Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dec. 16: The Gifted Edition

Yea, and the three wise men did look to the north, where a bright star glittered on the horizon. And one of the wise men squinted unto that star, and spake unto the rest, saying, "Hold up, that's just the sign over Will's Pub." And being wise men, the three did bail upon Bethlehem, to partake of much wickedness and prose at that first Speakeasy spoken word night.

That's how we remember it, anyway. So this December, let's commemorate the Christmas arrival of those three charitable dudes, who totally left their frankincense behind in the sound booth. (Casey tried to snort it, and his septum hasn't been the same since.) Our first gift to you: The painfully easy theme of Christmas. The second: Our annual Whiteful Frightful Elephant Book Exchange! Every reader at Speakeasy on Dec. 16 gets a free book. The catch: You have to choose them from the mystery pile of books left by your host and fellow readers, who as regulars know are all horrible people. Got a book to inflict? Wrap it up all shiny and bring it along, then share some literary cheer. Get on our list (and the naughty one) at 9 p.m. Dec. 16, right under the eternal mistletoe at Will's Pub.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nov. 18: The Geriatric Edition (12 Year Anniversary!)

We're not much for nostalgia here at Orlando's oldest spoken word night. But let us give you a little perspective on exactly how old: Before Speakeasy, your humble host was just another class clown angling for a degree in scatology at his favorite poetry night - The Backroom Words. If you blow the dust off the old website for the Backroom Words (and we don't recommend you do; it's pretty spammy these days) you'll find this post from Nov. 18, 2002:

Your host, circa too early to think about.
Like a gangly teenager hitting puberty, the Backroom Words is going through all sorts of changes. After a couple of weeks off following the departure of the mighty Patrick Scott Barnes, the night will now be hosted by a skinny white guy. Foul play has been suspected, and fingers have been pointed at the KKK, NOW, and the Young Republicans. New host Tod Caviness was unavailable for comment, but has been spotted with a new wardrobe and several gold teeth.

12 years, you guys! Ouch. The gold teeth have long since rotted out, and the wardrobe ... well, that's pretty much the same. Let's celebrate this anniversary with our customary reverence by making fun of the elderly with a night dedicated to Old Age. Remember when them poems used to rhyme? When haikus were actually about nature? Pepperidge Farm remembers, and you can too as our writers give us a little of that old-timey verse and classy, classic prose.

Or just some rants about incontinence and diapers, like we usually do. Up to you.

Get off my lawn you whippersnappers, and down to Will's Pub at 9-ish pm on Tuesday, Nov. 18. Free like the internet used to be, and open to readers old and new.

- Tod

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sept. 23: The Immature Edition

Useful info first: Speakeasy's a week late this month, so don't show up until Sept. 23 with your notebooks and whatnot. There's still plenty of reason for you to drop by Will's Pub in the meantime, but you'll need both hands for the drinking. Will's is celebrating a 19th anniversary this month, and they just needed the extra week to get some debauchery out of the way.

Which brings us to the theme. 19 years, huh? Mighty old for a bar, yet still not drinking age. Those of us who remember Will's Pub's original location have been chugging that beer like it was forbidden fruit for a long time, so let's commemorate that golden age when it actually was. For this September Speakeasy, our writers are invited to tackle Adolescence. Channel your inner Holden Caulfield and give us a little angst and a lot of hormones. Rage against authority, curfews and acne. Or, you know, write some poetry.

Sept. 23 at 9-ish pm, free as usual. Join us and don't be late, teen angels. We'll tell Mom you were at the movies.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Aug. 19: The Hawks & Doves Edition

We here at Speakeasy love to be recognized when Orlando goes around handing out imaginary prizes, but we're not the competitive sort. We're lovers, not fighters. Mostly. Actually, wait, we spend a lot of time talking about books, so not lovers. What's that other thing? Lazy. Yeah, that's us.

