Remember the show Quantum Leap? Probably not. In the show, there's this
physicist, Sam, who becomes lost in time following a time-travel experiment. A new Miami spoken word night, Words & Wine, is like a whole season of this show (in a good way), starting with the venue, the American Legion Hall.
This place is kick-ass authentic 1950s Florida. It's loaded in Googie
style architecture, complete with pictures of old veterans on the
walls. Then there's the 1960s San Francisco bohemianism vibe. It's like
Haight & Biscayne. A cross-road where Joplin, Garcia, and Hendrix
may have dropped some acid, jamming to dawn, while just down the street,
in North Beach, freewheeling Ginsberg and Bob Dylan and Ken Kesey
plotted literary dreams in a back ally outside City Lights Book store.
Words & Wine has that vibe but...Before you know it, you leap into the
You're drinking Swagger-aid. The place is funky. Cut yourself and
bleed George Clinton. Leap again into 1990s grunge and hip-hop. Some
dudes are painting graffiti murals outside. It's a Tribe Called Words & Wine.
But the trippiest part of the whole experiment is
that you are undoubtedly in the now, in Miami. The air is filled with
come on, bros; I love you, maynes. And has been, all night.
There's a wide range of people at Words and Wine, all ages, genders, sexual
preferences, cultures, ethnicities. Some come from money, some don't.
Some grew up here, others didn't. But there's a real feeling of
cohesion, acceptance and family. Words and Wine is the voice of the
Nikki Rodriguez is the creator of Words & Wine. She has a natural talent for bringing people together. "I started by
organizing simple drum circles, calling all the musicians I knew, buying
some beers and being happy together under the moon, by the ocean, at a
park, or in a tiny studio I once lived in. Within this lived the poetry I
Words & Wine began in the house (yes, the living room) of organizer
and poet Rodriguez. The event ballooned and now sheand the gang
moved uptown. Some may argue that the vibe is too young and
getting out-of-hand fast. In fact, the Herald recently published a report
alleging the shutting down of American Legion events due to noise
complaints, but Words & Wiine insists that the complaints have nothing to do
with them or their gathering.
"Words & Wine is going through a lot of changes due to how
many people are
attending," Rodriguez says. "We are moving with the flow of it and
accepting change as a
beautiful positive thing. We may even have to move eventually but we
are alright with that because what we stand for is being able to be
anywhere together as the familia, or as new comers, and still have that
words and wine expressive feel."
Words & Wine is getting bigger. In fact, it's blown-up. They now have a dubstep room. They serve food. And there's a cover, two bucks. But, at the end of the day, this event is still simple. It's about words, and it's about wine.
"Words and Wine is just a quick reminder
that poetry is everywhere and in everything," Rodriguez explains. "Like a drop of water
falling from a leaf, a child playing on the swings, a grandmother
kissing your cheek. Poetry is not dead.
Poetry is very much alive and well. Come join us and become part of
Words & Wine takes place every Wednesday, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m at Harvey' Seeds (6445 NE 7th Ave., Miami). Follow Words and Wine on Facebook.
Editor's Note: Words & Wine may not be held at Harvey Seeds. Based on new regulation at the venue, the location is TBA. Keep tabs on a possible relocation on their Facebook page.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF DEE DELGADO
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