…why I need coffee in the morning, why it helps the writing and wine doesn’t, why Mom bought me this journal while in Burgundy (obviously I know, she loves me, thought of me on her trip), why I am where I am, doing what I’m doing…. How I came to teach, came to be in wine’s industry.

MY substance, knowledge.  Thinking of all the talks Dad and I have had, over all these years, and where I’m going with them, what they’ve taught me.  More and more, I see myself as an autonomous force, in tireless exploration and appreciation of the setting, immediately where I am and what I’ll do with the day.

Thinking of my graduate school classes, all the theory, thought, discussions I had with the professors and colleagues… more notes in that journal Mom bought.  “Fly, smile.” I wrote… 

This Morning, 5 Days Before Semester

…and I’m just writing till I stumble upon some idea.  Writing now becomes difficult for me, stressful and something I don’t look forward to doing as I used to.  Why?  Getting old?  Financial stresses?  Either way I end it, or try to, tell myself I’m going o by writing.  Coffee, no mocha.  Watching all expenses, every single penny that leaves me.  Today is my first day, like my son’s, wife’s at her school with her new class.  I’m starting everything over, today.  Writing, my wine life which I will tremendously diminish and de-emphasize.  Opened a bottle last night from friend’s winery, a Dolcetto and was not in any way moved or inspired to write about the wine as I used to.  So I re-focus on my first day of the new semester, five days from now… writing lecture ideas, and vowing to self that by Dec. ’18, the term’s last day, that everything will be elevated.  That all stresses will be gone, financial or otherwise, and that I’ll see self more clearly.

Photo on 2-21-18 at 3.16 PM

Started syllabi, finally.  Planning on every meeting, every “lecture” if you want to call it that, to be a reading from me, a performance somewhat. 


Starting the day

waiting on some appointment. While here, I figure write. Why not. Haven’t hit 3000 words in a while and I know that I have to write every chance I get if I’m to make that kind of progress, but that mark. Tired of thinking, tired of promissory statements to self and to readers of this blog. So I just act, start seriously on the Kelly novel. While getting ready this morning I thought about her, her last day in the ad office in the Marina, her drive back up to her new apartment in Santa Rosa, what she must be thinking, before her first day in the wine industry. She doesn’t know what to anticipate, if she should be nervous or not…

Tired of writing the same thing, and that’s what I feel I’ve been doing. I write where I am, what I’m doing, but that often is much of a repeat. So what do I do but go outside myself. To someone else. Another character. Writing has always just been something I’ve done with not much anxiety or holdup. But lately I’ve been held up. Why. Bored. I guess, no? Bored with the same workday, the same drive, the same sameness of everything around me. Thank the Craft for this new job, new office, new best, new people. Even this office is something to write … me merely here for some physical or something for my new role, but others here for something more pressing, serious or even threatening. Reminds me of how delicate this all is. How fragile I am, my life is. Someone’s name called, but not mine. Goddamnit– Wait though, what am I worried about? My last day in the wine industry is in 9 day’s. NINE. If they fired me, lovely. That’d be something to write.. something new.

Pinot last night, Failla. Didn’t do much to me, really. Surely didn’t inspire me to write about it. It was just another wine. Now I’m certain, more than I was before, that the wine industry and world, possibly even wine itself to some extent, and I need break. I think of my babies and how they see me, how I want them to see me. Last time they visited me in that bloody tasting room I cringed, felt momentous lay embarrassed and queer, them seeing me pour and having to ask that new twigg-twit if I could spend a little time with them. Well that’s fine. And I’m DONE. And never going back. This new “job” will be my last ever. Same feeling as going into your senior year of high school.

Ugh…. when will they call my name? Hate waiting. In a waiting room. Not where I want to be. But I’m here. May as well make use of the writer’s time and write. Right? Another name called. Guy two seats down from me. Will surely be late to winery. Oh well. Relieved I can afford that feeling. And I can. Last step in this whole pre-first day around-tower circle.


NO! Mike!


Back from a 6.3-mike run

and come home to two tired babies. Tired myself, but learning more about what I’m to do, the act of learning itself and the purpose of this writer’s writing. Going to wait till later to expand upon the day, how I’m approaching tomorrow in the tasting room. One of my last.


