As a writer and performance artist living in Miami, I was always inspired by Biscayne Bay, the boulevard, the neon lights on the motels, and by the soft Miami breeze always here to remind me I was home. My artist name, The Biscayne Poet, was born in the early 2000s when I found myself hundreds of miles away from home. Missing Miami, I created a short silent film titled, Biscayne Poet in Exile. Since then, that name stuck with me and I eventually started signing my work as The Biscayne Poet. My story is a journey through poetry and its inevitable collaborative nature. As a young Miami poet, in the 1990s, I went through all the open-mic venues.
It was my own rite of passage, a young artist learning from all the surrounding talent, experimenting with performance art in search of my own voice. In the early 2000s, I started The Oscar Fuentes Combo, a music project where I would blend all the memorized poetry with a Latin Jazz Fusion jam trio. The musicians transformed my poetry performance and it made it more accessible.
After recording a few poetry songs, I saw an opportunity to merge my passion for film, poetry, and music together, and so the Biscayne Blues film project was born. After years of performing with the Combo, I realized I needed to somehow go back to connecting with my audience on a more personal level, the way it used to do back in the days in the open-mic scene, at open parking lots cyphering with other beat-poets, surrounded by a genuine need to connect and express a visceral truth. So, one hot summer night, I grabbed one of my typewriters, a small table, and chair, and hit the local bar scene in search of connection. My set up was simple, I’d ask for a name and three words that described how you feel, and with that, I would improvise a personal poem there on the spot.
At first, I was like a mirage in the middle of a desert, an optical illusion caused by drinks where people had to look twice and walk over to me and ask what I was doing, and why. Soon enough, I realized my typewritten poems had the effect that flowers do. People’s faces would go from serious to a smile, to tears in their eyes and even want to hug me with a big “Thank you, how did you know I needed to hear this?” Today, I have written and given away over 3000 poems easily. I have reconnected with my audience and learned in the process that we are all in search of kindness, that we want to hear that it’s going to be okay, that at the end it all works out for the best, that we cannot forget to love ourselves, and that poetry is one of the most powerful and most beautiful art forms.