Posts Tagged With: Journal

Beauty Brooding

IMG_5691Attestedly, Pinot and I have a flimsy relationship– we bicker, we contest, we ardently altercate. But not tonight.. tonight we dance, thanks to this Russian River producer.. the fruit is not in any angle contrived or forced, or one-columned. I’m being spoken to, in song, in verse, this ’13 is like a convincing cloud of sensory force that I’ve never met; that other Pinots in set would envy and downright deplore for its palate prose. And maybe this would be the glass, my second, spurring the writer, but it’s Truth– this Pinot is its own mandate, a sovereign sewing of empyreal ebullience– wild herbs and field-y tones taunting the caesura of raspberry and maple, slight cedar– but I‘m not approaching the wine that way, with the dumbed cataloguing of notes and ‘descriptors’. This character deserves more, and more, and by ‘more’ I intend a story, and I envisage, some world, or setting, or moment where character like myself and another like-penner perambulate in words and recitals and– some crowd, listening to our words, all prompted by this Burgundy, from Westside Road… Next sip, forcing my diffidence, causing me to reject any and all boxes, and cherish my own chatter. When I find a wine like this, this is what materializes. And Pinot, of all forms, genres. This is no wine review, no silver-tongued sentence sequence, just me writing to wine; evidence irrefutable of the writer tilted and terrifically taunted by a new wine find. And Pinot… Pinot! I don’t want to be one of this new fashionable fold but it looks like I am. But that wasn’t the writer’s desideratum, by any measure. And that’s my understanding of Pinot as a presence: vagary, the espial; ensuing enclosure. But I’m digging too far as I tend to do, this writer-slash-professor.. I should have just sipped and scribbled, jotted some humdrum banality and skipped along with the glass-tilts. But that’s not how we arrange on page, we writers, the word-warpers loving simple syllabics with a bit of sip. And like Kerouac, there was a decision I’ve been meaning to stamp and solidify but it’s been tossed away from my perceptive plain, and pleasurably. And I thank the PInot, this ’13, for getting me to clarity some coherence of paragraph, composition.. wine wine always in a wine, me and my cyclical sentiments… my Beat.
And my glass empty. A lull ebbs in my Personhood. And to do.. what. Nothing. Just stare at this bloody glass as any Beat would. My curves and coursings opaque in any rationale, and so mundane when I re-write, and re-re-write. But this bottle’s solved that. And I’m untroubled. From this Pinot. Why does it confront me from sides blind? It, this contained vivacity light but not so, aims to have its Self heard. And I know you’re asking, “Where? From where? What winery?”
Why does it matter? I’m a writer, find love, a wine, mine, mind molded and resulted. Freed, me.. That’s REAL capsuled composition. So I sip again…..


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novel excerpt.. this morning’s session

