Posts Tagged With: Music

Morning Mood, a move

11AM and I start with my day’s drops, driving over here in rain if you could call it rain, but not like the weather people called for.  They predict storms or they put the anticipation fire on highburn, and let us do the rest, simmer in wait, fear, or just waiting to see if we should be afraid or not, and give it all (this potential) a word like El Niño, to personify it with some menace and overarch, like a branch with the most gothic of vultures looking down to us with intentions beyond our control–

In the adjunct hut, done with grading and more or less ready for the meeting, the section next, only four sessions left if I tally today and the exam day, which I may or not be a cast member of.  Could use more coffee but the walk over there would certainly take from my types and with time as it is I can’t afford surplus even if I do have some– the clock won’t agree, and my metaphysical synchrony’s awobble anyway today.  Must be the late rise this morning, with Ms. Alice waking me saying, “It’s 7:20…” “Oh shit,” I three from my vocals, first of the day, running to Jackie’s room and he already up as a little Beatnik would be and I had to catch up.  So that mode and panicked late-week modality steers me to this page and the last teaching day of Week 16.. by far the most weighted and chasming semester of my adjunct story thus far, closing.  I think of the break and what I’ll do, and what else but grow the wine story and enjoy the vineyards in their dormancy, in their meditative composition and code, walk and record, take notes as I did that one day at St. Francis after little Kerouac was born, strolling the Syrah block and scribbling notes and translations natural from the naturalist notes around me, all circular and rewarding.  Am I there now, in this adjunct den, with equalling quietude?  Not really.  But I’m close, as the jazz jumps around like kitten synecdoches with paintbrushes, chase chase chase–

More music in me this morning than I’d expect be–  and that has to be from the rain I’m hoping for, but not in the later tonight cruise back from Mendocino.  What I’m hoping for, a quick meeting with them on rough drafts and dismissing…  Tomorrow a meeting with writing/wine client, then to.. what.  More writing, probably at Hopper coffee shop watching everyone around me with those Friday woes and reliefs blended with the angst that in just three days they’ll be back.  At work.  Clock… task orders patterns and papers stacks beyond their control and influx moderation circuitry, acuity.. my rambles facilitated by music and not just what I’m hearing in my ears, “Ayerloom” by Roy Ayers, I’m enlivened and not simply “emboldened” as so many now punctuate, but driving while still, further into another story, and what, what else do I recite– have to inventory all these new writings and sell every last bloody one.. no more outside Sonoma County!  I’l be stationed there, in my SELF-promulgated pages and whirlwinds of wild wine prose, like the Dizzy trumpet, paradiddles on highhats and the piano in tow.  Anymore pattern, no–  Just freely sewn sentences in a rewarding stream, for me, my students and the new story I’m rushing through and to for expository exponents anew..

The records need be better kept, I’m realizing with these standalone pieces, locking myself indoors and riling at least five pieces in a sitting, poem and prose, like Kerouac after a bottle of something red, or Hem after a few beers, Ms. Plath after three cups before her babies wake.

Pen, left, from this adjunct hut, and I won’t give it back.  Spoils!  Ugh, sound like a fantasy or sci-fi writer.  But I take it as a gift and reminder to myself of this semester.  I won’t ever again pen with this pen, but just look at it, on my desk or in a drawer– no, it has to be visible, that reminder of these drives and the new writer friend I’ve made– fellow adjunct and novelist and person in this putrid parlor of blandness and slouching vision.  But not for us!  We write!  And in the syllables we more than just survive or cope.  I’m seeing more in the vineyards and my interactions with them over break.. walks, yes, but photography like Hunter S., writing to what I shoot like the still I took the other day (with my phone, contemptibly), pulling over to 12’s side just before 29 to shoot the Autumnal blares from tired vines and rusting trellis wires.

Definitely need more coffee.  A cup before class I think, and why not.. oh, the notes.. I don’t want to pull myself from this page, though.. so, what does a versifying wandered do or execute with the xylophone bouncing on my ears’ drums like caffeinated bulls.  Keep thinking and picturing, I say to myself, and the Road just ahead, the travel and the plates, wine in hotels and with new writer friends..  Keep the story of this adjunct morphing into something that will not even closely mirror the catalyst; that first class at Chabot!  If only I could have then seen what now’s tangible.. but no.  This was all part of the story.  WAS and IS the story itself.. me the diffident, defiant, separatist writing adjunct not at all quiet about the inequities facing us; constricting and draining our pocketbooks so they can have a section go, some desperate and overeager burgeoning instructor wanting ribbons on his résumé.

