Posts Tagged With: Philosophy

New Cask

9:18 and at the Starbucks on the old block, Yulupa.. dealing again with a mood this morning but I refuse to let it wrap me any longer, and why should I? The collection, ‘interim stratum’ was published and now I just have to push and push and push it on readers and wouldbe readers. “Keep writing,” I tell myself. I don’t have to be stressed, I don’t have to be in a mood, and I don’t have to let anyone get to me. I thrive in transparency and affairs with wine and writing and literature and my own independent thinking, and with this coffee. There’s no judgement of me here, there’s no lack of faith, only support and jazzing vibes and the ZEN I need. After this I rush to Arista to be enveloped in more Zen and beauty and Literature. I will only grow in what I want and know I did my best and those strings Emerson spoke of, being true to myself and not letting any perception of me or what I’ve never done or what I do execute on page slither to my senses, ever! And I disregard that I pocket another number, an additional age, nine days. I don’t care and others shouldn’t either, ever, and not with this one especially, pushing into the technical “late thirties..” Goddamnit, why did I write that? I just acknowledged it.
I stretch and yawn and am bored with my words already, probably from re-reading the pieces in ‘interim stratum’.. oh well. Just heard someone here, a woman waiting for her coffee say “you attract what you want to attract”. Huh, I think, unexpected counsel in this corporate coffee brothel. I sip my coffee but it’s colding, or cooling, not interested in and or my present inferno. Want to write the dream I had last night, or sketch it, no more than 250 words, short like Kerouac’s sketches, and have it be more imagist than narrative, but how do I do that? I’m an imagist writer, and narrator, so I’m a mess, Mikey-a-Mess, again. Sipping this coffee more than slow now as I need to use the washroom, but I won’t give up or stop I need to accumulate in Zen and Self in this entry and shake this mood and forget about the negative claws that follow me. Transparency, my love with writing and words and Life, the characters around me and wine.. the making of it and the story in it, not quite or empirically the wine itself or the act of drinking or tasting it– not so. In fact that’s such a minor and trivial part or experience of the experience and story OF wine. If you must know, I’ve always held that the act of drinking wine completely if not overabundantly minimizes and degrade wine. Look at all the pictures you see on social media of people DRINKING [wine], and even tasting it to bring attention to themselves, have their persona elevated so that they’re look at as some brand or icon or authority, like the sommelier movement– that is NOT for an exploration or appreciation of wine as a artful and cognitive, LIVING, entity. Rather, it’s so the sommelier can be recognized as a sommelier, or “somm”. Watch that ratsbane documentary, and you’ll see that the “somm” is more interested in their image and appearance rather than the wine. There is no respect for the wine is haphazardly drinking it, or sipping it, or even blogging about it as so many of them do.
9:31, and I’m tired of this place. My mood returns and puts me in Montresor’s mind. I fear for my writing, my character, and the characters around me, what will happen to them in the next entry…..

Whomever embarks upon my insult, will enjoy the fruition of my revenge.


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IMG_6163Thinking of Wellness and the notion of practicing it from when I woke which wasn’t too long ago. Only act left to execute is dressing little Kerouac.. keep blogging, all day… Still not totally convinced the teaching blog needs to die.. actually, it’d add to my Newness in adjuncting, if anything.. thinking now that it should stay alive, and keep the posts short! Same with bottledaux.. post post post! All day. More is better, where some see as less being better with their models and modes, and that’s fine, but for me as a brand I want readers to see me as tireless and always writing, ALWAYS!
Will take a fifteen minute break today to post prose to bottledaux, the MOCK SOMM piece I wrote last night. And what else.. just everything and everyone is material.. writing the wine world and what’s in my head as a writer and teacher and how Wellness will be attained– should set up the coffee machine in this Autumn Walk fort.. will find it tomorrow when Alice and I look through and ATTACK the boxes in the garage.. no clutter synonymous with Wellness. Not letting anything or -one under my skin or into my head less they have a beneficial additive for the writing. Jackie needs me now, done with his waffles and we need to leave earlier as his school is all the way across town, now.