“Deadlines,” I say to myself, “Deadlines, Mikey.” I watch the people walk into the tasting room, thoughtless, careless and eager. I welcome them, the whole time thinking about how I’m going to use one line ‘Moveable Feast’ for a lecture on Tuesday, one of the last of the semester. “…belongs to me…” But I couldn’t think too much about it, I had to focus on these people waking in and how they looked around, excited and curious, some seemingly intimidated. They, group of 8, approach the bar. I put out four menus, then glasses, ask them if they’ve ever been here before and what we pour.. “Oh, I LOVE Pinot,” one lady says. I tell her she’ll love our bottles, start them with the Chardonnay, watch them sip, and right off the bat one of them asks me how long I’ve worked at the winery. “Not long, actually, just over a month,” I say. Then one of them, an older man asks why so many in the wine industry move around from TR to TR. I tell him I don’t know and I’m “only doing this part-time”, so he doesn’t think I’m caught up in that herd, their indecisive migration. So obviously, I notice, I’m insecure. But I’ll use this to build, build what I want with everything, then the next pour, a Pinot, blend of RRV and Santa Barbara-ish fruit.
“Yeah, that’s what a Pinot should be, definitely,” a young girls says, swirling, looking, sipping, smelling again.
“Yeah, it’s nice,” an older man to her right, more than likely her father says. I can tell he’s not thinking about it too much. And why should he, or anyone, it’s only a couple minutes after 11.
Larry walks around the bar, up to my right side, lean, “I’m gonna go check the back bar, you okay?” he says. I nod, he leaves.
“You guys expecting a busy day?” another man in the group poses. I shrug before being accosted with another question about my work history, as if what did I do wrong in life to be stuck behind a bar, that’s what the question intoned, or how I interpreted… ‘belongs to me, belongs to me…this moment belongs to me and these people belong to the building, the vision, the Newness of this idea I’m Crafting, construction.. I’ll tell people form now on I’m in construction, that’d be funny, and accurate and honest, ‘cause I am. Now.
“We’re gonna go outside and hang by the fountain for a little bit, we’ll be right back,” the calm man says. They follow, and I’m alone. So I build on the word ‘belong’.. “Ownership,” I write, then “control” and “possession”. “The writing that shows this ownership and control exudes an admirable power on page, and ads to its transcendence, the immunity to Time, and an irresistible sense of locale and character….” I watch the group outside, must be a family trip, and yes all are related, I then imagine that the tasting room is mine, or my characters, and how she’d react if she were in here by herself.. she’d love to see her bottles tasted and sold, but people walking through the door alone would gratify her, give her promise and that sense of ‘belonging’.. then I play with the word again, “Belonging,” I write, “as in a sense of calling, purpose, kinship and intimacy.” This empty room belonging to me, I give myself a new deadline, have a beaming thought for Tuesday before they come back in. They look comfortable sitting on that ledge by the water, just watching the upspurt, so I scribble more, I tell myself ‘I will take this thought to class and then on the Road’. I’ll devour this moment, consume it as if it were an appetizer at ‘Billie’s Oeno Go’, the favored wine bar downtown, I think Fourth Street. The glasses, just in front of me, empty, under the counter, who will sip from that one, and that one, I stop scribbling and just look around, like one of them. And I pretend I’m one of them, like I’ve never been to Livermore wine country and like I know nothing about wine, that I don’t think of making my own wine and like–
“That’s beautiful out there,” the man says.
“Yeah, it’s pretty relaxing,” I say, putting my notebook in my back pocket.
“Wine notes?” he says, looking outside noticing that the family’s very much stationed by the water. “They love it out there, oh well, they’ll be in in a minute.”
“You ready for the other Pinot?” I say.
“Yeah.. that one you just poured was great.. I love Pinot.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Yeah.. that’s all I order when I go out to dinner.”
I pour the next one, from Monterey, and I think how he has a sense of belonging with Pinot– and yes I know I’m over-thinking this, ‘reaching’, but I want to, and like I tell my students, especially the 1B’s, “that’s when you discover something.”
“This one seems a little richer, is that right?”
“Yeah, it’s kind of rich, definitely more oak,” I offer, hoping I don’t influence his sip.
“Yeah.. yeah.. there’s more oak, definitely,” he says. I write down his words, and think he’s trying to communicate something with me, I don’t know what, but he’s sharing his love of wine and the winery and this moment speaking with me, and he doesn’t care if the others come into the room, in fact he’d probably rather they all stay out there; his wife, the others his age and the 20-somethings. He looks at the glass, and I write something down, “Observation.. can we just observe and not think too hard?” Which many wine people love to do, especially those who want to be seen as experts. “Can you pour me a little more, I think I tasted some cinnamon.”
“Yeah.. I get cinnamon from this one, too,” I say, feeling a belonging to this moment and this dialogue with the man. I pour, benevolently. He smiles, smells, sips.. “Yeah, definitely, cinnamon. I’m gonna go out there and make sure they haven’t drowned, be right back..”
As he walks outside to his family, I rush to the back, ignite the espresso machine, “café au lait,” I think, just like Hem.. I heat the milk, make two shots of espresso– push the door open, they’re still out there, back to my mix.. done.. behind the counter, writing again, noting what I can for Tuesday.

