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Thin Blue Flame

Thin Blue Flame by Josh Ritter

I became a thin blue flame Polished on a mountain range And over hills and fields I flew Wrapped up in a royal blue I flew over Royal City last night A bullfighter on the horns of a new moon¹s light Caesar¹s ghost I saw the war-time tides The prince of Denmark¹s father still and quiet And the whole world was looking to get drowned Trees were a fist shaking themselves at the clouds I looked over curtains and it was then that I knew Only a full house gonna make it through

I became a thin blue wire That held the world above the fire And so it was I saw behind Heaven¹s just a thin blue line If God¹s up there he¹s in a cold dark room The heavenly host are just the cold dark moons He bent down and made the world in seven days And ever since he¹s been a¹walking away Mixing with nitrogen in lonely holes Where neither seraphim or raindrops go I see an old man wandering the halls alone Only a full house gonna make a home

I became a thin blue stream The smoke between asleep and dreams And in that clear blue undertow I saw Royal City far below Borders soft with refugees Streets a¹swimming with amputees It¹s a Bible or a bullet they put over your heart It¹s getting harder and harder to tell them apart Days are nights and the nights are long Beating hearts blossom into walking bombs And those still looking in the clear blue sky for a sign Get missiles from so high they might as well be divine Now the wolves are howling at our door Singing bout vengeance like it¹s the joy of the Lord Bringing justice to the enemies not the other way round They¹re guilty when killed and they¹re killed where they¹re found If what¹s loosed on earth will be loosed up on high It¹s a Hell of a Heaven we must go to when we die Where even Laurel begs Hardy for vengeance please The fat man is crying on his hands and his knees Back in the peacetime he caught roses on the stage Now he twists indecision takes bourbon for rage Lead pellets peppering aluminum Halcyon, laudanum and Opium Sings kiss thee hardy this poisoned cup His winding sheet is busy winding up In darkness he looks for the light that has died But you need faith for the same reasons that it¹s so hard to find And this whole thing is headed for a terrible wreck And like good tragedy that¹s what we expect

At night I make plans for a city laid down Like the hips of a girl on the spring covered ground Spirals and capitals like the twist of a script Streets named for heroes that could almost exist The fruit trees of Eden and the gardens that seem To float like the smoke from a lithium dream Cedar trees growing in the cool of the squares The young women walking in the portals of prayer And the future glass buildings and the past an address And the weddings in pollen and the wine bottomless And all wrongs forgotten and all vengeance made right The suffering verbs put to sleep in the night The future descending like a bright chandelier And the world just beginning and the guests in good cheer In Royal City I fell into a trance Oh it¹s hell to believe there ain¹t a hell of a chance

I woke beneath a clear blue sky The sun a shout the breeze a sigh My old hometown and the streets I knew Were wrapped up in a royal blue I heard my friends laughing out across the fields The girls in the gloaming and the birds on the wheel The raw smell of horses and the warm smell of hay Cicadas electric in the heat of the day A run of Three Sisters and the flush of the land And the lake was a diamond in the valley¹s hand The straight of the highway and the scattered out hearts They were coming together they pulling apart And angels everywhere were in my midst In the ones that I loved in the ones that I kissed I wondered what it was I¹d been looking for up above Heaven is so big there ain¹t no need to look up So I stopped looking for royal cities in the air Only a full house gonna have a prayer


Good Grape 10 Day Sabbatical:  The Blogs I read 9 of 10

Jeff’s/Good Grape Note:  I’m on a 10 day sabbatical from writing posts for Good Grape, returning over the weekend of June 16th/17th

In lieu of wine-related posts, I’m taking the opportunity to pull a page from the, “To know a man, look at his bookshelf” school of thought, but instead of my bookshelf, I’m highlighting an RSS feed a day that I keep up with that is non wine-related—grist for the mill, so to speak.

See you back, recharged, invigorated with headspace de-gunked in about a week.


The Blog:  Church of the Custmer

Site URL:

What I like about the site:  In business everything begins and ends with the customer.  This site covers not only customer experience, but also the rise in citizen marketing & content.  For insight into a seismic shift on the way we –consumers- want to be interacted with, this site is a great asset.