At the Starbucks on Yulupa after dropping off the little BEAT, and I listen to everyone around me, many going to work or watching after the kids or just out on a Friday, maybe the day off for them, wouldn’t know what that’s like but I’m doing just what I planned and IMG_6164listen to the salsa music falling on me from the ceiling circles, knowing I need travel for Wellness, and need Newness, never enough, for my Wellness. Didn’t run yesterday as I didn’t have the opening for, and didn’t work out with weights from same reality. I’ll wake early tomorrow morning before work and either run or lift.. so far, just a breakfast sandwich today.. and getting ready and stressing and venting to Ms. Alice as how I couldn’t find a single fucking piece of clothing, not attired peace: Wellness is 90, 95.. no 98% mental and cognitive, and I might even assert ‘spiritual’, and I never say things such. But I realize that my spirit and Wellness rely on Equilibrium of mind. Thoreau said “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” And this reminds me of Michael Browne and when he affirmatively uttered that “blind people can see and deaf people can hear…” There’s more than what greets our senses and when we realize and truly souse our Selves in this scope, more is visible, more is writable, and more is to be lived.. oh, this moment and its value, my Composition book open and me looking at all I’ve scribble over this semester and the one before. I’ll never leave the classroom, but I’ll be free, freer.
9:04, should leave soon to get that early lead in the day. Want to walk away from this café with three posts, so I should give Self till 9:30– writers and Time. We lose, eventually but we can make it difficult for the clock to stop us, or worry us, or have us stuffed in a worrybox–

IMG_6165MOCK SOMM piece posted, now I have to rush this entry.. will do third post from winery.. today I listen, and barely talk, write it all down.. no podcasting, no video.. just pictures and prose.. that’s it… looking for 300 words from winery, from the garden, find the Wellness and ZEN I need for this pageset.. 9:17, and I feel like I’ve already reached a thousand words.. have I? Speed writing and typing and living but all with peace and Wellness and Equilibrium about my lettered shout. Two younger men have their coffees, walk past me then stop to get cream and sugar– who are they, I wonder, and what are they doing today.. where do they work? What are their dreams? Do they alway want to “get fucked up” as one of them, the one with the red hat and holstered knife to his belt, just said they did last night. Now they talk about a friend who just got fired, “They took all his shit,” he said to this friend that still waits for his coffee. “Did he call his union rep?” the other said.
“No. It’s all fucked up.. his hand’s not even healed..”
I imagine the story and what they want to do and what happened to this friend of theirs. Reminds me that I need to be, MUST, be self-employed, by these writings and the scribbles and the lectures.. literature.. came across the Poe quote from ‘Red Death’, where he narrates “Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”… The workplace, the Man, the Devil, continues to show itself as death to me, never having our lives in consideration, or at least substantial consideration. “I feel bad for him, fuck…” the knife kid says before they both have their cups adjusted with the cream sugar and whatever else. Exeunt.
And me as well. Nearing departure time but I don’t want to rise from this chair and I think I deserve to be late a couple minutes as this morning and the move and little Kerouac even have all decided to challenge me. But I’m calmed in mind, quieted musically in my epicenter, no quakes, no tremors, no disruptions. And this be what the writer takes to his day.
Fulfilled.. oh this pouring of Time into my advantaged cup.. calculated, a bit yes, but mostly lovely chance. In no box, this writer, and the day’s lesson seems to be all with Wellness, and how I pocket it and write it and have it recorded into my foremost functionality.. Namaste.

