Have to talk about the wines differently, today. Thought this morning getting ready that 2018 is only days away, and my thesis for the new year is ‘attack’. Everything. More organization. Everything is a campaign. The three haikus I wanted to write. Done. How to market them. Just put to blog.. use later. Keep writing. Delete nothing. Edit minimally. Keep working. Go to bed earlier, like last night.
This new year and my relationship with wine and its industry, going to send me to new galaxies. Keep writing. That will solve everything. Pressure today to sell, so I’l only push my three favorites, as I wrote in the article. Chard, Pinot, and of course the Meola Cab. Done. No discounting. Well, maybe a little, but I’m not going to be deduction-happy with what we here offer.
Photos in phone, and in this laptop. Surely a priority in ’18…. More photog’. More vineyard walks. I’m a writer, not a photog’, but I need more images. 2018, I will see the Road… my travels… my office in either Windsor or Healdsburg. I will see everything. Sales, a focus, yes. But everything starts with wine. Wine is the epicenter of all efforts and possibilities. And it will stay that way till this poet’s studied, after death. I know people don’t want me to talk like that or talk about death on a wine blog, but remember, I’m the literary approach to wine.. the poet writing about the puddled entity, as I call it. You have to think about your own death. That sommelier and wine shop owner in New York who just died… early 50s. That spoke to me. I need an all around intensification in wine effort and business, writing and blogging, photography. These last three days of ’17, putting all war vehicles in position, ready for all campaigns and advances…
09:11… have to clock in, soon. Goddamnit. Why does time just by me speed? Wine’s that reminder, though, Mikey… I say to myself. It reminds us of our short stay on this planet, and you don’t know when that stay ends, when your checkout time’s documented. OH… can’t wait for this semester. Composition, Advanced Composition… Critical Thinking… Literature… Plath, Poe, Shakur, HST.. all of them, a wheel in my in-the-moment degree, decree.
No music while I write in this winery office. Making this winery MINE, today. In a way I never had. Creativity… no self-doubt. My poetic principles. Stay here, later, even when it’s dark. Get some more writing and semester prep done. Lecturing on writing, Lit, Composition, IS speaking about wine. The robust and persistent character of Plath’s wok of Plath’s prose, of Hugh’s rhythm… all remind me of wine.
Where does a wine blogger, writer, want his office? Would I prefer the ‘Burg, or Winds’? I love Windsor’s cuteness, but the rich and available stories and stores, restaurants and tasting rooms of Healdsburg are essentially irresistible. And, there’s more writing spots. It’s my Sonoma County Paris. Think I’ve decided. Need it close to downtown. Not a big office, just enough for a blogger, and small marketing shop. That’ll cost. Well, Mikey… better start sellin’.
Talk to myself, hope
I make sense, don’t need any
Translation, help, book.
But then, there’s a sense
of senses in the view, the
vineyard. Just listen—
Bird with its random
song, the tree and its cast shade,
little traffic, speak.
All unpacked. This is exciting and odd, excitingly odd with concurrent flashes of education. I sip what’s left of the Calluna blend and continue with the day, here quiet to me— and I think to myself, “Well, you’ve always wanted to write in a hotel room, on a trip, well here you go.” Laughing to myself and needing music in this odd, unfamiliar room. Falling behind on book progress but the decline in pace isn’t terminal like last year’s attempt at a book. This is so many letters. To me and to students and to everyone and everything around me, that I accept it all and don’t resist a thing.
The wine tells me to put on some Hutcherson, or Coltrane, to relax and not think about a thing…. This is not for you, but for your kids, for your students. You work for them, just know. Getting a little hungry and wonder when the bar downstairs opens. I remember they said 17:00 (they just said “five o’clock”, but that’s how I in head noted). Irrelevant, incongruous, my overthought. So I persist pervasively in this strange room. If I were on an overnight, here, or say I’m somewhere like New York or Miami, Texas or Portland, what would I be speaking on, tomorrow? Well, writing I guess. And how what you write is more of a statement than what’s on the page. It’s more than a statement of and on you, your like. You’re tossing a significant thought stone into the collective brook. It will ripple. You should be mindful of the ebb and ricochet of your offerings. Writing, reading others’ writings as well, has alway presented a bewildering intensity of intimacy to me. So I always offer to students, “Don’t think, just write.” I admit. But know yourself before you start typing, or start penning.
