The spoils

Wine Press NorthwestDecember 20, 2012 

Jordan Chaney is the Poet Laureate of the Northwest Wine Industry.

When you have been torn
to pieces by love, by war,
it’s easy to mistake wine
for glue. It’s easy to
allow the winepress
to squeeze and chew
whatever’s left of you and
retreat from the arrows,
the cannons.

For a season, for us,
wine was oil and
we were her faithful
lanterns lighting up
the battlefield and
giving the vineyard
a soft gentle glow ...

But even in peace time,
love is a hard-fought commodity

For years I had been
caught in the crosshairs
of your crossed legs; your
navel a barrel pressed
softly against my forehead
at point blank range
me, on my knees
gripping the pearl handle
begging for your sweet life
to pour into my own

You pistol whip me
you take me for all
I’ve got and leave me
drenched in a puddle,
a blend of both of our wines

You’re a warrior.
You’re the rebel that
everyone is after.

You’re beautiful to me.
but I couldn’t simply
call you pretty..

Pick-up lines
about dimples and shells
are often hollow and empty

I always fall in somehow.

Don’t be mad at me
just take this as
free music or
poetic flattery,
take this the way
I took your body,
your heart a loud war
drum and delicate
xylophone-like ribs
in perfect tune ...

Love is friendly fire,
a constant tugging
and strumming
of the heartstrings.
I can no longer fill
songs with words,
you’ve got my vocal
chords wrapped around
the tip of your sword.
I surrender; I’m yours.

I’ve been scorched
by the light of my own
enlightenment.

Cashed in love, for ammo.
Lit my stove with
old poems even.

Now we’re at war and

You’re a warrior
you are the revolutionary
that I have always wanted
in my circle, on my side,
from day one I’ve gobbled your
propaganda up like scarce rations,
begged for indoctrination, stared
blindly into your eyes so I could
see myself in a new light,
I almost sold out, came close.
Even though I can’t go with you
I want you to know that I believe
in your vision.

Now, my heart beats like
street riots; you smash
my windows, kick over
the lanterns and set fire to
my prayer rugs and temples.
Beautifully cruel; spotless.

Your eyelashes are weapons that
bat arrows into my quiet peace.

You were built for conflicts like these.

So colonize me
maraud my huts,
loot my throat
for all of its metaphors

You leave me speechless.

You’re a ripe peach
an orchard’s high priestess
you bonfire the trees
just to free your flames
nobody can handle
your sweetness.

Though I’m glad you came.

Astral artistry you come
from stars obviously
you’re beyond a work of art
polished and carved marble
Mona Lisa be damned
a broken dam
your beauty has
flooded my lands

Once again

I would sack a continent full
of the richest cities
for just one more sip

and if I could I would trade
all of the world’s grapes just
to be in your skin again

The past
has left me scarred
and I know that girls
from the future dig scars
way more than fancy cars
and here we are
so I’m moving on,
up, out and far away
to take new loot.

Jordan Chaney is a spoken-word poet who lives in the heart of Washington wine country.

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