Posts Tagged With: Philosophy

From Remain


My brother Kevin, inspecting the Pinot block…..

IMG_690710:04,  Mom and Dad left, and me here with the Pinot, the one a “friend” at work aside for me set.  Listening to classic rock tracks from dinner.  Dishwasher in full focal, and me here with this keyboard, indeed influenced, and more than likely not running in morrow.  And why should I when my wife was enough celestial to get my some coffee for rightafterwake.  MY wife, building her teaching career, and not settling, only advancing, having her progression ascend and never comfortably stabilize, she’s always moving and advancing–  I’ll use that as the model, her as idol, like the grapes of this vintage that continue their maturation, their storying.  This morning, walking the rows with a friend, I noticed, it came to me, the inevitability of a vintage.  It will happen.  Their will be grapes pulled and wine made.  The writer must develop as nature does: inevitably.  Tonight on the porch, sipping the Pride Syrah with Dad on the porch as little Kerouac played with his friends in minutes remaining before they were called away to bath and or bed.. he said, Dad, “It looks like something could come from these clouds,” meaning rain or some front.  That’s natural, that’s more than just simply predicted– it’s definitively systematic.  The writing need be the same, part of my climate and system and yes the wine to me codes but I entrench in my convictions and out carry my mission.  Again at the pictures, the onset of real pigment and life and visual– me lost in the night and my session, looking at bottles on counter, by kitchen– the SB and the Pinot, SRJC, that I opened a couple nights past.  And now this glass of barrel-borrowed Pinot, 2013, oh that amazing vintage– why are so many so quick to IMG_6922forget about 2012?  I’ll never get that.  And I’ll never get the innerworkings of the wine life and world and circle.  Tired, and bent from Pinot and not knowing where I’m going with this narrative– can’t wait for the novel to be done, what Mass’ does with his life and how he figures all into his story, what he wishes and what he sees, what he does wit his adjuncted reads.  My mind’s not the most sound it’s ever been, but I’m writing looking at pictures I shot this morning of Kevin and I walking that block and how the story correlates to my permanency here in this stage and moment– wish I were on travel, on some street and in some hotel unknown– is that not the life that we all want, the unknown and the unexplored?

IMG_6910Last sip–  Yes.  I know I’m one with wine and I can’t get away, not from the biological effect but from IMG_6909the character code it poses to my persona and Personhood.  I remember the first wine that really told me something, something– a 2000 Merlot, from a larger producer– An old song, Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams”, comes on, and I think and think and imagine me, the world and the time and whatever– confused and contorted– others talk but I don’t listen, at all, because they talk.  I want to feel and think and postivize, that’s me and my aim, disposition.

Can’t thank my wife enough for the coffee– can’t wait to wake and not run but just write and look at these pictures more.  But now, I drink this Pinot that my “friend” set aside for me in “her office”.


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And– Universal

Decided to come back home after Jackie to school and the Schwab transfer…  In house, I can leave at 10:05, 10:10 at latest.. had the thought of going to the estate early and writing there but there’s always the distraction of co-workers, one of them wanting to talk or simply saying hello and me spending the five or seven seconds responding and follow with some pass-chat.  But I’m here, in the Autumn Walk fort with my music and a mocha (4 shots) and the quiet, the words and the visions; lecture last night even riled me, has me thinking about my Road and my future and “career” I want to build with this blog and my writing and the Autonomy of it all.  ‘IT’ all.

Already warming outside.  Wonder what the temp feels like in other parts of the country, in Paris, and Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Russia…  I want to see everything and experience everything, see more than just the world; its stories and everything it wants to tell me.  It wants to meet me just as I it.  And that’s where I’ll find IT.  A bit stuck now, for some reason, unable to develop any kind of meaningful direction or thesis with this sitting, but the mocha tells me to focus on this new house, the Autumn Walk base, where I no domicile with my son, wife, where it all starts, the building and the collective and profuse story of Mike Madigan the writer– budget and build and conserve and just write everything.. should I call in sick to the winery, stay home and write all day?  No of course not, I have to live to write and observe what’s out there, and wine is a prominent consistency in my story, even if I don’t want it so some of the time.  In college, walking the halls of Nichols and Stevenson, thinking about me as a professor, and that was ’99-’01, and now here I am an adjunct, never seeing anything full-time, getting an interview here and there over the years (none recent), but I’m still the adjunct, embracing it and abhorring it as well.  So I have that.. and I have wine.. and running.. being a parent.. my rush for TOTAL Wellness….. and all put into the bottle, for this Ox.  And quite primary, these realities, not auxiliary.  This is me, this blogger and using everything, me writing here in this new study just off to the right as you walk into the A-Walk station– my novelist hotel…  Singularity, I then think.. not so many projects.. the Massamen novel.  That goddamn book I have to write, as it won’t let me ignore it, and I know answers wait in the 100 days of 3 pages project I did last year into the beginning of this 2015 chapter– so I think more, more, get what I want, thinking into space and believing it: me with my own office, soon having an even larger estate to ourselves.. a farm maybe, some vines, waking and walking the grounds just as Al and Janice do.. only living, and never worrying.  About anything.  That’s Wellness, especially in totality, when you believe it and its so immediate.

