Archive for January, 2011


The World’s Deadliest Readers . . . Coming Soon

Movie’s shouldn’t be the only medium with a trailer. A reading with three wonderful writers should also have a trailer.

Alright, so the reading doesn’t have a budget for its own trailer since it was all spent on wine and tapas for the reading. But imagine if those guys gave a reading, then you’ll know what this reading will be about.

That’s right. Steve Fellner, Tony Leuzzi, and Lindsey Brown will be giving a reading on Saturday, February, 26th at 7:30 p.m. at A Different Path Gallery on 27 Market Street in Brockport, NY.

The Writer Within poster
(To see a larger version of the poster, click the poster. To download a printable PDF, click The Writer Within poster PDF.)

Tony Leuzzi is a poet who teaches literature and composition at Monroe Community College. He is also the author of two books of poems: Tongue-Tied and Singing (FootHills Publishing, 2004) and Radiant Losses (New Sins Press, 2010). His prose and poetry has also appeared in a wide range of journals, such as Arts and Letters, Pinyon, Rhino, Left Curve, and The Kenyon Review.  He is currently completing a book of interviews with American poets and is mid-way through his third book of verse.

Lindsey Brown has studied fiction writing with Pinckney Benedict and Michael Knight at Hollins University and interned at Francis Ford Coppola’s literary magazine Zoetrope: All-Story. She completed her Bachelors degree in Spanish from SUNY Brockport in 2008 and earned her Masters in English at Brockport in 2010. Her work is forthcoming in the anthology, Love Rise Up. Certified in bilingual elementary education, Lindsey now teaches Spanish to seventh, eighth, and ninth graders at Allendale Columbia, an independent day school in Pittsford, NY.

Steve Fellner’s first book of poems Blind Date with Cavafy (Marsh Hawk Press, 2007) won the Thom Gunn Gay Male Poetry Award. His memoir, All Screwed Up (Benu Press, 2008), focuses on his relationship with his ex-trampoline champion mother.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day eighty-two (Zaca Mesa Syrah 2007)

Zaca Mesa Syrah 2007This will be a quick tasting of Zaca Mesa Syrah 2007.

This is one of the few if not the only under-$20 bottle wine at Mahan’s that I have yet to try.

I don’t know anything about the Zaca Mesa Syrah 2007 other than what I found on their website when looking for an image of the bottle.

The webpage for this Syrah is here: I only skimmed, so who knows what they say. They also have a Zaca Mesa Syrah 2007 tasting notes.

But who cares?! All that matters is what I say [finger pointing to the sky].

It’s big and dark with a light ruby meniscus. It looks like a Syrah.

The nose has some dark chocolate and dark berries, like black berries.

After another sniff, I find some herbs in there, too. (By the way, herbs starts with an h, so pronounce it that way.)

The body is simple and somewhat big, but not Syrah big. I pick up some juicy fruits and berries just before the finish. I think also find some vanilla. You know what? I also pick up prosciutto, or some type of spicy meat. That’s actually dominating the nose.

This is probably why it finishes with a hint of pepper. There’s also a pleasurable tartness on the finish.

I like this wine. It’s simple on the surface, but it gets more interesting the more I taste it and think about it. Still, it’s mellow and at ease. It’s a happy wine, and it will be even happier after it gets over its shyness. Right now it’s teasing me. “Oooo baby. Look at me. Here’s a little taste of me. If you wait a while, I’ll show you a good time.” Well, that made it sound like a hooker or a sexy crack dealer, which it definitely isn’t. But still it’s a tease.

Tyrone Biggums

Dave Chappelle as Tyrone Biggums

(Much sexier than that.)

Each sip gets better. It’s a fun combination of juicy berries and a thin, spicy meat. Yum. Let’s say 90 points.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day eighty-one (Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone 2009) and a conspiracy

Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone 2009 is tonight’s wine, and it comes with a conspiracy. The case that it was delivered in said it was from Gigondas.

