Posts Tagged With: Wine Journal

Arista Visit: Aghast

IMG_4828 I didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t been there in years. And when I finally parked in that enrapturing lot, I nearly forgot where I was. Not to sound self-anointing, but it takes a bit more than a just ‘a bit’ to stun me, or impress me, or move me with wineries anymore, and this includes everything from the elemental atmosphere and arrangement of an estate’s physical nature, to the wine portfolio, to the hospitality, to “value”, or price point. But I was. With all those facets. I was muted. I was taught… The first I sipped was a ’13 Gerwurztraminer, which not only prided a new take on this styleIMG_4826 and varietal, but as well the overall texture and presentation of the wine’s personality; soft floral and playful, air to finish. And the Chardonnay.. well… You know I’m not Chardonnay chaser, and it’s even more strangely uncommon to see me taken by the oftentimes excessively buttered Burgundy bull. No.. this bottle offered the artful sway I hope for with Chardonnay but never see, never feel, am left left hoping that it’s out there somewhere. And yesterday I finally met it. And was smitten.
IMG_4829Between the whites and reds, I thought to myself, “Why HAS it been such a time since I visited? Not just the winery but AVA?” But then I realized it didn’t matter. “I’m here, now,” I thought, and I nearly didn’t know where ‘here’ was, which only suggested that I genuinely was paralyzed with pleasurable impression, bemused.
IMG_4833IMG_4832Then the Pinots, three totaled. All 13’s, one from Anderson Valley, another from Mendocino Ridge, then a classic very wooing Russian River portrait. Even if you’re not part of the relatively recent Pinot craze you’ll be lassoed by one of these, if not two or all. For me, I fell for the Mendo’ Ridge, and for not only the fruit composition and enumerated suggestion of the wine IMG_4834(raspberry, light cherry and cream coupled with an earthy rustic tea.. or something… Just know I was caught.). I wanted a bottle of all three but I had to be somewhat withheld, and looking left, out at that estate and that living space on the hill (imagining I was there for an afternoon, looking over the rows and blocks with a midday Chard splash, splashes, scribbling whatever the property was telling me), I had an inner skirmish. All teaching me something. I found a new majestic morsel, in the valley I rarely get to visit, and still don’t know that well. Now I have more warrant to more frequently return. And I want more, more…

The next night, with family over, I open my Mendocino Ridge Pinot. Yes, maybe I should have waited but I thought ‘no, I’m a writer, I don’t do that, and life is short so drink it with family..’. This bottle had all the same spell but for some reason more augmented, more staccato in its skip and sensory saunter. Just warrant to go back, soon, soon! Bring home more…..

note: Arista means “beautiful, like a bride” in Farsi, and “the best” in Greek. How cosmically logical!IMG_4837

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Over 3,000 words for the day, and I’m exhausted, but I still want to write.  And my writer friends, can only wonder what they’d say.  And my friends that teach like I do, all of them with FT jobs mind you, never having to worry about pouring for tourists, answering stupid questions about wine that they are convinced are so glowingly important– no sales goals, no threatening, no reprimanding, being treated like a wandering toddler with a gnat’s attention span– none of that.  I sit here, an adjunct, in a shared office, in a noose of malignity.  And I’m more or less prepared to meet with students, those that choose to show.  And my notebook is…

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Morning 3, sans mon petit Kerouac.  Still feeling very much yesterday’s run.  And today, more waiting…  Not necessarily my life story, but certain a noticeable portion of it, thus far.  More looking at vines today, watching them grow, get closer to their show.


7:48AM.. Laundry done, trash out, now the writer writes, listens to music, and relaxes.  Coffee, keeping me as it always does.  Short entry this morning.  Why?  Well after watching Alice print three pages of a homework assignment for her seminar, I’m taunted to print five pages, at least, of my poems.. for the first chap.  Going into the TR today with no cares.  It’s Thursday and I’ll just ride this day wave, this melody and scaling piano dazzle of thought.  And my focus, wine.. again.. may bring a bottle into the lab, see what they have to note about its character.. think they’re bottling.  Again.  Sometimes that seems all they do.  When I have my smaller label, there’ll be short runs, as we’ll never go over 5,000 css.  And if I, or we, do.. I cap at 10k.  Never a bottle more.  But why would I even want to do that much?  10 THOUSAND cases?  Stresses me just thinking about it– like publishing, Self-publishing I mean.. having to edit some brick of a MS.  No, I keep them curt, consistent.  Want them to be sketches of sketches.. sketch collections.. on the mountain today and I’ll have a chance, a couple opportunities I’m sure, to make a couple notes about the wines, the view, the drive up, getting out of that bloody room, away from that bar.. the air and feel and personality up there, more for writers.. anymore, the TR suffocates, and compels me to shut down, which I can’t afford at this stage.  […]  Surprised Self.  Nearly done printing poem collection.  DONE.. can’t believe it.  Who will first buy?  Only running 20 copies to start.  Don’t want to find mySelf as I used to, with so many unsold copies I’m only punishing a closet shelf with unwanted weight.