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A Show

IMG_5638The walk to the gate in the morning and looking at the lower block, for bud break, and the wines–again the ’12, my focus of day– and the slowed traffic, the ride to the hill’s top, all of it had me thinking and more cemented in my wined position. The grapes to come, for me and my wine and the character it’ll assume– Again, like this morning with the ride home, me nearly running a red from all the possible theses in my head– I’m here in the nook pulled several ways, from the novel to this blog to contact assignments writing and blogging, to waiting for SSU which I know will take its sweet time, just like SRJC with a section Summer section. Dinner soon, and the rest of my Merlot. Thought about saving the rest for tomorrow night but I’d rather not– and being solicited for material by those in ‘the industry’, I’ll be mindful.. everyone wants a writer to write for them, something, and do some kind of trade, not money no not pay. “This’ll be great exposure for you…” Exposure won’t pay the Autumn Walk mortgage, and it certainly won’t–

Running through my words last night interrupted by some thought, can’t remember. The sky today, surely won’t catch me like yesterday’s did on that morning walk with Al & Janice. No wine tonight, run tomorrow morning. Frightened the left knee won’t be happy with me should I now go out. Will soon be into that 7daysaweek pattern, but I’m not worried, it won’t be like when I was at K—-, I’ll be more eased with this new estate and their embrace of the writer and who I am in wine’s vessel.
Hemingway wrote of the people of the Seine with such herald and regard, and he IMG_5613couldn’t stop with his enumeration/catalogue of their actions and the articles on the banks, and I have to do the same today– so I now here admit that I didn’t satisfy my assignment to Self yesterday with taking notes while behind the counter and I had every opportunity to do so at day’s beginning, with no visitors, only that oddly diligent wind, talking with my coworkers, and tasting that ’12 over and over. And I was right, it is certainly the more evolutionary of our wine, from its high-alt’ blocks and the severe soil above the fog, near the oceanic ambient temp, it said to me: “I’ll keep writing, just like you, I’m telling you to keep writing, but do so in short, smaller pieces, today’s mine, so what’s yours?” And I don’t believe to be paraphrasing, or re-gesting.. I believe this to be its thesis for me yesterday.. that sky, the high clouds and my angle through the Pinot leaves, then sipping that Pinot, then walking with Kevin out to the lawn to appreciate where we were, are, the valley and the property and the moment, its own standalone, its own declarative madness; the green and light but rich red of the Japanese Maples and all the varieties with which I’m not familiar– so much to learn about the property and wine still, still, and that’s what separates me from Them.. any industry bots, the character of the adjunct finding a laid oasis for him in the schedule he’s trying to change. Wish my students could see me now here on the floor typing with Jackie behind me watching his educational ‘Big Cat’ show, with all the lions and cheetahs, a couple leopards– Would love to do what these blokes do filming these animals, waking early to capture all they can.. the discipline, the routine, the godhonest work of it all– me now with wine.
Rain last night as I fell into my new dormancy, resting, and I thought of rain and the vineyard and the drought, and I shouldn’t then have been trying to sleep but to stay up and write, finish the bloody novel, or at least a standalone sketch– any advent of Newness, fruition.. and recite, this idea of recording the fiction to tape or at the least reading it at Redwood Café– but it’s too noisy and too many not listening which infuriates me, that was evident when I went there with the students earlier in term. So how about start a workshop/podcast/group/lecture sequence/…/… ‘slash’ everything. But all around short fiction, between 100 and 1500 words. Ideas ideas and I credit the wine and all the wine people around me and my sister the winemaker, and even the template wine bloggers and those ill-breeding lumpishly scuttish sommeliers.
IMG_5616“He’s funny,” Jackie says about one of the lion cubs, playing with its sibling, rolling in grass like nothing threatens. The sky now, a bit hazed but blue with insinuations of gray. Alice getting up, and Jackie asking me “Have you seen my little blankie?” I go on a hunt, my writing again interrupted but I don’t mind, and all my readers if any should know that this, parenting, and my son and Ms. Alice and family empirically come before anything, especially wine and its world, but the wine world shouldn’t mind by definition as so many speak from the perspective of family or being family-owned, or at least starting so before vending soul to some corporate jawset.
Today, focus on Zin, both Zins, open both (both 12’s), and WRITE in notebook, anything from ‘rich, slow-moving’.. worded and musical.. I don’t know… I have to taste later, and note note NOTE what’s poured and how its being syncs to all my scribble sensibility, if I have any at whatever point in the day. As you have read, the Room can be exhausting just as well as when it’s emboldening.
Coffee 2, and I’m thinking again about this new idea for a podcast, or broadcast, or whatever it’s to be called. When I started teaching back in ’06 I prided myself in my lectures about thinking ‘outside the box’. And now, I must perform what I promulgate.
Issue of P&W, left, coffee right, and quiet in the condo after Alice and Jackie leaving for the gym, Jackie to play with the other children there and on that slide, the “fun slide” he loves so much and always talks about. And I’m here, left to face the day and the sky, the wine, vines, and characters visiting.
Summer and Fall classes exasperating me, as there aren’t that many.. what if teaching was my only option, as is with many adjuncts? Don’t think like that, cuz it’s not. Just beat on in your Beat, writer, and let songs and airs varied infuse into the prose, the story.. and be outside the box always– I usually don’t write in affirmations like this, but this morning it calls. And I again am convinced of the morning’s importance, the first lines in a story…..