Just spent 2.5 minutes planning, if that, for class.  Not much to do in these précis weeks.  And, IF the dean shows today, I’ll be more or less ready.  But how ready do I need to be not at all vying for a spot next semester?  I feel’s though if he does show, there’ll be literally no communication, and he’ll be observing close to nothing as there’s nothing much to observe being this Week 16, and all our material’s been covered, only this departmental “exam” next.  The ubiquitous and rife, robust (!), disorganization here is bewilderingly humorous, and rather amusing at this point in term where as in Weeks 1-11, it frustrated, irk, further embittered.  Now, I’m musical, singing to myself in victory and newly paginated Autonomy.


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1,000 words — barrel 8

Class done, giving Self ten minutes to write, so leave Emeritus at 4:55 to get Jackie.. long day but energized, successful, productive, what be.. great meeting with grape growers about writing assignment and now I realize I haven’t done a goddamn thing with the poetry collection due this Friday.. do I even have the funds to publish it?  Doesn’t matter, the poems need to be gathered, and I need it in publishing position.  No wine tonight, as I want to prep for tomorrow and the interviews Wednesday morning at the grape growers office for the stories I’m to record.  My schedule quickly fills and I notice more a need for the write to log items for schedule in ONE location, and not this bloody laptop schedule.  I’m tired, hungry, need a snack, and some music– for some reason I feel a crippling crave for music, for Hutcherson or Thievery Corporation not sure but I want to keep writing and in the presence of music like I’m playing an instrument on some stage in some smoke-smattered bar, but I’m here in Emeritus Hall with.. with… well, books all around me and me at the head of this T-formation’d two tables, for those very important conferences and meetings the full-timers have.  Everything logged, my style of writing you could say–  I hope people would say, noticing the meticulous obsession with all things ordinary or otherwise dismissed, like the paper shredder to my right, wonder when the last time that was used– and the students in their chairs, when they do their freewrites in class, and now they bury themselves in their studies and that’s their foremost concern; due dates, grades, transferring to a 4year.  And me, only getting older, finally somewhat finding myself at 36– maybe my wife’s right, I should apply to these FT openings.  But is that what I really want?  It goes agains the answer to Dad’s ‘perfect world’ inquiry.. I do want to teach, or “teach”, like I did today, typing up my lecture on Plath, and sharing it with the enrolleds.  Not preaching or sounding pompous, but just sharing my findings and ideas and if they’re lost with the text then maybe the ideas I typed might help.  That approach to teaching I love– if that’s “teaching”.  HAVING to attend meetings or panels or conferences, or having to devote myself to a certain project or initiative when not being justly compensated interests me none.  And that’s what I can’t see myself doing.  How I taught today, or whatever I did today in the classroom which the students very much enjoyed, far’s I could decode, I very much will continue to do.  But that’s it.  So maybe I shouldn’t.  Apply…..

Have to get little Kerouac.  Excited to see how the day went for my little Beatnik boy.  What he learned, if he napped, if he falls asleep in his seat on the way home as he’s done a couple cruises of late.

4:55.  Time.

Now at home, waiting for the interview I shot with Glenn last Friday to upload.  Tired and with a bit of a sharp mood– not in the mood for TV, or conversation, or thinking about tomorrow, not even wine.  Not at all.  All I want to do is write and remove myself from the pattern, the patternized, anything and all things predictable.  Tired from day, from the lectures I gave and really what am I doing at the head of that class– I’m speaking passionately about Sylvia Plath, sharing my ideas.. is that “teaching”?  I can only see education at the college level especially as flawed inherently and with intrinsic illness.  But what can I do, nothing.  And I don’t want to do anything, nothing excessively drastic.  I’ll take the check, use my role in such regard, steer as I want to then get into my office off the Healdsburg Square, and write on wine, taste when I wish and personify it as no other wine “writer” does.

Now the writer’s tired, disconnected and surrendered.  And my alarm sounded this morning at 4:30.  I woke.  But only to turn it off.  Bloody hell…  My mood further sinks.. need a nightcap, and not in wine’s form, but something sweet.. like… 7UP?  Better than some Halloween candy, I guess.  Or not.. I deserve.  Deserve what.  Something.  I don’t know.  This is the day talking, okay– so I move on, and into the kitchen.  For something sweet, kill my impatience and indecisive whatever.  I’m like Esther in New York, I should be confident right now and defiant and writing something explosive but instead I’m here just whining.  And I hate it.  At least not all the whining’s making it to page–  Writers experience this I guess, or I know after writing for so many years, and now seeing how quickly time by this penner flies.  But I can do nothing but try to keep up with Time– or no, just outrun it, refuse its reality and what it does.

I’m ready for bed, and ready to restart, but I don’t agree with that mentality.  I want the conviction of this day being the last, of the urgency, the life-or-death attitude with each page, like I urge my students, “Do something crazy” when the writing or the day bores you.  So–  A story: professor offered a lecturing opportunity, but he passes, not sure where it will take him.  So then after he wonders why he said ‘no’, why he passed.  His attitude changes.  He becomes bitter, scornful, he starts writing crazy essays about the institution and drinking and calling in sick to write and travel, drive across state, Oregon, in his car which could any day die.

