12/16/17:  06:45. 

img_7652Up much earlier than I thought I’d be after last night’s work, and wine, and principle restlessness.  Made cup of coffee from that cheap, one-cup-maker they put in this room and I’m guess all the rooms.  Not sure why I’m up so early but the same creative and thought intent of last night shimmies and shakes and stomps in my head.  Questions like, “What am I doing?” And “What do I do next?” And, “Is this it?” Not depressed, sad, or ashamed of anything, just putting self in the Philosophy Major’s shoes, I guess.  Or with his “thinking cap” on, as Dad has always said.

39 next year.  So I guess now I begin the countdown I do every year, right?  Okay… 13 days, 5 months.  That’s my time to do something… something. To get on the Road, to travel, to speak.. if I don’t do it by that age, I’ll never bloody do it.  Don’t say that.  Put self in the student’s shoes… how about, don’t think about yourself.  There’s a challenge.  And that is a challenge for a writer like me…. All moments are standalone pieces, their own lessons and classroom, pulpits for reflection and meditation.  This morning teaching that I need ignore time, and think more inclusively— it’s your story, but not just you.  It’s not.  There’s so many around me, so many people that tell me things that shape my character and students I see shamefully only twice a week but teach me so much about my presence in the classroom and what ought transpire there.  This morning as well instructs that I be as little like anyone else as I can… to just be.  Me.  Wild and crEATive, and see every day like a classroom session.  There, here, to learn.

Approaching 07:00.  Still see my walk from last night, just to casino and back.  All the lights and sounds, the traffic and people honking at each other, not moving enough sped for the person behind or around them.  Not sure what that taught, but I much prefer collections like this where I wake so much earlier than I thought I would, and jab to writing, my work, where I feel safe and honest, supported and cognitive.  Coffee already losing its volcanic temp, a bit.  Wish I had the whole day, to move some of my life, our life, back into the Autumn Walk Studio.  Focus on the moment… right here, now, 4 minutes from 07:00.  What do I write, what am I writing about, why am I writing it, and what is the writer to do next?  Wine… of course not drinking any now, but I can still sense the Devil Proof on my Personhood and page, the dark, rich slightly caramelized wingspan of the fruit and oak’d music and jazz… like I noted last night, “inexplicable”.  Not sure what to say about her.  I’ll hopefully pen something today, make it I guess “official”, get myself closer to the Road and my office with that bottle from my old friend.  I like how “Malbec” isn’t on the label, or not that I can remember.  Wait… is it?

Just checked, looking at the bottle.  No.  No “Malbec” boast, anywhere.  Re-read the saying on the back, living well and drinking well makes you “devil proof”.  Then I think of definition, what consists of and in the wellness of such an idea.  Thinking too much, I know.  Just live.  Never exist.  Vowing that all movements and writings, be terpsichorean.  WE all should.  Like the person you see essentially skipping down the street and you don’t know why, and you wonder what they’re so happy about.  Just be.  BE.  In this hotel room there’s only me, the jazz, this cooled and cooling coffee and my vision for day.  What’s in it.  What’s the day to be about other than me at a winery, me writing about wine and thinking about my students and what they’re doing or not doing to their papers.  Should I keep the second blog or kill it?

Found a video I shot last night walking down the road, me reflecting on where I am and how I’m by myself, and how my daughter’s two, just how life continues without much regard for how we sometimes want it to slow.  But that’s what wine reminds me, just get out there and do what you want.  Don’t be a follower, don’t be a leader, be your own creator and actuator.  I made. Remark yesterday pertaining to Chardonnay, told a very nice couple that “I’m not in that audience”, referring to the consumers that love that angry tidal wave of a malolactic mummy… the buttery paradigm, or “butter slug” as I call it.  Forced a chuckle from the gentleman, lady as, but forced me into thought, pouring the reds after that Santa Rita Burgundy…. What audience AM I in?  What audience am I targeting?  Is it just those wanting to read, write.. is it students?  Other teachers?  Wine people?  “Wine lovers”?  Or, maybe it’s just for people in love with life and all in it… that they see all moments not just as standalone pieces for reflection and appreciation, but as times that will never again transpire, ever.  Maybe my writings are for people who just love life.. who love their own lives, and see all seconds and minutes and collective and individual times as invitations to see themselves better.  To love all around them et everything they have.