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Morning, Good.. I would

10/28/13–  Typing in the Safeway parking lot.  My mood this morning, toxic.. everything from rhythm to sight, to tone.  Not in the mood to do the same bloody thing I did yesterday, day before.  Before.  If I could just have the day to Self, to finish the bloody book, already.  Or just write freely.  I will, though.  This Friday.  If today were that day, I’d be on my way to Petaluma, by now, surely.  Once there, I’d grade for about an hour.  Then, to cafeteria to write in newJournal.  Freely.  To the second mocha of my day.

Wrote a healthy amount of verse, poem, yesterday while in tasting Room, visiting and revisiting wine to aid with knee pain.  No plans for a run today, obviously, in that I pickup little Kerouac from Lisa’s.  Do I want to run tomorrow?  Possibly.  Probably, actually.  But not too much distance, as to care for these aching structural portions.

My mood, rising, watching these cars race by on Calistoga, towards 12, where they choose to turn


or right.

8:44am.  How much longer can I write?  I’ll give Self till 9:05.  Precisely 20 minutes to finish, edit, post this prose.  Or poetry.  Whatever form it takes.  Cold this morning.  The reader, or “gauge,” reads 39’.  May as well be 32, as I’m quite affected by the sterile sharp atmosphere.  Reminds me of Sunriver, of course.  And then my mood rattles again, in wondering how long it’ll be till I up there again write.  Young family walks by, two children in roofed wagon, mama carrying littlest on person, in one of the strapped pouches.  Can’t remember name for them.

Listening to beats that I used when having my Literary lunches, Napa.  And my hands start to stiffen.  Don’t I have the heat on?  No.  Fixing that.  Maybe that’s why my temperament’s so coiled, boasting fang points.

So relaxed, here in car, with this 4shot energy boat, music, characters everywhere.

But I have somewhere to be.

That, precisely why I’m re


Still 39 degrees.  Much more pleasant in the cabin of this new car, with heat’s help.

Passers, with visible mist


Me, hidden from.


At lunch, I need to get this grading done.  Instead of 4 items, I will shoot for 8.  Four must be 1A papers, just the other night submitted.  Going to use a new 50pt rubric I found online.  Would write my own, but my writing energy, as it pertains to my teachings, stands better spent in other areas– lectures, lessons, assignments.

And, “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck appears, audibly.  And the writer’s mood, colorful.  No longer hunched.  Imagine my Self back in Paris.  By mySelf, writing, walking, no wine.. just the cafés, cuisine, characters, conversation.  Anymore, wine only harms the writer.. this writer at least.  And I’m all the more settled in me not making a wine this year.  I will return to it, yes.  But I want the writing to carry me, first.  Then, when means rotate upward, barrels get filled.


Today’s writing goal:  5 poems.  Due:  5 o’clock, not a second later, says

Professor Madigan.  (8:57am)


Posted 3pieces, Professor Madigan…  8:16pm, in kitchen’s nook.  Going back through blog, its word doc, here on laptop, reconciling.. guess that’s what you’d call it.  Caught Self OVERthinking, again.  “Oh, did I post this one.. this one?  THIS ONE?” Why concern Self like that, OVERconcern Self like that?  It’s all book-able.  No more of this 1-year-on-blog hogwash.  Some pages I post, others I don’t.  I’m a writer, not a blogger.

On new notes: didn’t have any advances at winery today pertaining to winemaking.  So, I’m resigning to not making wine this vintage–  NO!  Not ‘resigning’.. assigning.  What am I “assigning?” The Self, to only write, teach, read.. work with my students.  After leaving Kerouac with Ms. Lisa tomorrow, I’ll head straight to Petaluma.  A simulation for this coming Friday, where I plan to write for 5 straight hours, 10a-3p.  Or possibly more.  I’ll print my 41pg work as well.  Bet on it–  Actually, don’t.  You might lose.  Just know I’ll try, angrily.


Poetry tonight.  Three verses, comprising 1 song.  That’s it.  Something to perform.  Going to designate tonight’s piece my signature work.. or touring pages, if that makes sense.  And maybe I’ll test them on the English 5 class, this Thursday at open mic.  Or, “open mic with Mike,” as Jess said.


Tonight, I’ll grade 4 items.  Didn’t hit the eight or whatever I wanted to at lunch.  Instead, I went on a winery visit with a coworker.  Deerfield, all their single varietals, a couple blends.  Love how the tasting Room’s in the cave.  Always thought that was an appealing facet to their experience.  Was I a huge fan of their wines.. not really.  But I enjoyed the unexpected dash to another tasting Room, being on the bar’s other side.  Is there anything I can report from day, other than the slow start, and the uncomfortably easing rush at conclusion, the two annoying people from Reno I poured?  Not that it was Saturday-busy, it was just quirky, discomforting.  Rushed to gather little Kerouac, then back to condo castle.  Now, I’m in professor mode.. more, more.