Not bothered, by a
thing, no, I just stamp and stamp
and affirm no– each

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MOCK SOMM: whoso cellars, Sonoma Valley, New Dad Cuvée, 2012

IMG_6158I know it’s extremely biased and uncouth to review my own wine. And I’m a writer, not a winemaker, so now it’s all the more skewed and beleaguering… But I have made wine, with a professional winemaker, Blair Guthrie, and I revisited a bottle last night and tonight and am more than wooed by the effulgence of olfactory and palate and the spanning theatricality of the taste-rhythm arrangement; maple-ized raspberry and wild earth honed by jubilant tannins and amorous acidity.. good thing I had Blair there. But I have to be critical.. this bottle SHOULD have a bit more texture and slow-tempo’d seduction to its sensory. But I’m wishing. And this is, was, what, the third wine I’ve ever made? What does this pair with? I don’t know. I’m not a swag-bellied skainsmste sommelier. I’m a wine lover, and writer, in love with wine but I have to say I’m not in love with this one, at least not at this moment in my home, at day’s end. Maybe, perhaps, yes, a tryst of sorts.. a certain sip excursion, delicious distraction.. deviantly wined act personified. Fine. I’ll take it. And that’s where the charm and gems lie, in the casual passing and interaction of the blend we made. And… well, maybe that’s it: I’m tired. How much sleep have his wine “experts” had when they review or respond to their bottles assigned, in their 50 or 60-word “writings”? This ‘whoso’ proprietor, needs more practice, needs more immersion in wine and winemaking and wine-study–
So do I have to score my own wine? Can I be objective– oh stop it yes of course I can.. IIMG_6161 would have had it in oak longer, and longer with the oak chain, but I remember making it at the Kenwood winery and being forced to rack it at a certain time and bottle it at one punctuated.. not as I’d have like it– but it wasn’t my winery. The ‘NDC’ is about New DADS, needing an accessible red wine for occasions any. There’s no incongruence with palate or nose or finish or texture, I just feel there could be more.
whoso cellars is about nonconformity, yes, but as well innovation and invention and the LEAP of winemaking vision. So did I succeed? I.. well….. No. There needs to be more here; more vocal, more scene, more éclat in its character weaving. I don’t know, but I’m not pleased. And I don’t blame Blair, or the hosting winery, the resources, no one or anything, no element.. I’m here sipping and learning, and knowing I AM a winemaker, well as a penman.
So let’s say I’m not me, I’m not a writer/winemaking whatever of this bottle, that I never met Blair and I never made this.. so then what.. well I guess my estimation would be sewn in another stroll. But I’m biased, rationally curved and cognitively curtailed, so I just now sip, and now sense and see there are improvements to be made in this winemaker’s crafting. He’ll be better with years, a few more harvests.. there’s promise, A promise here. We’ll just have to see what he does next; what singular varietals and what blends.. and just WHAT. Not sure who this writer thinks he is making wine, but it’ll be interesting to see what he promises next, what else he decides to put in Bottle.. this expository Ox.



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MOCK SOMM: Kosta Browne Visit — a critical reaction

IMG_0983Yes I’d heard things, and I’d read, and kept reading, and was conceptually clasped and captured by the stories of Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. Mr. Browne had welcomed me to his Sebastopol production domicile for a 10AM visit, and I knew I was going to see ‘it’.. IT.. that materialized vocational utopia he’d created for himself as a wine character and presence and producer. One of his staff members, Joyelle–a gentle and cosmically celestial character that had me eased and encouraged after just a couple inaugural words of greeting and a sweetening handshake–welcomed me in and told me a bit more about the KB story and the new facility, new vineyards that they’d acquired and were working with, among so much.
Then, il entre, Michael Browne, with what I expected, that being a IMG_5941-0positive attitude that nearly muted me; the energetic and personified paramount of ‘It’, the dream reached, and in full fruition. Browne poured me a little of the ’13 ‘ONE SIXTEEN” RRV Chardonnay.. and of course, I’m proven wrong about Chardonnay, but not all that I try winery to winery are this acute with flavor encirclings and texture accuracy.. nice apple and slightly creamy pair with an evasive wink (meaning you want to chase it, keep sipping) of pineapple, maybe enriched apricot.. charmed and already fantastically trapped, we motioned for the magnum room, an artful and treasuring tomb of notable bottles, most of which are large formats intended for charity functions, which I found is very much an aorta to Michael’s vibrantly reaching charm and empirical character. There we talked about the charities and why he’s so “big” on them and why it’s essential for this to be part of his dream, his métier xanadu… AND! I saw it! The last of the “John Ash bottles”, as I called them. “Yeah, that’s the John Ash bottle,” he said. My thoughts were everywhere–minced and

The last 'John Ash bottle'...