“Bonjour!” Just wrote self.  Not sure why.  Maybe to remind self that the day’s started.  Remind yourself of where you are, reader… look around you… all around you.  This will never happen plus jamais (again). So you need look further into it, its significance… do something with your moment, right now, before it away scurries and denies you a re-live.  Need get into shower.  See?  Just because I’m writing about how time passes doesn’t mean I’m immune.  Have to move quicker and with more measure and meditation.  Least I won’t hit traffic today.  I should stop by house on way home, I mean ‘to hotel’, drop some things off.  Would that be the best put of my time?  Is my time “mine”, even?

Coffee gone.  Get up.


img_7577Sitting in kitchen, seeing how none of the winery’s wines provoke any kind of reaction after the Carliss Malbec.  Barely sold a thing over phone, just a bit in TR… but you can’t hit it out of the park everyday, as Mom once told me.  Much as I’d like to and as much sense as it makes on paper to just call people and tell them we have these amazing bottles at some special offering, you just can’t kill it everyday.  Today’s additional lesson, I guess.  Can only think of the Corliss Malbec.  Do I open something else tonight?  Or… keep with the Malbec.  I don’t want wine to go to any kind of waste, and frankly I can’t afford such wasteful habits as other wine bloggers, writer, self-anointed “critics” or “experts”, or even my somm’ amis.

Hear someone in the tasting room.  Not sure how many.  Not in the mood to get up, peek out the winging kitchen door with the circular see-through.  Wonder if production has any more coffee.  Could use another shot.  Probably cold, though.  I’m fading…. This happens, yes even at a winery.  There must be at least three people out there.  Want to look but don’t want to.  Have had just enough to eat, so I’m not slowing from anything other than slight boredom, and if not boredom then activity… have to get creative, converse with self— what now.  What now, indeed… talk.. words, wine descriptions and personifications.  Poured the two Merlots, one-to-one, and every elects a different winner, if you will.  Couple that just came in said the ’14 was easily the most interesting while the other coulee was split, and I stood with my ’13.

Want to taste some whites, now.  We have a Pinot Gris and Chard open.  Hmmm…..

Peeked head out.  One guy.  Think a member here or at a sister property, talking about the fires.  I couldn’t listen, hurried back to my chair, right here in front of the island, silver counter in this odd and not in any way organized or thought-out kitchen.  Need some Chard…. At a winery, you taste wine.  Don’t really drink it, unless you day is barbarically putrid either from sales or customers or both, or you’re just not into it.  But you work through it.  I, am working through it.  Writing about the wines and everyone that comes in here to taste, so eager to share their opinions and disagree with me on the Merlot issue.  Most of them, I assure self in head, don’t know what they’re talking about.  Or, they do— Of course they do.  They know what they like, they what tastes better to them so who am I to think I’m.. anybody.  Either way, some with the all-too-eager vocality and impatience to just slap me with direct disagreement unnerves me.  But I deal with it.  After all, I’m a “wine professional”.  Whatever that is.