Hungry.  Should probably open night’s wine, to pair with this Mexican casserole Alice made.  Long day for us both.  Want to get us into our own house, away from neighbors.  Older the writer gets, I don’t enjoy nearness to other voices, movements.  I prefer the isolated places.

10:14pm.  I should be grading those papers.. but no surprise, I’m not.  I’m enjoying my evening.  Quiet.  Writing.  And running tomorrow?  Not sure.  Maybe, actually.  Even if for only 30 minutes or so.  Have to remind Self that not every run should be a record-breaker.  The fact that I go out, interval on pavement, or trail, is victory to itself.

Poetry, to mySelf, here in the semi-solace.  Maybe I shouldn’t run tomorrow.. but Thursday.  Can I keep that promise to mySelf?

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That Way Put

An event coming up, this Saturday, Halloween-related, concerning pumpkins.  But how will I write with that level Frenzy?  And why did I capitalize ‘frenzy’?  Hemingway, I’m sure, wrote after his experiences.. whatever he remembered was worth writing.  And with I, now.  May leave the little pages at home–  No.  Take with, but use sparingly.

Again.  I find mySelf living too safe, with little or no risks taken.  That will be my first aim in this Newness ideology.  Not sure what this is supposed to be.. a freewrite, a narrative, essay.. or just a page, from me.  Frustrated in this sitting.. so I write through and past it.  Tomorrow, dropping off little Kerouac with Lisa, coming home for quick shower, then to campus, grade–  I know, “where’s the risk there?” Plainly, that I’ll be there too early, finish grading the 13 papers so fast, as I’ll be joyfully caffeinated, that I’ll have ‘too much writing time’.  Too much, you say, or ask.  Yes.  That’s just what I’m going for.  I’ll write in a new location, somewhere on campus, upper floor of library.  That’s what Kelly would do, keep her creative mission simple.  Capture all students, and each one differently.

Had one of my friend Sam’s homemade brews earlier this evening.  Honestly, a bit herbal, or citric for me.  I didn’t finish it all.  About 60%.  Couldn’t have another.  And I don’t have any other beer in castle.  That’s what brought me so fast to this Cab, the most expensive bottle the Estate has on its menu [$60].

Like I had the dentist appointment Tuesday, a friend from the old neighborhood, San Carlos, has a blood test tomorrow.  She had to eat her dinner quick, finish before 7p.  Now, she feels as though every savory item in her cupboards, fridge stares at her.  Taunts her.  Makes fun of her for what’s tomorrow scheduled.  I find that interesting, that mind state.  How frustrating that must be.. to be ravenous, not able to bite.

Another person from the Peninsula, going through something rough.  What, I’m not sure, exactly, but I wish I had an idea.  She knows she’ll get through it, but has trouble with how painful it is, she states in her journal.  What is it?  Is she writing about it?  Should I ask her exactly what it is with which she now grapples, so I can write about it?  Is that selfish?  I think of Hemingway, or anyone who’s been to war, written about it, or not.  What war does to the Human, especially a man.  My war, not to be written here, on this log for others to see.  I know what it is.

I know I’ll win.


Kelly, already through her skirmish of skirmishes.  Maybe I could ask her, if I knew where she was, already.  On her travels, what does she think as soon as the plane’s wheels touch new ground?  Does she feel the Newness then, or when she disembarks?


The dialogue from the tasting Room, where one of my better stories is–  My vantage point, unequalled.. writer, of my strength, observing everyone walking in, everything they say, how their eyes move, what they look like sipping a wine, first time.



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8:40am.  Never have timed Self, with the WPM measure.  But writers don’t do that.  That’s for clerical folk.  The office jockeys.  Not much time to write–  Can’t wait to see if I get the Grenache or not.   OR Sangio’.  Which would prefer, between the two?  GR, of course.  Like Pinot, but not.  Can’t forget lunch today.  That’s part of what made yesterday so long, arduous, draining on the writer.  Early to bed tonight.. harvesting Syrah tomorrow, in that cool Petaluma Gap climate.  Oh, and I have to charge phones tonight.. don’t let the forgetful writer forget.

Going upstairs to print the 3rd page from Thursday, the narrative.  And today, will try to write when I can.  I’ll be cooking tonight, without help from a cookBOOK.  May have some general direction, from some recipe.  But minimal guidance overall.  More caffeine for me, PLEASE.  Only 1 cup so far, and it’s leaving system.  OFf for mocha.. 4shots.  Where’s my little notebook?

I’m a mess

this morning.

7:57pm.  Tomorrow, harvesting…  Today, more than busy in TR.  Frantic, rushed, impatient, eager, elevated.  Now, home, quiet.  Want to explore old entries, and old photos believe it or not.  This JC student I work with, ‘D’, prides in his photography, having an online gallery, or portfolio.  He took pictures of me during and after today’s Merlot punchdowns.  Had me thinking, about photography’s role in my Writing Life.

