Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dec. 18: The Potluck Edition

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through Will's Pub
you could smell last night's band, passed out in the shrubs.
The poets, however, hung the chimneys with care,
nevermind that the chimneys weren't actually there.
And neither were stockings, but they still did they stock
their gifts into these metaphorical socks.
For Trevor: A poem! For Curtis: A limerick!
For Mike and Amanda, a story erotic!
What did you expect, some kind of toy truck?
This is Speakeasy, dude. We're all broke as fuck.

That's right, writer-types. We're keeping it nice and easy for all you shell-shocked holiday veterans. The theme for this month of giving: Other People's Poetry (or Prose). If you're signing up on the list to read at December's open mike, bring an extra bit of writing, no longer than a page (your own or someone else's). All these pages will go into a pile, and readers will draw at random from it for their first reading of the night. Don't worry, you can still read a poem or story of your own afterward. You're already eating Xmas dinner with relatives the week after this, so the last thing we wanna do is extra damage to your ego.

Oh, and while you're at it? Wrap up a misfit book from your own library and bring it along for our literary White Elephant pile. Every single reader at our open mike gets a book from the pile! For free! Don't get too excited; there might be a Kardashian biography in there. But hey, that's still a book AND a page of poetry free for every reader. With those savings, you can't afford not to come. See you at 9ish pm at Will's Pub on Dec. 18, and dog bless us, every one.

- Tod

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nov. 20: The Toasty Edition

No, it's not going to be any warmer at Will's this month. Nor will there be any kind of theme involving open fires, roasting chestnuts or any of those other Xmas chestnuts. We hate the pre-emptive holiday blitz as much as the next heathen.

In fact, there won't be any kind of theme at all, because we're gonna need all the brain cells we can salvage. Yes indeed, children - it's time once again for the semi-bi-wheneverannual Speakeasy Toast-Off.

Perhaps you remember it from the last couple of years at the Orlando Fringe Festival, where it crashed the party on the Outdoor Stage. Maybe you were here in the audience at Will's the last few times we did it, and you're still cursing the hangover. Or maybe you're Christian Drake, and you're still waiting for kickbacks on the idea we stole from you. If it's none of the above, here are the (snicker) "rules":

  • Eight competitors will be brought to the stage to face off against each other in four head-to-head elimination rounds, drinks in hand. There will be a brief moment allowed for intense staring, and/or debate on the relative comforts provided by the opponents' mothers.
  • The host will select a topic at random from a hat. Past subjects have included "Satan," "Girl Scouts," "Batman" and "Sobriety."
  • The competitors will have roughly 30 seconds to compose and deliver a toast to the given topic. Ex. "Here's to Sobriety! The best 10 minutes I ever spent."
  • They should probably be funnier than that, although sincerity can be an occasionally useful tool. Either way, brevity is an essential requirement of the proper toast.
  •  Contestants drink after each toast, as does the audience. Do I really have to tell you this?
  • Winners of each round will be determined by audience applause. Best of three toasts takes the round. We then narrow the contestants down in a series of successive rounds until two competitors remain. Grand champeen will then be decided in a best-of-five toasts match.

That's about the size of it. The Toast-Off will kick off the evening, so get there early if you'd like to compete, or just throw in your hat right here in the comments. We'll also have a standard open mike following the competition, if anyone's still lucid. 9 p.m. (sharp this time!) Nov. 20 at Will's Pub, you lushes. See you there, and identify yourself as you will be blurry.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oct. 16: The Masquerade Edition

OK, for one moment let's pretend your host has thought this out. That I have not, as usual, solicited some random drunk's opinion (thanks, Teege!) and called it the theme for this month's Speakeasy. It would certainly seem like I had, because our upcoming theme of Fan Fiction fits October like a toga on a douchebag.

Because, hey - isn't that what Halloween is about? All us ugly stepsisters get to slip into Cinderella's shoes and tell Prince Charming that no, actually, they do fit and we're keeping them and he can jump up our ass. We get to be princesses, presidents, heroes ... just for one day. Or at least as many drinks as it takes for us to lose one shoe and puke in the other one.

I digress, because that's what I do. What I'm trying to justify here is this month's call to arms, our summons to Speakeasy writers: Fan fucking fiction. For October, kidnap your favorite fictional characters. Lure them into the black, windowless van of your notebook and rub the lotion of your imagination all over them. Only when they are taught their manners will they emerge, fit to join the patient listeners of Will's Pub. Sam Spade in Narnia? Dolemite meets the Mummy? The cast of Sailor Moon in a sexual octahedron with the Powerpuff Girls? Hey, we won't judge.

