1981 Pinot Noir








there was a time when i’d

sit for hours


on my AR speakers, looking

out the window at the rain,


listening to miles davis, or

glenn gould playing bach.


and i always tried to count

the rain drops as they fell,


naming them after horses

that i’d known:


                 lt. claiborne


                timely arrival




horses don’t lie. trust me



well, i used to hum some-

times and sing.


you know. the kinds of

songs you sing


when you’re in love with

a flower or a stone


or a tree. not a lotta

fun here, perhaps,


nothing to write home

about. for i


trust my 5.0 mustang

more than any man


i’ve ever known.


and i sing tallis.

and i shoot guns.



so i’d make a terrible wife.

(so what?) but i have loved


all my children to the deepest

bone and all their sorrows


line my eyes, my face. even now
their laughter still flows


through my fingers when I play

my cello or iron these clothes.


they’re in my memory,

they’re in my blood.


sometimes i see them strutting

down the street, their


pendelton shirt tails flapping

behind them in the wind,


but if i smile and wave, they’ll
slip into the shadows and be


gone — so i simply nod my head

and drive on by. those crazy


little vatos, my third-grade

homeboys, who may die


some day for a barrio only

six blocks long.


georgie sanchez, j.j. castillo,

and little ricky davalos.


ricky. you remember him, don’t

you? i taught him how to tie his
shoes and almost how to read. his

cousin got smacked last


year in lodi. (mac 10, i believe.)
ricky, he brought me flowers.



yes, i’d make a terrible wife,

telling someone that i


loved him but always afraid

to close my eyes,


kiss his lips, whisper his

name, hoping I’d


see you there instead. (yeah,

well, shame on me, OK?)


but still, i’m not afraid of

putting on weight,
chopping off my hair,

or dying.


and loneliness too means

nothing to me, just


poetry now, or johann
sebastian bach.


fresh-cut flowers.
jeff and ellie’s
pinot noir.



1985 Pinot Noir
1981 Chardonnay