So in this hottest of months, let's get a little hot-blooded, shall we? For the August edition of Orlando's least political spoken word night, writers are invited to tackle the theme of War & Peace. That's two themes, of course, and in these days of crumbling borders and hardening opinions, you're bound to piss someone off no matter which one you pick. But hey, let's do it anyway. Take a stand on the ongoing conflicts of Israel vs. Palestine, Russia vs. Ukraine, Tom vs. Jerry. Worst case scenario: barfight, best case: world peace.

Here at Speakeasy, we didn't start the fire - but we're happy to throw some booze on it. See you at 9 pm Aug. 19 on the frontlines at Will's Pub.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

We're number #1!

Thanks, Orlando Weekly readers! You voted Speakeasy into the top spot in this year's Best of Orlando issue. We pledge to spend the rest of 2014 doing the things that made us your favorite Literary Reading Series: Letting any old pottymouth just show up and rant while we drink.

Your confidence makes us all warm in our special places. Come be a winner with us on Aug. 19 - theme coming up soon.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 15: The Sunshiney Edition

In case you've been smart enough to stay inside lately, let us pop in for a little weather update.

Hmm. Yep. Second degree burns from the car seat. Balls boiling in the crock-pot of our pants like a couple of fuzzy ravioli. It's July, all right. It will never get more Florida than it is right now. (What's that? SHUT UP, man. Maybe August will leave if we ignore it.)

Lord knows that writers can't rain dance, so let's appease the sun gods the only way we know how: With an edition of Orlando's sweatiest spoken word open mike dedicated to Florida. This would be the time to break out those love letters to Casey Anthony you never sent, your recipe for orange-flavored bath salts in sonnet form. We're living in a land with more drama than George Zimmerman adopting Elian Gonzalez. If you can't make some literary hay outta that, maybe it's time to bow to the economy and open up a meth lab like the rest of the state.

Can't take the heat, get into our bitchin'. That's 9:00 pm Eastern Sloppy Time on Tuesday, July 17 at Will's Pub, fellow daughters and suns of sunshine. Be there or we'll play Jimmy Buffet covers instead.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 24: The Celebrity Edition

First things first: That's June 24 this month, not the third Tuesday. Yes, Speakeasy itself will be late, which means this event notice is right on time.

So what do we have on tap for June? Glad you asked. The theme of the month is Celebrity, because what better time than summer to set the bar low? At this month's open mike, let's all pretend we write for the supermarket tabloids and come up with some gossip about our favorite Bright Young Things. It's easy: "Scandal! [Pop singer] caught in [illegal drug] frenzy with [has-been actress], calls [government offical] [racial epithet]. Article sponsored by [legal drug]."

Rest of the thing writes itself, so no excuses for the late notice. Follow the red carpet to Will's Pub in the fashionably late neighborhood of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24. We'll make ye famous, kid.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

May 20: The Digital Edition

Here at Speakeasy, we're always so thankful when we can get some asses off the couch for one day a month. It's great to finally see all you deep thinkers getting away from your big screen, and coming down to Will's where you can get onstage and stare at a little screen.

Yeah, that's right. We see how many of you are reading off your iPhones these days. Or playing Candy Crush when you're not onstage. Or beaming dick pics directly into the bartender's retina with your Google Glass.

But do we judge? We do not. We all know that judgement is reserved for bitchfaced weirdos you see on Instagram, not actual nearby people. At Speakeasy, we for one welcome our new robot overlords with a special edition dedicated to Technology. For May 20, our writers are invited to tell us how they feel about living in the future, where no one is more than ten feet away from free porn at any given moment. So shave off those palms and join us at Will's Pub, where the floor is the color of television tuned to a dead channel and there's 50 new flavors of Soma at the bar. We'll gather at the usual wobbly hour of 9 pm, reliable as a new Windows release.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 15: The Childish Edition

'Sup. If this is your first time checking out the Speakeasy blog, there's a chance you did it because we got some ink recently between a bunch of pictures of lawyers in that magazine you read at the doctor's office. To be honest, we're a little weirded out. But welcome! It's not you, it's us.

