Writing in Hill-Chalk

img_1997Had a tasting today, unexpected a bit, that shifted my view on wine, surprisingly.  Two SB’s, two Chards, two reds, and I’m sitting here on the floor of the home office knowing something seismic is about to realize.  Just finished a glass of from a Cab bottle in my cellar I was convinced would be shit however it decided to be defiant.  And I loved, love, it. It professes structure and sense, architecture and an autonomous varietal lecture.  I’m in that HST wine-writing fashion— not caring about the destination but only the ride— remembering and intimately recalling what I hated at Chalk Hill, from the two SB’s to the Chards, reds…. I’m reborn in a sort of perceptive ports.. here in a meditative selectivity, measuring my Personhood from where I am and what I did only ours ago at that Chalk Hill rung.

Wine jousts with me this evening.  It challenges my embrace of convention, even when I img_1998tout and flout how rebellious I am, calls me out, tell me I need further go.  There I was, and here I am, thinking about what I saw and tasted in that hidden facet of wine idolatry.  I walked around, just staring at the hills, even while I was poured the 4 whites, 2 reds, noting in my head and in my inner-tablet what to do next with what I was experiencing.  A new Roman Candle, the counter, that hall, that balcony, the pours and I mean all of them in how they uniquely translated varieties while purposing something for consumers like me—  I had more than a tasting, today.  My oenological conception is re-shaped, definitively.  And it goes beyond whites and reds, it’s realizing timing.  Chalk Hill instructed a reiteration of intention, an observed statement—  There is always something to be learned, and what more advantageous instrument for such than wine?  I’m with new intention and thesis about everything.. new Dharma, new path, new Roads— a renewed Beatnik, me.  Solitary poetry, stalking only my electric syllabary.


Home and sipping the Longboard Sauvignon Blanc

img_1968Jesse gave me the other day.  Don’t feel too pained from run, but a bit tired from day in sum and the dinner Alice and I just had.  Only had two tacos, shrimp, but I don’t know… I’m tired.  Tomorrow back in room, and have to force self to take more tasting notes, more crazy wild wine writings.  Speaking of writing about wine, I didn’t expect this bottle to be as animated and innovative as it is.  Sauvignon Blanc never riles me, honestly, but this one is.  Notes of lime, melon, pine, mint and rosemary, a little stone-something and… salt?  This wine has me thinking, thinking more about my place in wine’s world and what I’m doing in it.  This is a bottle that you’d have at a table, with family, or by yourself like me now, writing my musings on whatever I’m doing tonight.  Tomorrow the week starts, and who knows what will happen.  OR, I do.. I will do what I did on my run today, just keep going.  Yes, I stopped at 8.5 miles, and I wanted to get to 13.1, but I had a well-pushed jaunt.  I got out there, when all I really wanted to do was be lazy and take a nap on the couch.  Just keep moving.

Wife said that soon she’ll be in bed after her long drive up from the city and I’ll prep for Tuesday’s class, put a little more in the book.. my Kismet Cuvée.  Want to “educate” people more on wine, and what they should know, and what they “should know they already know.  What’s that?  Themselves.  Too many times people come into the tasting room and say something like, “I don’t know the right language” or “I’m not sure what the proper wine words are, but…” Wine is personal.  Wine is US.  Wine is not meant to be complicated or even “sophisticated”.  When the fuck are people going to get this?  I’m speaking too harshly and unprofessionally, I know.  Just what’s on my mind.  And again, I’m from the literary world, not this wine industry, and I have to constantly re-calibrate my tone and word deployment.  I’m working on it, I swear.

Had a Sauvignon Blanc at the restaurant, paired with those shrimp tacos.  Just asked the waitress, who was sweet and amicable and eager to get us what we asked for, to bring out whatever SB they had.  I should have asked which it was.  Probably could just go online and find out, but either way it was a gracious pairing— quixotically complimenting all flavors and textures, notes and sensory dotes.  But I too find myself getting tired.  May be headed upstairs with wife when she finally walks up.  Miss my babies.. have so much material to go through from today.  Better wake early tomorrow.  Get writing done, go through pictures on the camera, and do whatever I can do with a quiet morning base.  Will put coffee leftover in tumbler in fridge.. was he upstairs making the funny noise that unnerves me strangely.  Need another glass.. notes, lectures, books, all on mind.  Dominating my concentration.  But my concentration breaks, when I see my phone light up from a message or email… should turn that fucking thing off, or destroy it.  No, can’t do that.  But I should certainly have it out of eye-shot.  Need that glass of SB, finally.


Day 03, April 22, 2017, Saturday — Well, here I am.  Home alone with the house to myself and a night to myself and my first action is anxiety.  All the way home, actually. “Should I take myself out to dinner or not?” I posed, right around the Central Windsor exit, Photo on 3-28-17 at 1.25 PMthinking all last night how I couldn’t wait to get some takeout at Kin.  But I passed the exit and headed toward Santa Rosa.  “Should I get off at River, get a beer at Ash, then order a pizza?” Didn’t.. kept driving.  “Piner Café?” No.  Just to home.  I have some pasta Mom brought over last night, but I’m not in the mood to eat, but get my thousand words out, start finally gathering my book— collections of memory bits or whatever.  Listening to Chet Baker, “So Easy”, and slowly sipping the Dutcher Crossing Cabernet I brought home at some point, at some time.  I can only realize.. I’m home alone.  A night to me.  To write.  Get something done.  Change direction in some way, or some something.  20:25, and dark has landed on this street.. this odd horseshoe lane of houses, with more children about than I know how to notice.  Never mind that.  I’m here.  Re-reading my character notes posted earlier to blog.. my character, Kelly, still in head and mind and vision and I see her walking to work— or no, taking a bus to Market from the Mission District.  I have to keep with that, with all this.  Today writing more poetry on yet another makeshift notebook of those scratch slices I cut, we all cut, from old tasting menus.  Everyone calls it “Mikey Scratch Paper”.  Which always makes me smile, everyone noticing me a writer.

