Biz In

fullsizeoutput_1a77Waking early this morning with Jack and his friend that slept over, then taking a nap, having time with family, getting coffee for wife and I then later making buy-fly pact with wife for breakfast, me flying she buying.  Haircut, errand, now finally back home to quiet house tow rite.  Focused on work, MY work, what I have to tomorrow do in this brand management meeting.  Branding, much I don’t like the term it is a consistency and consideration, a determining reality in business.  Business and all the forms it can take, all the business types, yes, but as well what people decide will be their business, and why.  I lately have been overthinking my business but no longer with one easily expected singular word— DO.  No need for excess deliberation and forecasting in business, I’m learning.  Yes, you want to plan a little, but when it comes to “branding” I see the most healthy and essentially obvious option is to just act, start a conversation, start a small project then link with another.

Older I get, I’m annoyed with my excess measuring, diminished cut counts.  Now, I just cut, write, act.. here in the kitchen with a finally-quiet house, I exercise ME, my identity and “brand” if you wish to it tag.  The tireless writer, learning from everything, from my early rise then soon after nap when Jackie’s friend left.  I wrote that resting isn’t a sign of weakness but strength, as warriors know when to collect.  Writing down the ideas I’ll share in the meeting tomorrow, which aren’t many, but all revolve around conversation, information, informing your prospects and would-be buyers why they should buy and who you are, and what’s present in your story, your reality.  MY work, is this.  Thoughts.  Putting ideas into practice and seeing what lands, what produces.  Being eased from sleep by little voices, I learned to stop being so stressed, stop thinking so much about what need be done and just DO.  And, have fun.  Enjoy the act of actuating, the story of the build.

And if you’re in business, or a writer like me who’s also in business, or a thoughtful Human, PLEASE take moments like this not at all lightly.  Times where you can sit in a quiet room and collect yourself, think about what you;’re doing and precisely in what direction you want your story to sprint.  OF course I advise write it down, ALL OF IT, being a writer, yes, but if you don’t want to then concentrate on where you sit, where you walk— beach, park, woods, or around the city.  When I left the pillows and sheets this morning I knew today, eve of my meeting, that I would be different, that all has to be different, starting today.  With July half over, I don’t have time to measure the material.  Scissors are out, and I cut the shapes I’m made to create.  I start a conversation here, with myself and you— what are you doing?  What are you creating?  Where are you having your story go?  How are you managing the brand of YOU?


me now

Photo on 5-27-18 at 8.52 AM.jpgThis whole morning, in a music forward.  Reciting tracks to self driving here to Windsor, planning some project, some reading, somewhere.  Eating a breakfast sandwich in at the corner table, my table, and playing with words, my own nerves, me in the was and were…. Seeing the next reading, the first in some time.  Just put down four lines for first track of day.  What do I want to say?  Having that writer dilemma, or pause, worry that I’m repeating myself, over and over and …. It’s over.  New sights, new morning and day, coming back to work after having day with wife and babies on Sunday then just wife and I yesterday doing wine-food pairing at St. Francis.  Finding odd motivation and electricity in these rimed thoughts, ideological blotches from unknown causes.  Love with it, with me, with what I see currently.  Mind going in a dozen directions different and I try to contain and centralize, singularize…. Harder, older I get.  Nearly was distracted by an idea, but no.  No more, just tapping on these keys knowing it frees.

Nearing 40, nearing the harshest self-assessment of my story thus far.  Some conversations and opportunities approach, but should I even acknowledge?  Should I just focus on my art, my pages?  Isn’t that what I poet does?  Today, I do nothing at work.  No administrative nonsense, no shipping, just pouring people wine and myself and co-worker.  And, write the entire day.  For me.  New tracks….  Have to escape the tasting room.  My life and creative efforts, ME, I, depend on separation.  Dismissing inner urges for prolonging, delaying, or any hesitation.  Keep self in the seat, only re-write and never delete.  My story, about understanding life and exploring all dimensions and angles..  Fear is worse than impending end.  So, only doing as I see to do.



IMG_6186Next morning I get to the winery and just brandish the laptop and start typing with what 30 minutes I have.  Driving here I thought about the tasting room, why I’m still in it, why I’m not doing precisely and ONLY what I wish, what I’ve always wanted to do—  write and travel, about wine and the act of traveling, what it does to character and how I have to write more and not stop ever.  40 is on its way, just as 39 was but now I feel, this very morning, a fire and high voltage voltage-ness that I’m noticing.  Nearly fearful of.  Phobic and pusillanimous.  I utilize it for my forward, for my story.  Think I’ve seen writing as a dream, I hate to say.  Like something I want to do and will eventually do instead of something I now depend on for income and livelihood, growth and promotion and everything you’d expect something or someone else to give you— job, owner, manager, department, whatever.