Thought I lost my two cameras, as I couldn’t find them in the top-right drawer, desk.  One of them, a cam Alice bought me for xmas ’09, was in that location.. the writer simply didn’t look hard enough.  And the other, a piece Mom and Dad bought for me a couple birthdays ago, was in a cupboard down here, in the red end-table.  Charging both tonight, well as the Flip video camera.

No word on the GR or SG, yet.  And that’s fine.. so much on mind, with this week’s lectures, introducing the Poe Project.  Also, I’ll begin final grade calculations, putting what I have so far onto a spreadsheet, xfer’d from gradebook [if you could call it so].  Need a beer, after such a wave of people barreling at the bar, all day.  Did capture some useful dialogue for a vignette idea that was born the other day– all the random chatter, statements, questions, braggings I hear in that Room, from both sides of the bar.  But the real beauty to the piece: the reader doesn’t know who’s talking, where it’s coming from, nor precise context.  That has to be assigned by the reader.  Earlier to bed tonight, so I have to get more pace from my Self, somehow.  Yes, a beer.

Oh…  Nearly forgot how much I adore craft beer.  The pieces in my 1st chapbook, the 41pg-er, may change, or rotate, meaning I save some for a future release.  But I haven’t decided.  Should probably dive into some of these old pictures, starting with phone first, see what I find, see what material waits.  Thought, while punching down Merlot, that I need to take more pictures, respond to them in writing.  IF a still’s worth 1k, words.. then I could write a short story collection, easily, in a day.  Or at least begin a compositional congregation’s blueprint.


Just plugged in phone, to laptop.  Should really be spending more time in lectures Comp Book, and GRADING…  But I’ll get to that tomorrow, or Monday, I promise.  Also, set to do Lawndale tomorrow, if I can, if I have enough light, and get out early enough.  But if tomorrow’s anything like this day, I’m doomed.  No running.  Not even when I get home.  Should I join the gym?  Whatever it takes to get a run.

These older pictures of Jack, then looking at some I took just two days ago.. starling– startling.  One Alice snapped today, while we were walking outside, to the new car to retrieve his stroller, for their morning walk/jog, him holding my hand, with the most carefree, joyous grimace I’ve ever on him seen.. melting whatever strength I can boast.  He rules me, this little character.  Dominates my mind, sense, projections, plannings.  He’s a cliff I’ll walk over repeatedly.


Cabernet now, the ’10 I opened a few nights ago.  This bottle, more posture, charm, music to its moments.  Back to the pictures.  Such the journal.  Need to take more, for sure.  At least three, everyday.  Three thousand word mark, that’s the diamond.  So…  One of barrels, one of the vineyards the other day (with fall patterns, character), another [1 of three] of fermenting Sangiovese in bin.  Gorgeous color, love sight of floating skins.  Like today, pushing them back into their parenting pool.  What winemaking is to me.  Now some more of the clusters, right after the fruit set.  Then all these videos.  I’ve documented, NARRATED, my whole life.  That’s my genre.

Batteries, for cameras, charging.  Time for night’s cap.  Have to wake at 5:45am.  Not sure where I’m going.  Should look at directions again, what do you think?

Okay, know where I’m going.  Pretty sure.


Hoping the Grenache finds its way to my hands, like today’s Merlot did, has a couple other past days.  MY wine.  Lovely idea.  Now I do need another glass, get Self into character.  That’s what Hemingway would do.. truth, truth…

Some say I should hold on my expressions, restrain.  But, at this age, I only adore the cacoethes.  It’s more than freeing.. it’s what I want to be.  Unhinged, mySELF– someone of which my little boy can be proud.  I call him ‘little Kerouac’.  So I need act like THE Kerouac.  Against order, expectation, what’s ‘to do’.  Literarily, Poetically.  Getting a little tired.  Not getting to anything else tonight.  This blog’s the only landing.

Night’s cap poured, little cleaning there was to be done, done.  A picture of wine, being spun in glass.. dancing for its soon-sipper; rhythmic, syncopated somehow; painted in glass for view; when I like what cameras do, when they capture something, a motion I can write.

Wine, about so much

for we, the penners.

Sip, put self back in


Have to get coffee tomorrow morning, non-negotiable.  Want to show up to cut clusters from vines, then snap stills needed.  Dormancy, only a month away, maybe less with their present pace.  So I need to capture everything I can.  And everyone.  For the fiction, my entries, stories.  This is all story.  All fiction.  IF I want it to be.


I do.


Mike sat at the table, on the patio, by the water.  Lunch.  Only 26 minutes left.  It took three minutes to run to 2nd floor– get sandwich from fridge, talk to coworker (Rafa), run back to 1st floor, out door, then the thirty yards (maybe more) to table, then he had to wipe it off a bit.  He couldn’t believe that only took four minutes.

He didn’t eat right away.  He just want to look out at vines, their October uniforms.  Breathe.  As a tourist.

He just sat.