Only minutes left.  Okay… Chardonnay… inspire me.  Make the day more… more…….. something.  I need story, stories.  I don’t want to talk about the fucking fires.  I’m a winery, so are you.. how ‘bout we talk about wine.


inward jot

img_7573Colder than yesterday morning, just saw on temperature reader in car.  This morning, walking downstairs, elevators out of service, I walked into the well at the same time as this man dressed in a suit, with his sleek leather bag over shoulder, hair done, ready for something.  “Good morning…” he said.  I returned, as we walked downstairs awkwardly but not too much so together.  When on first floor, he saw another man who appeared to have just finished a workout, one demanding and putting him at breath’s loss.  “Are you ready?” Suit man asked.  Could hear what the other guy said but he said he needed a workout before whatever’s set to go down today.  Wish I would have slowed, listened in a little, but I went to get my coffee and head to car.  Now here at winery, thinking about the wine I sipped last night, that Corliss Malbec, listening to this track not sure who and don’t have time to look.  Have easily over an hour to write this morning, collect self and have time with my musings and thoughts, words, this feeling this morning carrying over from yesterday morning ordering me to be more wild with all writings.  And sell every fucking one of them.  Walking into this building, I saw John, the winemaker, asked him how he was and he said still trying to wake up, told him I’ve BEEN awake, and I’m just getting started— that today is MINE.

Walked into winemaking break room and saw coffee being made.  Today… something’s set to transpire, something en ma faveur.  Coffee, jazz, a quiet, well-warmed office for this yay-saying yodel of a writer.  Noted earlier that the Malbec Cara sent me is just the kind of wine I want to make.  Why not do it… why not.  And not to make money, but write about, of course, have more intimacy with wine and my understanding of it than any somm’, or even winemaker, wine “critic” or “expert”.  Can still feel the cold from outside and for some reason it pairs with how I remember the Malbec, how its notes slowly suggested themselves to me, as if to acclimate to me as I to her.  HER… have to stop calling wine, ever, an ‘it’.  She encourages my poems, my wandering lines and pages that will afford me the ’18 vintage… next year, going to do it.

Made new list of projects just now.  Have to sleep less, work more, write more.  Today, and for no other reason than to test self and work ethic, a 5,000-word day.  Wonder if coffee’s downstairs, ready for the writer, ready for the day’s education and being integral in it.  An orphic morning… divine and otherworldly with its multiplying spells, again like the Malbec she sent me.  I’m lost in my fervor, my thoughts being like multicolored webs and equations I have no interest in solving. Once they’re “solved”, something’s done.. something’s gone, dead.  I want the endless, the infinite, the indefinite.  Reading the sounds and colors, lightings around me… keep writing, they tell me.


img_7455Ten minutes left.  Which means I have 5 to write.  Coffee, cold, right.  Waiting for Washington wines to get here.  Friend said they should be arriving today.  Need more wines to write about…. Store not as far away as it might appear on paper.  Or maybe it is.. but either way I’m writing about wines as crazy as the writer’s able.  Want to taste the ’15 Cab we have in TR, again, one more time…. Ideas again accosting me with encouraging viciousness.  What can I do but keep with my written reap.  Sounds from the crush pad, even louder than this morning.  Want to walk around and take pictures, get closer to the barrels and tanks, see what’s transpiring as its transpiring, just walk around and be like an annoying tourist but not at all, educated in what they’re doing, fully aware, but not at all.  I want the best of all worlds working at this winery— seeing everything for the first time and being proactively active and pervasively educated in the images that land on my lenses.

The Zin downstairs, again, speaking to me in its tone, that defiant and more texture-intended angularity.  Thankful it met me, and I it.  Zinfandel… not sure if I’ve had more a troubled past with her or Chardonnay.  Either way we wind up together, smitten and in a sensory snuggle and me writing my crazy notes in the tasting room even if there’s a guest or three in front of me.  Musical, all the wines today, like some grand collaboration between Miles and John, Bobby and Cannonball.  Everything to a poet sings, from the cork opening to me taking the worm out of the cork, smelling it, slight purple stamp at nose-tip, then first taste.. imagining a scene, a breeze, some balcony, me, ‘way, ink to paper—