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Seen Speech


IMG_5609I remember my intentions with wine today– charging ‘good phone’, ready for notes on ’12 Mendo Ridge Pinot, and the vines.. where they are what they’re saying and how I’m to look at them. Last night’s Merlot opening suggested to me that wine today should just be written in dialogue form, no notes, no thick-witted daffy descriptors. No, today me as a novelist and short fiction writer introduces itSelf to wine, and offers to not so much speak for it but translate its visual nudges into line, lines.
My ’12 Merlot, especially the last glass, offered something to a lean of: “I want to be seen as a song, a set on stage, with this light assertiveness…” Last sip was a little over 10 hours ago, so I’m remembering what I can.

Little Kerouac next to me on couch now, ready for school, ready for his day, this FridayIMG_5040 (which isn’t a Friday to me as I’m with my promissory morrow– the frenzying Saturday behind the bar, where people nearly have their iphones stolen (only happened once, and by accident, but the lady’s reaction was pricless, next to that drunk group, she saying to the reacher “Um, excuse me yeah that’s mine, thanks…”). And I’ll note everything, everyone today, in the spoken, the characterized.. characters, characters, in bottle and out. And there’s me, the adjunct, the writer obvious and then not so, not sure which I prefer.

Older photos from the last winery, some inciting me, others keeping me thoughtful, wanting to write that novel, finish it– the Massamen project, where I, or he, will disclose everything, everything about the wine world that people thinking of entering it on an occupational front MUST know. That it’s NOT fantasy. It’s a job, like anything else. BUT, you can make it your own, which now at the elevated age of nearly 36, I have decoded, mapped and staged.

IMG_5607Back from Jackie’s little school cruise down the Yulupa blocks. There was too much in my head in the way of wine and writing and the students, the Massamen novel, the final weeks of the term.. on the drive home, couldn’t concentrate on a thing, solely from the ideas, certain perceptive entertainments accosting me. Nearly ran a red, but here I am with the remainder of cup 2, left. Will try to take a picture every hour today, to capture my day’s moments should I not be able to scribble something, those notes I jot quickly, now more so just singular words and concepts/points for expansion (again, as I tell my students, 1A & B).. and I realize no wine writer’s like me, certainly no ‘wine blogger’, no hyperbolic glossy disingenuous rat of a somm’, that I know. But why take it in that direction.. they do what they do and I with my words and chapters and scattered Beat projects.