9:27, and I’m more than relaxed at this desk.  I’ll take pictures today on the property, new ones of the forming clusters (Pinot), and the way the sun ambiates through the light leaves in their hang from the empowered and confident singing canes.  I just want to walk, look at them.. yes take a couple stills but just enjoy the air and the leaves and the clusters and them looking back at me, laughing, bragging that they will finish their project, and I don’t feel violated or assaulted by that.  They’re encouraging me to finish the novel, sell it.  “Harvest the full manuscript, all 307 pages, Mike!” I look back at them like I’ve disappointed them, but I promise I will, and I will comb those 350-some pages of the 100 days project.  I know there’s something there, my days at the last winery and how miserable I was, I can learn from that, all the entries I wrote while in that!  The clusters will be most proud of the walking writer.  I’ll make them proud.. I’ll give them no choice BUT to be proud of me.


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A Breath, Please

IMG_6851Early, rushing and moving as quick as this non-caffeinated vessel will let.  Drop Kerouac off at school, then to Starbucks to finally kill these mind-deadening articles…  Then hopefully I can run.  Meeting Alice here in home at One for lunch.. then after that to grading, to campus.. if I can finish these articles quick I can just launch from Yulupa & Bethards as I used to.  And I plan to head to Howarth, a run as I used to– this morning I’ve only been thinking about the blogging, and the writing I’m doing for these sites.. not sure it’s quite what I’m looking for or at all what I enjoy, and it’s not– why, the formatting, the rules, the handbook they emailed me on how to write the way they want us to write .. AND, the articles aren’t credited, my name will be nowhere around the article.  Just a contracted word generation.. Kerouac would have never done something like that.  Nor Ginsburg, Hem, Faulkner.. I’m Literary, and I’m tired of seeing myself tempted by wine and food and tourism edges and the way you have to write to be paid by one of the pubs.  Which isn’t much.

Writing a MOCK SOMM piece today.  And no more delay–  clock screams 7:43.. should get the little Beat out the door.

Need a day.


Just one to live and do nothing.

Not even write.

But I’m not sure I’ll let myself do that.

Maybe I should.

In the SBUX on Yulupa & Beth.  Had to go back to A-Walk as I forgot little Kerouac’s blankets and changes of clothes.  So I arrive here ready for work, ready to make the adjustments and edits to those numbskull articles I “wrote”.  Go into WordPress, can’t find two of the drafts, and one has already been edited.  The rhythm of ‘things’ and the general pattern of communication isn’t conducive to anything Literary.  This morning my old friend, who now lives in Colorado, sent me an article of a guy who’s on some mission to write 100 novels.  And the act itself is some grand project he’s undertaking and sharing with the world.  And I read that and feel ashamed with this kind of writing, or the kind for the sites, I mean.  I should aim higher, and not settle for this assignment or ones like it– shouldn’t say that, I didn’t, I thought it would be something it’s clearly not.

Emailed editor, or contact to see what the status is and what the hell’s happening.  Nothing back yet.  This is just what I don’t want nor need for the day.  Still nothing.. why do I let myself get into these stressful pickles?  You know what, to hell with her.  I’m writing for me.  I will not have my day or my blog or my efforts revolve around her or her pigeon-brained website.  How’s that.

Still nothing.  Going to stop checking, shortly.  Had the idea of– don’t want to jinx it.  I know what it is, I don’t need to record it here for fears of losing the vision or measure for myself–  Back to the 3pagesperday ideology.  I’ll start in a minute– now that’s real writing, true expression and the only bloody thing I should be doing.  Why waste writing for someone else?  Especially if my name will be NOWHERE around the piece that they butchered, and that evokes no thought or emotion or trouble or trial; not thought, no interpretation, no dialogue, no character development.. nothing!  Just that a tourist goes to a winery or hotel and spends money, contributes to the economy, or the owner’s pocketbook.. evil editors and their knives, their minds and mouths– draconian slurs…

Wine.. more and more on my thinking platter, how to work with it and that I don’t want to take the SOMM courses I looked into yesterday.  And why did I capitalize that?  They don’t deserve the emphasis.. and frankly, even the somms I do like or don’t mind being around have that beat to them, the one that wants to outshine and oneup everything everyone else does.  And I don’t want to be part of that.. I just want to write about it, about the wine and how its made and the winemakers and the spells in a bottle, like the Pinot I finished last night; thick but still gentle and convivial, open and caring; communicative and colorful.  Nothing esoteric or elitist with its riffs; just inviting and playful, fun and entertaining, frankly.

Heard back from editor, told me “the ball is moving on” and that she’s going to do the edits.  So no work for me on that plain.  Part of me’s frustrated, the other quite relieved– if you could see me now reader: me smiling, listening to my music, drinking my mocha, and I have over 2 hours to write, finish my three pages.. sell them.  And I will.  I will send them by email from my vinolit address and charge $2 for a three page read.  And the focus will be fiction.  Each piece its own standalone, its own piece, I will be in control and not have to be edited or checked or conforming to some fucking manual.. and MANUAL!  On HOW to write!  Who the f……. ever heard of such a bloody trudge?

My students would be proud of me, here, now vicious and animalistic, a page predator, devouring editors, and leaving their carcasses for other writers.. or we’d just toss them to the side and look for the next manuscript mutilator to tear, consume, dispose.  Nothing outside Literature and the narrative I’m intent on writing.. nothing.. not at this age, not with Jack and M2, my wife, my family– Mom making sure I get enough sleep even at 36, Dad with his never-depleted knowledge stream.. my sister the winemaking mentor for the writer/wanna-be oenologist–  Lectures.. tonight’s, written out and distributed to the students, telling them that it all must be embraced.. the net must be cast, take something that means something to you..