The last ‘John Ash bottle’…

mystified and focused and varied.. “I’m looking at it.. oh my god… it’s possible,” I thought. And that’s much of what brought me to the Sebastopol acropolis, to see this tangible accomplishment, to see the result of the story, the journey, Michael Browne’s Road. And yes, the Professor in me shared the Kerouac/Paradise quote of “The Road is Life”. “Yeah, man,” Michael said, then sharing the thought that it very much continues, that his story is still being written, there’s more Road, there’s more, more… And we on sauntered…..

In the production facility we sipped what remained of our Chard splashes and went about the barrels, being cleaned and then the lab after the catwalk stroll– And let me stop there. Browne showed me the philosophy, the intricately meticulous methodology and practice behind punchdowns and himIMG_5949 knowing intimately how exhausting it can be for the interns, then showing me the punchdown device, or tool, contraption or what be that’s extended from and guided by a thorough and pristinely placed rail system, even letting me navigate it a bit. But, do note, I was so eager for more story and more expository immediacy of the Kosta Browne chronicle that I let him continue in his talk and demo.. then to the barrel room.
IMG_5952 Here, we surveyed the ’14 Pinots, both from the KB label and his new chapter-set, and Pinot genre and interpretation, “Cirq.” Michael handed me a new glass and a little, I guess you’d deem it, ‘spit cylinder’. And it’s a wise offering, as I would have sipped and let each thieving fall into my center. His ’14 understanding across all lots and mico-climates and maceration styles was more than apexing in talent and fluency– I was fabulously dumbfounded, and I now knew, and could see, feel that this oenological bastion stood an apex of mastery. And with Pinot no less! And where did he start.. the service roll, at a restaurant, saving those stray 1’s and coins and securing some fruit of his own– I kept thinking of the bottle, the ‘JA bottle’ he pointed out just a bit ago.. “Wow,” I thought sipping the whole cluster thieving. Can’t remember the vineyard’s name, and I don’t need to– it was the character that he interpreted and was so eager to share with me and talk about and how he elaborated on wine as colors– the offering and quite concrete a thesis that wine’s exude color in their tactile and gustatory placements.. Fascinating, I thought as a writer and professor, yes, but just as someone loving wine, and loving Pinot, and loving expeditious and daring, and simply fun twists on the problematic and often pugilistic varietal. “Different expression,” Michael intoned, sipping right in front of the writer, in a thin alley of new oak, swirling his glass, “same clone, different vineyards…with the goal of making a complex, well-balanced wine.” And what I sipped was more than meekly ‘well-balanced’. No. The pours were profound, instructional and intimate in their collective palate presence, and universally musical. And we talked about the quite a bit, wine as music, which I don’t have the time to really address here, just note it was brought up and again I saw that elevating passion and fervor’d Craftsman in Mr. Browne. I could only smile, plainly, and know it could happen, this can happen. He made it happen. “There’s color there, right?” he said before leaving the barrel room. “It’s just a cool way to look at it.” Agreed. And refreshing. I’ve always affirmed that wine should be fun and all his expressive theses aligned with such. Their own, and his own, pedagogy, if you would. Again, compelling. Gripping. Charming. “And that’s kinda just how I look at it,” he concluded.