Ten minutes left, not a bite.  What happened?  He looked out, counting the small gusts, till he was carried back to work, somehow motivated away from vacation.


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Didn’t make it to ten poems.  But I did manage to hang 3 onto this “blog.” All day today, while scurrying in that ResRoom, with no lunch, thought of being free.  I’m not going to let this entry be like all the others, but I thought of freedom.  Total freedom, not just Artistic, or financial.  It would entail that, yes, but not solely be composed of such.

9:06pm.  Should grade ten items tonight, but not in any mood.  Won’t be running till after work, Sunday.  And I begin that day incredibly early as I’ll be participating in a harvesting, Petaluma, quite early.  Have to be there before 7am.  It’ll be all Syrah, to my knowledge.  Just finished last Cab glass.  Tonight, that independence thought, still on skewer.  And the only way I can do so.. with books.  what’s taking me so long?  I think how divided I let mySelf be, with projects.  No matter.  Soon fixed, I affirm with Ms. Plath next to me, smiling on her cover, being offered a rose, or flower of some type.

Jerry, my friend, vineyard manager on the estate, said he may have quite a bit of Sangiovese and Grenache left, for me to “play with,” as he said.  Meaning…  I’ll be making my own wine again.  So excited.. wonder how this will take shape.  Should I inoculate?  What portions should I use for blending?  Don’t get ahead of Self.. need to calm.  Need a cocktail.  One of the Little Sumpin’s I bought earlier.  Love this love/hate street with wine, its industry, all the angles.  But.. just for brainstorming’s sake.. Sangio’ and Grenache:  Have GR in lead, only use SG for 5-10%.  But if you only get SG, the so be.  And if you get a bit of GR, then inject 5-whatever%.  You have what you have, you know?  This entire day, honestly, quite victorious.

Wrote quite a bit for Tuesday’s lectures– transition from modern to classic–back to classic–Lit in 1A; then a new approach to Plath in English 5.  Should probably have them, the English 5 group, do even more Plath research, report on findings.  And, their professor should post to teaching blog again for day.

This ‘1 year on blog’ rule.  Should I defy it?  Maybe the blog is just a stable, a temporary till, toll booth, tariff.  Why can’t I use my own writing how I choose?  Thinking of Hemingway, my talks on ‘Sun Rises’ last term.  Need to write more like him: truthful.  And the truth is.. I’m more and more annoyed by people as I age.  I could never attend bar events as I used to, nor could I go to “parties” as I did when in college, or in San Ramon, or as when I lived in the Prospect Place apt.  Only want to write.  Wish I had a cabin in the bloody Yukon.  Rent one.  Use it for a week, then fly home to be with family for a couple months.  Then revisit.  Something like that.  Can’t be away from Ms. Alice, or little Kerouac, for too long.  They’re represent my inner catapult, my existential ‘ever’.

Appreciate the way Ms. Alice wants me to look over her writings, for her class, her students’ parents, just minutes ago saying, “…‘cause you’re the writer…” Appreciate the respect.  Remarks like that, better than book sales.  Especially from my wife.  Should name a wine after her.  And little Kerouac.

Looking through her, Ms. Plath’s, entries.  So much gorgeously contorted vocal, each sentence.  How did she do that?  This one journal entry I’m reading, a question, posing both positive and negative charges.  Proton, electron.. or whatever.  She’s too divided to be simplified– oh!  I should put that in Tuesday’s lecture!


Back from short break, 10:02pm.  Little pages at right, for lecture notes.  Well as night’s cap.  Decaf at ready.  Ms. Plath, left.  Reading through more of her entries.. so much beautiful, horrible introspection.  I want to be her in so many ways.  Then in so many, no.  May be up late tonight, writing.  No way I’ll tomorrow wake at 5-something, as I did this morning.  Such shame, laying there, realizing where I was, what I was doing– debating if I should write or not.  What REAL writer does that?  Need another sip of this ale.  The thought upsets me.  But if I didn’t have those early morning sessions infrequently, then they wouldn’t be sententious, memorable.  So, as they don’t happen so often, quite the boon.

Ms. Plath, explaining troubles in writing so relatable– spelling, titling, structure.  What would I be if I never found her.  Well, I of course would have found her, being the Literary lad I am.  But if I never curled into her compositions as I did…  Who knows.  I don’t want to know.  I’d bring this book with me, on Road.  Read as I sip some unexpected red.  Scribble my reactions, like one of my students.  I am a student, so I completely relate.  Her smile, embodying the mask, concept therein/of.  She teaches me to be more open with my entries, more explicit [much I hate the word], exposed [hate that one, too..].

Think it’s so hilarious how cookbooks have to say they’re ‘books’.  Why?  IS that not loudly obvious?  Why can’t there be some innovative title?  Obviously recipes hold between the manuscript’s covers.. why do you need to tell us this book about cooking is a cookBOOK?  And what made me think of this?  A cookBOOK staring down at me from the skinny, tall bookshelf at my 12, here in the kitchen’s nook.  It also tells me I need to cook more.  Funny, as tomorrow’s scheduled to be my return to this kitchen.  What should I play?  Meat?  Chicken?  Fish?  Salmon?  Ugh…  Why is cooking so stressful to me?  How is it so easy for Mom?