Have to use the restroom but I don’t want to lose my seat–

Started again chipping away at a short story I started yesterday in the adjunct cell… about two students, together romantically and working together on a Philosophy project, or presentation, and one of them, the narrator, wondering what happens after this, this being school, the project and the class.. the what the what the WHAT.

This café this morning, telling me to forget about that blog, and to make sure those vile bilebags pay IMG_6849me!  I will be invoicing them later, and I have more ideas on my approach to food & wine, and the wine blog and wine itself.. my wine thoughts.. so many ideas.. oh and now I’m hit with another idea for the short story.. how to market it and what the characters are meant to do.. the music tells me to keep writing and not end the sentence and to make a dent on the novel today if I find time, yes I will but after lunch with Alice, after I get the sandwiches from Oliver’s.. oh what a morning, I’m so relieved that cubicle whore editor took the pieces away from me.  But I will be paid.  Should have demanded the money upfront– next time.  Don’t punish yourself, Mikey, just write on and don’t stop.. writing the wine how it wants to be written, not how a publisher wants to.. Kerouac saw editing as lying.  So, hmm, that would make editors, this one and all like her, demons, the devil, evil and soul-stripping.

But I move on and rise above, fly past and grow onward in my story.  This current song has me relaxing, looking at the time on my laptop and it dialing ’10:07’ and I don’t worry or  stress or fret or become tight in my figure or flex, I just relax, see the hotels I will see and the writing I’ll do from the balcony, thinking about how joyous Jack’s expression will be when I return from my trip.  And there I go.. daydreaming…..  Time to leave this deluge of narration and thought, my moment, and get to work, on something I actually want to write, the short story about the two students and what’s for them just beyond their final project in the Philosophy class, and what’s for them later, later in life, when they ‘grow up’.  And then I wonder, what’s for me, what’s for me and can I ever grow up?  Why do I HAVE to be a writer?  Cuz it’s who I am, not just what I do or what to do– no fuck that, I don’t want to do it, I already do, several thousand words a week, sometimes a day.  Yes I treat it like a job as I want my children to see it as my job, “My daddy writes,” or “He’s a writer.” When asked what he does.  It’s that simple.  He writes.  And teaches.  A little.  But the roof comes from pages; novels and stories, the blog, notes… all of it.  Jackie already knows that the laptop is where Daddy works.. makes me grin….. 


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Handed To

IMG_6721Set my alarm on phone and left phone in study area.. ran downstairs at 4:30 only to turn it off, but now my body’s aware of the Newness, my new dedication to running, or that the thoughts want the pavement earlier.  So tonight, another nowinenight and early rising for the running I have to do, that I HAVE to do.  7:25 and Jackie’s dressed and I’m eating his waffles.  Lawn watered and we are both launch-ready.  At the BV SBUX I’ll start and finish and post the MOCK SOMM piece on that last Pinot I had, at work, then hopefully put a thousand into novel, then write a little more in the work log for the novel– I won’t forget about my book, ever, and I need to keep my Wild Writing about Wine–

Interrupted by Jack demanding to sit at the kitchen counter with me, we then had to gearswitch and start our march toward the door– life too quick and too much for me sometimes, this, this writing life, and I think I still may be tired from yesterday’s charge at the articles.  Now I wait for feedback.  And the eventual check.  This has to start paying, my sentences and introspective observations which I hope serve either purpose or me selfishly.  So far, so many years later, I–  Man blows his nose here in the Yulupa Starbucks, and I get annoyed.  I may be too annoyed for my novel, now, may still need to write freely, just type and see and sip the coffee and listen to this horrible folk music in the store– earphones in, find me Hutcherson!

There, much better, I’ll be ready for the novel in a bit– now it’s 8:32, I’ll go to Massamen’s days promptly at 9.  The life, the living, the growing up that I’m trying so animalistically to do, taxing..  Look at bank account balance, and further frutstrate.  Need to be a roaming writing, a vending writer, selling everyfuckingthing.  The track I wrote yesterday, a poem, half in the adjunct cell in the last few minutes before class and the rest in class– fever, disease, one student urging, “Teach on, Mike..” Showing them I’m the realest of teachers, the one that actually knows, and does, and practices, no preaching, daily, my routine, my SElf and diligence make me different, the most ferocious writer on the planet, maybe.  And now I start to wake, the coffee, but no wine tonight, have to run in morrow’s cruelest of hours.  Saw two runners on the way here, running up Yulupa, about to turn left onto Hoen toward Summerfield.  My old route.  Do I miss it, a bit, I miss the regularity of my outings and the play with speed, my interval adjustments, and how.. distracted.. someone behind me.. I hate that.. maybe she’s bored.. maybe she’s lonely.. I hope she’s reading this, and she gets her iced coffee and leaves.  “Yeah,” I think to myself, “get the hell out of here!” Standing behind a writer like that.. god I fucking hate that!

A song by Dizzy, taking me back in time, so far I don’t know how to interpret it, way before me, and when my parents were young, or even before them.  Not sure.  But this morning is now being taken by the writer, and the rest of the day, with wine and what I can gather from the Pinots and the Zin, even the Chards, and how they’re changing.  Have to be at the novel soon, and good, good, I read this wine blogs and adjunct professor blogs and I’m starting to feel, well, quite bored with their rants.  And I know, someone out there probably feels the same about my work.  But I’m just doing light research.. like one post I read, recently (actually at the red light on Hoen & Yulupa, headed to this coffee spot), was about how local restaurants are expected to carry local wines.  A bit interesting, as I see the potential professional and/or neighborly quandary, but doesn’t the restaurant have their choice?  Are they not autonomous?  Do they work for the wineries in any way?  And, really, how much am I supposed to think about this?  Dwell on this lack of communication and sword-swinging impasse?