IMG_5951 Jean Budrillard wrote that “…once you are liberated, you are forced to ask who you are.” And Michael Browne very much knows who he is. And now I do. Finally. I had waited for, as I told him, over 4 years to learn more about the story and SEE it, experience it, and learn from it. And I did, there in Sebastopol, about the barrels and the lab in that cozy waiting room, where our meeting closed, and where he said, after I asked him “Who is Michael Browne?”: “I’m just a dude riding the river of life trying to do the best I can in everything I do…and understand what’s going on around me…and live life and enjoy family…let the adventure continue… I guess that’s me. I don’t really know.” But I think this writer knows: A kind, demiurgic, winemaking and vocational sage.
And this writer, or wine lover, or whatever I am, so grateful for the day, for our shared sips and time.


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MOCK SOMM: Porter Creek Winery, Russian River Valley/Sonoma County/Fiona Hill Vineyard, Pinot Noir, 2012

IMG_5714Emerson said “…poetry was written before all time was…” And this wine is immune to time, immune to worry, and a radiantly grandiloquent thesis in the grand punctuation of Pinot. Yes it’s poetic, most forwardly with its earthly and rustic, or dusty nose composition, but with the motion on the sensory, its initial palate push. This wine should come before a lot in our lives, certainly worry and preoccupation with any ingredient futile. I’m greeted by more richness of berry and versatile spice than some airy template of red– no, this Pinot which I just happened to stumble upon in an impetuous day tasting, an RRV lark, and ‘spellbound’ doesn’t encroach my truest of sentiments.
Okay, I’m over-thinking, maybe, comparing it to an Emerson utterance and thinkingIMG_5716 “yet another Pinot” in my latest Pinot practice and excavation. So, another facet to my ‘PC’ visit that left reverent impression would be the hospitality from Jonathan– Tasting Room Manager and universal renaissance man. He not only had his own magnetic tier of oeno-sagacity, but was friendly, not in anyway pretentious or self-aggrandizing, but simply nice, pleasant, and quite instructional with the surrounding Pinot blocks, the AVA and the winemaker’s insights and impulses with making this Pinot. This is something traditional somms tend to forget in their wine reviews, or feathery scorings.. yes I know, several of the wines are submitted to them as they’re so lofty and “read” (yeah right), cultured. But I know some of them visit the wineries, they have to, and rarely do I see a note of requital directed toward host.
IMG_5723But in any.. the Pinot. And its Poetic Principals, more than merely reverberant and echoing but its own inkling of palate instruction. Poe said, “I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty.” And this ’12, a capsule and carrier of that thought… And then somms will say in their 20-word write-ups something like ‘Drink now until…’. I say, with this particular Burgundy translation, ‘now or whenever’. But don’t wait too long, it is a Pinot. But what’s “too long”? That’s just it, it’s all personal, and time.. time supervenes Poetry, and Life, not the contrary.
What a Pinot prize! Go get a case, soon! It’s small in bottled population.



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More on the

wine exploration, my new attitude and forum for the bottles, tomorrow. And in morrow, early wake. This morning out the door late from the easing of little Kerouac… but before I forget, prompts for morrow writing: 1, meeting with 1B students; 2, stop at Cellars for tasting and MOCK SOMM material; and 3, the SB from VML I sip now– oh, and 4: the Comp Book, how it fills and how much I must have forgotten. I know there’s a gem or dozen in there. I have to wake early, a Hemingway session, write the MOCK SOMM piece on the Pinot from Porter Creek. With this new wine campaign and writing momentum, I’m noticing more about myself as a writer and lover of wine, what I sip and how perceive it sensorily and meditatively.
The VML SB tonight has more melody to its words and overall ‘sip thesis’. More coherent, and more definite language to its composition. Everything I’ve shared this semester with the students has taught me something in the way I interact with Art, and wine, and Life,