That quiet in the condo, that I experience occasionally, kindly confronts me, pushes me into these wine thoughts, the vinoLit approach to everything I sip.. just have to remember today: ‘dialogue’.. speaking, the wine speaking and what the sippers say in their momentary reactiveness. Can’t remember if I have to be at the vineyard at 10 or 1030 on Fridays.. I was given the option, just now, so I elect 10, or as close as I can come to it.. still have to get ready.. clock pushing and pressuring me.. but I don’t cower, I answer with more wording, more wine fantasy, more personification of my Merlot, and how it recited for me, to my ‘palate’ and senses all.. not sipping tonight, leaving rest for morrow’s eve, see how it fends off invading oxygen.. the writer provoking its intrepidity.

order no need stare
at vines and what they write so
i copy scribble


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He finished the glass and thought, thought about what he was supposed to think, of his first vintage, 2012, a Merlot, and what, what was he supposed to think.  He’d start his label, yes, but Merlot.. Merlot, so many hated Merlot and they didn’t even know why, why, who why what.  Merlot.  So he sipped and noticed an added vocal layer.  But maybe it was how much he’d sipped of his own, this bottle, the first, the first from his first vintage, and this was what he was to build, fight uphill, and more than a battle, a cabal to all.  But he was distracted by his thoughts and fascinations, dreams, and paintings internally–

Finished.  So another opened, so he could open possibility’s locket ere long.


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(letter to Spr ’15 students)

Dearest Students,

I sit in the nook where I often write and think.. about the final submissions, and what I hope you hope to gain from it, from the process; reading and researching and finally composing…  At this stage, you should be brainstorming, scribbling furiously in the caverns of your Composition books and toying with the possibilities of idea direction.  If you are in fact organizing these thoughts, well done!  Just don’t consume yourself with formal composition just yet!  And this may be difficult to do, restraining your own Self and ideas, especially if they pulsate aggressively, ordering you to sit and type!  But my counsel to you, for our collective record, is to wait.  Let it develop, ferment, and then if it has stayed with you over a couple days, or eve a week or so, then throw yourself to page.

And, with research, be playful with what you search for and how you search for ‘It’.  For example, if you were to do a paper on ‘Morality’, or ‘Wellness’, or even Jack Kerouac, start outside the topic, or “reach” as I’ve said all semester, then work your way backwards.  For example, if I’m going to write a paper on Jack Kerouac, wanting to argue that ‘he was his own genre’, I could start with something connected to him, like travel (as a theme in his work), then research the benefits of travel, or travel logs, then start looking into jazz music and connect the movement of jazz to the movement of travel, then come back to JK and show how in his writings (‘Road’ and some of his poems, maybe some short prose pieces which I can lend you) it makes this ‘genre’ of his.  Something like that, I don’t know…..  I just don’t want you all worrying about this last paper, and there’s no need to!  It’s about you and your ideas and how you mold them.. I want you to assume the role, nearly, of an investigative journalist, a true scholar hellbent on making his/her point known!

And as the semester closes, I’m quite aware, “easier said than done”.  No?  I get it, believe me.  That’s why I urge you to balance everything, schedule, and schedule dimensions of your life in a way that works for you!  You determine what your standard of Wellness is!  And no one can break you from that if you truly have ‘faith’ in your vision (vision of you professionally, personally, academically, or…).  I humbly wish you all to be well, and composed, and successful in these final weeks of the term.  Let us promise each other that we’ll end not only on a “strong” note, but a memorable one, and enriching one, a distinguished one!

Well…  Time to go to work.  Do you ever wish you could just stay home, relax, be it through reading or writing or exercising, or just drinking your coffee (if you drink coffee, or tea like some young scholars I know–) and reading the Times?  Well, not the reality for this teacher, this morning.  Readying for work, and thinking of my students, what else we can teach each other in these concluding pages of our academic calendar.

Contact me if you need anything, be it with ideas, the assignments, the reading, or this letter.

Loyally, Always…..