Starting to exhaust from writing, and I blame yesterday, and the articles.. so why should I touch the novel, now?  Maybe I won’t.  I know I have to, and I should, but another yell from me, inner, somewhere, says ‘move along!’ Focus on shorter pieces, the poems and entries and the short fiction café idea.. ideas, like drugs, that craving for Newness, the worst and best of addictions.

How about a plan, I hate plans as a writer but I feel I need one now: after entry: finish track 3 (poem), the a piece of short fiction for the whoso magazine and the short fiction café.. done.  Now I relax.  Oh if I could have the day off today, just not go to that ravishing estate and sit in a café and actually scribble, like a madman, like Kerouac.. so many pages scattered, but now I consolidate and sell them all.  Everything.  And the first piece for sale, or pieces, are the first 3 tracks I wrote, poems, each a standalone to its own.  Listening to that Kerouac recital last night with the students and talking to them about Poetry and actually enjoying teaching again, like I have rarely, lively and engaged with the students and so many of them commenting on my passion and my fire with the words and literature and Kerouac..

8  minutes till I have to shift to other project, whatever I decide.. the track, the poem, recital, sell it, talk it.. walk and fly and worry no–  My Beat starts to increase in speed and I feel everything is music.  Last night we wrote to a Bonobo beat, and everyone was quiet, scribbling, to their page and newly written Self sense.

And I can only, only, be only, only me with this sight and hope of somehow and day being that, that what I see.


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The library. Part of

IMG_6716-0me of course wanted to just fly there as soon as I touched down on campus, just before 4:30, but I needed the quiet of this adjunct hole.  Yes that’s ironic I guess in someway, me resisting the romantic temptation of the library, of course being surrounded by books and students and me feeling more like a scholar and student, but I needed the quiet, time with my words and inner reverberations.  Sipping my sparkling lime water, poison of choice of later in this Summer Term…  Still feel remarkable to write freely, having spent the entire day on those articles.  And the idea of starting a new blog.. no, I thought, “Work with what you have.” A new blog is nowhere to be found in my budget.  And I know right now I should be writing a MOCK SOMM piece.. maybe I will in a minute before preparing for class, but I just wanted to be free, liberated in the characters I punch to page.  And I have it, but I need music– still feel like I feel the caffeine from earlier, or is it the result of the shower, or this water, or just my muffling of the articles, the squelching of their stressing me, my vanquishing of them, and any other thought stressing the writer.  Music cued, and very much aligned with my mood; chilled, echoing, like I’m in some hotel lobby writing, sipping some wine or a glass of sparkling.. sparkling wine, I intend.  And I write on knowing I’m going to have another amazing class this evening. It can only be that way, and only for me, and my story, my Adjunct War– one covert and planned and inthemoment; my own beat and feeling in this shared office, but I share with no one else now; no other adjunct appears to be as desperate as I taking this 6PM 100 section.  But I have not a morsel or even grain of regret.  Not now or ever.  Going to blog the class, write what I’ll say IMG_6718beforehand, starting my types at 5, luminously, and with peculiar voracity.  Now I have to catch up with the words I would have type if I hadn’t checked my goddamn email, on that goddamn phone– so I write for this goddamn blog and I wonder what I would be writing if I were in a hotel right now, and where, let’s say Florida; have always wanted to go, stay in a hotel by the beach, on a relatively elevated floor, and just stare out at the ocean and note singular words and thoughts, sensations of the oceanic grip: soft, salt, heavy air, warmth, hug, breathe, sip, pages blown by this new atmosphere, left, I flip them back right.  I crawl to concentrate, mind going everywhere, but I need be linear in this sitting, and I walk away with what?:  Even more direness to my sittings.  And I’m thinking of wide dissemination, Self-publishing on a level that has never been seen or even thought of; my words, my inscrutable stationing in this moment, imagining what else there is, and how, and when.  The ‘when’ feels like the most essential and awaited portion of my equation, the one I’ve been trying to solve, well.. officially, since I graduated SSU in mid ’01.  Over 14 years ago, and I’m still with my protractor, numbers and measurements and trying over and over to make the solutions seamless.  No.  Not yet.

IMG_67174:49.. taking out the book, readying myself for lecture writing and some direction for tonight’s class.  “And that’s it!” I think to myself, “Direction!” Take the word apart, bit by bit and idea by idea, connected word by connected word.  What does direction do to a character…  Good question, what direction do I have and what is it, or lack of ‘it’, doing to me?  Perceptive stall, so I get nowhere with my thoughts and trying to solve.. was never good at Math, obviously, or even slightly fluent.  I actually have dreams, not so much nightmares.. just unpleasant and angst-angled dreams, of being in a math class, studying or not studying and having a test coming up, one that I didn’t take or maybe did and almost sure I bombed, and worried about my final grade in the class.  But I’m relaxed now.  And like that, like an unexpected storm, or earthquake–the big ONE, the one everyone’s been brought up fearing as a Californian–it hits, slams, pulls and shakes and pushes me to a new idea, but I can’t act too quick I don’t think: a stage play.  Short, maybe 10-15 pages.. but what would that do, I think.  I’m everywhere, this has to be caffeine.. but I finished that mocha well over 2 hours ago.  The water?  Something in the water.. ha ha…..  I don’t know, but I feel something now, just to write and with no constriction and just freely like the novel.  So then yeah… no stage play.  A novel, the Massamen novel, go back to it, tomorrow, after your run that you have planned for the mother-in-law hour (4:45AM or so).  If I run early, and quick, I may get back in time for 500 words, 300 at the very least.  Which I’d take, happily.  Little Kerouac this morning woke just after 6, giving the beat father very much a run as I was in quite the sleep from my late night of writing, prior.  And with still no coffee in the Autumn Walk base, it was challenging for me to keep with his rile, his speed and unpredictable attention and passion shifts.  I stood, however, for his challenge and raced nature.  And now I start to slow… if there was still a caffeine touch in my circulation, somewhere, I assure its departure, now.  May have enough time for a coffee run, across the street to that place.. what is it called, “My Friend Joe’s” or something odd..?  The adjunct always looking at the clock, Time his ever-foe but what can he do but own the moment– and in doing so I vote no, no against the caffeine craving and dependency.  I won’t let it slow me a second time today.


