This is where the end of the #ThisIsWhere poetry submissions snuck up on us. For weeks we've been awash in a sea of words, poetic descriptions of everything from sunrises to lizards to — in this week's selection — a blessed urinal. And now we've suddenly found ourselves at the far shore, maybe a little wiser, but definitely more compelled to think of things in extended metaphors.
Each week at #ThisIsWhere we try to avoid having a theme. But they just keep happening anyway.
It's oddly organic. With no larger agenda in mind, you pick out what you think are the ten best poems from the recent submissions. You read them over, and suddenly, like storm clouds parting, there it is: a theme.
Last week it was Miami Traffic Poetry.
This week it is the Unobvious Thing.
Sometimes the Unobvious Thing makes itself clear midway through a poem. (See Scott Fiore's "The Wall" or Stelios Serdenes "The Hatching".)
It is rare to see a new literary genre appear out of the ether. But that seems to have happened this week with what we're going to call Miami Traffic Jam Poetry.
During our second week of the #ThisIsWhere project, we have poems about tattoos, Chinese restaurants, pelicans, learning Haitian Creole, and the refugee experience. But three of the best poems were about the joys and perils (mostly perils) of the multi-laned blacktop experience.
Interstate 95 inspires more than just four-letter words, it turns out.
Twenty five years ago, poet A.R. Ammons and his wife were driving home from a visit with family in South Miami. Somewhere north of Dade County -- on I-95 -- Ammons looked out his window and there it was: one of South Florida’s infamous mountains of trash.
Garbage: A Poem was born.
garbage has to be the poem of our time because garbage is spiritual, believable enough
The poet Robert Hass headlines the O, Miami Poetry Festival at the New World Center on South Beach tomorrow night (Saturday, April 5). Anyone can watch on the Wallcast from the park just outside the building.