Espresso in the shade

at Lancaster. First time working here in over 5 years.  My aim today is to dominate everything I do.  Have a literary lunch that will change my life— wow this espresso’s strong, made by one of the winemakers.  Ready for day…hear woodpecker behind me blended with traffic sounds from Chalkhill Road.  This winery, probably more than the others, changed how I saw myself in the wine world and its industry,  

Cool in shade, little breeze.  Hear puppy on crush pad barking.  He barked at me as I went around back to get into building and see if the TR mgr was here.  She’s not.  I’m early as always.  Sipping espresso in the shade.  Wanted to scribble in new notebook but left pen in car.  No interest in getting.  I shouldn’t be writing right now, I realize.  But enjoying where I am.  Looking around, breathing the air.  Breathing the same air the birds are.. me, with them, one with them on this one property.  Used to call this “AV Winery” in past writings.  Now I want the name known.  Where I am, what I’m doing, what I have to thank for where I am.  Me now– that lion in the crest.

‘Nother sip.  My god that is strong.  Want a machine like that in my eventual-office.  This side area is perfect for my lit lunch.  Shade, trees, umbrellas and the sounds of cars looking for their next winery.  Maybe this one.  Here in AV.  Leaning back into wooden chair with left leg at 90’ angle over right knee.. meditation, collection before day.  Today.  MY day.  New day in this wined story.  Who knows where it will go after today…  Man, I can’t believe I’m actually here.  Back.  Full-circle, or something.  This is always the part in the story where something shifting happens.  Where the character is furthered somehow.  So how?  What happens next?  Guess I’ll have to wait and see, right?  I hate waiting.

Teaching writing, while teaching it differently, and not teaching at all… 

If you want to know what my pedagogy is with writing, it’s about getting students to ask themselves questions.  “What kind of writer do I want to be?” And, “When do I have time to write?” And even more critically, “Why do I want to write?” The writing seminar approaching, starting 6/1/17, ‘Writing in the Vineyards with Mike’, is about knowing yourself as a would-be writer or writer and knowing where you want to go from there.  So… then…. Where are you going?  Where do you see yourself?  Either way, start writing.


I walked into the store and just wanted some time to myself.  Some meditation.  I watch tourists walk around and stare up and eye-level at the shelves, all the shit the store situates as they do as they know the tourists will stare at everything just like that…. “We could us that,” the lady says to her I-think-husband, “that would be great in the kitchen.” Want to be a tourist.  For a day, I thought as she said that, and as they get closer to me and shake the floor like these employees carrying boxes in and out of the back.  What if I just stayed here?  What if I didn’t go to work?  What if I called in sick or just called in and said I had something to do, stayed here and wrote?  “95?” she said with a thick, syrupy southern vowel-honed octave.  “That’s us!” she throws at the deli counter.  What did she order?  What did I order?  Coffee and blueberry scone.  And haven’t even fucking touched either, really.  Well, sipped the coffee a couple times but haven’t even looked at the scone.  The tourists look at the shelves on the other side of the room, nearer me, after getting their sandwiches for the day.  Guessing they’ll be tasting wine all day.  But not me.  Going to see how long I can go without even letting wine touch my lips.  No sip-and-spit.  No.  Not even that.  This store is another world for me. It’s a jazz tune.. Miles or Bobby… I’m encased in positives, in creative and narrative storytelling positivism.  More than meditation or expected collection.  I’m re-assembled, or re-invented— no, banal.  Re-directed— no, not that either.  Re-Me’d.  YES.  Insured against negatives with these words I’m tommygunning at the screen.  Have to go— shit.  Why.  Why can’t I have fuller than fuller-than-full day?  The store tells me to calm down.  Inventory…. Everything.  Keep yourself scribbling today.  Make sure everyone sees you writing.  Sees that you’re a writer.  Sees that you are writing.. the act and practice and habit and discipline of writing.  See it yourself— be the subject of your subject.

The day starts with a rile.

Something different.  Not sure what it was, and still is at this late hour, 22:34, but I’m here, quite presently.  Forgetting what it is to write, because of the laptop being out of some kind of commissioned commission.  No more, though, after the walk at lunch along the creek bed, seeing the steelhead try so sharply to get up Dutcher Creek.  I watched, and took so as instruction, the not-so-little fish telling me to swim against the current, create my own currency.  The day started with a rile but after the event today he sits here, the writer, rather tired.  The semester starts the day following tomorrow and I’m prepared but strangely nervous.  Why.  I always ask myself that.  Do I have something to lose, as an adjunct?  Am I afraid of something?  Not being received well, in the lecture?  NO.  I’m just here, maybe thinking too much, but I’m thinking.  Again, “strangely” nervous.

Babies asleep upstairs.  Both.  Emma, walking all over the house today according to Alice, and now sleeping in her crib.  All the way down the hall from our room– or, just twenty feet or so.  AND, the little priestess decided that today is her day of autonomous saunter.  YES, the little poetess is walking.  How and why I ask my self as I just continue to get old, old, me so old.  I’m nuts, not at all perfect, just that aging daddy, here with no wine but knowing I need some.  Fuck it, I think, I need some.  Alice watches an old episode of ‘Sex and the City” and I sit here in this swivel chair not swiveling and thinking about Tuesday– day one of the semester.  Hunter S. Thompson talk and the whole getting-to-know…  Riding through the syllabus, and me trying to be the “professional” adjunct.  But what’s “professional”?

Tangential, that’s what I’m aiming for, typing on this keyboard that’s thin and odd; not mine and just weird.  The Merlot from sister’s winery tasting like it’s more instructional than that steelhead.  Walking along that creek bed and just watching the water told me to be truly tireless, not just think and talk about it in some timeless cognitive perambulation.  The wine has answers, the bottle has decision and speak.  It speaks to me with certitude with wandering grandiose layeredness.  Need to be more tangential and you should be, too.  With everything.  And I mean, really everything.  What is normality?  Something I want to avoid.  What I peg as “just weird” is acutely something I should chase.  Dance to and after.  Sure of one thing, the story need continue and never close– the Merlot develops its ferocity and refuses to halt, even minutely.  It sings with true angularity and throws its new pew.  No weather outside, no fair, so I just harness self and speak to this most recent tangent.  Like this morning, how it started, with newer than renewing new fire.  This new year, now new, but I set something never-before-seen to its pre-set scene.

The adjunct just wants his nightcap before his client meeting tomorrow morning.  Part of me growls, “Why can’t I just have a day off?” But that’s join of those thoughts I should have just kept a muffled thought and now put to page, but here I did, I did–  The light of similarity is too bright, I write too much mirroredness.  So I need embrace this theatrical tangential.  Did I not study HST?  I have no Fear, and I only love, no Loathing.  My babies upstairs have a daddy downstairs who still grapples with his meditations.  But, that, now, stops.