Finally, with some Coltrane. “Equinox”. I’m on the Road, literally. Or I was, on the way back here after retrieving some particulars from the Autumn Walk Studio. But I’m not going to overwhelm you nor I with why I’m here in the room. I’m activating my son’s mentality, of this being an adventure… being excited to be here. I’m here because of a disaster and that hour I now re-mold into a manuscript, this month’s/year’s novel. A letter to me, you, the students, and everyone around me… the tidal wave of perception doesn’t halt and neither will the writer. The Calluna deceives me in its gentle landing and traffic. The prospective pathos forwarding me in a tiered and tireless rhythm of Me. This new writer, this new student, and I guess Educator. What I’m learning from this, more than perspective, more than managing my attitude, mood, but opening my eyes…. Looking. Understanding the scenic ingredient and calculating my composition. You want to write? Yes, just start. But, know why you want to write. I was recently told, “The ‘why’ doesn’t matter. The ‘what’ does.” This remark had to deal with winery inventory, so the speaker was actually I guess correct. But in the literary world, my world, my educating efforts, in the lectures and letters I’m about to offer the planet, the WHY is the functionality, what breathes, what circulates blood in the idea. The what proves ancillary.
Tonight, while writing, or reading, take notice of where you do so. “Location as character.” As I used to offer in class, more often. Where I am.. this hotel room. This hotel. Never been here before. Never seen this building from the outside before, I don’t think, let alone its guts, or this room. My view… a pool, a hot tub, parking lot, casino across the street. Love the room you’re in, even if it’s a dentist office, or cubicle, or waiting room, if you’re waiting for your car to be serviced. This hotel room is like a place of worship for the writer…. Regret missing class today, and very much wish the day didn’t dictate as it did with it integral complicit contingencies and volume of steps in my house, people I didn’t know. But it was there. THEY, were there. Didn’t want Alice alone. So I stayed, called both sections, and am here now in a hotel with the sun running away and this seat, this jazz, this wine, and quiet. No air cleaners, or people ripping tape off anything, people talking to each other about something I have no fucking clue what— Relax. This is the day, and the day is done and this quarter is my Now, mon espace.
Can’t believe I’m here. Singular word for me, now, in this Now…. ‘Everything’. I’m taking everything. Everything used for the story— Was just interrupted by a business call, someone tapping me for creative input for his friends’ label. I’m flattered and inspired by the call, but as well a bit irked I was taken from my sitting. Mr. Coltrane speaking to me through randomized note tangential. Know the bar’s open downstairs, but I don’t want to hear any voices, not even my own. No noise, just this room, this room, MY room. Or at least at the moment. The room tells me to stop writing, enjoy the view. Then I respond, “The view is of bloody Rohnert Park.” It says nothing back. Which means the writer/teacher/displaced daddy has to cull his next command.
Not really unpacked. All the bags are here and I haven’t touched them since I put them all here, there, on the bed and floor and the room me makes anxious when I look up. Empty glass, full thoughts, new notes, and this table makes a funny sound when I type now, without any justification since I plugged in laptop to wall outlet. New Room, hotel… want to go for a walk, observe and capture all that I can. Could go to bar and write what I hear people say. Not have anything to drink, but merely sit, scope, scribble. What’s left in the session, time-wise? Not sure. The pool behind me glows, that cinematic blue-green-white. I have no idea what to make of it but I’d love to jump in, swim while it rains or drizzles. Walking away and jumping into the pool could be MY statement, in this writing.
