6/15/17—  Midmonth? 

Already?  Wow, time truly doesn’t care.  But I do.  So I make the best of what I have here, in terms of time, this first of my last two full days off before Summer Semester starts.  Sinus discomfort going away, may take another Advil… meeting at 10:30 with prospective client… of it feels amazing to write.  Why do I feel like I haven’t written in days when I DID write yesterday on lunch.  Only got out 500 or so words for newsletter and didn’t post anything to blog— well, here I am, readers.  More than ready for my day and for my writing and needing this quiet of the house, my Autumn Walk Studio.  Going for a walk later with wife, run tonight at gym hopefully, get conditioned for planned run on Tuesday with my winemaker friend.  We’re planning on launching from Lancaster and circling the property, one massive circle around the property and the properties around the property.  Can’t wait, really.

Taking a break from the coffee this morning, sipping what’s left of a sparkling cherry water I bought the other night after my speedwork.  Just shy of 7 miles… think I hit 6.98.  “SHIT!” I remember saying in my head and nearly aloud when the belt stopped.  Not bad though, really.  Haven’t got that close in a while.  Not sure why I’m focusing on that right now, should be writing some verse or some poetry since yesterday leaving Lancaster I had this colossal inner push to write more poetry and write more musical and poetical when writing prose— so then naturally I now ask myself, “Am I doing that here?”

No wine tonight.. just running and writing, planning for Summer.  Have a very optimistic taste in the writer’s mouth concerning this Summer.  Why, don’t know.  Maybe from changing as an educator, and how I’ve changed my outlook on life itself, recognizing I’m a father and I need to be a certain way for my babies— I need to be the ‘papa of all bloggers’, and the ‘tireless writer’ I brag I am.  No excuses, not even when I’m sick or have some sinus aches like I did this morning.  Have to say, I’m proud of how I reacted, getting in car and rushing to Walgreens, buying some Advil then coming home, popping one, and getting to writing, getting to WORK.  Oh… this Summer will be life-changing, career-propelling.  The story’s going to change.  I know it…

09:20—  Work isn’t work for me.  It’s just me.  Me for me.  Can’t get enough of me and I don’t care who knows.  That’s probably what bothered me most about the sinus ache, was that I thought it might get in the way of getting shit done today.  But no.  I won’t let it.   I’m a cross now between a leopard and a butterfly, a snack and a hawk… a train and a tulip.  Whatever that means I don’t know I just know that I don’t know about myself as much as I once measured.  But that’s what days like today are for.

09:40.  Took care of a couple things, made a couple notes, sent out VLJ letter.  The 6th.  Proud that I’ve followed through as I have with this effort.  Need to build with it, somehow… keep with it and use as a vehicle.. for sales, marketing, branding, all.

some of day’s poetry/spoke word…

am I

talking about wine so much, and the apparent philosophy and mythology

to grapes fermented?  This is weird.  Think of

how even after a person passes there’s the

longing, the


the impression of their time here with us, so their

story still sequences and we see and sing ‘there is no end,

there is no destination’.  so my thesis,

inextricable, impenetrable, that’s how convinced I’m convinced of

something, this something, wine helping me make the thing

happen, you know that thing that makes me a good daddy.

what.  immeasurable, untetherable, talk to self

in oeno-syllable.

Maneuver out of anything, bring

a notebook to jury duty— all conversations blurry newly—

centering gem, jewel, amethyst or ruby, of an eye’s eye for me

only slightly see, completely…

Day gets tough, I

out-tough it, direct dozens

of fiery narratives, last poetic

pundit– syllabic pugilism, after

today, new truth has risen..  directly

confront the circumstances given– characters

like me slows nary, and no woe, up turbulent

rivers in the most inclement

I row.. your octave is elementary at best–

Work harder than me?  How’s that possible

when you’re always grieving about lack

of rest?  You’re map’s a mess, I’m in a box-like trot 

of redesign, betterment for eversent.  Journal entries

inventory the dents.  Escape with my again-polished

slate.  Review certain dates, re-plate.  Walk past the cake.

Finally did it.

Doing it now.  Writing in the ever formidable 04:00 hour.  Set alarm, and I slowly bright self to this, quiet typing– stealth on my phone.  Now 04:07…  this needs to be more a habit.  Not even “more” a habit, but just the way I operate as a writer.  Nearly went back to my odd dreams, my worries in sleep and my festering and stewing in realities I cannot control.  This new wine book, or my only wined ms is about me and vision, breaking patterns to stand as the best varietal I can– sounds cheesy…. to be accepting of my own Personhood.  If that makes sense.  This hour is odd, and with a slight accentuation of danger to it.  Not sure how much longer I can fight off the compulsion to go back to sleep.  Would that be failure?   I did wake when the alarm told me to… or is it only victory if I STAY awake?  I can’t see much in this room, through the glow of my phone’s screen, and can only hear the humming fridge, someone upstairs turning in their sleep.  Can’t let self go back to bed.  Winemakers during harvest are already out in the vineyard at this time, or at least the vineyard crews are… Farmers, like Glenn.  Need to keep those hours, be a farmer with my words.  2015, out in that one vineyard in Rincon valley with Glenn, filming them bring the grapes from vine to bin, then truck it from there to crush pad, Punchdown Cellars up the road from this house, on Hopper.

