from wine book..

09:08… have to set up tasting room.  Have coffee and notebook with me.  All wine writing today.  Still in shock over promotion possibility yesterday.  Can’t get too detailed, sorry.  I can do it, right?  Imagine the testing ground ability and capability of such an assignment.  More money, for sure.  Closer to financial and vocational freedom… stay creative today, Mike.  Be in-scribble all moments, even when you don’t have a pen in hand.  Okay.. to TR, where the story is.

11:29.  Lunch.  13 mins in.  Tried a couple wines in TR, one standing out to me most redolently is the Rosé… can’t figure it out, and I can’t figure out why I’m not liking my words today.. feel like I keep using the same ones.  Wish I spoke French more fluently… had time to skim through and shop for words in Thesaurus, but no.  Je suis au travail.  (I’m at work).  These thoughts where I worry into some worried cyclone are counterproductive and do nothing to get me to my travels.  Now over 15 nearly 16 minutes in.  Have to write VLJ newsletter tonight.

Wrote last night, “To grow a brand, you have to be its language, not just speak it ‘fluently’.” My brand is ME, first.  Then wine.  The writing.  Or maybe I am writing, like Faulkner said.  Was it Faulkner?  Should stay up later tonight, get some work done and not just the letter but other project in which I cartwheel and create and meditate.  Lots on the mind as I’m back here at the desk I sat at this morning.  No clouds now, or fog.  Just sky and mountains, vineyards curling over hill like they’re running away from me.  My inward jots collect.  I need to collect them.  Speak my wined language better.  All poetry, rowing us stream and sea, searching for words in either english or french, I don’t know anymore I just need new words and now I notice the wine I sipped in the TR is colluding with this coffee.  For sakes me reciting, getting ready for seated group at 12, if they show.  And if they don’t, I’ll keep reading to self, be my own audience and become a prominent linguist in my own tongue.  That will be my “brand”.

Funny wine descriptions—



Pavement chips

Like sugary water…

Vixen kisses in a small room… (Love this one.)

Zip circles after you swallow… (Have no idea what the fuck that means.)

30 pages, excerpt (no edits)

…drive to Kenwood, run from Kunde to Lawndale like I used to, then further from that… maybe to St. Francis, up into the mountains, but then I’d have to run back to KFE.  OR do I do the same run from here, from the Autumn Walk studio, maybe I get creative and find some new route on spec… yeah.. a plan for the write, the in-the-moment prose-ist… need more of this Syrah, need log my notes, my findings in its Personhood—  Dark torrential, plausible anything—  Freedom in its form, talking to me like I need to be talked to with its maple-thrown bacon brawl of a blackberry escalation; life in a bottle that I’m not used to, structurally and with its after-sip song and reverb, just feeling what’s being narrated in this enclosed space— the bottle tells me to defy distractions, ignore messages and emails and ‘pings’ and anything not related to art.. sip, sense, found, sound—

How does time do what it does with such shove?  Doesn’t matter, nothing I can do to stop it.  Tonight Had students, or offered them to, consider the different approaches to verse, from Kerouac to Shakur.  And of course me being the selfish penner I be think of me.  How am I in the arena, what am I writing about?  Are that many interested in wine?  Fuck— the writer’s a-mess, amiss, but still with his sipped bliss.  It makes me think of my run come morrow, my story and my hope it carries some duende weight.  Quiet… bottle in kitchen, Syrah.. when was the last time I wrote to Syrah?  Not sure.. but the death of a family friend has me even more sans peur (fearless) in what I’m doing, how I interact with certain certain’s…. The Syrah speaks, and speaks for me— this be the beat but a collaborative rhythm that I have no intention of tempering.  Time… just a gorilla, that I have no chance against in a fight.  Have to wake early…

inward jot

Getting more serious about copywriting, this morning.  Putting together an ancillary business plan, or more of a serious plan really, to make money from my word familiarity and inexhaustible fluidity.  Connecting it with sales, brand narrative… have it be as non-formulaic as possible.  But more on that maybe later, maybe.  Need a plan for the next two weeks, writing for dollars, writing for my life.  First thing popping into the writer’s head— poetry, speaking words.  Rhythm, music, lecture, ideas, with a certain philosophy coat.  Not sure where to go from there— well, just start writing.  Right?  Or do you want to keep thinking about what you’re going to do, keep planning and brainstorming and shit… no.  Just act.  07:52.  Have over 4 hours to do something, to produce something.  And that’s the morning’s goal… produce.  Sell.