On lunch. No quiet. All activity and motion. People around me and I can’t concentrate. May stay a bit after to get some writing done… taste a couple wines and take notes. Revisited a Grenache and have new observations and musings about its candor and voice, general direction and light. Have a tour in a matter of minutes and I have to concede I’m rather… not sure if ‘excited’ is the right word, but definitely eager to get out there and show them the property, and show myself the property for the first time for the hundredth time. Not sure if I needed a comma there but I don’t think I’m too worried about it.
What do you write about? Wine.. that has to be an answer. There’s an explanation, though. I write about wine as differently as I can from the other wine bloggers or “journalists” or “writers” in the wine wheel.
Sent out my newsletter. Can only hope someone says something about it. Just a compliment, or score… like a winemaker waiting for a reaction, that’s me a writer here at a winery with his wildly wild wine writing Nows. Always something to do at a winery, in a tasting room. And much of it as non-glamorous as you can draw. But it has to get done. Has me thinking, do I really want a wine shop? Do I really want my own vineyard one day? Or do I just want to write, market, sell? What’s the best business move? I have no idea, I’m learning as I go. But I see something in my wine writing self today that I haven’t before… something having to do with appreciation of the air I’m breathing and the Now I’m in, the wine I’m sipping— what wine is… what it is is what we see, how we fell, what we say. IF the bottle’s never opened, there’s no reaction. If there’s no reaction, there IS no wine.
One of those mornings where everything is on your mind. Everything… the future, money, kids, money, work, the future, more money, when will you get a run in— Just fucking STOP. I decided to come here to Peet’s coffee. No table when I walked in, not for me at which to station so I thought, “Oh great, just what the morning would have for me, bloody nothing.” But after the wait for the mocha, I saw this corner table, the one I was hoping avalyaibe finally boast its unoccupied reality. So I’m here, thinking not of troubles but potential. The potential to sell writing, sell wine, sell me as a brand and tireless writer, to change everything. The other day I started a 365-day project for me, which would take me into the last days of January ’18. Today’s day 4, and Day ONE of this rebuilding. Rebuilding of attitude, of outlook, of projects. First major push, run more often. I’ll be at the gym tonight on treadmill and I won’t leave till I have 7 miles logged. “So, eat light today,” I tell myself. Won’t starve, but won’t stuff self either. Then, tomorrow, a morning where I lecture, wake at 4, to give self writing time before class. This is not a joke or one of my usual ‘I’m gonna do this’ promises. This has to happen. Putting this writing frame in a life-or-death perception and fancying relativity. Two from 40, that’s how I have to treat it or nothing will change.
Listening to Hutcherson, “Waiting”, one of my favorite tracks of his. And how appropriate, as I’m bloody done waiting for anything. I’m going to take everything I want, starting today. Just had an idea… motivating or hoisting haikus, 3, sell for $1. Why not? Just as an experiment. See if I can sell. Something before day’s end. Have to think more like a business person, and less like a writer. I’ll always write, but I’m demonstrating more business sense today. Re-Writing how I talk about the wines, how I personify them, and what foods I’d pair them with. I’m to sell by not-selling. That is, elevate the mood of the person on the other side of the bar. Show them, not convince them, that their day is better for being there. Not that I’m to credit, but to robustly expose the positivity and yay-saying rows of the moment.
I so very, very much needed this moment of collection. We all need to. We need to collect more often, not make such a big deal of everything. I noticed when arriving at kids’ school that we just got there— “Where did the drive go?” I thought. “You know where it went,” I said, “you spent it being pissed off, grumpy, quiet.” Taking Emma from her car seat she looked up at me and spoke, in her entangled goo of syllables. “What am I doing?” I thought, being
grumpy as I was. I’ll miss today, their childhood, my whole fucking life if I continue like this. So…. STOP. Already see Self on treadmill later, rushing toward mile 7 and writing new haikus, thinking of my babies, how Day 4/1 was utterly controlled by this writing father.
I am ready for the day.
I’m going to make this day do what I say.