This morning and this whole day I write about work.  I examine work… the ethic, the practice, the dreams of being this and that… what work is and working for someone versus for self.  As a writer I know you in many sense work for your readers, but I see this what I’m doing right now this morning before I clock in (something I hate doing and now more often cringe when I enter my ID numbers, ugh…), a statement.  An argument.  A push to IT.  The IT mentioned in Road.  Sipping my 4-shot mocha, so often do I do, and writing in a place of work.  This cubicle, where someone works I think although I haven’t seen anyone here in some time.  Not yesterday at lunch when I wrote here, for 30 minutes.  That was my project, for ME.

Wine and its industry more than about work is about chasing what you want… the industry itself connotatively and denotative demand autonomy.  Walking vineyard and making wine from it, sharing it with whomever and speaking about it the way you would.  This morning, I think is my separation, from everything that work is expected to be seen as.  No more dreaming, no more wishing, no more seeing and envisioning, no more aspiring… here you are, I tell myself.  You’re a writer.  You better move some of these projects…. Have some inventory to sell or you’re gonna be eating ants, roadkill, old shit in the fridge or stale chips and crackers in the cupboard, moldy cheese… that kind of shit.  And I’m not nervous, not afraid, not regretful of these thoughts or fearful of some backlash or response or retaliation any which way.  I’ve expressed voluminously how I value growth and advancement, how I want the same thing as everyone else yet I’m dismissed.  Certainly never approached.  So, I can do it myself.  More than an affirmation this is a stark and fanged declaration… moving, move, a movement.  All I need is me, these words, my observations and something to move, sell.  My dragnet for amelioration continues to be hushed, prolonged, ignored, resulting in NO confirmation.  Definitely no promotion.  Which, only encourages the writer and his pieces, these declarations and sights… so I’m not maddened, or perturbed or even slightly bitter.  I’m better for my experiences in this industry… tasting room to tasting room, another goddamn tasting room.  I get it.  I see it.  I see me with more artful appreciation and poetry, autonomy.

09:14, and I have just a bit of time left but you know what… I’m to clock in late this morrow.  And I will.  What’s the worst that could evolve?  For the writing and the day’s declaration, absolutely RIEN.  I have to sell these pages, I know, but for now I let self enjoy the reality the morning’s manifested and materialized, put into a cozy manuscript for ME.  Deep sip of the mocha, thought of looking at phone to check emails and whatever else but I have to WORK.  MY work.  Get work done, be in this Me, the one I’ve always meant to see.  I give notice, TODAY… Writer, my title, and more than a title just what I do and who I am and what I do to be what I am, the ‘am’ that’s healthy and more compositional in code and promise.

40 doesn’t scare me.  What scares me is not doing anything.  Is not acting.  IS not deciding that certain stages need drawn curtain.  I stop more now in sittings than I used to, as I think myself more deliberate and meditative, more connected to my prose and paragraph streams.  Work for the next, what, eight or so hours.  I’ll be writing the whole time, avowed.  Little notes and singular words and shorter-than-short sentences, in fact I prefer fragments when in a vortex like this, mirroring emotion not thought, possibly thought blended with sentiment.  I’m going everywhere, this morning and tomorrow, with everything.  On my Road, finally.  Life is the Road, as he said, and here I am… here I go.  Terrific transmutation, delicious zen coupled with place, understanding…. Feel like I’m back in graduate school, writing my thesis on Carroll’s Alice works, deconstructing and speaking from both realities.. the Me working for someone else and the Me laboring for ME.  There, I’m free.  In my illusionary construct and page presence, stride and Emersonian saunter.  Thoughts building and injecting love-life-bravado in my new job.  So with this, 40 is conceptual, and not meant for any article, even though I did just it cite.  Oh well…

I could leave, today, you know…. Leave a bit early and go somewhere to work.  Why not.  What would happen.  I don’t care.  But, I won’t.  I’ll write on the dime, while doing what I’m “supposed to”.  With that little touch of obligatory my mood shifts, fangs exposed, rattle rattling.  I’m writing my way out of the tasting room, out of work to more work, MY work.  No checking emails, no traditional laboring, now.. not what I’m cosmically scribed to do.  Another sip, thought, jazz, movement, my movement…. Life.

Going through wine pictures, shots of vineyards

and a plastic stemless on the floor with red wine in it, the rocks on ground, sky, vines extending up into blue.  My whole life, according to this camera, is wine.  In the vineyards… the symmetrical and tireless expression of expressions, expressing to me to not move, not move at all. Stay right where I am.  In wine’s throw, and go… go with more sternly strict say in my pages.  The wine all around me, in the Zin bottle on the counter and whatever bottles I have in my “cellar” if you could even call it that.  Can a closet be a cellar.  

