified. My sole purpose for going was to be inspired. I wanted to find my voice again as a poet and becoming more and more timid was killing me. And here this lady was, calling me out in front of everybody. And at the end of the night I went to my car and lo and behold, my window had been smashed. A tad more than disgruntled, I called the police and waited. I didn’t go back for over a year.

But one is not the cause of the other. Though I was thoroughly embarrassed by a one, Ms. Anomaly, it actually made me feel more at home. My fiance and I were standoffish, as we always are. I don’t socialize. Ever. Hence, my not returning for over a year. Going out at night was something I did for maybe two years of my life. You have to be pretty darn special for me to roll out of bed. And The Bohemia Room is. It SO is.

While she scolded us for our sour demeanor, Anomaly ensured us that we’d like it there. That we’d have a good time. And the minute the first poet performed, her promises were made true. Every poet comes to the stage with their very best. It’s not the age old adage of “competition breeds excellence” here. Each poet here is unique, and they have a community where they encourage one another while onstage.

And so the first time I go out aside from a film viewing, of course, I got back to my lady. And the night is Christened Men’s night. And BAM, the light from the heavens fell and I am thoroughly, magically, awefully inspired. I am proud to say that  I am currently working on a poem for my father, inspired by Asia and Analogy who both performed poems about fathers/fatherhood. And last night, as I sat back I watched, Anomaly asked the audience if they  were doing good. Then she asked someone in the audience why they didn’t answer. HA! she had called someone out, and this time it wasn’t me. I felt like I wasn’t the new girl anymore.

The ambiance is warm, inviting, slightly seductive and somehow other-worldly. And though I don’t yet have the guts or what I consider acceptable words to actually hit the stage myself, I am basking in the glory of the artists who do. And something about actually seeing live again what I hadn’t seen for years, something I shied away from, is helping me get my footing. It;s real. And like the illustrious Ingrid Bazin told us last night, we’ve got to take our art seriously. We must take other poets seriously. And mainly take poetry seriously. I took that to heart. There’s no more doubting, or waiting. I’ve got to put my pen where my mouth is.

When you’re there it’s like you’re part of a community of artists. And you wonder, is this Paris of the thirties? All of these artists sitting around, feeding off of one anther’s energy. Is there a Hemmingway, DooLittle, or Beckett here? Of course. And you’re reading one of them.


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