Anyway, down to beezwax. Orlando's crotchetiest spoken word night has sidestepped the news long enough: Your host is going to be a daddy. And while the night isn't about me, I figure we'll segue elegantly from last month's theme and make it about me, or more specifically, my gurgling spawn-to-be.

Gather round, class, because the theme for the April edition of Speakeasy is Children's Stories. Because Speakeasy, like Wu-Tang, is for the childrens. Writers are hereby invited to share that most precious (and cheapest) of baby shower gifts and bring their bestest bedtime fables, their Seussiest soliloquies, their most Sendakian send-ups. Don't spend the night in time out - join the shady kids for a little literary recess at Will's Pub, where the drool and vomit will put us all right at home in the playpen. That's Tuesday, April 15 at way past your bedtime. See you there.

- Tod

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 18: The Me Edition

Like hell, the Baby Boomers were the "me" generation. All that weed and free love may have done wonders for self-actualization, but when it comes to enablement, there's no time like the present. Let me just whip this ego out and give it a measure: Reality show culture. Round-the-clock validation from our facebook friends. Selfies. The fact that we haven't suffocated Donald Trump with his own hairpiece.

If it's a bummer of a generation, believe us: It's not you, it's Me. But if you can't beat 'em, join Me: The next installment of Orlando's MEatiest spoken word night will be dedicated to the theme of Narcissicism. Writers! Poets! Talk amongst yourselves, about yourselves, or use your five minutes to rage against the self-absorbed nature of a world in which we increasingly seek validation through external blah whatnot etcetera. We'll be over here checking our Klout rating.

That's Feb. 18 at the usual-ish time of 9 pm, at the unusual location of Will's Pub. Admission, as always, is free like Nelson Mandela. See you there, people - and most importantly, you'll see Me.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Feb. 18: The Psychedelic Edition

Yes, we know. February. Love is everywhere, or at least you'd think so from the amount of pink being slathered all over the seasonal aisles at Target. Found someone to eat out with, or just eat out? Mazeltov, you lucky fool. For the rest of us, there's Drugs.

Drugs are the theme of this month's Speakeasy, and why has it taken us this long to get around to it? Hey, I'll be honest: I'm doing them right now. Coffee. Sugar. An especially hypnotic round of Plants vs. Zombies. Let's face it, smart guy. You may be a fool for love, but your brain is a big raging slut for even the most innocuous substance. Drop by Orlando's farthest-out open mike spoken word night and share a little vacation story about your favorite trip. First taste is free, baby.

And no, you're not stoned (as far as we know) - Speakeasy has shifted approximately 30 feet south lately. We'll be back in the cozy confines of Lil Indies on Feb. 18, right next door to Will's Pub. Time is, of course, an illusion, but it kicks off around "9 pm" as usual. We'll keep a third eye out for you.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jan. 21: The Danger Edition

Hate to spoil your holiday afterglow, but it's January. Don't believe me? Check on that fruitcake in the fridge. See those green spots? They may not be figs. The whole damn thing is wilting, like your back under the weight of all those resolutions. The elf has left the shelf. Nobody's watching now. It's just you and your willpower, and smoking isn't getting any less legal.*

If only. If only we could go back in time and warn ourselves about how rough things were going to be.

Well, you can't. Best we can do is share our collective knowledge, and knock a little sense into our future selves. For the January edition of Speakeasy, our writers are invited to serve as signposts and lighthouses with stories of Warning. Made some mistakes in life? Of course you have; you're drinking with poets. Least you can do is lay a few flags through the minefield and help the rest of us make it through. Set the controls for 9-ish pm Tuesday, Jan. 21 at Lil Indies, right next door to the usual scene of the thoughtcrime at Will's Pub.

*Luckily for any resolutions that involve cigarettes, smoking is forbidden at Lil Indies and Will's these days. I know. They have a great patio; you'll live.