From ‘The Red Wine Haiku Review’…

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436) Hedges Family Estate CMS Red 2007 (Washington)

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463) Benessere Sangiovese 2006 (California)

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342) Pago Florentino Tinto 2004 (Spain)

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212) Guenoc Langtry Meritage 1998 (California)

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140) Rosso di Montalcino, Caparzo, Vendemmia 2000 (Italy)

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125) Frei Brothers Redwood Creek Syrah 2002 (California)

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I got some pretty weird wines from this scratch n’ dent sale that I’ll be exploring. Some Italian stuff which I have no experience with, as well as some off-label Burgundies and Bordeaux. And, as much as I try to convince myself I’m cured, I still troll the thrift stores and garage sales for records in These Last Days of Old Vinyl…

From the book, “Mustafio: The Velascu Affair” (due out on Transparency fall 2011)


…page 60

On Bursting

The baseball rolled on my plate, first from side to side, then around and around. It moved faster with each rotation, furiously digging itself a groove into the plate’s edge, leaving black streaks of heat and wisps of rising smoke as it circled the platter. I leaned back to observe the blur, oblivious to my dining companions and their more toothsome desserts. The ball’s seam was tearing loose, and bits of red stitching flew about. I opened my mouth like a child yearning for winter’s first snowflake, and the red stitching revealed a delectable cinnamon flavor. I now became curious as to what other flavors might lie beneath the cowhide. The charm of baseball completely eluded me: the slowness, the Masonic rules, and mostly, the sheer, stubborn idiosyncratic veneer of an Americanness so patriotically thick that only a foreigner willing to forsake at least part of his cultural identity could be able to begin penetrating the patina of its stubborn nomenclature. The center of the ball looked like cork, but crumbled freely like the graham cracker foundation of the most grandmotherly of apple pies, and the vanilla-flavored string covering it unraveled and flew everywhere, raining endless showers of confetti down upon us like that upon victorious warriors returning home after battle. I cried out to the waiter to bring me an espresso, or at least, a cup of black American coffee, but he nor it seemed to be forthcoming.