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Matching Medium to Message

Matching Medium to Message

No computers in the room.  No LCD projections on the wall.  No mobile device in my hand.  For the first time in so many years that I cannot count them I, an electronic literature artist, read poetry from paper on stage at a poetry reading.  But the more interesting part of the event was that my work was printed on a wine coaster.  The event was the "Coaster Poetry Contest Reading" sponsored by Niche Wine Bar, and, yes, I was one of 10 local poets who had won.  

There is something to be said of having one's words immoralized on a quotidien object like a beverage coaster, particularly one used for an alcoholic drink.  The medium is the massage and all that.  When I submitted the poem to the contest, I tried to imagine what kind of message I would want to convey to a reader, especially one who would be sitting in a wine bar drinking––no doubt during this time of year––a heavy red wine.  The Pacific North West in January is a beautifully dreary place, the ever-present rain chillier than usual and the tint of gray in the sky, darker.  It does, indeed, drive people indoors to coffee shops and bars and into our own interior spaces.  We are made to ponder, during these long dark days, about the world around us, our lives, those things we miss but love, those things we love but have sadly missed for one reason or another.  

So, here is my award-winning poem in the Wine Coaster Poetry Contest in Vancouver, WA as it appears on the printed "page."  A special thanks to Chris Luna, the Poet Laureate of Niche and Leah Jackson, owner of that fine establishment, for hosting the event and choosing my work.  A caveat:  The title, "I Could Cry," was intended to be the first line of the poem.




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