Huh, I think.  An idea.  Novel?  Something for NaNoWriMo? (If that’s what it’s called..)  Not sure.  This is my exhaustion talking.  Now, a tall glass of water, rocks, and this cluttered desk, the narration from my wife’s show in the living room.  Jackie upstairs, asleep.  Thinking of Plath and my lecture on her, her character, what Esther wants and what I want– life, careers.. shit, too much for so late in the evening.  And, night…..


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Back In Class

IMG_1003And I have to applaud myself for working/writing myself out of a mood which was generated by my email getting hacked, some dimwit sending out a letter saying I was in fucking Turkey.. and needed money.  That, and I have grading for Summer to do, then planning for Fall, then the pick tonight at Old Camp.  But I calm, as it’ll all get done, I know.  I have managed to clear my desk a bit– oh, just remembered I need to charge my cameras, phone.. everything before the launch tonight.  No run today, as I have written on my calendar.  Thought about taking a nap, and that probably would help but I wouldn’t be working– have to stay working and writing.  Have notes typed up for meeting with Chelsea tomorrow.. need to designate notebooks for classes, and don’t EVER overlap.  Simple, simplified.. less is better.

Alice to bring home lunch in a bit.. not much more I can due right now but rightly write freely here at the desk, in the home study.  I now truly embrace the idea of “nothing new”.  No new projects, no new directions, no new anything– well, new clients I’ll take, but with a keen eye, careful and not at all with whim.


While at Costco with Alice this morning, I motioned to look at my phone and she told me not to, “Be free for a minute,” she said, then seconds later disclosing how she intentionally left hers at home, again emphasizing freedom.  And she’s right.  Why should this email hack bother me at all?  AT. ALL.?  Kerouac didn’t have email.. a phone.. neither did Hem, Plath.. I know I’m in the blogging arena, and that comes with emails and social media, and this goddamn laptop.  But I don’t have to be chained.  In my little black book of ideas for mikemadigancrEATive I jot: “plan for tomorrow”, “less is better”, and “nothing new less you have to”.

Enjoying some music here in the study.. go plug in battery/charger for camera.. done.  Mind IMG_1008swirling and I’m having trouble stopping it, which I suppose is a benefit, a boon for me as a business owner, right?  Thinking the content tonight should be 50/50, video and still, but I’ll see.  I have to feel the scene and see what the story tells me to do.  Words come first.  I’ll bring my little notebook but I doubt I’ll be able to see anything out there, in the dead of night/earliest of mornings.

IMG_10097:24PM.  And after the most fierce battle with tech that I’ve found myself engaged in, in months, if not a year (calling what I thought was an IT number but was only a scammer.. luckily I hung up and disconnected internet connectivity), I’m back at the laptop with renewed appreciation, and total embrace of the simple approach to writing, my business, life.  Alice had it right this morning, put the phone down.  It’s down now, believe me, and with under 5 hours, actually just over 4 hours till departure for the vineyard, I’m in the mind state and frame I need.  And to add to today’s attack on the writer, the SF prospect passed, stating her editor didn’t like my revisions.  Of the original sample I sent.  And honestly, I’m fine with it.  She very much tried to help me, which I appreciate.  And who knows what her editor wants.  I don’t care what any editor wants if you must know– well you already do.  I’m focusing on the wine, the winemaking, the vineyards, wine writing, me, my family, building this business so my babies will have the option to share one day the office with me.


Jackie home from swimming lessons, which I took him to, Alice staying home and resting which she needs, carrying little M.  While watching him, in the water, me not looking at my phone and seeing so many parents looking at their screens completely ignoring the processes of their IMG_1013children in the pool.  The instructors were far more attentive that those parents.  But not me.  I watched everything little Kerouac did in the water, sitting on Ms. Ashley’s lap and letting her take his arms to make the stroking movements.  My phone now still in pocket.  There it stays.  And the email that was hacked, letting it die.  Never using it again.  Now only my vinolit address used for business.  And to everyone who tries to contact me through the old address.. well…..  If the story wants us to stay connected we will be.  I’m moving on and distancing myself from this technological terrorism and dependency.  I’m going to continue to be the odd one who doesn’t look at his goddamn phone every five seconds.  I’m going to always be the lunatic watching his son swim in the pool, or the view of the vines or how the tree moves with gusts.  I’m an artist, not a device dependent drone.  I’m alive, they’re not.  They’re less than alive.  They’re devices themselves, with vices about their movements and interactions.  Not this writer.  At present, this laptop not connected to the internet, and I love the detachment!  I love the art of my movements and my breathing, the way I push the keys even feels better, much more richness in the sounds.