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Adjuncted Adaptively-esque

IMG_6683Writing freely.  No particular address from this mood and where this mood came from, who knows.. in old neighborhood Starbucks and thinking about everything from the condo we can’t be rid of soon enough, to the Adjunct War, to the wine world and how I’ll never be where I wish, financially, or even Creatively.. have to think, and I looked at a copy of the New York Times after ordering my cup and thought about the blogging for hire I’m doing, how utterly unriveting it is.  But it pays, so I should shut up, right?  Not in agreement ever with such disposition– this meditation here at this small deplorable table by the entrance/exit has to determine something, and what I don’t know– so many options and many detract and redact my identity; the writer and reader and lecturer, jazz lover, the one who only for Autonomy aims.. and this mood won’t IMG_6684let me, won’t undo its harness.. the barista asked me, “JC or winery today?” “Both,” I told him.  He laughed a little, shook his head, or started to but then caught himself, “Well.. good luck,” he finished.  I don’t know what the subtext or implication was, is, to his words but I didn’t like it and I don’t believe it to be targeted, really.  And is any of it untrue?  No.. I’m aiming to singularize everything, in wine and writing.. but how?  And travel, see the entire world, even the parts people and the government tell me not to, to avoid.. so I write on and hope for the best and know I have to keep writing.  This life, all its options and pitfalls potential– a young lady walks out with three kids.. I realize my life could be much more taxing and tough, so I should temper my temper and agitation, my pervading impatience, find my Road however I can, in this little crowded space, watching people leave into their lives and whatever they have to do for the day.

IMG_6685See another car pull up and I’m distracted by the two girls to my right, sitting in the tall chairs at the stretched counter, against the glass with a view of the courtyard, talking and annoying me, talking over Hutcherson’s tune, or Evans’, sorry.  My mood further swirls into some introverted postmodern shade, serrated and angular, jagged and opaque in narrative.  But don’t worry, reader, I’m just thinking, writing freely, and I deserve that once in a while, don’t I?  This is a 36 y/o (can’t bring myself to write it out.. mood…..) father and husband wanting to be seen and riled to function with a certain verity and brio.  So I write on, enjoying the freedom, and loving this life and the challenge it provides– and no I’m not depressed!  If I were I would have given up by now, or worse, but no I keep writing and shunning and dismissing all inhibitions of formality surrounding punctuation and professionalism and the syntactic strictures that act like bars and mar the Artist’s card, or cards he’s to play.. but I forward anyway, with only change in my pocket at the moment, used debit card for the mocha– cash anymore making the writer nervous.


And to expect what from this day?  Hopefully time to finish my articles, or at least the Tours one.. address the others tonight, stay up a bit late, then tomorrow murder the remaining two, submit, be rid of them.  And I better be paid promptly, or there will be an unraveling of the writer, for sure– I’ll turn into the agitated Martin Eden, a ruffled Hemingway.  I turn up the music in my ears to rid my Self of the teeny dialogue.. ugh, why did I put myself here?  Did another spot open?  Can’t stop typing now.  Like I wrote to this term’s matriculants, “Overthink is writing death.” So I just stop thinking and write and imagine me sipping wine in some hotel room, on my balcony, looking at the ocean or some lawn or pool area and typing, finishing my day’s entry or maybe the novel I’m writing while on the Road, from writing about a character who only wanted to see the Road– well now I’m here, so my gears go that way, to the attained, to what I see…  Oh I can’t wait.  I won’t wait, more like it if you must know.  I’m tired of waiting; for people to call me back, for an editor to approve an outline, for a paycheck, for.. anything.

You should see how focused I am at the moment, thinking only about this night’s class, my articles, the novel, and that’s about it.  What I want and how to get it, in these freely written writes, knowing my penning rights, all to me; my universe and innovative urges and translation of what I observe; the talkers right, the door ahead, the older lady who just say behind me, crumbling her little bag while removing the pastry, think a scone; my son just down the street at his school, tempted to go back, take him home so we can enjoy the day, a day off for us both, we deserve, protestedly!