Staring at the backpack.  Want to empty it.  It encourages clutter, as I’ve said… so stop saying that, I say to myself, taking another gorilla chug of this French Roast, refusing to stop, refusing to wallow in any kind of mire.  Just keep moving… act.  Actuate.

Bag completely vacant, and upstairs in closet, never coming down or being used again accept for if I go hiking or on some photoshoot or writing mission, or something.  All these pieces of paper with poetry on them, forlorn scribbles— no, use them, make art of them.  What I plan to do… notes about wine consumers and dreams, goals, adversity, me, my kids, life, doing better… turn it into a lecture, into poetry…. OH, it feels amazing not to have that bag.  Clutter is a thought-tomb…

Copyrighting should read freely, be freeing when read.  No clutter, turbulence or syllabic rubbish.  I don’t know why it took me so long to empty that bag.  Have no idea what writings I’ll find.. there was even a small Mead memo book at the bottom of the bag and behind this protective cushion-like thing meant for a laptop.  Getting distracted by the little mounds and knolls of notes, papers, quick and rushed musings at the winery.  Dutcher Crossing, more specifically.

Jack this morning, showing me how skilled the is at solving puzzles…. I was hit, broadsided by obvious metaphor and education from my little beatnik… PUT THE PIECES THAT ARE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU TOGETHER.  I have everything I need for everything I need and want.  He would say things like, “See, Dada?  Are you watching?  Are you listening, Dada?” I sipped my coffee and observed his methods and his mild-mannered approach.  This pile in front of me, the poetry scraps and papers’ heaps, hold something, something out of which I will write something for reading… something epic and vast, grand and rhythmic for me and the world, for my children and people I’ve never met.  Cooling down now, wondering if I should go out and shoot some vines or something.. but I’ve already done that recently.  What if I didn’t let myself leave?  What if I kept myself here, in this home office, with my already-shot shots of vineyards and wine glasses and who knows what else, and these little pieces?  Something has to happen, right?  Well, yes, but stick to the copywriting… get to work.  Play and experiment later, if you can.


inward jot

A cemetery on the grounds… an amazing vineyard walk at new property, actually more than one… selling four cases to a couple from the South Bay, people with whom I spent a lot of time, talking about everything from the Peninsula where I grew up, the drive up to Ridge Winery in the Cupertino hills… the views… walking around on the grass just realizing where I am and the new wine story ahead of me…. And, of course, dinner tonight at a soft opening of a restaurant owned by the family that owns this new winery for me…. I’m reflective, contemplative, measured.  Sitting on the floor in the home office, realizing more my current reality and its currency, how I didn’t really write all day, just took notes and shot some still pics and videos with phone (which could later be translated into pages), the writer echoes inwardly, more, telling himself to not stress about times where he can’t write.  Like with dinner this evening with these new co-workers of mine— would I have rather been writing while at the table with them or enjoying their company, the various bottles opened, all the new plates put before us… the oysters, that squid, the burrata, the burger I elected then the desserts, my French Press coffee.  As writers we have to let the moment pervade and land, we study, then paginate later.

Dishwasher in kitchen, I take a break from my types to look at my photo’d record of the day.. wines, views, cemetery, food, friends— new co-worker’s birthday, mine ten days from now.  38.  Have to not think so much about writing and who I write about, and when I write, and WHAT about— just fucking write.  Right?  Tannat open, glass in kitchen and not by me so I can drink slower, and less, focus more on the page and my book.  Hoping to wake early, but just a hope.. but I hope not that it’s jut a hope.  Make it not just a hope, Mike.  And yes, the ‘NO WINE’ lament isn’t going to work, not now anyway.  I need to study wine, react to wine’s character, narrate it as I told that man and his wife at day’s end.  Tangled in my musings, that I’m not even sure are mine anymore but more possessions of the elements around me catalyzing them, if that makes sense.  My sensibilities caution me, against me.. this overly tenacious Self that wants everything and everything in the same timedrop, plated pretty like those oysters and that colorful and cubist burrata.

The stroll around the cemetery with Nic early warned me, reminded me, that this isn’t always.  That the morrow is anything but assured.  That all frames and standalone moment-pieces need be appreciated and examined and written about—  “That’s a lot of work.” Someone might say.  “Exactly.” I return.  That’s why I’m here.  Now, I can have a Tannat lot.  And after that what?  What do you mean, “What?” Whatever the moment is is what’s to be written.  There’s nothing of null gravity.