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4/14/15 journal — “Tackle”

Done with 1B grading, and ready to leave. Will write more after class, planning on going to Redwood Café for some short fiction and a water with lemon.. no coffee, no more for me thank you.. or should I come back here, to the condo, which we’ll on inhabit for another 24 days or so, and nap? Oh how I wish I could nap now, but no, no I need to keep today in proper motion with the lectures and the short fiction ahead; the café and people waiting for their plates and coffees and people they’re meeting there.. and the conversation in 1B, centered around Baldwin and his views, his world views.. more later…..


Little Kerouac with his new truck…..

Classes done, no nap, and wasn’t in the mood to write, earlier. And who else to prompt me to pen but little Kerouac himself. We now, just back from store where I bought him a truck and now we have our usual end-of-day conversations and cartoons and play with trucks and cars and the usual chase down the hallway and through the kitchen. While driving he waved at all the trucks around us, and individually, methodically at the corner of Yulupa and Hoen. Why do I stress as I do, and why do I let so much bother me? Money and classes and so much that’s out of my control? Yesterday was given the greenlight to write about an Arista wine for the purpose of generating sales, case movements. I’ll write up some copy tonight, some short prose and post some pictures– but, shit, those were erased when I restarted the phone, I think… Yes, gone. But I refuse to let it bother me. If I do, then tech wins, and I’m taking my war with it quite seriously. More writing by hand and less of the typing but I’m typing now, that’s what the Story renders and I can’t be divergent with the Story, ever. I can’t afford to.
Now I’m in the living room seated, leaning against the couch, while check claims that he’s stuck between the arm and the endtable. I laugh while and after he says whatever he does in that dialect of his, the Jackie tongue.
Nothing to report, bored and still not in much mood to write. Just want to be lazy and watch Jack, no assignment or prompt around this moment-set. Now he engages me, running away when I threaten to get him.. here comes the ‘Daddy Monster’ I impend. And then we together laugh, hysterically sometimes. And now he’s back to his own language with a little bit of a higher octave to his words and this funny squished face he does.. I laugh now, and continue, don’t want

IMG_54479:36PM. Tomorrow I vow to wake early, and write track after track, just like a singer-songwriter locked in studio. But fiction, all fiction, short rushed panicked fiction. Back from Mom’s birthday dinner at this new spot, or relatively new stop in Windsor call.. what is it?– oh, ‘Kin’. no complaints, really. No, at all, none. Great service, great wine selection.. amazing Cab the waitress selected to pair with the burger I ordered (which was cooked flawlessly)– sometimes I feel I should be a food critic, or blogger, some tweeting foodie that just talks and tweets and posts and doesn’t care, just puts themselves out there– and why not? Why not do that with the fiction? With the small pieces? So much on mind right now with this new house and the sale of this condo and moving and Summer & Fall semesters, booking the Fall classes this Friday.. and work tomorrow….. Need breathe, just calm and forget about everything, just write and react to what’s here in front of my game, this adjunct plate, and not stop– a social media friend of mine, a blogger she is (not sure about what), said that “you can never put out enough”, referring to blog posts, tweets, material, copy and photography.. just put yourself out there, all of you, and some of her work isn’t precisely mind-strangling.. so if she can make a living doing what she does, then a writer like me, this writer here at this nook table, should have no problem transcending.. and why has it taken me so long? I’m just venting, and I should, I deserve to after what I’ve been through this last week and what’s been on my mind– the grading and the prep and the money and all arranged into that maturity box.
Sipping still water from glass, and getting tired. Bed, go soon, so you can wake early and what– vent to the page as you always do. IS that what Baldwin does? I find his essays scenic and instructional, but a tad prolix. He’s it, though, lived as a writer and done the traveling trek that I dream of, and when I listen to NPR in the morning, of these journalists traveling the world and seeing war and recording it and relaying the findings by page to us in America, I feel ferociously failed. And I know I shouldn’t. I can just hear Mom saying something like, “Don’t be like that, don’t doubt yourself.” OR, simply, “Stop.” And that’s why my mother is invaluable, and I have to note that today, on her birthday.. if it weren’t for her, I’d be nothing like this writer, here in the kitchen nook of the condo we’re about to sell thinking of the next words to write.. sip the water again, more than absolving.