IMG_1015Going through the camera I see so many images that I haven’t used, and the video camera I haven’t used has material as well.  And no connection to the internet for these tech pieces, so no chance of getting hacked.  Yes, I know, but still tech.  A compromise you could say.  In the vineyard I’ll go from camera to camera, and if I can write notes, single words not burdening myself with full sentences or any kind of proper grammar as these editors want.

Funny the email said I was in Turkey, as I’d love to go to Turkey, have always wanted to go there and write about the streets and all the merchants, the customs and scents and buildings, wherever I could go.  And the danger that people speak of and warn Americans against, what fuel for the writing. For THIS writer, dodging and hiding from whomever…  I need travel, and this hacking event today, if you could even deem it an “event”, only made Mike more resolute.. nearer to book’s completion, my travels, and more enhancement of life quality for my family.


Still quite a bit of clutter and paper piles around me.. evidence of the battle and how it diversely crushed my day’s routine.  Maybe I won’t go to bed when I get back here at 2-whatever.  Maybe I’ll come to this swiveling chair, to my pages, to this new me for which I have today to credit.


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A Morning In Out (some of day’s 3 pages)

IMG_7396Finally find myself freewriting, writing freely, free in my morning writing, starting the types at 9:12– writing for clients later when in adjunct cell, and grading papers, meeting with students at 6; optional session for them but I hope several of them arrive.  Didn’t make it to class last night, stuck in that traffic, and I hate feeling behind, but it motivates me so I should do well with the current current and the ebb of my electric written impulse.  Have to leave this Yulupa base, the Starbucks of course, at 10 promptly to make the appointment where Ms. Alice and I have the engagement to see our little Ms. Austen on the screen, make sure all measurements are well, and that all is as anyone would want it.  But I type faster and whirl in my written novelizing of Self and my career and the meeting I had yesterday at the Ad office, Napa, still very much in the writer’s brain.  And I realize I’ve a break, one that will benefit me and my story greatly, expose me to more wines and wineries and the experience wine brings with it and all the characters, in the industry and out–  forlorn never, and my gravity and brio intensify with each word.  And the novel grows even more, more for me and my family– the day’s practice of three pages, a true write making a life for himself, one that will be read, rebelling against the adjunct ropes and bars, cells made to keep us complacent and now I speak up and tell them, the Them, those devils in their cozy little, or not so little if you’re a Chair (not sure why that should be capitalized), office.  I just make it my own, knowing that no full-timer will ever write about or speak to me as that one did, at that one removed garage-sale-college.  Ha.. look at my rattle, and me slither toward the aggressor rather than flee.  Fangs.. here… look closer…..

Wine, and all its educational potential, and the Human approach to wine, antithetical to what sommeliers think you want to hear..  Wine should be appreciated as Art is.  As it IS Art.  And that I mean to capitalize.  And in this day’s three, I only reflect and revel in wine, and not so much the “educational” facet or dimension, but the appreciative, as I told my new partners yesterday in the office, not wanting to leave, wanting to talk more about the wine, a Merlot, we opened and just appreciate the moment, share what we detected in the wine’s momentum and Beat.  I have to do more than just “immerse” myself in this, this stream of rich wine chapters at this point in the novel stream, or memoir stride– but I’m here recording and about my jazzy reaction and reflection, thinking of those Roads, the pourings I’ll do in hotels, the travel and the trips, the overnights in hotels and the resulting writing.  So what’s the end to this, this series of books?  I haven’t a clue, frankly.  And I don’t want one.  One rile I embraced yesterday was a reminder to just enjoy, enjoy wine and the characters with whom you sip, and go from their, form your life and write it all.  ALL.  Don’t omit a thing!  OH, and Mom reminds me just now by social media’s mount that I need business cards.  Shit!  How did I forget that?  Also need to upload some photography and copy to the bottledaux blog.  And.. officially put myself on the cards as a client of mmc, “Mike Madigan Author” I have it dubbed.  So that brings me to three clients.  And how do I market Mike Madigan?  Uh.. blogger, prose writer, poet, performing poet.. think that’s it.  What else does he write?  What do I think he should write, as his agent?  Arduous thinking of myself as a writer, objectively.  I’ll have to brainstorm, not in this freewrite.

9:26.  Time to write nearing an end already, but I won’t dismiss or let that free wind alone, not even for a second.. young lady in front of me going through her purse for something while she waits for her coffee.  Looks like she may have come from the gym or a walk, maybe.  But she looks tired and not wanting to start her day, flipping her hair and slightly rolling her eyes.  I hope not at me, the peering writer.  Now she gets her cup and leaves, about her day, looks at me again before putting some sugar in her, what I think is that passion iced tea my wife gets– rushes out, to the day, to errands and probably kids.  But I’m free, here with these characters and words and diarist accouterment, my mea culpa, theatricality in my gaze, my typings.  Looking and using what’s around me, so I’ll always be writing– this place, a place for people like that lady with her tea, me with this mocha and moment, then some that just come here to have a coffee and read the paper.  That’s their peace.  Just like wine, and in the vineyard, different intentions.  I realize, I can’t with all I have going on make wine– and I don’t want to really as I want to cover it; film it and write about it and photograph every facet as I did in ’12 at K—-.