En Pensant

So much in and on and around mind this morning and I have no idea where to start— Where’a the jumping off point.  Where do I begin and for what am I beginning today.  Kept thinking about classes yesterday and the entirety of educating— self-education and being a student, being a teacher, being a student of the students when you’re a teacher.  And how does this all factor into wine…. Think I see it now.  This morning driving North on 101 after dropping off little Kerouac at his school.  But I’m too constrained by and in the thinking of it.  All of it.  Just too much.  Student yesterday that asked me about what he should do, ringing in my perception like a thousand cathedral bells.  What do I do, I ask this overthinking self.  For right now.. just write.  That’s the right thing to do.  I partially blame the hotel and the clutter and compactness for this distress, or self-branded stress.  And, how I tout singularity but notice I’m a profuse and obnoxious pluralist.  But maybe the pluralism IS the singularity, somehow.  Stanford… what happened to that dream.  What happened to me, the “professor”.  Nothing I guess, as I’m still at the JC, teaching two sections per term.  BUT, it’s going nowhere.  There’s no elevation, but in pay.  Which is important, yes, but I’m no closer to Stanford.  When will I see one of those rooms?

I feel self becoming more obsesses with singularity, the singular joy and glimmer of this sitting, here in the winery office.  And what career do I have in wine but to eventually write and blog about it, from my academic and Literary reposes.  Distracted by calendar, what I need to get done or what I’d like to get done by EOD.  Everything around and in my mind forcing me to lose a bit of breath.  Not a panic attack, but an urgency storm, and eagerness quake, creative inner wildfire.  Photography…. Should I hit the vineyard quick?  08:49.. Don’t see why not— stay where you are.  Don’t move.  Write.  You still have poems to collect, as well.  Look at this writer.  A mess.  But a mess can be cleaned, tidied, straightened up and ordered, INVENTORIED.

Sip coffee, and strangely I’m relaxed.  Must be the jazz, Miles, my jazz love, or one of them, telling me to calm down and that everything will more than merely “work out”.  I finished a book last month.  EDIT IT.


Pulled it up, and rather than hit the vineyard and take pictures that would only slightly contrast my efforts and captures past.. I’m here, in MY moment, at the winery.  Before clock-in, before opening bottles, checking what’s on the calendar.  What I’m being taught from this morning is that change is a simple decision that could yield massively advantageous wakes.  This is just a writer in a prolix kick.  No big deal.  Or it’s a tremendously tidal deal, turning 39 next year—  The year I turn 39 is 24 days off my bow.

inward jot – 12/6/17

This morning I keep thinking of what Kerouac said, about one day finding the right words and that they’d be simple.  And yesterday working with students on final paper directions and thesis statements, what they wanted to say with the final written work…. Do what you want.  Whatever’s in your head, be it a nay or a yelling yay, follow your own onus.  I asked them, “What do you want to say?” One said, “Plath is inspired by her own depression.” I smiled, ricocheted back, “Then say that.” But, going outside the classroom, and into our everyday-everyday, we have to take note of what we have in front of us, and that’s just the day, the moment we’re in.  And that moment is where we need be wild in our own onus.  Be wild, creative… too often with formal instruction I feel we’re focused on the instillment and inoculation of formalism and formality, profuse pattern and not enough endorsement of instinct investment.  Not saying any one way to teach is wrong… in fact I’m not even addressing teaching with this jot.  I’m citing life.  YOUR life.  The student’s life.  LIFE.  Keep all simple, singular… that simplicity, singularity?  Do. What. YOU. Want.

I know it’s been repeated with galactic exhaustiveness, I know.  I’m merely sharing what’s in my meditative climate this morning.  I don’t need positive reinforcement, or any remedy for negative quakes.  All I need is self-trust in that what I’m doing is the right thing.  And that is an idea I share with my “students”—  Before coming to me, have a talk with yourself, and try knowing that what your first impulse was could very well be the right direction.