always wine  always mine--

always wine

and my own ideas. but I have to dive further into these puddles fermented, and link it closer to Literature, return to my vinoLit anchoring, what had me blogging or start blogging in ’09, what my sister-in-law suggested.. and yes, I rejected her at first but I’m glad I started these blogs and just putting my reactions into the world, into reader’s thoughtful realms. And now, more mature and more energetic and more focused from having a son and thinking of how he’ll one day read his diarist father, I’m more set to subdue any self-doubt or defeatist disposition. I too think of my students this semester and how hard they’ve worked and how farcical it would be if I didn’t throw more of myself into this new writing momentum, this newly catalyzed revolution about my words and entry pattern.
Tired, took a nap earlier but have since been sluggish and a bit moody, but I remain with my speed and sight with wine and the thoughts connected, everything from the MOCK SOMM column to the writing for that website, to wine itself, and what I make this vintage and what I’ll write about that, the process and how the fruit will look when it comes in.
There, alarm set for 5:20. And I will be writing. Then after dropping off little Kerouac, to the pool, and I don’t know for how many laps, as many as I can handle I just want to swim and stay healthy so I can write and be around for my children and have more energy, achieve that Wellness that Phoebe writes of.

Ready for calling the night, ending this fiddling with the synthesis of sentences wrapped and wound around wine. Wake early, I’m telling myself, wake early and write and post and show the pages to an already literarily-deprived world.

Oh, and tomorrow’s the first day of May. 36, soon 28 days at front. Need to get in that pool at ’24’, swim like I’m evading a shark, or one of those jellyfish with the poison that could kill like a thousand men with one perforation.

always wine


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The novel, now my “toy truck” project, as King said. I’m not backing away or out of my project, I’m just abandoning the due date. I know that I wagered my son as motivation, but I now evermore dedicate to short fiction, that will be my job; the sketches and shorts and vignettes– so nothing’s changed, I’m just following the path that more calls me. When I have time to dedicate to the novel then I cut through that door. Now, I pan and tilt blade with more functionality.
Submitting a piece on Adjuncts to NPR’s ‘perspectives’, and writing another piece for that wine blog.. and then just writing for me, those pages for ‘yr own joy’ as he said. Mom told me to stick to short pieces, and why not? She’s write. I feel less pressure, and am less sluggish, and that’s all the time I have at the moment. When I’m not longer adjuncting and pouring 4 or 5 days a week, locked in MY office, then I’ll throw Self to a novel.
Tomorrow, optional office hour for the students to help them with their final papers.. oh, and that reminds me, I need to post to the teaching blog at some point this day. And this is the last semester of maddenedread. Everything from the Ox put into the Bottle. What wine do I open tonight? A Pinot? OR one of my Merlots? Not sure what I have anymore, as much of the wine was moved to Mom and Dad’s, before the move… Should charge the camera [in a past entry, I wrote ‘phone’, as now I pretty much solely snap stills with my phone, as do many in the country, world..], the one I use for real picture missions. Thinking of photographing along Westside Road, certain shades and lightings of the vines at this time.. into kitchen for charge and a sip from cup2– can really feel it now..
As a wine writer, or person, or lover, or… I don’t always have to address the wine, what I sip. Why not the vistas, why not how the air and soil smell around the roots and by creeks? Why can’t I cite how the trees look on the mountain or hill’s flat just elevated beyond the rows? Why does wine always have to be about wine and the act of drinking? Why can’t it be the ideas and associated expansions from wine?…..And I’m not incensed, I’m gentle extending a thoughtful entertainment. I already know.. people love drinking, they hunt for that buzz, and they see something actioning and assiduous to commercialized ‘hedonism’. In fact, some even write the word itself into their mission or statement or “Philosophy” as many winery sites italicize on their website. “Winemaking Philosophy.” Or, “Our Philosophy.” If you extrapolated the word ‘Philosophy’, you still have the same candor and vision disclosed, so why that unction, the layering, that self-endowment and anointment? Well, obvious. Didn’t you know that wineries are the foremost pedagogical places, each a sought phrontistery?