I mean, we will. But we probably won't remember. And really, how hard can this stuff be? See you at 9 p.m. on Oct. 16 at Will's Pub, me hearties.

- Tod

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sept. 18: The Electoral Edition

You know what we hate here at Speakeasy, other than spiders? An election year. That magical season when finding a mortal enemy is as easy as spotting his bumper sticker. The out-of-context quotes! The fabricated drama! Makes you long for a good solid monarchy, doesn't it?

Camacho/Trump 2016.
We tell you this so you know just how hard we've tried to avoid the theme for September: Politics. That's right, my fellow Americans. We know it's right up there with chlamydia on the list of things you Do Not Discuss at a bar, but on this month, we're doing it onstage. Ever wanted to inflict your views on other people through a microphone, but just didn't have any delegates? Now's your chance! Writers, sign yourself up on the list and elect yourself grand poobah for a night (or at least five minutes of it). Together, we can restore a semblance of sobriety to this great nation of Will's Pub. Together, we can accomplish the improbable ... and make politics interesting.

Yeah, we know the chances. But hey, in a year of broken promises, what's one more? See you on Sept. 18 at Will's Pub, people. 9 p.m. blunt as usual.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Aug. 14: The Violent Edition

The heat. The reruns. The elections. The mosquitoes. The heat. There's something about August that brings out the neanderthal in us, especially in Florida. Can you feel it there, sitting in your sweat lodge of a busted car? Look at all these snowbird morons, playing Angry Birds at 50 mph on the freeway. Makes you just want to stop the car, grab something nice and sharp and ... write a poem.

What else, right? Seeing as how the theme for August at Speakeasy is Violence, you'll fit right in. Come give a listen or join the fray as our writers throw down with some verbal kicks to the babymaker. Tales of schoolyard bloody noses? Celebrity beatdown fantasies? Come at us, bro. This month, our spoken word regulars won't just be putting their foot in their mouths - they might be putting it in yours.

SPECIAL ALERT, though: We'll be a week early this month. The August edition of Speakeasy will be at 9-ish p.m. sharp on Aug. 14 - NOT our usual third Thursday. Why? Let's just say we couldn't wait a whole month to see your pretty faces again. It's not true, but let's say it.

You've got your orders, soldier. Hey, what else you doin' on a Tuesday? Safer than going to see a movie, that's for sure.

- Tod

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 17: The Revolting Edition

Oh no. We promised ourselves we weren't going to do it and here we are. July. Smack in the middle of the most patriotic month there is. Still hung over on Milwaukee's Best and Oscar Meyer's worst. Eyes dizzy from fireworks and loud clothes. We told ourselves that Speakeasy just wasn't the place for politics, but in a state like this, how can we resist the easy option? Goddammit, we never take the easy road. We never pander.

But damned if all this nationalistic hoo-rah hasn't got us more entitled than usual. Yearning for some good old-fashioned bar griping. Easily susceptible to suggestions from Speakeasy barflies like Trevor Fraser. And that's why the theme for July is Oppression.

You know you are, right? Oppressed? Oh, sure. You may think you're free, America. Sitting there watching your Real Housewives of Miami, eating Funyuns off your erection. See, this is why you need writers. You need folks like us to tell you this is just like Burma, only without all the beheading and stuff. So rise up, writers of Speakeasy! Give the people your songs of freedom denied! Crack open your beers and feed la resistance! Poets, this is your chance. Use the word revolution as much as you like without fear of defenestration*!

Tuesday, July 17, 9:30 p.m. at Will's Pub, people. They can take our homes, our rights and even our lives, but they'll never take our beer. Or our whine.

- Tod

*Kneecapping will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 19: The Manly Edition

What the hell happened? Seems like only yesterday we were living our regular routine in Orlando - you know, drinking our Big Gulps, counting our Disney collector pins. Then, wham! Cultureville. We're still recovering from the Orlando Fringe Festival, but our hangovers are somewhat lightened by The Daily City's "Best Outdoor Show" award for the Fringe Poetry Smackdown and a George Award for your Speakeasy host. (What's a George Award? Still not completely sure. We think it's for eating more PB&J clouds than George Wallace.) Thanks to anyone who stopped by the Poetry Vending Machine (starring your favorite Speakeasy regulars), and keep your eye on the mothballed Vending Machine blog - we'll be posting select poems from Fringe 2012 there as soon as we get our gumption back.