No more distractions from email.  I know I always say that.  Had a call from client 2 this morning, that he had a busy weekend with company and didn’t have a chance to read the email and draft I sent him.  I know the feeling, I said, and didn’t mind at all.  He, with his business, everywhere and so centralized and focused, and beyond successful.  That’s mmc, soon, you’ll see, and my novels will capture everything, like a photograph but with the regimented discipline of writing and with the painted scene and plate– woman working here going around wiping off tables, the crumbs and coffee stains and used napkins.  I envy her speed and devotion to a task that most wouldn’t want to do.  That most are just too lazy to bring to any finished roundness.

Now in the morning I see what the day’s remainder looks like.  Just me at work and working toward my office which I know is closer than it’s ever been.  And wine education: I offer you don’t overthink it.  And if you want to look further into the wine you’re sipping, then enjoy.  But don’t steal the joy from the puddle in the bowl, what you sip and what contributes to the story and the occasion, the music created by conversation, like jazz in the moment and not reversed not edited and certainly not over-planned, or thought, or measured.  Just leap into the wine and explore its character like a book and see what speaks to you.  And I put an exclamation mark at the end of that sentence then deleted as the emphasis is obvious.  Just go forward into the wine and how you want to know it and don’t stop and don’t be swayed by anyone.  Certainly not some loppy-witted sommelier that recites book babble to sound versed.  That’s a facade– not with all of them, but many, even most I’d say.

9:47– the jazz slows, the trumpet and the highhat, snare, then in comes a piano like a trotting tiger, but gentle, some unseen dance, and I just want to stay here and write the characters around me and imagine this is my café, my jazz/wine bar, that my children visit when off school, go upstairs to the office and do their homework.  Something like that.  Wine should be family-placed, or as I see it– not sure where that thought was headed, but I don’t think corporations when I think of wine, or the vineyard.  I think of a house, a table, dinner, a bottle or two in the center, and people talking about what they choose, smiles and laughs and memories and new stories.  Nothing sour or downing.  Just an aloft mood and consistency…

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from today’s 3 pages (no edits)

…two wines to try tonight, the SB and CS from Blair’s friend.  And remember, no brokering!  Just writing about them!  And I more and more think I’m destined to make a bbl of Cab this vintage.  I’ll talk to “Arista Mark” when he’s back from his trip.  I know just how I want it produced, and I need to start setting aside money, as I know this will cost me a penny or 3, 5, 15.. who knows.  And I know that.  And I know I won’t make it back and I’m fine with that, the adjunct knows what to do with his wines, with his career, and the English Professor role I carry and try to admirably execute is always present; try to teach people and myself something new about Cabernet.. maybe a light oak approach?

Exhausted after rush-typing that article, the MOCK SOMM piece.  Need to keep that column up, and play with it, market it.. do something more with it.  My brand, if you will: the writer/English Prof writing about wines and the character they carry, their respective theses.  Needing a break but the jazz tells me know.  I’m on stage with Hutcherson, with Miles and all of them.  People are depending on me to say something but what does the writer say when he’s tired, barely has a thought to share, would rather just sip wine and watch the sun as it falls, have a glass of SB up at the Hilton on Round Barn Circle.  But I’m always working.  Always tired.  Always trying to organize and always with a wish list.  I’m always wishlisting.  But isn’t that what wine’s about, dreaming?  And writing, too?

I’ll break right after reaching the bottom of this page, my 3-paged daily effort, and with wine in my vision, me on a crush pad tasting from barrels and taking samples to the lab to have them checked out and knowing I’m on my way, my truest of true stories being told; writer and winemaker, if that’s not all I don’t know, but I have to make wine, I have to speak through it as client 2 does.  And what.. what do I really want.. I already know, or I know NOW, and I’m convinced it’s this new business idea of mine, telling and re-telling wineries’ stories.