Gigondas is pronounced gee gohn dahs. Where the first two syllables are said rather quick so that the n is almost not pronounced and slips into the das, which is a longer syllable. This guy gets close to the pronunciation: hear it pronounced.

The pronunciation is not the conspiracy, though. The conspiracy is that it comes from Gigondas. Gigondas is a small area in France. It’s right in the middle of the southern Rhone Valley.

Southern Rhone Valley

(Click the image. It gets bigger.)

But if a wine come from Gigondas, then it’s considered a Gigondas and not a Rhone. However, if they get their grapes from outside of Gigondas, then can it be considered a Rhone? But then again, the back label reads:

In our family since 1490, Saint Cosme has been built on a gallo-roman site, close to Gigondas, in  the heart of a geological mosaic. The Chapel of Saint Cosme looks down on our vines …

The Old Chapel of Saint Cosme“The Chapel of Saint Cosme looks down on our vines.”

Saint Cosme vineyardSo the winery is close to Gigondas, so it could be a Rhone.  But the delivery, the case says it’s from Gigondas. And round and round we go.

In the end, who cares. Let’s just drink.

But nah. There’s more to this wine. Three more things.

First, what’s “the heart of a geological mosaic”? I think this picture should explain it. (Click it, and it will get bigger.)

Geological Mosaic

And if that’s not enough, check out this information here: Gigondas.

Second, I had the 2008 before, and I wrote about it here. I seemed to think it was ok. But that was the 2008. This is the 2009. And that is the third item.

Saint Cosme Cotes Du Rhone 2008The 2009 is number 88 on The Wine Spectator Top 100 wines of 2010. (You can download this list here: The Wine Spectator Top 100 2010.) The Wine Spectator also gave it 90 points and called it a Smart Buy at $18. And to think I got it for $12. Thanks Mahan’s. (Mahan’s is where I buy my wine. They provide me with lots of wonderful information, including some of the above Gigonda’s information. I love Mahan’s, and so do most people in Brockport.)

Now, it’s time for the wine, and boy do I need it after all of that.

I opened this about an hour and a half ago and poured a glass. It was a brilliant purple grape color but dark, too.

It smells delicious. The nose is floral. It smells darker than it looks. There might be some leather in there. I also pick up some dark berries  and maybe some cinnamon.

This has a little spice to it. I pick up some limestone, too. That must be from the geological mosaic.

There’s probably some tobacco in here, too.

The finish tells me it will go perfect with salmon cooked in a 18-year-old balsamic vinegar glaze as the finish has a similar taste to an 18-year-old balsamic vinegar. So yummy.

Overall, I’m digging this wine and it will go good with the salmon and veggies, but I’m not getting 90 points. Definitely 89, though. And that’s the another conspiracy – Wine Spectator’s #88 ranking and 90 points. Hmm. I’m skeptical.

Anyway, maybe in another year or two it’ll open up a bit. It’s still a bit firm and chewy.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day eighty (Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Ivory Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2009)

Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Ivory Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2009Jets are down 7-0 and have received two favorable calls and are at the Steeelers 43. I have received a bottle of Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Ivory Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. Hm. It’s diamond and ivory. It must be really good (wink wink).

Gay knocks down Sanchez’s pass, but a false start.

. . .

By the way football and wine do go together and the Steelers are at mid-field.

I need to get to this wine and watch some football, so this will be a quick tasting.

The wine is very dark, like the Steelers jerseys. Well, not that dark, but dark as a Cabernet Sauvignon should be. I like the nose. Dark cherries and cola and some apples.

It’s quite dry. It would be jammy if not for the dryness. It’s quite fruity with strawberries and melon? My girlfriend gets something completely different. She gets sizzling duck fat or bacon on the nose and taste. I’m not getting it, but I wish I did. My girlfriend’s nose and palate are awesome, too. But, alas, quite divergent tastes here.

The dryness lingers on the finish . . . and the Jets just picked off Roethlisberger.

More sips and sniffs, and I can’t faintly pick up some salty meat or something salty, but it’s distance and faint.