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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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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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Back from liquor store where


Flowering at Arista Winery, Russian River Valley, Harper’s Rest Vineyard

I bought not liquor but a sparkling lime– I mean lemon water. Not sure what I have to do, what’s on the to-do list, what’s left but I’m not caring too much as I just want to enjoy words and thoughts from yesterday; the German friends whom were speaking German to each other of course but I for certain heard a “Gerwurtztraminer” and “Riesling” in one plot of the conversation. A bit nervous about tomorrow’s classes for some reason, not sure why.. just overthinking I’m sure. When thirst becomes officially silenced then I’ll move back into the coffee.. need to be on fire tomorrow like I have been these last few lectures. Heard from SSU’s Faculty Affairs sector, confirming they have all my items for the ‘pool’ application, but I feel in a state of hebetude waiting, like I’m waiting for something that’s not really a tangible something but could be something.. the pool is only for possibility, that won’t feed my family, help pay for this house, so I go back to yesterday, a co-worker and I walking down IMG_5564before 11AM to open the gate, checking out the little bit of bloom in the Harper’s Rest plot and the sheep and goats, the little ones rushing to us in belief we have something for snack. The morning stayed cool, slight overcast actually giving me a bit of chilled core but flying away in little patches of thinning cloud, later.. then a beer by myself, where I took the last of day’s notes: “Quick glass after work, writing and staring at empty stein, thinking of building my business and career and direction, where precisely I’m going with this new direction, wine.. “Wine, tell me!” But no words or hints or even odd sound or nod or gesture, no glitch, nothing. Tonight, I’ll open one of my Merlots again, play with wording in my reaction, MY wine “business” or whatever it turns to be shall revolve around life & art & words. JAZZ– the luring dimensions, all of Art, wine, the paragraphs antagonized by such. Driving home now, thinking, dreaming, convinced & convicted.” And I am still, very much, here in the nook, with Miles playing for me, inculcating a new appreciation for this new estate, Pinot Noir and wine altogether, the inclusive spell I’m letting into IMG_5539my Now– notes all around me like the clutter from this move; this nook has become more of a bomb bunker than a place for my pagination, but I’m fine with it, all, all of it, and all this I incorporate into the morrow’s lectures, but I wonder, in this world of mine and me trying to perfect it, and with the newly-healed bond with wine and its ‘industry’, do I want to do this much more– chase assignments, hope to one day be full-time, grade papers and battle student excuses and my own attitude before class (occasional)? I only think of this new house, and my children, my wife, and me still playing the adjunct game, being led by them– and this is too interesting as the wine industry has made it clear, several times, that it doesn’t care for my kind– the Beat writer, the Freethinker, the Artist and one in search of trued centeredness and sovereignty and Wellness, valuing my own ideas. So why the switch, why the now-opposition to its own practice and prior visibility? I don’t know if I need an answer right away but at some point would be lovely. Think I’m ready for the coffee and more thinking, more fascinating of being on the Road, pouring wine and meeting new characters and writing about it all in my room, wherever I am, the travel and its situational atticisms making me more a writer, more the writer I’ve always hoped I’d be, and that won’t happen if the system which imprisons us as adjuncts keeps me in its soggy circle.
Starting coffee, it now brews and falls into its temporary cup, and yesterday again, the sight of the buds breaking, blooming, building themselves for the IMG_5552vintage and there was a reason I saw that, right? There has to be.. so who or what’s the reasoner, you ask (or Dad, my prodigious Philosophy Major friend, would). Not sure if there’s a reasonER, but it’s very much reasoned in me that there’s a purpose for those little anthers meeting my eyes yesterday morning, and that’s all I’m begging from mySelf, the question, that the question has relevance, and if it’s not a question then an excavation of the idea itself; me, walking to open the gate, looking at the vines from habit or slivers of curiosity, and seeing ‘break’. Perhaps, the Story suggests that soon I break, I bloom, I in my character come to formidable fruition. Maybe. And I feel new brio in my typings, just here with this coffee in the nook and with my jazz. And those dreams last night obviously warning me away from technology and social media and anything with electricity.. so why am I here on this devil button slab? The immediacy, it has to be, like Amber said.. but that’s no excuse! I need to get a typewriter.. no, they break.. shit, I’m everywhere in my thoughts today, and I blame– why do I have to blame.. center yourself in the session. This is what all adjuncts go through, and my efflorescence if you would, will, get me away from this shackle-set, and have me like the vines, coming alive toward inevitable fruition. And from an artist’s scope, I envy the vines. They will be bound, released, published and sold, see meaningful fruition. Each vintage for a vineyard is a novel– hmm, now I think further, and know I have to make wine, two barrels of Pinot, which would be a little over two tons (?). More pictures from yesterday in the Room involve just wine, an ounce if that in a bowl, and laid horizontally so I could roll the glass and appreciate (not examine) the texture and precise shade and tint of the juice.. the wine tasted far more intricate and vocal, much more Literary in its sensory sinews than shifts prior. “Shifts”… My days there are hardly shifts, more lessons for the writer, generous opportunities from the proprietors allowing the writer to gather material, well as sell bottles he believes in– and not so much sell but share passion for. And I always tell such, “I’m not a salesman, I just share my passion for the wine.” And that’s not a pitch, either. It’s transparent disclosure of my character. But what I can’t ignore, is the supportive narrative and nature of the winery’s chief holders. They seem to embolden me knowingly and provoke my prose. And again, this can only be Truth. I like to think I’m quite cunning when it comes to character consideration and accuracy in analysis, and I feel no oddity or incongruent nods or shakes, no gladhanding from these chaps. And I’m relieved.