Hard to think in this adjunct cell, now.  Feel hot.  Think the air is broken, or not in play at the moment.  the jazz tries to cool me but I can only think about all that I have to do, all that I have to learn and learn quick, about wine, and winemaking, marketing, selling, everything– even writing about it!  I know I have more to learn about how to convey the message of a wine, make it intriguing, giving it added narrative layers and what have.  And wine education!  I know I should be writing more “tips”, or thoughts.. educating people, or consumers, or anyone curious about wine, on how certain approached can benefit your connection to wine…

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MOCK SOMM: Stewart Cellars, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

IMG_7293Enclosed in this new Cabernet translation, one from Napa which I don’t explore enough and I don’t know how more I need to go over there now, I can simply flurry and fly to a computer and order.  But I slow in my sips and remember what it was like with the first sensory landing; the chocolate and toasted oak, blackberry and cherry and whatever spice that is, nose; then the palate is irrevocably kaleidoscopic in its current and webbed ebb.  Just charming and musical, jazzed from first measure to last.  I look for jazz in wines, as you might know and here I have it, a newly voiced Cabernet beat and snare sound; soft but not passive, assertive with no encroach.  Just a bedazzled figure, me, speechless and only writing what notes I’m capable; the coma-coding charm of this bottle, texture and rhythm, me thinking and writing something down that I check later only to laugh as it doesn’t make sense.  And why don’t I be more technical, why not go more into those descriptors and what wine publications would publish, what a half-faced clack-dish sommelier would say, in that low all-knowing octave.  Because I can’t, no pulse of that angle; what this is, candid adoration of a wine, this Stewart Cabernet, Napa.. Napa and I reconnecting and I have this to thank, but I’m afraid to try others.  And I don’t think I will for a while– need to order more– and the recalls of the jazz I sipped the other night and right now again grip me, have me bobbing my head, not knowing where the wine’s profile and note syncopation will next go.  I don’t need to know.  Just years ago, I was just discovering Cabernet, and I’ve learned a bit since then, but this bottle, as Ginsberg said, “doesn’t hide the madness”.  It teaches me more than I could have called.  It shares its “inner moonlight”.  And this madness, make me mad to keep sipping, in want of more notes, more music from its nuclei, more discoveries and answers but I don’t want it to answer them all; I love its dark mystery, from visual to texture how the sip summarizes itself.  I need another.  Sip.  Bottle.  Case.  So I’m in scribble till the night’s over, till the jazz arrests.


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The next morning I wake to Jackie

charging me as he always does and sending a draft, of one paragraph, to client 2, by email.  Why IMG_7313am I using so many commas?  Coffee– drinking it.. run today, easy night with students, just going to meet one-on-one with them then dismiss, whomever shows.  I find with optional attendance sessions it’s usually 50/50, or closer to 60/40, favoring the absent.  But no matter as I’m committed to my day’s 3 pages, now making up for yesterday’s deficit which means the writer has more to today write but again, no matter.  I’ll start and end with wine, my wine story, just writing about it and following it around the planet eventually.  Tonight I do have written to open the Cab Blair’s friend gifted me.  No brokering, just writing, writing my perfect world of novels and wine and small pieces about wine and being transparent as a writer, just releasing everything– have to finish that Paris poem I started already, type and print and share with the students tonight, or Monday, or take to the Redwood Café for recital– oh!  I could hold class there, next Thursday, if there’s a reading!  Have to read my work, more– or at all.  The cubist thoughts in me spinning and the day painted in my head, each scene.  In the adjunct cell I have to make more a dent in the novel, re-arrange and assemble it, starting with those 100 days of 3 pages.  How did let that manuscript go to waste?  What’s wrong with me?  Just calm down, I tell myself.  Right now I figure I’m batting around .301, need to be up around .377 today, so divide by– nope, can’t tell.  Just know I’m writing, reader and I have my own formula and soon I’ll be sipping some wine in my hotel room noting my day after talking to Alice and Jackie back home, on hotel’s phone, and taking more notes and walking around the grounds knowing I’m finally on the road. 

The coffee tells me to write faster but it’s difficult as Jackie stands too close to the TV, I tell him “too close” he grunts and reverses, then jumps with silly sounds, hops like a rabbit expelling a vocal each time his mini-paws hit the wood floor in this new house, now he talks to me in that tongue, that slang or coded and muffled twang of his.  What did he say? I ask myself repeatedly but get no answer form my Self and my ability to analyze anything this morning has been chilled and frozen.  But I break the glacier around me, thinking of the students and how I need to look to them, yes there is a concern with image, I want them to see me more a writer and less a teacher; more a handler of words and phrases and reflection and less the lecturer.  I want them to see me with finished books; I want them to see my books on whatever store shelves they frequent.  And the wishlist goes goes and goes…..

