Coffee and Poetry Combinations

As I was trolling through my WordPress Reader looking at all the great stuff posted by my favorite bloggers, I came across this term: “chapbooks.” I had no idea what that meant. Off to Amazon search. I discovered a bunch of creative things that should go great with coffee as I opened up my office and prepared for “office hours.” Unlike some of my colleagues who looked at office hours as a waste of time, I considered the time well spent and encouraged students during my regular classes to just come in for a chat. Their English would improve with the practice and I could find out interesting stuff about the Indonesian culture. They might even tell me about police traffic surprise inspections so I could return home at the lowest possible cost. My search at Amazon turned up some amazing stuff. Like the following.

At 23 pages Coffee Thoughts by Amy Hill is “a small collection of poems about love and coffee” (Amazon page description) and is a perfect book to go with coffee … almost. It actually took me three cups of coffee to get through it. The poetry was soooo thought provoking and good that the first two cups of coffee got cold.

I love coffee in almost all its permutations. Some varieties confuse me. Starbuck’s confuses me because I can’t relate the creative names they come up with an anticipated taste. But I keep going back. Poetry confuses me because I have always felt I have to somehow get into the writer’s head to get any meaning from what I’ve read. But I keep going back. Then I find a read like this and know that I don’t have to get inside the writer’s mind. The writing is so self-evidently good and powerful that even I am impressed with the message universality. And I can read it over a few cups of coffee, a favorite vice. So, I order my Starbucks Americano Triple to take to my office. The choice is not adventurous but I have confidence in the taste experience I will have. I can drink the coffee and pay attention to the poetry.

Local coffee in Indonesia is an adventure for many expats and not something I am yet used to. I’ve only been here for five years. Local coffee appears many times with ground coffee beans floating on top the coffee. I don’t find it enjoyable to drink around the mixture or have coffee “grounds” stuck in my teeth. A local experience sometimes indicates that I should put a saucer on top the coffee, invert the cup and saucer quickly, then drink the brew from the saucer. I immediately flash to the magician pulling the tablecloth with a sharp tug and leaving a correctly set up dining table. And then we get to the special coffee that has something to do with mice or rats (coffee Luwak). The contemplation of the process takes my attention away from poetry. Back to Starbucks and the really huge cup of coffee I have taken to my office.

And back to the book. Because it is such a short read and because it is poetry, I want to recommend a couple of the titles. Sometimes the title IS the selection, one with a powerful message. Coffee Thoughts is available on Amazon for USD 0.99 or free through Kindle Unlimited. After reading it for free, I bought it because I didn’t want to lose it after returning it to KU.

Common Grounds is the first selection. What a clever name and a tribute to long lasting relationships!

If you don’t like something at its full strength, maybe it wasn’t meant for you. That’s the title. That’s the poem. Could anyone have a problem getting this message?

And finally, (This was never really about coffee.) The final word.

What a great way to start out a Wednesday morning!! (Except for the first two cold cups of coffee).

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