I’m in the position for a wildly creative transformation and redirection.
Watch me do whatever I want.
We can do whatever we want.
No one person or thing pulls a single string of ours.
Finally sit. No
list. This is what should be time.
All mine. Self set and let.
In the adjunct cell. And I don’t need to be. Tasted wines and wrote and tasted more wines in Healdsburg with client. Once, looking out the windows and seeing sun struggling to speak through clouds, with rain screaming toward the parking lot pavement. And now, back here, on campus, this busy and tireless still-sipping-coffee writing father. Was here earlier to change grades but the idiotic system here requires I do a change-of-grade form for every student. Wasn’t my fault I couldn’t enter the grades using the JC’s infallible online system or portal, or whatever. But here I am, with grades in, and time to self till I have to get the little beats. No one in the halls, no other adjunct with whom I’m forced to share this cell, and forced to talk to. I’m by myself, I can write, have a sitting in an unusually prolific tranquility. “Have to make this session count,” I say to myself, but then I catch myself overthinking. Don’t overthink, like I tell students. Just be in the moment, in your page and on your story, on my beat, listening to an Amy Winehouse track. Cold, windy, more rain on its way. Clock says 2:46… Could write for another two hours if I really wished, but I want to see the beats. Emma this morning crying for her mama, and little Kerouac asking if I could make him a lunch. Went downstairs to do just that but no bread, was still in freezer and needed thawing, so I packed him a couple snacks before I could finish readying for my Monday.
The writing papa, now just in a mood and mode to relax. Educating myself on myself… My SELF. Or, sense of. How much understanding do I have on this character I’ve been building for nearly 38 years? What happens at 39? 40? Ugh… hate both numbers. Have to just focus on the moment, the teaching, these lectures I’m writing if they’re even formal lectures— in fact I know they’re not ‘formal’, or even ‘lectures’, but just my free moments as a writing daddy. Should have brought one of the texts I’m using this semester, start on notes, or directions to take the catalyzing discussion on the first day. One course to teach, that’s it. This will be the course that does it. What ‘it’ is, IT… I know exactly. I’ll just let it happen rather than sculpting and illustrating some hypothetical or situational portrait here on page.
Now I notice myself spacing out, in this adjunct enclosed space. Bland colors, random papers everywhere, that sound of some vent pushing out I think cold air. Why is it cold? The school forget to pay its bill and/or repairman? Moved the papers to the top of the large long file cabinet behind me and left. Cleaned the desk a bit, not sure why. Why am I tidying up? I’m an adjunct, I’m treated horribly— Yeah, well, this is my space now and I want it clean. Can’t remember when I had this much freedom, this much time for a page and my words and merely taking in my surroundings and immediacy— Can’t believe I’m still sipping the coffee I got this morning, free I might add from the holiday Starbucks tumbler I got for xmas. I’m over the grading debacle now, and am enjoying my afternoon just stepping over the 3PM border. What else do you want from the day, Mike? Hear both a side of my Self and Monday caterwauling the question at me with sharp impatience. Don’t know. Grade me— C.
Waiting for laptop repair. Going to campus after this to write and plan for the semester. Had revelation this morning about me, and work, and “career”. The concept and reality and tangible existential touch of the career. “What do you do?” People ask. As in, for work. So if I’m to think and respond singularly, what do I say? Writer or teacher? Probably ‘teacher’. Anyone can write. Yes in a perfect world I’m a writer, but that sounds too predictable, plain. “I’m a writer…” That just sounds fluffy, phony and flawed. I’m am a writer but I should never have to say I am. I will tell others I’m a teacher, if asked. But the writing will just jump from my peregrinations. But, if I’m a teacher, if that’s my allotted gig then I have more to write about. A year ago today I wrote that the coming semester would be my best, the one that defines me and further forwards and writes my story. But I had two classes. Now, I only instruct one. See myself being repaired and rebooted with this goddamn laptop. Here I go… 11 minutes left in reboot, repair, restart.. rewrite.