Open Mic at Literary Cafe and Lounge


Photo by Elvis Ramirez

"Poetess" made up a poem out of words solicited from the audience.

I always figured that open mic poetry nights usually didn’t attract huge crowds. I imagined low lights, smooth music playing in between acts and a people lounging in couches relaxing, some huddled together all lovey-dovey. Well, I was right except for the crowd thing.

Literary Café and Poetry Lounge hosts an open mic poetry night every Saturday from 9:30 p.m. until whenever the last act goes up.

At 9:15 p.m. the poets were all lounging around waiting for people to show up. Around 10:30 p.m. the people started trickling in.

After thelate start, the night took off. Will “Da Real One” Bell, owner of the lounge and host of the event, introduced the first poet but not before adding, “Tonight we have a drink special. The special is you pay for your drink and we hand it right to you.” What followed was a night of provocative poetry, and even a song act.

“Nigga just open mic’ed his own track. He just played the music and sat down. I thought you were going to at least talk sexy over the music,” said Will to the audience after one of the acts.

This wasn’t an event were you go to be bored out of your skull while someone lets out some pretentious poetry about the state of the world and how we all suck. It was genuinely fun. There were some readings that dealt with the old cliché of troubled black neighborhoods (however true it is there have been way too many poems about this, some of which are great, but most just ride on the shock factor of the situation). Thankfully, no one here was blaming whitey.

The same poet who just talked about the sad state of the community could just as easily have jumped to sex, love, or religion. And many did.

“He just gave ya’ll the demon poem … If you feel you have to get baptized all over again at church after being here, feel free to do so,” said Will after one of the poets recited a poem called “Hypochristians,” try to guess what it’s about.

This wasn’t a kid friendly event, but at 9:30 p.m. your kids should be in bed anyways. By 12:30 a.m., the lounge was full of people but there was room for everybody.

It’s a ten dollar cover charge to get in, five if you’re performing. I’d say that’s pretty cheap but if that’s not enough, they even have a money back guarantee. Yep, you read right, if you don’t enjoy yourself you can go right over to the hostess and request your money back.

“…And we won’t even be mad about it,” said Will. -- Elvis Ramirez

The Literary Cafe and Poetry Lounge is located at 1350 NE 125th St in North Miami, 786-234-7638.

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Tovin Lapan