You may be aware it’s April 1. The day means different things to different people, including, for some, nothing at all. To many, the first of April heralds the symbolic birth of spring, a day of melting snow, blooming flowers, and deer taking their first awkward steps. (In Miami, substitute “sunscreen” for “snow”, “onions” for “flowers”, and “iguanas” and “waddle” for “deer” and “steps”, respectively.)
For the Liberal Arts College set, April 1 ushers in “the cruellest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain” . . . or something to that effect.
Then, of course, it is to a lot of folk a day to tell a buddy his girlfriend’s been screwing his brother or your parents that you’re contemplating a sex change or your plastic surgeon that you’ve abandoned the SRS idea altogether . . . or something to that effect in the spirit of April Fool’s.
To Miami, this year, April 1 still means all (or none) of those things along with one other: The start of O, Miami, a month-long poetry festival with the impossible but inspired goal of getting all of the city’s 2.5 million residents to encounter a poem.
I’ve been pumped for O, Miami since it first bleeped across my radar in glorious fashion at last year’s epic Patti Smith Miami Book Fair reading. So when O, Miami director P. Scott Cunningham invited Beached Miami to partner with the festival, we accepted with a hearty “hell yes”.
It really was a no-brainer. O, Miami epitomizes the worthy part of Miami, the part we write about and photograph, the part we want to see flourish, the part that makes living in Miami worthwhile beyond the weather.