Nothing in wine’s story for me is happenstance or some stretched theory or hypothetical. But a certainty that I’ve always and ever needed.  Note I wrote the other day on receipt paper, after some people left, not buying a thing, not a single bottle, only asking questions about what shirt sizes we have and… anyway, “Wine teaches me to not sell.  Communicate, genuinely and creatively.  Course as a poet in wine’s time, timing.  I’m already such mode, begging and making possible a consolidation of all my laboring identities materializes and places itself in Now’s, Wine’s, stage.” Wine ever pulls me closer and nearer to travels of everywhere, seeing everything that my traveling wine friends, somms and other, now see.  Like my family in France, tasting in Burgundy and headed to Paris to tomorrow fly back to US.  I should go somewhere now, taste, pretend I’m a tourist, take notes, buy a couple bottles and bring them back to my hotel room.  These photos, from this year and years ago when I was gifted the cam’ from Mom and Dad, pictures of Jack when he was only a couple months old…. I’m in the vineyard, and needing to explore wine with more fervent direction and momentum… wine isn’t wine, it isn’t a business or industry, it’s time.  She’s a reminder that we have to envelope ourselves in the moment and the moment in our dreams, our aims, what will make us happy.

Time with family all day today except for now, kids showing me I need play more in wine’s business and any venture or project associated with her.  Play more.  Don’t stop, pause or halt.  You don’t have time.  Just play, take more pictures, of everything, everyone.  Every glass I fill and bottle I open.  That’s what wine is.  Travel and play with form and pattern, establishing my own creative pattern away from society’s expected professional and vocational patterns.  Clock in never again, only to be on terroir, taking pictures like these, writing to them, responding to each image with new imagist prose and verse.

I tell my students during in-class writing to not think, just write.  That’s what I do now, more than mere whimsy or freewrites, Mike Madigan’s fanciful form.  Entertaining going to sister’s winery.  I should.  I’ll leave the house in a bit, do some writing there, take pictures, walk the Wild Oak Vineyard, see more in what I see at a winery I’ve been to more than a thousand times, I’m sure.


Iced coffee,

before babies and wife are moving about. Not the same feeling in writing as I had yesterday… Short stories from the tasting room and other wine instances….

Sitting on wood floor downstairs, coffee, day with son ahead. Nothing to now write as nothing’s happened. I know, make something up… like what…

Older man, late fifties, just retired and on his porch, glass of some old Burgundy in hand, listening to crickets and a couple bats fly back and forth… He thinks of what to do now, with his remaining life. Successful career managing portfolios and retirement funds, “And now what?” He thinks. He doesn’t know how to not work.

And then I look inward, and think, “Is this what I survived for, to be a part-time English Instructor and pour in a tasting room?” Certainly not. Adjust my own psychology, lead myself away from what gives me these moods and low self-estimations. Decide that I live from what I learn, put it to page and hopefully it elevates and mends others in some way. And again, I love wine and the industry, and teaching. But, like you, I want more. Like the retired man, I want to keep going. I want another chapter. No…. another book. A first book of this new sight and suggestion of self.

06:48…. Study son, today. Little Kerouac and all he wants to do. Write everything down, reader. Everything… what in the story do you want to keep, what do you want to vaporize, cut out?

Like you, if you haven’t already, I’ve arrived at a situational still where I need decide. “DECIDE”, I wrote in some gorilla-sized letters in one of the semester journal’s pages, last night while skip-sipping through that Viognier, then much slower the Kuleto Cab. Now it’s cold coffee, made before bed last night. I’ve decided… what I’ll die for. And no so much that but what I want my kids to say Daddy does.

Tomorrow is when it really starts. Into the Room with a freed scope and unconcerned character, but entirely invested in his story, what he’s doing. They’ll want me to care as. I have as them… be they industry guy who acts like this is his story. But, no, a set of chords and wires in the anatomy of my book. Or one of them. This first one, anyhow.

Still in floor…. flirting with story ideas, in and out of the tasting room. Jelly, the 20-something artist with a corporate job, selling paintings and working at a wine bar on weekends, only wanting to one day be in her own property with her studio overlooking grapes and just watching them grow… painting them as they shift from breaks on a vine to self-pollinating pictures, to clusters daring some vineyard manager to call the pick. My other character… me. Well, yes and no. Me, but no wife and babies. Mike the part-time professor who is convinced he’ll never get tenure, works in the wine business doing whatever he can to cover all nuts, writing and hoping. A morning, a single morning much like this one for his author, he decides to stop. Be a winemaker. Translate wine like no one before has, and no maker of wine ever will. He wants to intensify his relationship with the juice, the ground. The rocks and soil variations in some blocks.

He’s decided.

The old man…


Now, me.

Much better than yesterday’s A.M.