Day, time to end. No more writing. Just living, thinking, like Mom told me earlier when I called her stressed, she told me to just sit and think, don’t write. And that’s what I need do now.. soon phone to be OFF, this devil laptop, too. And then to bed, and I have to note how thankful I am that I’m not in wine’s throws at current current.. just this water, Equilibrium, and thinking of the day’s lectures, this morning’s 1A especially, on the symmetry and value of living, being one of the living, that tomorrow’s not exactly assured.. now I enjoy my night, for thinking. Writing done.

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1A Lecture, 4/14/15: “Evolving Characters to Us, the Readers”

word: tincture… A slight trace of something
anti-commodity[something that can be bought or sold..]: What Sedaris is all about…
Wellness, what he accomplishes through his writing, for himself and us…

SHARE: “Al Aaraaf” (POE).. beauty and art and “God”: Death and living through observation of what’s beyond you.. but the emphasis being LIFE! Poe’s character compounds and matures through what he sees, and the fact he writers it all.. in poem form no less!

How is this new author evolving, or changing, or complicating for you as the one traveling through his pages? In these last few days I personally have had tremendous time to think about life and what we’re doing in it and.. I’m not as humor-prose and paginating as Sedaris, but I do realize that dumbfounding amounts of seriousness help no one, certainly not us as readers, writers, or just as Human Beings. In “Big Boy”, we see Sedaris equating.. well, you know.. to matters in Life, and how we’re all made to feel like.. well…..
And in “Today’s Specials”, we read something that’s just funny.. no grad intent, just straightforward humor that’s meant to get us to take a deeper look into what’s ‘on our plate’, if you would. Why try to dressing things, up when you just could just put it out there? Then, in “Shiner Like A Diamond”, we’re brought back to family.. so I have to ask, what IS his attitude toward family? His.. others’.. and just family in general? And Amy, is anything really wrong with her? I mean, I know what Dad thinks, but in your opinion, what is “wrong” with her, if anything? If she’s content with her life, and it “suits her just fine”, then what’s the problem?
Reading Sedaris after my last few days, re-reading for class this morning, again reminds me how short life is and we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of laughter, of Life, or interactions meaningful. The last words of ‘Like a Diamond’ read “…totally in love, and I feel great.” I ask, offer, entertain: ‘Isn’t that what Life is truly about?‘ Finding what makes you happy, giving you that love and that peace? Actually, she said ‘Finally’ before the above words, like she’d wanted it for so long and now she had it.. so again I have to ask, what is Sedaris’ attitude on Life? And after the week I’ve had, I ask myself, and we should all ask ourselves not as 1A students but as people living, now alive in a life so brief, “WHAT DO WE WANT?” What will make us happy? How do we want to be remembered? What impression do we want to leave? What has Sedaris left for you, so far?
He laments a distinct relationship with his readers, through his topic addresses and his narrative fluidity. But again, so what impact does his development through these pieces, his evolution as a person? Do you see any progress? No? Then ask yourself, ‘what progress have you made as a character?’ [Self-Analysis…]

In you journals, while we’re here, examine and evaluate your evolution, your maturing as a character.. strengths, weaknesses.. wishes and regrets, aims and falls; successes and succumbings. We have to know ourselves before we can invest in other characters… If we’re ever to have true “character”…..

Look up in the sky, or around you, and record what you see.

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Up and I have the needed coffee.

Drive to Belmont.. and while driving to get the coffee and standing in their nonexistent line this morning, I thought.. wine or Literature, wine or Literature–
Then I stopped myself. And I had to. Too late in life for that kind of rigmarole. Both.. both.. wish I could look at a vineyard right now while sipping this, ‘stead of sitting in this cluttered nook. No one ever wrote about moving being enjoyable, to my knowledge. Hear one soloing bird outside, singing in singular, separated notes. Then they stop. And I’m left to think further, about school and my lectures, taking them to the Road.. anti-commodity, an interesting idea for Tuesday’s lecture.. I really let some things yesterday find a home under my skin. But not now, not today, not before I’m to be in the presence of Death– today’s funeral, Time reminds me that it knows, it knows everything we do and when we do it and it, ‘it’, will have the say final but we don’t know when. Wish I could lock myself in a room with words, mine and others’….

