Does my title make you think that I have an exciting announcement? Alas, no, I have not been invited to be Poet Laureate of anything, although it is one of those occasional fantasies I have. When people ask me my dream job, I say Poet Laureate of the U.S. Then I have to explain what that job is, and when I mention having an office at the Library of Congress, I often have to explain what that is, and by then, that discussion thread is worn out.
No, I have not been asked to be the poet laureate of a local wine shop, but they do send me e-mails with wine descriptions. Yesterday, one of the descriptions said that the wine tasted like brambles--not brambleberries, that English word for blackberries. Isn't brambleberry a delightful word? No, the wine tasted like brambles. And I thought, hmm, I'm not sure I would know what thorny vines actually taste like. And then my brain raced off, and I wrote a surprise poem, thus proving that the poetry brain can find inspiration in all sorts of unlikely places.
I wrote a dark poem, one that wanted to reference Litttle Red Riding Hood, but I'm not sure it did. I wrote a poem with broken boot heels and whiskers. It had nothing to do with work or with nuclear war. Hurrah! I can do something different.
I'm tempted to write to the wine store to thank them. And that idea sent my brain in a different direction--what if they asked me to come do a poetry reading and wine tasting? Wouldn't that be fun?
I've been thinking about alternate places to have a poetry reading as I've been reading January O'Neil's blog posts on the subject (like this one, where she talks about the poetry reading at the YMCA swimming pool). So, I've been thinking about doing readings in improbable places, but a wine shop . . . why didn't I ever think of doing a reading in a wine shop? It's actually not improbable, as some of our local wine shops also have areas where people can sit and sip wine.
National Poetry Month is upon us--I need to strategize, and maybe that strategizing will involve arranging a reading or two. Local poets, who is with me?
What if the inspiration-sending wine guys asked me to be the poet laureate of the wine store? Would I say yes? I say it's my local wine shop, but it's really not. It's about 18 miles south of me, in Coral Gables, which in any other part of the country would be a mere zip of a drive, but here, it takes 45 minutes.
Still, I'd probably say yes, particularly if they gave me free wine. Yes, I'll write poems for wine. In fact, I've often thought that poets would make the best writers of wine descriptions. I'd do that too. Hmm. Maybe I've found a new dream job.
The Summer of Reading
4 months ago