Anyway, that's our excuse for posting late this month. So right down to business then, gentlemen: Your Speakeasy theme for June. It's a pleasant little month despite all the rain, named after a complicated lady but largely known for that single father's day smack dab in the middle of it. Luckily, we are not ones to complicate your life (especially after Fringe). So it is that Speakeasy celebrates not just Dads, but dudes in general this month, with our catch-all theme of Manliness. Writers this month are invited to scratch those balls, spit in the dirt and pitch us your best poems and stories of testicular fortitude. It is damn hard work starting all those wars and yelling at the TV, so let's have a night of fancy words just for us, yeah? High five, bro. Be there at Will's Pub on June 19 at 9 p.m.

Whuzzat? OK, ladies can read too, but they'll get 23% less applause. See you there, all! Good luck getting laid at this one.

- Tod

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 15: Your Mom's Edition

Fringe Festival approaching rapidly! No time to blog! But while I'm here, can we talk for a minute about your mom? She is quite a lady, your mom. Works awful hard, if you know what I mean. Yes indeed, your mom is a constant source of inspiration, and that's why the theme for May is Your Mom.

Obvious? Well, yeah. But it is her month, and let's face it - moms don't really go in for your fuzzy hipster irony. So suck it up, writers. This month, let's have some poems and stories dedicated to that most wonderful and tolerant woman in your life. Make your mom proud, and don't worry if she can't attend. I'll let her know how you did when I drop by.

And hey, did I mention this Fringe Festival thing? Recover quick from Speakeasy, because the Fringe is upon us that very week, from May 17-28. Of special interest to you as smart cookies:

Both are hosted by your less-than-heavenly host, Tod Caviness. You can also find him (uh, me), and some of your favorite Speakeasy regulars creating poetry for bucks and beer at the Poetry Vending Machine - look for it on the lawn during all hours of the festival.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 17: The Undead Edition

OK, first off: We know. Between Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, The Walking Dead, the ease of the Thriller dance and the general cheapness of blue/gray makeup ... zombies are puh-layed out. Just shoot the craze dead already. No, not there. In the head. The head, goddammit! Shit. Out of bullets. No! Stay back! Keep your filthy teeth off meeeaaAAAAAGH THE PAIN gurgle choke.

Where were we? Ah yes, an apology. Sure, the theme for Speakeasy in April is Zombies. How can we resist? I mean, Easter. Come on. The eggs are pretty and the candy's dandy but let's not forget to teach our kids the true reason for the season: That on a day long ago in the general vicinity of April, a man got whupped to death and arose from the grave to cause a widespread plague of flesh-eating and blood-drinking. So come on out to Will's Pub on April 17 at 9 p.m. for a night of spoken word dedicated to shambling, groaning and grotesque gluttony. Belly on up to the bar, get embalmed and open your mind - they're hungry.

- Tod

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 20: The Judgemental Edition

Open mikes ain't nothing but confession, you say? Well, it's certainly the prevailing cliche: A coffeeshop full of self-serious hipsters, showing off their sins under a thin layer of metaphor and forced rhyme. We've all been to those nights, right? A bizarro confession booth where it's the preachers putting themselves up for a grope?

Yeah, Speakeasy's totally nothing like that ever, almost. But this month, we're wearing the caricature, because the theme for March is Crime and Punishment. Court's in session, writers, so you bring the evidence and we'll bring the verdict - just like always, only more so. Our poets and proclaimers are invited to name names, point fingers, and generally lawyer up with their tales of guilt and innocence. Just remember, you won't go to jail for the writing, but it's Will's Pub - we can't guarantee anything beyond that. Get your briefs in order and head down there at the usual third Tuesday starting time of 9-ish pm on March 20.

Objections? Overruled.

- Tod

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Feb. 28: The Badonkedition

First things first, because it's a damn short month: Note the date. Yep, Speakeasy is a week later in February - not the usual 3rd Tuesday. Adjust that schedule accordingly. Why? Man, you ask a lot of questions. Look, kid, there are things known and things unknown and in between is the Speakeasy. We comes like a thief in the night, you know? Just look for the tip on the dresser and we'll see you when we see you.

Anyway, it's good timing. You'll have a couple weeks to shower off all that perfume and sweat from Valentine's Day ... just in time for us to get you all dirty again. Because despite all the poetry, we're a pretty focused bunch. And what we focus on specifically in this most flowery of months ... is Ass. For February, Speakeasy gets right to the heart of the holiday, or at least its center of gravity. Yeah, we've done the sex theme before, but this is different. (Really it is.) We're asking our writers to meditate on that swinging pendulum of desire - the human posterior, fountain of inspiration for artists from Mozart to Sir Mixalot. Will it be romantic? Maybe not, but it might be educational. And we think that's a pretty big "but."

- Tod (is totally not running out of themes)