And who knows, maybe it’ll happen soon, and fast, and I’ll be on the plane thinking, “Wasn’t I just in a IMG_6688Starbucks talking about this very moment?” Or probably, “What am I going to talk about?” (at the college I’m flying to).  Would love to write a lecture on the plane, look down at the clouds or if it’s a redeye then enjoy just the little thin beaming descent to my fold-out, me scribbling as quiet and lightly as I can so I don’t wake the person at my 12.  But I have to have the lecture done by the time I land in Massachusetts.  Harvard, expecting me, my paper on the translation of ‘On The Road’, arguing that all is addiction in passion, and if the Road is Life then Life is the greatest and most dangerous of all addictions…  Soon, soon!  My 14-page paper, much more charing and enlivening than these dimwit “articles” (I don’t even know if you could call them so) I’ve been commissioned to post on some blog– so no, they’re not articles, certainly not like there’re articles in the NYT!  It’s a blog!  For tourists or new-be-ers to wine’s wheel.  Ugh, disgusting..

So I should close, 9:39, having to leave for RRV in the soonest of soons, and I have to edit– a large man whom I see here regularly walks out in an exhausted wobble, me chagrined at all the hours ahead of me, I’ll be that tired at day’s end, or not, who knows– but the day and its music keeps me hitting the highhat, playing in scales and yaying rather than the usual Nietzschean naying.  The sky, clear but not, only clouds that want one last say in what’s seen, the visual to take with you for the remain hours, oh thanks, I think–  Man opens door, looks in, decides no.  So what did he see, what did he think?  Is the Time getting to him, not enough to stand in line and wait for the fix?  I understand…  But then he comes back, rushes to the order station.  Gets what he wants.  “Good for him,” I say.


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MY Winery Story…..


Watching “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. Time the obvious emphasis. And wine and winemaking and the novel, this novel, this winery story with this renewed Newness– but will I finish this winery thing. Should I? Well.. should I? On the Road soon me hopefully and write at Niagara Falls, not with it, or even about it. I can’t concentrate with this movie on. And the blog, the blogs, all the blogging and posts for nothing, just to post them, just so they can be like by some twits there out there in social land. What if I just want to write a novel, not a short story and not a shorts collection? So this winery story, may not be about me building a winery or taking steps toward being a bloody winemaker but a novel stemming from the winery days, all those day I spent and am still spending in the winery world, pouring, recording what people say as they sip, like the lady today, Kristin from Wisconsin, who said the Zin was “like hot chocolate for adults..” I could only laugh, with not at all at, then write it in the little pages– and now I see what this movie suggests: take life and steer it how you wish, and in the morning I’ll consolidate all these pieces on the laptop’s screen and focus only on the novel– and I’m not bloody kidding this time– and I think now: what if I could belt out novels like some musicians or bands churn novels or EP’s. And writing is only musical, I think, thinking about the ’07 Sangiovese. Writing tomorrow, and now with the TV off, I crave quiet the older I get and the more I need to write to Rooms, Rooms empty and wanting some observation logged– what would I do with anything patternized, why not the random and the filled, fulfilled.
Wine is Life, but so is the reaction to wine and writing in its presence. that lady today and the people she was with, her husband and another couple; her husband, Dave, taking notes on all the wines I poured and offering his thoughts, not overtly or pompously but certainly with some eagerness, always adding to what I said, and not with hostility, just a genuine eagerness. His reaction to the SB blend was interesting, complementing its acidity over and over: “This acidity is really somethin’, it’s so strong and really gives the wine a boost,” he said, then back to scribbles. What do I do with my wine, if I ever make it, or maybe I should just write what it would be like, my winery, hardly any of them are positive cash, far as I know and have heard. But if I only write about it then I don’t need be concerned– and look, what about the wine and the people sipping, why would that be ready? Because so many want to drink wine here, where it’s made, not just in their homes at a table for some occasion. When you sip any varietal at the counter, or bar, where the wine’s either produced or sold or based, then there’s more of a story, or “an experience” as these industry types want to always say. And honestly, I don;t have much push to go to a bank and ask for money to create anything, which is exactly what I’d be doing if I were to pursue this winemaking.. thing. OR maybe I should make some this vintage– what the fuck no. No.. if anything, go up there to the Cloverdale facility during harvest and record EVERYTHING! Write how quickly they move with those tubes and hoses and how the fruit is dumped into the tanks and the initial signs of maceration and fermentation can be detected with the olfactory envelopment of it all, all over and in the crushpad..the magic of wine and the stories of wine, that’s what I want to capture and what I want my books to produce is intrigue, the romance, the genuine interest like Dave with his notes at the bar. Sorry for missing yesterday’s entry call, but I’m here now, and I’m going to sleep with such stratospheric spirits; electric, eclectic, and not in any way esoteric! Or maybe a bit, with my always-vinoLit….. Wine, the stories, that what MY Winery is about.. a book, the looks of the winemaking teams as they process fruit, truck after truck, racking after racking, bottling, checking levels, and then all over again all while trying to keep their space clean, ‘sanitized’. I can’t do that, no way I could do that. But I can write about it.

I think.


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MY Winery Story…..


Went tasting at a winery down the road from my winery–er, the one I work with–and experienced different interpretations, studies and soundings, of certain varietals. And I took away the impressions they left, or that some of them left. No names at the moment as it’s not important, just know I noticed what the wines said and I’m home now, much later, sorting out everything in my head– the thoughts and the musings of varietals and the interpretations of varietals.
First, I’m a writer, but now I’m a winemaker learning, and right now I’m exploring Pinot from the winery and remembering what I today tasted. But I’m in a bit of a mood, and this is the writer in me, how do winemakers do what they do if they’re in a mood? The ride to work today, with the music that I randomly collided with on Wohler Road, and what– I don’t know what. I’m in a mood. And I know winemakers can’t get like this, right? They don’t fall into these falls, do they? I need a morning session, and I need to be more organized like a winemaker– so today’s notes involve, so far: varietal appreciation (of interpretation), and battling mood, attitude; and organization of everything, EVERYTHING! If I can’t organize or better sort my affairs personal then how could I ever expect to run my own label?