Anyway, we both agree that it’s average. Columbia Crest’s Cabernet Sauvignon for $2 less is more tasty and interest. Columbia Crest’s is an 89, so I’ll say this $11 bottle of Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Ivory Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 is an 88.

Steelers are now up 10-0.

Steelers are like Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon and the Jets are like Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Ivory Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. One’s for real and the other is not.

I hope I didn’t just  jinx the Steelers.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day seventy-nine (Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Summation 2007)

Kendall-Jackson Vinter's Reserve Summation 2007Tonight’s wine is Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Summation 2007. I will be sharing it with me and 22-year-old me.

Summation? I’ve never heard of that? It must be a blend, right?

Well, yes it is. A special blend similar to a Meritage.

What’s a Meritage?

Meritage is like a Bordeaux,  except it’s not from Bordeaux, France. A Bordeaux is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cab Franc. Plus! it must come from the Bordeaux region in France. The same blend made elsewhere is called Meritage. However, a Meritage can also use Petite Verdot in place of the Cab Franc, or the Petite Verdot can be the fourth grape. A good definition and description of Meriage can be found here at the Wine Intro website:

Ok. So what’s a Summation?

Summation, like I said, is similar to a Meritage, but the blend is different. Since I’ve never seen or heard of Summation, I’ll take Kendall-Jackson’s blend as the definition. The blend is:

Grape StompLooking at this line up, I assume it will be a bigger wine than a Bordeaux or a Meritage.

Looking at that list, it looks like it should have been called Clean Up. It looks like they are using all their left over grapes. Plus, they used the word “synergy” in the description of the wine. Synergy? That’s a sign of nothing. What an empty and meaningless word. I have little expectations for this wine.

Maybe. The nose and taste will reveal if it’s a Summation or a vat of leftover grapes or wine as empty as the word “synergy.”


Well, I just poured a glass after opening the bottle about an hour ago. The Summation has a bright purple meniscus, and it looks thin.

All those grapes and it’s this thin. Such a shame.

Quiet you. (By the way, nice s and th sounds and other s-variant sounds.) You’re right though. It has a skeptical look. A devious look.

Like it’s going to try and trick you?


Yes, exactly.

The nose smells more solid than it looks. It smells sturdy like under-ripe plum, and it smells of plums. I pick up some black currants and pepper, too.

And cassis.

Cassis, yes. It’s definitely in there, but not overwhelming. This wine smells tight, so tight that I hope it doesn’t snap.

And alcohol.

Man, you just want to drink. Chill for a moment. Enjoy.

So far there’s not much to enjoy.

Ok. Here it goes. I was about to drink and the Cold War Kids sang, “I’d never touch another drink as long as I live.”

Jorge Pasada CabSee it’s a sign. This is going to be a lame wine.

Yeah, it kinda tastes like they just used what grapes they had left. It’s not balanced at all. There’s too much competition. Though I like the finish. I can pick up a yummy Merlot. The Merlot is at the very front of the wine, too.

Actually, it’s not that bad. It’s just tart and chalky at the back of the mouth at that last place before you swallow. If you pay attention, it’s pretty okay everywhere but there. There it tastes like heartburn, but it’s short lived. Just hold it in the mouth a bit longer than normal. Then swallow.

Damn, you’re kinda right. That competition I was talking of is actually happening on the tongue after the drink. The act of drinking this is okay tasting. I get some cherries, and that weird fruit thing with the seeds, um . . .


Yez. Correct again, sir. Young sir.

So really, with more consideration, I like this wine except for the finish. Then I get a bit wincy and with goose bumps.

Up front, this wine is an 87. On the finish an 85.

Yeah. I was thinking 86 overall, too.

Yes. 86 points. Not very good. I don’t think I’ll but this again, but I bet it would ok with some champagne cheese and warm Italian pane bread.//

The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

The Cave

Poems for an Empty Church

Poems for an Empty Church

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the Wolrd

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Pre-Dew Poems

Pre-Dew Poems

Negative Time

Negative Time

After Malagueña

After Malagueña

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January 2011


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