Nobody reads poetry anymore.
So how magical that while bumper-to-bumper traffic is leaving the city
we visit a neighborhood florist on a balmy afternoon
and walk through the vestibule of greenhouses with their profusion of blooms
to find Kentucky poetry nobility gathered in the garden amid waning white tulips.
The literati sit on benches, rocks, fences in the sweet-smelling air
or stand alongside teenagers and squirrels on the fence who listen
as each poet in alphabetical order steps under the umbrella to read without fanfare.
A clipboard circulates for the open mic, democratizing the evening
presided over by George Ella, our poet laureate, who knows to begin with a funny poem.
Various writers speak in tongues declamatory, political, confessional.
Gurney Norman offers a rhyming poem against mountaintop removal.
Even John Michler, our host, reads a poem of his own, gently, in his Garden of Eden.
No microphone makes us listen more intently to the rich variety of voices
People linger, loathe to leave this lush setting.