Because she’s your mom.

Oh yeah.

Nothing over 1k.  So, to decaf.  Poetry.  More Plath.  Do I have to watch the news?



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Three pages typed today.  And I didn’t save one of them.  Not one.  Just typed, edited, printed.  Like I had a typewriter.  That’s the writer I want to be, realizing again, sitting here with Peanut Butter M&Ms, 1st decaf cup.  Running or writing tomorrow morning, early.  Haven’t decided which.  See how I feel, just wrote on third page.

Want to enjoy my writing more, I also wrote.  Look forward to what happens next, if you know what I mean.  Character from today: woman who rang me at shoe store; scared of monitoring supervisor, confessing she was always nervous with her there, right in front of me she said, “You always make me so nervous when you stand there.” Felt sorry for her.  Is this where she is, at this point in her Life?  [Probably mid-50s, or late 40s, hard to tell as she looked worn, tired.]  Made me again affirm to Self how I will never run from some “manager.” I work for me.  Writer/Educator.  So, what do I write to make me more a fan of my work?  My first response, Fiction.  And Spoken Word, yes.  But there’s something to Fiction that has always rallied with me.  The characters, it’d have to be.

So, more vignettes.  Fictionalize everything.  I understand I’m not the type of New Journalist to fire lengthy chapters.  More than fine with that.  And frankly, that loses me as a reader.  So, snapshot approach.  Link them, see what you think.

Another M&M.  Sip.

May need another cup.  Wonder if the café at which I today ate, wrote quite a bit, has coffee.  They must.  Tuesday, I’ll stop there for coffee, write.  I’ll eat on drive to Cotati, where it locates.  I’ll trap everything I can.  Everyone.  Every color, sound, scent, scene.  It’ll all be mine.  And yours, reader.

And, 10pm.  News on.  But I’m not interested.  Can only think of tomorrow morning, anyway.  Run, or write?  What would you do?  Shouldn’t involve you, sorry.

My visions of tomorrow’s run, lurid.  But sitting here, in dark as I did the other morning, just the same picture potency.  Oh, what do I do?  Two M&Ms left.  Feel Self tiring.  No 2nd cup.  What if I closed this laptop?  Would that make me less Literary?  A little, I have to say.  But I shouldn’t be blamed, judged.  Not now.

Running clothes still upstairs.  Ugh, when am I going to run again?  Not letting Self go another 10 days.  No way.

The news, muted, more annoying than with sound.  Why don’t I turn it off, listen to my wine bar beats.. good idea.

There.. imagining scribbling as I did today at Redwood Café, in Greece, looking out at ocean, acknowledging its might, its voice, how much it’s written.  More than I ever could.  The night air, playing between all those islands, writing rival pieces.  Don’t want to get in middle, but I have to.  My character, giving way to ‘nother.  She travels, only observes, never complicates.


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2nd Showing

Two pieces in book, first2, officially edited, finalized, ready to print.  Sipping an ’08 Cab from AV Winery.  Nearly forgot how incredible that wine was, is.  Not so eventful at work.  No punchdowns, only 1 mountain tour.  But all I could enjoy was that fact I woke close to 5am, delivered 1,000 words to log.  Also today, received an email from a young lady I met, just yesterday in fact–or day before.  She read my work, or some, not sure how much, and appears to enjoy my words, paragraphs, saying I ‘definitely am talented’.  You have no idea what that does to the writer.  IT’s better than money.  It warrants, DEMANDS, another sip.

Funny, to me anyway, how I was asked to go to local marketplace to get ice bags, paper  bowls for a BBQ one of the owners was to throw for production.  I was given $20 from register.  I thought to Self, “Let’s make this practice, in stretching budget.” So, drove there quickly, went to frozens, took 4 bags, couldn’t find price.  Went to paper cups, plates, section, also took four.  Set on belt, for best hoped.  $19.79 [birth year price, also funny, interesting..].  Made a couple jokes upon return, on how I “came in under budget.” Jeff, one of the owners responded, “We like that.” Not sure this holds any meaning, or if I value it, but I did remember.  And what I do remember, as I’m looking at them now: I forgot the company vehicles keys in my pocket.  So, after dropping off Kerouac, I’ll head to winery.  And from there, I’ll run.  Thinking Lawndale.

Recollection:  People taking pictures of open-top barrels, tank room, through big window, or what I call the glass wall, in tasting Room.  Just think that the reaction of newcomers to wine country’s fascinating, how enamored they are.

All this poetry from me.. next book.  I’m sure.  And the 1-year rule, with blog, may not apply.  It’ll be a collection, of many work types.  But I’m aiming for stage.  Tomorrow, in English 5, for our open mic, I’ll offer some words.  ‘nother sip, needed.

