It breaks my heart…
Early Sunday morning, Will Bell was senselessly murdered in front of his spot, The Literary Cafe. The place he poured his heart and soul into… a place we all were able to call home. It was there that I spit my FIRST poem… on his stage… in the old building. I still remember it like yesterday… not really nervous but it was one of the most awkward moments of my life. See, my sister ((MarQuetta) didnt tell me that it was Comedy night at the Cafe… and the poem I recited was anything but humerous. It was actually a poem titled “Dirty” about the dirty things of the world ((molestors, prostitution, fake Christians, and dirty politicians—enter George W)). Although it was soooo inappropriate, the crowd loved it… and the host cracked jokes about how serious I was all night. It was a good night… BUT what made it better was when Will approached me after the show. He was impressed by my talent and invited me to his well-known Saturday night poetry show. He warned me that it would be a completely different atmosphere but assured me that I was more than prepared. I had talent the crowd would recognize and grow to love if I continued to nurture and develop it. Knowing who he was and how GREAT he was, I was blown away.
Will was just that type of guy… if there was ever a doubt in my mind about pursuing poetry, he erased it at that moment. He believed in my gift. There were so many obstacles in my life that prevented me from participating at the Cafe as much as I would have liked and he eliminated as many as he could. I didnt have a car so he offered to give me a ride “if its ok with ur dude” lol. I wanted to come to the poetry workshop but I didnt have a sitter so he told me to bring them.
Later on I found out about Ingrid’s Wednesday show and I stopped going to the Cafe as much because it was easier to find a sitter on Wednesdays cause my grandma went to church that night and would take the kids with her. The first time I saw Will @ The Bohemia Room I felt soooo guilty… like I was friend-cheating. lol I tried to duck off in a corner so he wouldnt see me there… but, I failed. He saw me. “Alright now, you in here I better see you on Saturday” lol Needless to say, I showed up at the Cafe that weekend lol
I remember going to the Cafe once and they didnt have bottled water so I came prepared the next time and bough my own water. Will smirked and said “I’ll wait for you to throw that away” lol Once I downed the water, I asked him to dispose of it for me. His response “You bring outside water inside my spot then ask me, who u are not supporting, to throw away the evidence” lol and then he took the bottle and threw it away.
The last time I saw him was the night of Ingrid B’s birthday event at the Bohemia Room. Here I was friend-cheating again lol and we arrived at the same time. It was so dark out so I asked him to wait for me so we could walk in together. His response “Alright. I got you.”. We greeted with a hug, he asked about my sister, I called her for him to speak to her, and it ended up being an amazing night with him hosting the show.
It truly breaks my heart that his life ended in the manner it did. Although I attended his candle lit vigil last night, I am still in shock. In the years that I have known him, I have NEVER seen him angry. I have NEVER seen him sooooo upset that he didnt greet me with a hug or with a smile. He stayed flirting with the ladies and making every one laugh and enjoy themselves. He was truly an inspiration to so many within the poetry community, whether it was another poet or the audience members. He was an inspiration in the community as a whole… positive, inspiring, vibrant, loving, and powerful beyond measure.
His death does NOT just affect those in Miami… the void we feel can be felt all around the world. We truly lost a great man…