Friday, August 28, 2009


The grapes are withering on the vine. It has been, and is again today, hot and dry. The grapes are small and concentrated, their juice is meager. They are thirsty.

It’s not even september and the machine has started up again like it has for the last 2000 or so years here. Sun, grapes, wine. Baaahhh, there is a sheep somewhere in the backround of the picture. Their mmmeeat and cheese with the red red wines, just like it always was. Wash it down, mmmm good.

Every year it is the same, with just a slightly different taste. This year is no different. Thirsty grapes make concentrated flavor. Too bad for the vigneron who needs the weight more than the flavor. That’s production, but oh well. That big rain that never came this year fills up the grapes with juice and hence weight. When you are paid by the pound, heavy is happy.

Picking in August sun, hot breeze that doesn’t stop. Hard rocky soil baking up from below. Oh yes, you’ll get your wine, some years it comes harder than others, but it always comes. Coteaux de Larzac, but it’s not all production. There are other vignes we are waiting on.

Each day now gives the chemical actions a bit more time to act. It’s a living system inside that raisin skin. The seeds floating in the soft flesh, the sugars agitating, the tannins rising, the seed softens. It’s a dance inside those purple membranes, it’s genetics remembering, way back when, when it was all about getting the seed ready to go back into the ground.

But that’s not what you think in the fields. Hot. Sun. Unending rows. Beginning. Again.

At least that’s what they say. I still have yet to see a tractor. Though I am rarely on the street. The local cave cooperative was open, though three of the four bay doors were shut. For me it starts anyday now, it’s vague the migrant work. When the convention season comes, the pimp doesn’t call his whores and tell them what dates they are starting. They just know that it arrives, they leave the details to their man and await his direction.

In the meantime I am crushing concrete with a jackhammer. This gig is so far off the books that I am not even getting paid for it. I am doing it just for the idea that I need to do something. It’s in a cave, so it is cooler, but it’s dusty. In the meantime it fills up time, next is the clear air of the vines and the spirit breaking heat of unrelenting sun. Don't worry, your wine will come.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

On the label it will say - YOU.

Suddenly, everyone is gone.

Perhaps it has been happening slowly and I only just noticed it now. The vacation is ending. Yes it’s still august and the days are still hot and we swim in the afternoon in the red waters of the Salagou, or the blue clair at the pont de diable. It still isn’t sure if we won’t have one more dip in the sparkling salty sea water before autumn. Never the less, it’s over. The summer has turned.

The flavor of the fruit at the market starts hinting of preserves on warm toast with hot tea. It’s color is darker and the flesh softer, like summer, it is rotting into fall. It’s a richer sweeter taste only because it is about to go bad. And by that I mean kaput, finis, over, gone.

The house is empty. Just me and her, and even she has gone for the day. I’ve been surrounded with people all summer, tens and tens of folks in ever rotating groups. Love love love. Everyday we were having a party, or planning, preparing or cleaning one up. It’s hectic and fun and, thanks to the fat sun that hangs long in the sky, well lit.

In a sense, one needs think of nothing.

Gin and tonic, riding high in the ice. Cool wine and cold beer. Shade, slight breezes, and quiet swims in cool black water reflecting starry nights. Oh there are moments. Were moments. Now distilling memories. Mmm good fruit makes sweet jam for cold dark winter days.

Chicago, La Roquette, New York, Clermont l’herault. New Jersey and Moureze. The Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea. The great lake Michigan, and the Salagou. Indians lake, and the piscines publique. I was wet everywhere I went. And all because of you, never alone. Mmm you. Like a cool mist on hot skin, even the thought of you gives pleasure.

But the harvest of summer is almost over, and it’s evidence is the empty house. Fun in the sun is over again. It’s au boulot for tous les monde. School and factories, field hands and functionaries. Actors, artists, working class bores - watch the closing doors.

Here, the grapes are waiting. One more week, perhaps two, and for me it’s sore muscles and purple hands. In the meantime I can take care of some loose ends, cook down and put up the sweet memories before they go bad. I’ll label them - NOUS / summer 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

My clothes are pleated because I am on vacation

It hasn’t rained all beautiful summer. The heat is constant and dry. It has taken on a material quality that makes it seem almost tangible. It’s the summer and it’s inherent heat and vacations that I blame my laziness on. If you could see me panting like a dog sprawled out on a cool tile floor you might understand my position a bit better.

It’s not that I’ve been doing nothing, more so just that nothing is getting done. I’ve made my gestures, took my planes, trains, and automobiles in search of that elusive and requisite summer fun. Never the less the more I moved the less I got done when I got there. When I did move, it was always toward the water. It’s the only thing to do that doesn’t lead to hot and sticky. But then again, that’s all water really does - lead away from somewhere - starting with the shore line.

I caught a little cold on the beach in Spain,. Perhaps it was too much information in my summer reading choice. It was all about the C.I.A. post Korean war, biological weapons testing programs they were trying out on the world populations. Though there is plenty of documentation on how and why it began, there is no evidence that they have ever stopped. In any case, whoever fabricated it and then passed it on, this little bug shows no sign of weakening, not that it was ever so strong to begin with.

my malady in fact is almost non-existent, at least during the day. Each evening however my throat starts feeling rough, a few hours later I am hoarse, then I lose my voice. Silent, I am forced to go to bed. In the morning I wake up and for an hour or so cough up the nights production of solid flemmy colors. It’s more annoying then anything else, and really takes away the pleasure of my morning cigarette.

In addition to that I feel constantly tired, or perhaps that’s caused by the daily swims I’ve been taking in the cool bodies of water that flow through here. In any case I feel fatigued. It’s for that reason that tonight I won’t write you again. You know how much I would like to, so many things to say. You - you are really so kind to forgive my faults.