Oh.. how it grows more depth, wooing qualities, romance as it lets Room’s ambient qualities into its sphere.  How does wine do that?  And that’s what makes me wonder how much control there purported “artists” have over what they bottle.  It physically does change.  What we create, as Writers, is final.  Paginated as we please, especially for the Self-published penner.  The only “change” would be in how its interpreted, which we can’t help.  And shouldn’t want to–

Sorry, distracted by phone, the pictures I took today.  Clouds coming, as Jill and I cleaned the Mountaintop patio.  Thought there may have been a minor possibility for drops, but no.  So tired of this dry weather.  Need more coffee & composition conditions.  Nearing night’s cap.  Plath movie, 1 more time.  One last glass.  Then


Up since 5-something.  How?

Rest never.





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newest journalist journalism

10/6/13–  Spicy pasta from Alice, tonight.  Tired from day.  Sipping last Ale, and the writer’s about finished.  Want to wake at Barleycorn time.  Not to run, but to write.  Still very much feel yesterday’s Lawndale jaunt.  Today, party of 42, handled by Ed, also a teacher, and mySelf.  All from Norway.  Interesting group.  Not many questions, but still.. considerable interest in our wines.  Opened a random 375 from downstairs stash, just a minute ago.  On cork, in permanent marker, “EP”.  I opened it, thinking it was ‘extra pours’ of Lancaster Nicole’s Blend.  But…  Extra Port, from a friend’s [Lauren’s] boyfriend, who works for, I think, Fritz, in Russian River.  At my age, I’m convinced, I can’t do hard alcohol, or Port, or anything Port-like.

Was finishing this last bowl of pasta, imagining mySelf eating it on an overnight in some hotel, east coast.

Visited my wines today.  But only to top them.  Didn’t taste.  Only tasted the topping wines– a Grenache, for NDC [New Dad Cuvée], then an incredibly dark, smokey Malbec for the Merlot [MMFM Merlot].  Have the winemaking bug, again.  Making wines as a writer, not winemaker, if that makes sense.  IT should, to writers.

Distracted, by old videos I shot around estate.  Would love to go for an early early morning run.  Maybe I’d see a mountain lion–  Oh!  Maybe I would.  Annadel, promising such interaction.  They wouldn’t hurt the writer, I’m sure.

So pleased to be in base.  Ready for bed, I feel, after today, that group Ed and I had.  This entry: 300, no more.  Words conserved.  Need days off.  Don’t I have some “professional development” day, soon?  Yeah…  I’ll develop professionally.. with these pages, nothing to do with that JC, the activities they have planned, on how I can be a better educator.

The umbrellas, at work.. labor symbol, excess.


10:04pm.  Sipping sparkling berry water, preparing for early rise, a Barleycorn session.  Need the Road, my Newness.. sick of waiting, already.  Little Kerouac, crying.  Think he may be excessively tired.  Turned off internet connect, reducing–or rather improving–this device to a typewriter.  Can’t wait for morrow’s morrow, the harshest hours.  Setting alarm for 5am.  Want at least 1,000 salable words before Kerouac wakes.  And his crying, stopped.  For now.

Quiet.  Not elevating the TV’s volume even a millimeter.  Oh, just, remembered.. out of cups for machine.  Will have to brew own cup.  Not a big deal.  Having trouble focusing on any details, as the exhaustion gifted from day’s more persistent that I can handle.

Finished water.

Watching advertisements, muted, screened.  So many colors, promises.  Interesting, to us thinking types.  The semester, nearing its halfway point.  Not fair.  Should I start composing the book, for the term, that’ll ‘do something for me’?  No.  Not yet.  Not rush.  Wait till morning, when head’s clearer.  No way I’m touching that ‘EP’, Extra Port.  That has to be what it stands for, right?  Doesn’t matter, ‘cause I’m not going near that poison.

What if I just stopped writing, for the night?  Should really be playing with words, rhymes, ‘stead of this run-on prose.  Decreed, then– in morrow, poetry, solely.  Caffeine, in doses mean.

Want another water, but I don’t want to wake the little Artist.  He seems especially sensitive this eve.


journal, 10/8/13

Jack, exhausted.  Still with cold.  Me, not so.  Second cup.  Larger than first.  [coffee]  Want to remain home, write.  Print.  Not as upset about losing long verse on phone.  Printing this morning.  Not losing anything else to devilish tech.  Annoyed by more systems.. not getting too specific, or at all so, but I’m in revolt against pattern.  Artists don’t engage with such.  And certainly not of my form– fiction, diarist, poem.


7:40pm.  No evening class.  Home, with sick mini-artist.  Red wine, Cab.  Tired, after 1,800+ words.  Still need to post to teaching blog, answer student emails.  When Thursday comes, I’ll be a dragon of diligence, direction.  They’ll never know what hit them.  No, I shouldn’t say it like that.. I’m just anxious for a better day.  In English 5, felt heavy, soaked surreally, with lower inner light, bent peddals.  Better now.  And after I read some Plath, I’ll be even higher, standing more straight.. more Literarily.