12:20.  Work.  What I make of it.  What I want to see in it.  Here at the winery.  Tired of talking about wines as I think I should, or even as I do normally as a poet and songwriter.  So today, when in the cave with my group of six, I’ll speak about life, where we are and how what we sip, who we sip with, is the imperative, the importance.  Life….

12:21.  I needed today to be amazing, and I’ve made it so.  Letting certain things people say roll off my back but concurrently captured as to learn from them, learn staunchly that how they are is how I’ll never be.

12:23.  One day we’re not here.  What injects fervor and urgency in me, especially today.  I know what I don’t want to be at 40, 50…. I see where I’m going.  And if there’s one idea or postulate I can offer, presently, for anyone reading… test.  Test everything around you.  Test your Self.

On lunch, and I’ve been collection ideas all day,

random thoughts and measurements of my Now and where I’m next supposed to go.  Refusing to taste a single wine as to stay more than focused in and on where I am and what I’m doing.  One of the maintenance guys sharing with me the idea that work is corroding his mood and general character, attitude, turning him into a monster as he put it.  I then thought how I will never let that happen to me, especially where I’m going with new writing opportunities.  I remember something an old friend in college told me about you only are treated how you let yourself be treated.  Ate half the sandwich from yesterday, the one the Florida man didn’t eat while here with his wife.  Little more energized and invigorated.  What next… tour and tasting with two people.  Made some cheese plates, need to pour wines, and then more note taking.  Closing in on my There, finally.  Talk myself out of any mood with humor.  The wine industry is abundantly heaping in humor.  Won’t get too into that, but I’m into that.  You know what, I will taste a little when back in the tasting room.  Or, in cave whilst pouring the wines to be paired with the bites I put out on plate.  May stay here a little after everyone’s left, do some writing and planning, jotting of notes and sights of the next scene for me.  Institution attempting to lower me, recently, and I refusing.  I’m going further into these pages.  And there I am, just promising.  Now, to a story…. New piece on a winemaking character like my sister, or the one I wrote a couple weeks ago.  Writing has become more labor’d for me, more straining.  And I can’t figure out if it’s the wine industry, the tasting room, or some other parcel of my day.  But I refuse to not write.  I have to and I will.  Even now, I feel self slowing, asking “What do I write next?…What do I write about?” Hate when I hear myself say that, or worse when I write it.  Back in Paris, I’ll write everything… and here, in the winery’s walls, that tasting room, the same thing.  From what this new manager says to what my hilarious TR comrade says, to what I think about walking into the cave.  A winery day, another.  Then another after.  But soon, a stop to them.  There need be contrast, an away and an immediate.  The only way I can see the world, my story and consistencies— by way of polarity.  Tempter to email that lady, to follow up on potential assignment, again, but I focus on the Now, the moment, right here in this office and the wines I’ll taste through.  Lunch over in 8 minutes, so what I think and so what of the day and anything anyone could say.  I just do what my story’s character need.  People to be here about 30, ideas more, a positive monster me now.  Not promising anything, but conveying the Now, translating and re-translating.

Short fiction, me now. 

One of my characters littering his studio floor with sheets of short verses and poems, some haiku streams and anti-form pieces.  He gathers whatever he randomly picks up from the floor.  He reads them lightly, not wanting to find any errors as he knows he’ll be tempted to re-write or somehow correct.  Each poem should be a snapshot and taste of the Now, he says to himself.  Right at 5pm, he pours himself a white blend, something from Anderson Valley, and reads some more from the past 8+ hours of scribbling.  He has something, something to sell, just from a day.  Pours another glass, writes another page.

Here exceptionally early. 

img_3121-1Earlier than I have been, possibly ever.  Iced coffee, day 2 no mocha.  07:46.  Detaching self from any plainness of day.  That includes work.  But not talking about that, more the recipe I this morning wrote to get me to travel, to get me to my finished book, to change everything.

I notice myself writing much the same, so I utterly switch and re-write the Now, ME.  Focusing on short fiction, as per Mom’s counsel.  Writing idea after idea down, single words and character names— the barista, the pilot, the teacher, the poet, tasting room associate…

Waiting to hear still from possible new assignment.  But I’m not waiting.  I’m going on with my story, a writer, nothing supplies such merriment.  Nothing, as when I’m here like this in a coffee spot or in own home, writing something.  Could be notes, what I want to do with day, more on my travels eventual, wine, running, waking early, my babies…