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from today’s 3 pages

…and one of them saying “I’ve been here fifteen years, you don’t need to tell me that,” speaking in mimicry of the moment, the exchange with this person.  I don’t know if ‘this person’ is a full-timer as well or an adjunct but I’d like to think he or she’s an adjunct, and that this is just more evidence I have of how they’re always there, talking about us and slighting us either to our faces, behind our backs, or in their heads.  But then the run starts to catch up with me, slowing everything I do, typing on this keyboard, and slowing my eyes in their movements, making the lids heavy, and me disinterested in everything I’m thinking and doing.  And what am I doing?  But writing a novel.  Or finishing one.  Or have I already finished one, in that string of 100 days, 3 pages a day.  Now, the 3-page mark is to be daily, and forever, all prose and reflective and truthful, and painful if I need it to be.  Tomorrow, wake when you should have today, around 4, or just before 5, and get the three pages started.  Enough of these affirmations, I think.. these writer thoughts.  No one wants to read that!  Wine!  People love wine!  And the wine fantasy!  And winemaking and the winemakers and the sight of some bottle on a table surrounded by opulent and visually antagonistic food.  One of my clients, one of the two, has a pervasive thesis of wine and food, which I love, and the link to the farming.. there’s something there for me, and what specifically I’m not sure but it’s something.  This man, self-made, a farmer and winemaker and overall whiz with so much, and how– self taught and some institutionalized order.  And I’m reminded, use what I already have, what I know, I don’t anything new, any more stress or clutter.

Outside for a break, I think.  Need something, and that’s air, the sight and feel of that parking lot air and the furtive gusts I remember to be out there presently.

Back from my walk, and returning a message, someone saying my writing is “fantastic”.  Want to look into something, something concerning wine brokering, or selling wine creatively.. after all, my company is called “mikemadigancrEATive”…  So I start brainstorming.. need an idea book for mmc, one quaint, not too large, and in one place.. selling wine but not in some cheesy scripted robotic, unidimensional utilitarian method.  3:03, the adjunct forces himself to look at the clock much as he doesn’t want to.. meeting on Thursday, 5PM, wine-related.. opening the Stewart Cellars Cab Blair gave me.  And it starts, brokering wine, a facet of mmc’s “Professional Blogging” division.  Good, so I’m consistent…

Still quite full from lunch, and tired from the run.  So I brainstorm, think.. write.. images… listen to the music I’d have playing in the mmc office.  This adjunct, shedding his initial intentions with teaching, and finding more about himself and his relationship with wine.  And that “perfect world”, the travel and the lecturing, showing the literary qualities of wine, and the voice and narrative, truest of stories disclosed in the sip sequences.

Needing another break, but I won’t let myself stop till I reach this page’s bottom and am onto the day’s 3rd.  Wine.. the character, the arranged nature on the palate and how the suggestions encase your perception and ability to react and reflect; when you find a wine that tells you what to think, and embraces what you already cognitively hold, accept.  A pleasant palate putsch.  I love those bottles.  They make me think and rethink everything about my knowledge of wine and how I speak of it.

Iced coffee.. gorgeous in all its dimensions, but I can only think of the wine I’ll drink tonight, and tomorrow at the winery how I’ll talk about the wines differently, and associate them with certain characters in Literature or maybe just laud them as their own individualized presences other than just recite basic and dumbing “facts” as so many do– the remedial approach to wine, the depreciative demeanor.  Wine deserves more, especially wines one’s passionate about.  Could use a glass of Sauvignon Blanc right now, here in this adjunct cell.  I should do that one time, bring in a split of something, have after class.. ha, then I’d really be making this cell my own space, my own Creative cave, my own slice of Newness.  Have to start prepping for class in 29 minutes, 1 hour.  But now one of my favored calming songs appears through the speakers delineating my senses in this cell.. or this office, depending on how you look at it all.

And more wine thoughts fly through my head; drinking it and thinking about the food I’d have with it.  Tonight Alice said she conspires to make a wonderful pasta plate with spicy meatballs, so perfect for that Stewart Cab and all the precipitating writing following, right?  Don’t want to think of all the calories I’ll be re-introducing into my circuitry after lunch, then this iced coffee, then the pasta and wine.  No matter, will run Thursday, early, but speed work on tread.  My tenacity is re-firing itself in my keystrokes, and in the rhythms I hear from the speakers, like bands on stage not taking anything back and no time to edit just let the thoughts fly to the screen, the page, and everywhere, finding their readers.. my beat comes from everywhere in this sitting, my the 36 y/o writer with his novel finally constructed.  Want to start assembling, and with noted officialness, my “wine qualifiers list”.  An amalgamation of words meant to describe wine but not like the simplistic and numbed-down words that these tasting notes sheet utilize, thinking they’re so brilliant and resourceful, helpful or entertaining.  Truthfully, I find a better 80% of them annoying.  And not worth a read.  But I learn from reading then, as like Faulkner said, “Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad…” They would land, if I were to conclude, majority of these lists and their illuminative wordings, under ‘trash’ and ‘bad’.  And if I could add one, ‘dead’.  The words are lifeless, doing practically nothing but taking up space on that page on the tasting bar, committing page robbery and having the guests, especially tourists who’ve never been to a single wine zone in CA, think the author is some handler of prose, imagery and voice…