Landed some contract writing beats today, by phone from a contact of a contact– so thankful, and this motivates the writer evermore to get to his wine label, know what hotels to refer to my guests– and the more I delineate reflectively, the more I want a tasting room, a centered place where I can show people what I’ve done with the grapes and from where I can endorse and recommend, and to other family businesses, like B&B’s, restaurants, cafés, what resounds with the community. And I make wine like I write, with the ethic and knowledge that I write more and with an un-mirrored vivacity.. and continuous and demonstrated.
Jackie’s Spiderman toy to my right, here on the kitchen island surface, reminding my that my label, my winemaking aims are for family, igniting a family business culture that will give my son and any other children the option of coming to the family business, to the story of wine–

Watching time evaporate like patience of an inmate and I’m indeed jailed

The Wohler Bridge, Russian River Valley

The Wohler Bridge, Russian River Valley

in this wine life– funny note: saw a car in front of me, at one of the stops, or the only stoplight on River Road, with a license plate that insinuate with such acronym, ‘Wine Life’. I had to smirk and know that was some sign from the story, telling the writer that he’s on the right winemaking path. Now I sip a Pinot, from where it doesn’t matter, just know I note and know it’s meant to be in the glass now for me to study and converse with– part of the story, my story as an adjudged winemaker.


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All in the Bottle and All for the Ox

5/31/16, 6:28, and I’m up. I don’t want to think of anything specific this morning but I IMG_4857am. The novel. And money. And bills. And writing. This point in my life, supremely singularizing, putting all in the bottle, this OX and all his interests, curiosities, and affairs. Andy from work, from the winemaking team actually but works time-to-time in TR with me, gifted me a Paso Cab yesterday that was just bottled last week. Can’t forget to make a note somewhere– And the other wines I want to open, in my “cellar” which is really just the back of the closet in this Autumn Walk, or “A Walk” as dad writes in his calendar notes that he sends by email to Alice and I, base.
Running today. Will take an Aleve today. Maybe two, and bring the knee brace Katie bought me for my birthday, get back into it. And no eating anything till after 12, at least. Had a lion’s plate last night with all the leftovers from birthday dinner, Mom’s enchiladas and the rice & beans Alice made, was making as the writer came home and when I finally arrived home the 29th after work.

All in the bottle, I tell myself. This blog and the wine and the writing, stories and IMG_4869running and Wellness, ZEN.. Literature, teaching (which hopefully I won’t be doing as much of when Fall lands on my pedagogy plate). Just keep an inventory, I tell myself. I made a ‘hashtag’ list in my phone, and I hate that I put so much emphasis on something so seemingly juvenile as technology, that phone, and social media, I mean there’s nothing Literary to hashtags and the like AT ALL. But… it does help me center my writings and consistencies, and a swell way for me to properly market myself, my writings, and this blog– Mike Madigan, as a brand. I know just where I’m running.. 3 miles left out driveway, toward MacCrostie & VML, then turn around. 6 miles, think that’s a swell aim. Then home to help with Jackie.. ‘parenting’, another of my bottled topics…..

Was looking up everything wine and winemaking while at work yesterday, before moving to event/wedding mode. And again, that’s not going to be a focus, or even an option, when I have my wine story and tasting room, but I still want the awareness, the knowledge and experience. And, I’m sorry to again mention it, driving those hummer go-carts, or golf carts, such a thrill for the writing with the wind and zooming down the hill looking at Mt. Saint Helena in the natural frame left. But the wine, and winemaking.. everything IMG_4875dominating my sight and visions and hoped-for foreshadowing yesterday and plainly lately for the writer; the fruit coming in and the punchdowns and the feel and thrill and pressure of harvest. Fruition! Everyday has to be harvest for me and these pages and the marketing of my work. I see that now! I have to be a true OX! One always moving, always carrying one story from page one to final and then selling the work no matter the project size. Have to fill in the income gaps and be serious about it like that comic book writer I saw speak on the Paris Review site. Either you do it or you don’t, I tell myself, AM telling myself on this couch right now. And the quiet, the driving down the hill in that Hummer, hearing the wind against me and the trees and imagining writing from Mt. Saint Helena, somewhere up there, about something, like Kerouac from Sur, alone and only noting, no tech, a penman disconnected. All in the bottle. And from a renewed OX. Did the even do something to me yesterday without the writer knowing it? Was it the pages I scribbled agains the Hummer, waiting for the call to come back up and file those chairs–fold then file–then drive the people to the pavilion for dinner and more cocktails? This energy is not common, what I feel and my quaking eagerness for more story, for my run today, and for Life; the Zen it’ll bring, TOTAL Wellness.

Coffee.. another tally in the bottle of this Ox. And an Ox, a being of strength and duty and completion, the ox will always carry his cargo or people or accumulated items from destination 1 to 2. A consistency of devotion, follow-through, sincerity. And as it happens, 2015 is the year of the Ox! And I find more in the Chinese calendar. That the Ox is of enormous significance, truly impacting the story. And I, this writer and lover of wine and all tellings wine-riled and connected will follow my motifs and prowesses. And that’s how I want to be seen and read, as I’ve so many times paginated; an obsessed writer, one never stopping and always journaling and typing and keeping my story in motion, carrying the pages from 1 to finish, like an ox, maybe slow-moving but inconceivably strong and set on fruition.