Drat! Already over a thousand. How did that happen? Now I do want to blame something.. the coffee! Just noticed a mosquito bite on my right arm, just under elbow on way to triceps, shoulder. Makes me think again of the day, the walks around the property; in the water gardens and the lawns, driveway, field where the sheep and goats wander, then the Two Birds Vineyard where I was at the end of the day, shooting a short video to post but that’s social media so I won’t build more in that recollection.
Knee left indeed hurt while attempting to run today at gym, so I went to a form weights session for the first time in over a year, then swam. I sense a new character in the writer, and a new love for Wellness, and the new probability promised by those breaking buds yesterday morning. I have to get back there soon, well I’ll be there Wednesday but I wish sooner. And when can I say that’s ever happened to me in “the industry”? Never. “The winery I’ve always wanted,” as I’ve told Mom and shared with one of the owners yesterday in a brief chat we held about my writing on the ’13 RRV Pinot. This laptop now, threatens to die, run out of juice and I’m just getting into my role and rant, I feel, the adjunct disgruntled but with options, and I’ve always felt so grateful for my choices, in wine of course, as many other adjuncts either don’t have alternatives or other interests, OR they think themselves too good or bluntly too smart to get a job, like at a winery or anywhere. That’s what I understand, and empathize with, but will never be. I know I have to have a job, but I also reserve the fortitude to refuse a job I’m certain I won’t enjoy. Had too many of those, as you know, and many in the wine world. SO, I find myself happy, and I feel strange. Isn’t that diacritic, and a bit idiosyncratic of me. Yes! But that’s Truth, that’s what I’m feeling and what dominates my character’s scope at this table, this table and all items atop that are soon to me shuffled to the new house, the Autumn Walk base. Love the name of our new street. Autumn, my favorite season. Walk, the idea and consistency of a saunter versus a run, something rushed and sped. This is what the story intends and I’ll sip wine in the backyard and have my little pages at ready that first day, night, our first true pageset on the new street.

Back from errand. Tomorrow, after 1B, thinking of going to taste, somewhere. Where. What. Notes, new stories flying around my head but can’t catch them. Tomorrow I will. I have to. And be unlike anyone else writing about wine– or the trends of what to sip.. what if I just order a wine from curiosity’s tavern and start with my jots? No pattern. Not here. Not with me.

Categories: artist's notes ... | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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