This morning, tell yourself that you’re doing something right— No, something amazing.  Whatever you do… teaching, baking cakes, selling wine, cleaning hotel rooms, customer service, staying home and being a mom or dad…. What you’re doing is resplendent.  And people notice.  Keep your steps in creative containment.  Keep your strides simple… ‘cause in that apparent simplicity there is voluminous expansiveness.  You already have the right words, I’m telling myself this morning.  They may be simple, and they may not be.  Trying to keep them simple, but I’ve never been too excelled in that right.  Trying, though…. trying.  Trusting myself, more than I ever have.  Not looking for new directions, or some new approach.  What I’m doing is more than merely ‘fine’, and yes at times there may be warranted amendment, adjustment, slight fix, but for now I’m just sauntering at the line dividing my 12.

I think of other quotes I’ve used over my teaching years, like the virtual shake-me-by-the-shoulders of Malcom X— “If you have no critics, you’ll likely have no success.” No more fear.  Not at my age.  None of us should fear any of our impulses, or anyone’s reaction.  If they’re wrong, find out, learn, prove to yourself they’re “wrong”.  And even if they are, or one is, you learn from it, so tally it a success and not a sink.

Love morrows like this, and only wanted to dived and distribute my sentiments.  Apologies if it annoyed, or interrupted.  And if it did, then I learn.  The lesson is simple, but successful and multitudinous in gem.  We have our lives, stories, and always ought be in the anti-formalist student-seat.

bx project

Only calls made so far, and no sales.  But what can I do but my job.  Not letting it get to me, at all.  I know days like this happen.  Walking here to the cubicle catacombs I saw all the barrels out, for cleaning or racking.  Stopped and looked at them, with no real intention other than to look at barrels.  Met a winemaker from Washington earlier in day and a cooperage rep who’s been with his company more than 25 years I think he said.  So rare, now, to see that type of residency and tenure for any one company.  Want my tenure to be for MY business, eventually.  But here, I learn… about the wines, the methods of selling and marketing, events, building narrative and story.

Wind outside persists, haven’t lost power again like we did this morning.  Thought we might be sent home early, but no such outcome.  And I’m glad, honestly.  I want to be here, where the story is.  If would have left early, what would I have done?  Gone wine tasting?  Gone back to the hotel and wrote, taken a nap?  May got a run in?  Which reminds me… I need to get back into my running character.  Wine life MUST be balanced with strict fitness routine, not just working out whenever you have time, or can just fucking fit it in.

Wine that’s speaking to me today… only tasting a couple of them… really, none.  For some reason.  None of them are convincing me of anything or showing me something new about their identities.  Maybe it’s me.  Maybe I’m off since the power came back on.  Looking at the barrels, “What’s going to be put in them?  What’s the racking plan?” Only they know.  I can just imagine, and see myself one day again making my own wine, maybe with my sister, figuring out what barrels to use on what, and having guys like the barrel rep I met earlier come by my house, or little crush pad, or office, wherever, and tell me what types he can offer me.  Whenever I’m here at Roth I just want to do everything— sell wine, market it, write about it, speak about it everywhere, write about it again, “educate” wine lovers and those wondering about wine if I’m qualified to do so, make it, own a winery and have someone else like my sister make it— this place sends me into dream spirals.  Addictive.  I’m drunk on ideas… any effect from what I earlier tasted, which was nothing, is more than departed.  Dead.  I’m clear headed and not from these dreams.. these goals and aims, fantasies in wine.  I want to do everything in wine and I will, everything… The Zin downstairs, I guess the only one with any true thesis today.  Blackberry licorice gusts, with peppered vocals and brushes, like cubist painting I can’t interpret but just love to look at, can’t look away from.

5 minutes left in lunch, my worded break, just as I promised myself I’d do earlier.  Thought about getting a burrito from El Farolito, but need save money for the shop… for my first bottle purchases, what I’m to sell.  Can’t fail to stop by Safeway on way home— I mean, ‘hotel’.  Three new bottles, ones I’ve never heard of, seen, tasted, never knew before.  My next assignments.