This weekend, you might notice that the humble coaster beneath your drink has a surprising message. Unlike the fool sitting next to you at the bar, the verses on your coaster are lucid, articulate and wise.
Paul Christiansen, a poet and graduate student at Florida International University, spearheaded the poetry coaster project. It's part of O Miami, a month-long poetry festival with the goal of exposing everyone in Miami-Dade to a poem in April.
Fifteen-thousand coasters have been placed at South Florida bars, restaurants and snack counters, including Lester's, The Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami, Flanigan's North Miami, Buena Vista Deli, Gramps, The Tipsy Boar and Billy's Pub Too.
Connecting poetry and spirits doesn't seem like much of a stretch considering the fondness of many writers across time for "spiritual" inspiration, whether that inspiration came in the form of absinthe, whiskey or rum.
So while you're pondering life at the bar this weekend, order up a libation and consider the wistful words of W.B. Yeats. Now there's a drinking buddy:
A Drinking Song
Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.
Whether you're ignoring the overzealous suitor next to you or trying to make conversation with a new friend, a poet like A.E. Stallings can be your companion at the bar. Let poetry be your wing man.
Two More Cocktail + Poetry Events
Friday, April 26th: Kevin Young read poems of food and drink at The Broken Shaker. Tom Healy and Kevin Riley read from Animal Spirits, a book about tattoos and poetry. There will also be a pop-up tattoo parlor.