Brian Harman

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to

Red Wine Review

Even though, I’m in
my Walmart loungewear
in front of the computer
amidst swirls
of Glade air freshener
and 94.7
The Wave sax melodies,
I feel sophisticated,
like a Blue Note
jazz collector,
or the son of a sommelier,
about to feel
the low budget buzz
from a late night pour
of Chalk Creek;
and immediately,
I am intrigued
by the Cabernet cascade—
a melted piece
of stained-glass
church window
held up to the light,
then to my nose,
the Mendocino wine
opens like a lotus flower,
emitting hints of
Christmas potpourri,
Cuban cigar boxes,
Playdough rainbows,
lap dances in Vegas.
That’s when I sense
this vintage possesses
the body, the legs,
and the finish too. 
With a sip, with a cheek
to cheek swish,
it seems like I’m rinsing
my mouth with
a millionaire’s Listerine. 
But this isn’t a gargle,
this is steak juice
running into mashed
potatoes, this is milk
at the end of a bowl
of Fruit Loops,
this is the date who
doesn’t want to be
dropped off after dinner,
who stays and leaves
the bottle uncorked,
the scent of her
perfume on the pillow
the next morning.


Brian Harman received his MFA in Creative Writing from Cal State University, Long Beach. His poems have appeared in Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Redshift, Vamp Cat Magazine, V: An Anthology, and elsewhere. He loves craft beer, creating music playlists, writing poetry past midnight, and is proud to represent his hometown of Yorba Linda, CA.