No social media distractions tonight, as I’m turning devil phone OFF.  Not giving to the chutzpah.  And no TV.  That’s just as bad– no, worse.  Thought I heard the Artist upstairs.  Poor little man, with his sniffles.  I’ll never get used to seeing him sick, or even slightly desensitized to it.

After these however-many words.. to newJournal.  Why don’t I have a bloody book out, already?  Honestly, with as much as I write.  This is truly laughable.  OR pathetic.  Or maybe both.  Can I have another glass now, of this fabulous Cab?

Getting annoyed with doors of other units I hear closing.  Don’t they know my little boy’s sick, trying to sleep?  Irritated, angry at Self for earlier weak state.  Should always have Self in militant, vicious Artist mode.

At home, all day with Jack tomorrow, taking care of him, making sure he defeats this system bug.  Have to get some reading, writing done.  The three boxes of k-cups I bought, little over an hour ago, maybe more, just behind this screen.  Should be set for month.  Maybe less, knowing me, how much I drink in morning.  Sure I’ll go through more than a few in morrow’s skatings.  So quiet down here.  Little Kerouac, finally getting some rest, poor bloke.  And his father, hoping to shift everything.  Won’t go on some wishing rant, but there will be reconfiguration.  No more nonsense.

More of the spicy pasta leftovers from Alice.  The writer needs a break from his page.  Some laziness.  We’re allowed to do that, right?  OR maybe I should lookup a Plath quote, post it to some social media site.. see if any of my “friends” respond, or “Like” it.  So contaminative, the whole thing.  That’s why I’m stopping.

Another glass, Professor MADigan?  Why yes, thank you.  I look at it, after a sip & .5, at my right, moving slightly, the purple puddle, as I type, slapping keys like a recommitted journalist (aren’t I?).  Want to watch a movie tonight, with a writing theme.  But what?  Ugh.. what was that Sylvia Plath movie, starring Gwyneth Paltrow…  Oh, “Sylvia.” Why didn’t I know that?  Anyway, hoping to watch it tonight.  Or some of it.

Keep writing, Mike.  Don’t stop.  Don’t let this devilish wine catch you.  Decaf is starting to sound good.  And I can’t get too diverted, as I want to be ready for Thursday’s class, by day’s end, tomorrow.  Thursday morning: running, the only priority.


And this moment, here at table.. just re-collection.  The wine, respecting my pace, my aims, what I want done tonight.  That I want to get poetry onto ACTUAL page, later.  Looking at this tower of coffee boxes behind laptop’s screen.  Find it funny, honestly.  I truly, and quite quietly, laugh to Self, as to not wake the little Artist.  The writer surely loves his coffee.  Why do I find this so comical?

Glass, empty.  Good.  Leave it that way, for a bit.  Need to fill the untouched Comp Book I recently bought, with notes on ‘Johnny Panic’.  What Ms. Plath is, where she’s going.  “When in doubt, put it back on the author,” I’ve always told students.  Time to practice while I bloody preach.  Drat!  Left her book in car.  No surprise, with this crazy day.  Tomorrow, off, but not.  Little Kerouac, his little sneezes, sniffles.  Would take it from him in a blink, nevermind a heartbeat.  Reading some of her poems online.. should bring these, or some of them into class.  “Blackberrying,” just read for first time.  Beautiful imagery, language, voice, temperament and tonality, stanza balance.  One of my students, making her journal a gallery, each entry with prose, painting.. showing the most vicious of ownerships.  Mimicking, starting tomorrow, with my reading journal, the new one I mean.  Putting Self in role of student, in own class.  But I’ll be with Kerouac, THE Kerouac, as well, for Thursday.  His form, style, voice, veritable page journey.. only massively applicable.  How can people not read him, admire each of his writings, typings?

Cutting Self off at 1,000 words.  I’ve already gone on FAR2long.  Kerouac.. what else can I find from him, online…  Only poetry.  Was hoping for some prose, or journal entries.  Maybe I can find them at bookstore, if I have a chance to go, tomorrow.  Probably not.  Should keep little Kerouac inside, with Papa.


24% on laptop.  Tired of this machine.  On couch now.  With this little buttoned monster charging.  Nightcap in kitchen.. ON kitchen counter, make it longer last.  Looking back at day, knowing I need not let Self get so frazzled, worried, stressed, depressed, what have.  There’ll be a day after, theoretically.  So calm, writer.. calm.  Peace.  And I’ll have true peace tomorrow with Jackie, sipping my coffee [one of the 3 types I bought tonight] while he zooms about this condo’s lowest floor.


umbrella tops, tickled by

polite fronts, pacific and

wherever.. picnic by houses on 19th–

oh the city, busy with its tempestuous

tizzies, lamp moths, fixate on

gas station drizzle, hoping to

square their dares.  hope they fly,

flee west.

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