Almost at a thousand words so I may well keep with my assignment, trudge up the hill like an Ox with more cargo than it probably needs. Waiting to hear Jackie upstairs.. went in an got him around… hear noise, probably malfunctioning smoke alarm.. shit.

And it was, the alarm in J’s room, losing battery power. But the stepstool not big enough, not tall enough I should say. And the day’s off and running and this Ox has to catch it somehow.
7:42 and I’m downstairs with the little Beat, as he plays with his monster trucks I rush toward the morning thousand marker. Washed dishes and wiped down counters, a homeowner of me yet made… Nearly forgot, over $30 in tips yesterday, putting in my winemaking envelope, and forgetting about it, not touching it for anything. Coffee cup one in motion, and I know today will be great for the Ox.

My personal pages vended. IDEA: 20pp for $6.


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And just like that I’m 36.

And downstairs in the dark, or semi-dark, typing. Like I did in the condo, and I look outside at the house behind me and see a single light on, small window, translucent, one of those blurring window (obviously as it’s a bathroom and I think that one may be just to the side of the shower). Posted the MS article to blog, checked my account, and the winery paid me, but the goddamn college didn’t. They’re making me wait till the 10th, but they paid the full-time rumpbags today. Not going there with thought, not ruining my day. I’m new as I said in yesterday’s entries and pieces and I wait for wine to tell me something, and what .. I hope something that will further jolt me, like yesterday morning–only time I had to write–and the night before.

Going to sell my personal pages and sell them wildly like the woman in that video yesterday on the Paris Review site, and just keep going.. she said “And this is how I pay my rent and it’s hard”, something leaning from that swivel of thought, mixed with ambition and anxiety; true artistry and expression and TRUTH. And I’m addressing the Hemingway caliber of Truth.

Keeping myself to less than 300 words this sitting, on the couch like the condo with the day rising before my sight and me trying to catch up. Looking at my account I start to anger but not today, not on MY day– but every day from here out will be MINE– the see-through nature of my life as a writer, not blocked or blurred like the window of this other house– Dad here yesterday teaching me to fix, all around the house, tricks like leaving a new hose in the sun so it stretches out and is easier to curl; then the toilet upstairs with the new handle and how to cut it, the looking at the water level and how it’s low which means we’re not getting a full flush. Dad reminded me that I need to build, BUILD goddamnit, both character and manuscript pages and sell! No more depending on the college, the system that strips enjoyment from learning and has everything so masterfully measured in semester length and fucking word counts. Give me a break.. going to somehow get my grades in tonight, don’t ask me how, but I will. And that’s another thing: they gave us, all faculty, only a week to do final grades. Which sounds like we’re all in the same boat which insinuates fairness, but adjuncts have other jobs. THEY don’t. THEY have offices and now THEY enjoy vacation.

I’m over 300 and I don’t care, I can’t stop and I haven’t even had coffee, not a drop. Thinking of the wine last night, a little of my Merlot, what remained, and the Rougue bottle from Sanglier.. which had more magnetic traits? I don’t know, again I’m not a somm but I’d have to affirm my Merlot, and I opened it not last night, or even the night before, but before that! And it was still composed, with visible sequence and soundness in all palate syncopation.

And I need coffee, and to stretch my legs. Both hanging over this couch cushion hurts my knees, both, especially the left.. no, right.. no both. Went upstairs to check on Alice and little Kerouac and both are resting in the new bed, our room.. Jackie already shows he’s not interested much in leaving the house, and neither am I frankly. I want to stay here and write– Looking right and that light is still on, showing fuzzily through that window. Wonder what their story is, when they moved there, how many kids they have and all. Feel like I’ve learned so much in 36 years then the second next I feel remedial myself, completely, like I haven’t been paying attention or I have ADD or ADHD or something.

Mother in law, Cathy, emailed me a gift card for Starbucks, so I don’t have to worry about that budget score. Relieved. And I’m thinking that I want to– doesn’t matter.. budget ideas but I’ll have more money coming in vending these personal pages, which I tentatively have tagged ‘foryrownjoy’. Yes, inspired by Kerouac’s Spontaneous Prose Rules. So quiet in the house now. No fridge hum. No Jackie upstairs talking. Just the morning, me, that light from the house at our 6, and me typing, plastic key sounds and me thinking where the pages go– well they go out there, into the world and at the judgmental types, and how they only wish they could write but just sit in their puddle of inner-bickery and wish, wish they were me, that they could just sit down like this and write like Miles plays, like Bobby, like Sonny and Monk.

Coffee… Now I need it. And I need to note everything today, and not just say I’m going to. Observe and record and scribble while walking, don’t wish you were at the laptop– if you have ink and a little sheet then you’re fine. You’re 36– how. 30. 6 more. Zen.. peace….. I’m fine, I’m writing and I’m in the Autumn Walk of things, ideas and states of Personhood day to day which will benefit me and I’ll grow through this new maturity, if I’m mature. But that too’s not a focus this morning. May be busy today, hard to tell but I won’t let it get to me. The quiet of this neighborhood is both relieving and terrifying, a dualistic principle that you can feel walking down the block to San Miguel, then up to the busier Coffey.

Should clean up a bit before leaving as I don’t know how much time we’ll have to do that after the workday, before Mom and Dad, Tim and Denise, get here. Huh.. our first family dinner and gathering in this new base. Time flashing in its passing and I can only write as fast as I can, try to catch up. But I’m starting to feel Beat…..


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