Day 1 – In Wine

Putting out boxes. This is all a novel I tell myself. Group, 20+, later. Focus on the sale, I order of Self. Speak of wines as I always do, from the Literary angle and with recital tones, the stage posture– my Beat. Speaking of wines as characters and stories and songs. Need espresso, just one shot to have my motion fully molded and motioned; a consistency and constancy today that I’ve never had. This is ALL a novel, novels within novels for one grand novel opus brick of a manuscript, one so heavy I’ll have trouble carrying it to the publisher or store or to a reader’s hands, shaking and tired from pouring for people I’ve never met and will more than likely never meet eyes with again. I’m writing everything down. Everything. Ev. ‘ry. Thing. Write. Write it all. All this wine evidence and the people coming here from wherever and however. Today, this day, my company built in a day, a company started on this wine blog, this Literary attempt to deconstruct wine and assign it new surreality and textualized tonality and temperament. All the day’s notes: Lit & Wine. Focused in and on my work. Making wine a visual argument of sorts, of all sorts and my sorts are in this novel sorted.
13:37, no one. No one at the bar, no one to talk to. I’m bored but not angry as I was yesterday with the overwhelming Omaha Beach-like invasion of the bar, the lush rush as my co-workers call it. But now, I’m bored and annoyed, no wine coming from the bottles, no one sipping and saying the silly shit they say. I’m a novelist with no novel, no fucking pages precipitating. Edgy, irritated, trembling with anxiety.. where are my pages? Me, no, not even a taste, I’m waiting, waiting till there’s someone to taste with, someone to share a deconstruction with, to elucidate that character in the bottle and speak of how wine elevates the admirer’s soul, the sipper’s sense, sensibility, they become sensitive and susceptible to the poetic strokes of this Pinot– I’m not tempted to sip, not even by this ’99 Burgundy, old world, that Lalo brought in, not at all. Is my character changing, ‘cause I’m not sipping? I don’t know yet. But, quite sure it’s front fore.
Close to 5. And I want some wine. No one in room with me, no one, no sippers they all left. I’m not angered by my refrain, but strangely pre-occupied by the novel, this novel in a more worldly book, one that’s a universe to this meek moon. Thinking of a sip. Or three– But I move on and move my thinking to other others. Talking to Lalo today about business models of wineries and how business could be grown and aggrandized. I think about my label, my own wine place and identity bottled and writing about wine– the process, MY process and what I observe each vintage; how the bins look when they’re empty, then filled, then pressed out to barrel, shoveling the skins, or ‘must’. Scribbling notes about the wine I make, again not necessarily how I make it but what I’m thinking while I make my wine and what I see and hear, feel around me– the scene and tanks, barrels, even the yellow jackets. All of it. My wine world paginated with all its dimensionality and diversity; the auditory, tactile, visual, olfactory… What I envision and what I hope for with the product end. But there is no end for a writing winemaker like me, ever. And why would I want there to be?
Right now I write from John Ash not sipping a thing but this water with lemon and imagining myself here as a winemaker talking to other winemakers (they often hang out here with their favored beers or cocktails); I’d meet them here with premeditation, accumulate and scribble secretly more ideas, for the novel and what to do with what’s in ‘bbl’. I try to now listen in on conversations but I can’t pick out a one.. I focus on the feel and scene of what’s around me– wine country, the life, the barrels, the crush pad, the stage and stories. And the literature connected. This reminds me of that first chapter of Moveable Feast where Hem talks of the café with indignation and praise concurrent. I only laud what’s at all sides mine; my speech manipulated as I fear the bottom of page. I don’t want to hit any bottom, or see any flat, nothing plain, no plain’s flatness and crazying infinity. I want those higher atmosphere slices and sights. In wine– Dreams, aims, sights, views– share this with the students, be a student myself again. OF wine. What it is and what it embodies, what it does to the moment and gathering, the conversation and story, like last night at Jason’s watching the fight, me beginning with the single-vineyard project, sipping slow, then ending the eve with that odd red blend. IT was all around and about and acclimated to wine. Wine! And OF wine. Of Literature, the story, this novel; the theory of writing and writing about it, and if not wine then anything one’s in love with; the actual, and conceptual, the dreams and the dreaming.