Have to print some documents, more, for our loan, organize and further arrange for our new house, this transition– and yes in me a slight tincture of annoyance, or exhaustion.. something, something. So I refocus on Life.. Tuesday’s lecture– and I know I write this all the time but this WILL be the lecture of my career. Just have to make sure I’m not too caffeinated and excessively charged and fiery. Want the students to follow me and walk away with more than they thought they would.. and I’ll lecture alongside the two authors, Baldwin and Sedaris. And now that I think, both are about societal commentary, just in different deconstructive vehicles..

A revisit to Poe.. coming.. and I’ll start with his poem, “Al Aaraaf”. Think I spelled the tag adequately. But either way, his fiddling with imagery and how we targeted beauty in his work, worshiping the concept of Art, rather than Death, the Gothic perpetuation, the “grim”, as people say. And I return to my exploration of that term, what I was to write about for my PhD sample piece…..

Car packed, coffee done, now to Road, up to parents’.. moving, ugh… Thinking of lectures all day, and how to link everything I “teach” to wine, and around other way.



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Connective Shelves

IMG_5372Sipping some of my wine, the ’12 NDC. That’s New Dad Cuvée, if you forgot. And I get not so much weepy, but .. no, not nostalgic.. just reflective, and realizing that I can make wine and have my own label and write about it if I wish and create some new story for this writer. Discerning this moment and how the wine amalgamates with my current sentiment.. the adjunct war, coming to an end as I want it to– no surrender, no armistice, no walkaway. I’m sipping, here in the nook, to a bottle I, with much help from my friend Blair, produced. And I have to settle on varietals, I know. Don’t want Pinot. Just Cab, and SB, and Merlot.. that’s it. All Bordeaux. This sip… The Cabernet romps silence the Grenache assertions (and Grenache is the lead voice in this assembly, as I recall..). I feel this wine is its own occult oscillation, with the dark notes and visual, with the undercurrent of conviction and avant-garde story.. this wine speaks to me, and I made it!– Well, with Blair’s help. I’m not winemaker, but I’ve made wine with the activity and prowess of IMG_5371professionals. And here I am, after a day completely enraptured in the thought of wine, and I think more, about the winery I today visited and the Pinot I took home and the other wines I tasted in that rustic garage-like cove, making me think of what I can write and what I can do with wine and what I can write to while I do what I do with wine– postmodern repetition and mirroring; the Plath realization looking at the puddled cogitation in this bowl, this night’s pouring vessel. I’m just rambling I know, but like I said this was a night and day of wine…
Tomorrow, Ross’ funeral. I guess I’m ready, and I guess that’s why I’m sipping with such fervency. Who knows. I’m not blaming Uncle Ross, not at all, I’m blaming me, and my inability to decide that death is integral in this existential equation. I’m the problem, as I’m a writer; I’m to blame, I’m a writer, and death is everywhere, and I can’t hide from it; I’ve evaded it once, defeated it, to be technical and keep score, but I know it wants another scuffle with this Beat, so what do I do? For the moment, just enjoy the wine Blair and I made..

Now: still with caramel and raspberry and minty earth and herb. Need to share this, and the Merlot Blair with me aided, with the Arista faction. And soon. Saturday, then.. decided, for the next episode of the ‘cast Tome and I shoot every week.

IMG_5351Scattered in my thinking and I know tomorrow wil try me but I’ll continue, and stay in writer mode even though Tobias Wolff said in that lecture, specifically, that if you’re a writer at a funeral you should take time to grieve, not observe– but I have to disagree. I can’t just de-activate it, as some do, or can, or think they can.

So the wine’s done, and so am I. So till tomorrow, where I bid adieu to my uncle, my father’s brother…..


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