Shopping Logic

WsIbuckled down (or buckled under) and changed course over a long-standing conscientious decision. I got asubscription to Wine Spectator.

Ihave resisted for a number of years—I didn’t (and still don’t) want to be “thatguy”—the wine snob; the guy that never mangles the name of a French chateau andis intimidating as he looks down his nose at the $12 bottle of swill youbrought as a host present.

Regardless,I don’t think I’ll ever be that guy, but I read the other major wine mags and several wine trade mags and holdingout on the Spectator was my way of keeping myself honest and contrarian.

Alas… no more.

Though,I do have to admit that I did get the subscription under my own set ofprinciples—which was to not pay the $50 to $75 they advertise for a one year subscription.

Ialways give my wife a playful hard time because she’ll go shopping and “save”100 dollars based on sale prices versus retail prices. But, the rub is she’ll then spend that moneyunder some justification system that the money saved can be spent on additionalpurchases because of what a great deal she got.

I’venever been able to rationalize that …

Thebest deal I found for my Wine Spectator subscription was on eBay, of allplaces. Search for ‘Wine Spectator’ andthere is a seller that is selling 3-year subscriptions for whatever the auctiongoes for. I don’t think there’s aminimum. And, if you already have asubscription, you can even renew.

Thisis a great way to save a good amount of money.

Mywinning bid was a touch higher, but a recent auction closed for around $20 forthe 3-years—that’s miniscule compared to the cover price for three years at, I think,$250.

 Even so, with mycouple hundred in savings, under my wife’s logic, I think I have some savingsthat I need to spend … maybe on a couple of bottles of wine … now that’s anidea. 

Or, better yet, perhaps I should dine at a Wine Specator approved restaurant ... read this post and attendant links for some good challenge to the WS empire  ... enough to give reason to pause and be thankful I got my sub. on the cheap. 


Wine Sediments

Wellfed_7My weekly Wine Sediments post is excerpted below:

Inthe name of duty, we’re sometimes asked to do things we don’t want to do. Whenit comes to wine though, the “pain makes you beautiful” school of thought makesheeding that call of duty just a tad better. And if the wine doesn’t make youbeautiful, it at least enriches the palate.

Atmy blog,, I chronicled a recent trip to the Central Coast ofCalifornia and the dozen or so wineries that I visited resulting in thepurchase of 21 beautiful bottles of wine. The trip included other stops alongthe way, sort-of Central Coast greatest hits, to include the Monterey aquarium,Hearst castle and the Big Sur. But, let’s be honest, if you’re a wine lover,and you’re going to wineries, the wine is the main course and everything elseis just garnish.

My lone – and grave -mistake in this tale of conspicuous spending is that, in order to save a grandtotal of $72 in shipping costs, I sent my wine home via UPS ground. The sheerridiculousness of this is crystal clear in retrospect, but at that moment,after twelve wineries and a nearly twice that many bottles of vino purchased,saving a few bucks seemed like a sane idea. But, alas, as otherbrothers-in-arms of idiocy find out when they are penny wise and pound foolish,the end results cause twice the anxiety and double the chagrin. Read: heatwave.

You can read the rest of the post here.


Shine On Indianapolis:  Update

Indy_wine_2Jerry Shriver, the wine critic and blogger for the USA Today has a series of posts from his turn as Judge at the Indy International Wine Competition.  It’s an interesting couple of posts. 

One of the things he notes is the vetting out process that he and judges go through in order to come to agreement on a wine.  I would love to be a fly on the wall for that.  He says in regards to this discussion:

In such instances, the panelists with the most expertise in winemakingoften hold the most sway because their analysis of technical flaws arethe most specific.

What he’s really saying is that the most gifted orator and persuasive personality usually runs the group—I’m guessing Jerry Shriver and his USA Today cred runs over the likes of Jill Ditmire who writes for the weekly Broad Ripple Gazette and does a local PBS show.  I see her occasionally walking her dogs.  And, yeah, nice woman though she may be, I’m guessing the likes of Shriver rules the day.

His series of posts is insightful because I won’t get any event or medal coverage from my local fishwrap.  Clay Aiken and Brooks & Dunn at the State Fair will, however, doubtless, get breathless coverage. 

You can find his three posts with an anticipated fourth post covering winners here, pt. II, and pt. III


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