Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers

Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers is a collection of poems by Joseph Mills with the focal point on . It takes a true lover to be able to get inside Mills head as he takes you through the themes of Religion, Life, and Relationships. Mills approaches with wit and creativity, making this an easy, quick, enjoyable read. Thankfully, he stays away from abstract ideas, which cause the world to believe that drinkers are crazy and over analytical. It is true that we are crazy but do we really need documented proof?

With Mills’ poems that have religious flair, I’m not going to lie, I was a bit freaked out at first. Growing up in a Irish Catholic family, going to Catholic school for thirteen years I can appreciate things that have a religious tone to it, be it music, movies, or literature, but at the same time I would not want to read a collection of poems that are all spun that way. And then I came upon Bibiana, the Patron Saint of Hangovers, “I bet it is also annoying that so few of us pray to her by name; instead we try to go right to the top or moan supplications with no address”. Now that I know her name I believe we will be good friends.

Then the second half of the book deals with Life and Relationships. In Introductions Made Easy, Mills simply puts how much easier life would be if people came with labels such as those on wine bottles. You would be able to find out their background and see if that person is to be enjoyed in the moment or if they will improve with age. Dating would be so much easier. And then finally in Opening Up, Mills, though the visual of a dinner party shows how each person approaches wine in a different matter, the same that we all approach people differently. “If we’re lucky/ as the years unfold/ we open up/ until we reach a point/ we can appreciate/ one another’s complexities/ and even the tart irony/ of finding yourself/ at the table’s next seat,/ taking seriously,/ so many of those things/ you once mocked.”

And that’s what wine is, subjective to the individual. Mills does a good job exploring his passion, though I would not recommend this to non-wine lovers. It’s fun, and that’s what it’s suppose to be, take it in stride, grab a glass of wine and continue to .

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