Today’s vineyard walk, more meaningful than most I hold at lunch, less that 15 minutes in the Grenache block, my favorite, just looking around understanding, progressing and growing where I am.  More poetic, the vineyard than the actual wine in my stemless glass, or plastic Govino, next to me.  Just my sight now, all I see are vineyards.  That’s all I want to see, really.  I sip the Cab, and I think of the block around the tasting room building.  The ground and how the vines were pruned, how the buds are breaking and the leaves extending toward the sky, and me just looking, taking pictures and looking through them later imagining what my vineyard will look like.  What I’ll write to them, to my vineyards.  I’m here.. in my house.. wanting to make the most of this night, but where do I start?  Guess here.  With my thousand words as I promised earlier.  Tempted to go get coffee— is there any, anywhere in that cabinet?  Don’t think so.  Coffee would benefit better with a night like this.. me here alone and only a book or two to write.  OR that article about wine being “bottled poetry” as he said.  Wine is not as poetic or verse-riling as the vineyard.  Never.  The vineyard propels a linguistic shape that nothing else does.  ‘Cause even the vineyard is about more than just the vineyard.  The soil— Earth— trees and life around it.. streams and weather consistencies recent, atmosphere, and what you can’t see and what’s not in some V&E textbook.

When I walk the vineyard, I have little idea what I’m really seeing.  But I’m acutely aware of how I feel while out there.  What it makes me write.  As I’m here now, in this house alone and its signature in my character, the vineyard continues to sign even after I’ve left.  Even pushing the buttons all I hear is my steps on that dried vegetation, the old canes snapping, the midday gusts sliding over and through the cordons.  I stop to see it again, remembering what I said to myself while out there, what I saw myself doing while home…. I thought about what I should get myself for dinner, and here I am with nothing.  The right choice, to be honest.  Just fly into the words, pour yourself something, whatever’s open.  And here I am.. listening to jazz feeling like I did when 22, 23, living by myself in San Ramon.  I know I’m a father, husband, but right now I’m just a writer inventorying his day, all the idiosyncrasies and anomalies, cosmos and galaxies contributing to my book, books.  Gonna need a break in a minute I think.  Not like me, but I’m going to take one.  Can’t get the Grenache block from my forearm shell, eyes, chin, cheeks, eyelashes.  I’m measured and musical in that block.  Why— what is it in there, in now me?  I’m relaxed, I’ll profess.  But I can’t be relaxed, let alone too relaxed.  I’m on the clock.  MY clock.  Waiting for nothing to happen.  Waiting for no one to call.  I’m just acting, actuating.  What do I want to read tonight?  Friend earlier suggested I read some of Kurt Cobain’s entries.  Just need to read something new tonight.

Glass empty.  I’m not ready for more, not yet.  Ugh… coffee does sound amazing tonight.  Going to look for one k-cup… there has to be one, in there, somewhere—  No.  There’s not.  Erroneous attempt.  I’ll get up early, run, then get some.  I shouldn’t have coffee late. Bad writer move.  Re-designing my writing habits and routines and roundness.  So.. after wine comes water.  Turn wine to water.  And abstract calculative reference, maybe.  The jazz and wine tell me to take another break but I ignore and I’m sure I’ll be scolded in some way either by the my words or the wine, Hutcherson or Coltrane, or this evening, itself.  I find myself slowing, not focusing.  Did I work that hard today?  Don’t think so.  I mean, a couple times there it was scattered and rushed and a whirling kerfuffle behind the bar, but I survived.  We all did.  Selling and signing new club members.. the industry pulls me closer and further forward into and through its book.  I’m in a book, writing a book about the book I’m in, writing the book.  A postmodern marriage that necessitates an affair.  What?  I’m already crossed and lost.  ‘Nother glass.


img_1717Nearing 40… lachrymose, lazy, frowning and furrowed in my paginated intention. Winemakers bottle some fermented result, all the way professing how laborious it was rallying praise for brilliance and some chemical familiarity and sagacity, while we writers are looked upon as slanted, odd and over-narrative or all-too confessional. Wine has too much divinity, laced in professional propheteering.
My decision pivots to something more optimistic or yay-saying when I look at my legs stretched, toward that far wall in this house, that my parents paid for. Could be one of those homelesss chaps in the under/overpass. But I’m here.. have to somehow infuse parents’ story… Mom, from Jewish parents, then Daddy from Irish Catholics… so who am I? I’m like Kerouac in that cabin trying to find himself when he knows damn well where he is and cooking what I can till some sense comes from this senselessness. SO, what I now next do, too, maybe look at the TV, off, but like it’s playing something, some baseball game, so who’s playing?— Not sure.. but I’m still here on the ground, on this hard wood floor that softens me, elevates me to some weird sky.. who am I? The caterpillar doesn’t fucking know, even after all that effort I put into the master’s thesis… I’m not a master, not at anything. ‘Cause if I were I wouldn’t be struggling the way I fucking was, am— now… ‘nother sip. Winemakers do the very same, but travel, act like they’re sages, sagacious in ways we can’t fathom or categorize— “Meet the winemaker!” a sign says. Why? Who cares? Will their remedial syllabic symmetry make the wine taste better? Why do you look at them that way? Why do you ignore us, writers? I’m going to drink more. One fast move…. Away from any lean at whiny winemaker—