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New saunter with new

IMG_7095friends and new observations, portraits of Russian River and viticultural empiricism.  Sounds of dried leaves, step step step…  And that phantasmagoric fog that beat into the scene like some soft percussion hint, the brushes over snare, and I bob my head waiting for music but none, just quiet and more visuals, jest me awed and listening to him tell me about the soil and the trellising system, yield and clonal amalgamation, presence and octave– everything there was Literary, watching the clusters morph to something that’s envisioned or published and printed on some postcard, made into merchandise with a skew then sent somewhere, then discarded both materially and in memory.  But not me, not after that walk, even if I tried I couldn’t lose the clusters and that gray sky and the intermittent coy atmospheric nudges against the right then left side of my face.  I felt part of it, it, the hills and flats and those clusters.  Then the vineyard chief showed me the color contrasts of the rows and how that translated to ripeness levels and the vintage’s message and expected yield.  I just wanted to keep walking, write in the Comp Book and take everything with me, everything now here with me in my writing grotto, looking over scribbles that I can’t translate or decode even with as much coffee as I’ve today sipped.

One set, of vines, in particular held me, told me something that I can remember, just the vintage is IMG_7090coming and Pinot’s now my conductor, purpose-r.  And I’m settled in that godly swing, like an ax to a downed tree part I’m in Pinot reach, I’ve already been reached, my new docility accredited to the fold; wine and Russian River, a vineyard walk with friends new– and maybe next time I will stay, just a little longer, see what the hills and trees and screaming blocks instruct.

I was never that much a follower of anything Burgundy, until of late.  Singing varietal, Pinot is, one having its way with our inner-shores and climates, fermenting our moods into something more composed, more composure about the sipper, this sipper, as he pours a little IMG_7093more and holds to his knowledge that the vineyards know more about him that he them.  And what does that mean, another walk, more steps over those dried leaves and under competing trees– a war over water, struggling vines giving to new notes and insinuated brow, more California or Burgundy I don’t know, you tell me.

With another glass I talk about it, more notings and pages not thrown to ground but just set aside.  The blocks deserve my most tracked and traced attentions.  So I stop with sips, I just look at the puddle in the bowl, wondering what it’s doing chemically, what the oxygen urges from its core and tabulated temperament.  I’ll in a minute know, but not now.  I have to wait.  The same as growers with new plantings.. fruit, fruit, where is the usable fruit?  Patience.. but not easy.. not for this saunterer, not with my steps or scribbles.  I type faster making myself think I caught it all.


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So whole writing in my parents’ house,

late, 11:37 with nightcap, listening to Delilah by Hutcherson.  Relaxing, and something that Mom said to me tonight ripples in my character, about removing self, and if not removing completely then taking a break as I mentioned earlier, and what Dad said about not always answering to impulse, to monitor my reactive behavior, not always jump when you feel the urge.  After this entry I’m for the day done, going to relax, sip the remainder of this Racer and think about the day, me on the back bar with the couple I met at K—-, when he proposed to her on the mountain, and me holding the camera/phone IMG_7048like a fool, just observing.  But today we sipped a bit together, celebrating our reunion and talking again and remembering that time, on the mountain– and the others, the reactions to the Pinots, and the Zin, what they all said with me outside at that back bar, by the lawn, with the view of Mount St. Helena–  Relieved I decided to stay here at the Mountain Hawk base, just thinking about the wines and how people reacted to them, how they swirled it in their glasses and just watched the wine do its revolution, they look at each other, the day, the wine, that group of 4, their kids and the wind over those little infant scalps, them quixotic in and out of micro-naps.

Tired but I have to reach 500 words, make it to or near 3,000 words for day.  Tomorrow, wake early, don’t forget leftovers from Mom in fridge (which I’m sure I will.. watch.. I’ll wake tomorrow and speed out the door and to Starbucks so quickly that I’ll just forget, not cuz I want to, but because that’s me, the sped writer always with something, something in cue and something to do–)

I’ll set the alarm for 5:30, rise and then to the Road.  And tomorrow, meticulous with everything, like Dad, showing me much about how I provide quotes for mmc clients… sent another tonight, and I hope for the best but who knows I’m just trying to do something I never have and have it pay and learn something new about my presence as a writer and how I.. how I…..

I keep writing, and look at pictures from day.. not much new, only the Zin I tried here, with Mom and Dad, from Columbia Valley, 2012.  There just wasn’t much there, not much impression or impact; texture lacked as did the overall rhetoric of the wine–

But I don’t slow, I run the trails in Sunriver, then come back to write, talk to myself about writing aims and projects, open a bottle of some Cab from AV or Howell.. I enjoy the quiet, and the jazz, and the snow outside.  Have to fly back in a couple days, but in the time now between I’m entrenched to ebb about ten short stories, written over 24-36 hours or maybe less depending on how much coffee I collude–  A crepuscular code of sorts, seeing new days and new Beats and new jazz syncopations– reborn, you might say.


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