Home, and I have a, or ‘the’, last glass of the McCrostie Pinot, here in the nook thinking about the novel and how my son already loves his books and fights with us before bed to stay up later to read his favored MSS. Good for him, I think. And good for the people coming into the tasting Room, finding new wine loves, new characters and stories, new interpretations of Pinot or Chardonnay, or Zin, and walking away with bottles, giving the glass’d contents a security in their respective domiciles. And that’s what wine is, in many perspectives and confessions, a place, or sense of.. new story, and this story, the novel, this new manuscript and day and stage of the writer’s life, with this new house and this new vintage and the poems in my prose. I find myself confused now, thinking about ME making wine and my sister and the character based on my sister– posted something earlier to the blog that I want to re-write and re-re-write and write again over till the original sketch is never again detected. OH the day, the new me and the new novel.. would love to have more wine but I need to keep writing, and thinking about how harvest is not just ‘around the corner’ but just down the block, it’s here and waiting to be recorded by a novelist, and the novelist has to make wine contemporaneously to understand his subject– I don’t have to go to fucking UC Davis, and conventional education with wine is not always, and manytimes never the answer. Look at my brother, KAZ. He taught himself how to make wine, he conducted his own research and had his own experiments, and here he is, respected and with his own projects and manuscripts and story, one that I will never be able to hold eminence over or even alongside.

9:45, and I’m beginning to tire. Wine done, but the wine fascinations won’t go away.. ha, funny how They used to tell me to sell a fucking fantasy but I see now that I can live it and sell it in my own way sincerely and now have to conveniently contort it, I can be honest and just talk about my bottles with heartfelt avidity. But I can tire from my ardor, and that’s what’s happening, but it won’t be like this for all days mine– soon I’ll have my office and a place where I can retire and retreat to to write my fiction, and pile more novels and maybe all won’t be bloody ‘best-sellers’ but I don’t care, no, I only want to live from the pages and I have to have those page circulated and baptized in wine, the fermented and the cared-for fruit that enables the story and the characters and bring the guests to the room, making it not empty and me energized and not disenchanted. And this I’m very much obstinately averring, as I have to– The wine depends on my staunchly trenchant penchant for the wild scribbles following a sip.
I wonder how many I know outside the wine and “academic” shiftings write as I do, how many are over a thousand words for the day, how many want a novel, how many have a subject or topic or loose aim, or the keys at their beck? Am I unctioning Self in what holy vacation begets? No! I’m just wondering, and I’m telling my Self not to be so hard on the writer– oh why have you not left the TR yet and why aren’t you on the Road yet and why why WHY? Don’t worry about it, I tell myself.. ‘Mañana, mañana.. tonight we don’t worry…..’

REWRITE OF EARLIER SKETCH: “Percentage Onlyness” — Krystal skipped about blocks with thinly rich alacrity and keenness. She found herself caught by her own preoccupation. What augmented tones and angularity would the vintage carve, she thought. The Chardonnay couldn’t be done the same, she thought, even if those marketing louts thought that it just had to be done, what did they know, working from their cubes and with their spreadsheets and highlighters and red pens? The shift, explosively summoned by the currency, the Now, the all and the call around her. She saw the flowering and could only wait and count and plan and not care what they would throw at her, like that question, “What did you do to the blend?”

The laptop attacks me and become accusing with what I type and how I am and how I want to type fast.. “You’re too sensitive,” I can just hear it saying. “Wow,” I rile, “how perceptive, you’re calling the writer ‘sensitive’, brilliant.. again, how perceptive!” Time for bed. I need to have an enriching sleep so I have no time for this nagging, this negativity from the laptop; bloody device, negative repeater.. I see strength in my repetition and my redundancy and my usage of singular words; their own worlds and expansion invites. To bed, and I’ll try to sleep but I know I’ll only think of the novel, the pages, the wine and what I noted at Ash, to my water. Tomorrow I’ll taste through everything, and note all the stories and voices. Just as I did with that ’12 Dry Creek Zin.

Watching footage on news of the Nepal quake.. I couldn’t cover that, journal it as a journalist and be objective.. how could anyone? Too much hovering over and in and firing at my layered reasoning. But the layers aren’t reasonable, not all of them. I’ll find reason, and be reasonable tomorrow. In wine, wines.