Homemade Wine

The best thing about homemade wine,
Drinking it at the right time,
When the grape is in Madre Vino
And the moon in its libration;
When the chimes are bleeding
And barrels breathe into ullage,
The finish in the beginning—
The beginning in its prime,
The sunset of your labor
Steeped in field grape red–
Nights of happiest dreams,
Warmest tones, touch and taste;
When the body of the wine
Fills spirit to the rim, it is ageless;
When wine spirits the air
Like spring mornings, it is ageless;
When drinking from the barrel
Inspirits time with roundness, it is ageless.
The best thing about homemade wine,
Drinking it at the right time.


Long live Rioja and Spain,
Their red rains and wine
From mountains to plains.
Having aged five years in oak
Every cloud needs a cork,
As the Ebro River threads
The valley with Sierra reds
And grape leaves flow to sea
Like a vine through a tree,
A wineglass sunset
On the vintner’s table comes to rest.

Symposia Above Sea Level

My cousins cautioned me about the red wine,
Counseled me on being too at ease
On ancestral land. Said lush vineyards grow
On Etna’s slopes, enriched by lava flows
And strange vapors steaming into the grapes
Produce a wine from the childhood of the world.

Whatever philosophy we were spewing
That I, drinking this, heard chaos talk,
Saw the sea burning in the crater of the sun,
Saw the mountain falling, space mounting;
Felt the wine venting, the winds of forgetting
Flying in the wine-dark sea of my mind–
I staggered on the cliff-side terrace—

Archimedes Theocritus Empedocles I slurred
The vertigo of history letting go,
Smelling sulfur, even there among clouds.