Not at all enjoying or even mildly liking my sentences this morning.  Not sure why I call it morning when it feels like the middle of the night.. but I’m up.  I’m up.  I finally did it, dealt 4AM a shot in its years-long reign over me.  But, my system and circuitries tell me I need more sleep.  Need more something.  Like what.  I don’t know, I’m hoping the Vineyards tell me that today… give me some pronounced and profound sight today.  You think?  Make the vineyards speak to me, tell me something that will irrevocable helix my Personhood to Craft, to my pages, to an elevated elevation of Wellness that will elevate me and everything around me.  Now I’m finding it hard to take myself away from this sitting– though I’m not sitting but laying down on the couch, room that used to be home office but is anything now but.

04:23..  Should I make coffee?  Heard odd sound off to right.  May have come from upstairs, or maybe it’s exhaustion catching the writer.  4AM… not a weak one’s hour, that certain… but if you write through it, before you know it you’ll be through it.  This will be a way for me.  MY way… 4AM.  This quiet and cruel, dark and enlightening hour.  Where it’s only me.  ME.  It’s all on me… like the vineyards, the vineyards and how everyone’s watching them till harvest, till they deliver what’s wanted then more or less ignored.  But not by me.  When people are on the crushpad taking pictures of fucking grapes I’m the obsessed pupil out there in the rows writing to and taking stills of the bare arms.

04:29.. Need a little more sleep.  At least I’ve started my writing for the day.  When up, have to iron some pants, get ready and zoom out of here and up to Jimtown to write.  I know how this book is set to conclude– with no conclusion. Just memback out in the Vineyards walking, waiting for some idea to precipitate down to me like a lucrative spiritual storm.  Notice I’m using that word more now, for some reason– spiritual. Hmm…  What if I just stay up, enjoy the spirituality of this time… this 4AM hour in every inch and micro-measurement of its nuanced instruction.  No.. much you don’t want to admit it, you’re Human.  Wish I wasn’t.  Wish I didn’t need to sleep, rest, eat.  Wish I could write tirelessly, more tirelessly than I say I’m tireless.  Literally never sleeping.  That’s a wish.. just a wish, some sick writer fantasy.  Only working– only writing books.  Even when I’m touring as a result of a book and speaking about it I’m writing another, writing about life on the road speaking about my book– the ultimate aim is travel, having mornings or nights or mornings like this in other states, other countries.  Talking to people about writing and living and happiness… now I think it may be impossible to go back to sleep.  But if make too much noise, little Kerouac will come down here, and that will make his day tougher on him, being tired and not connected to school activities.  Go back to sleep, Mike…  You can pick this up later.  Glenn would never say that to himself out in the vineyard, ’round harvest.  How many farmers do you know, if any that would just make up an excuse like that, something so it’s easier to talk themselves into something.   Well, phone tells me battery is down to 10%.  But even that’s not an excuse.  I could get out my Comp Book and write with pen. But that would wake Jackie.  Just put it down, go back to sleep.  This can be finished later.  This sitting, or laying is a victory.  When was the last time I did this?  Can’t even remember.

Have to use restroom.  Be quiet… tips of toes, tips of toes.  Well, if he did wake that wouldn’t be so bad.  Then I could keep working, defeat 4AM even further.

wine sketchez

Yountville Prose

The entirety of the collective offering was nothing less than declarative.  From the whites to the reds, both Cabernet Francs, the Syrah, and notably the Howell Mountain Cabernet, I was pulled from tasting normality.  It was a haunting progression of tasting wine that I’ve waited for for some time—  busy’s I am it’s arduous to find a plot of hours to go out, be a tourist— and if you’re in the industry you understand that, “What’s it like to be on the other side of the bar.” There was no bar here.  Joey with his calmed and decidedly conversational ebb sat me down and poured, talking about the wines in a way that aligned with how the wines wheeled their amalgamated thesis to me as the wanna-be tourist.  I sat at that rustic, cozy square table and sipped the SB, Chard, Pinot and Franc, Syrah, Howell Cab, and just sensed a separation from palate pattern. Each of these offerings displayed decision and animation in their thought folds.  I’ve always said that “a good wine is not only one you like but one that follows you.” Each of these bottles possessed that poise, that resilience to chase me back to the car, to make me meditate and postulate my relationship with wine.

It’s been years since I’ve found myself in the Cornerstone tasting room, but there I was, today, with my Composition Book and not able to write and reflect, react, quick enough.  Sitting at that table, I belonged to the wines Joey poured— I belonged to that view, the chair and the Syrah while I took my sweeter than sweet writer-time.  My aggregate counterpoise tells newfangled forms across varietals.  Cornerstone Cellars has decided its reality, clearly, and I was fortunate enough to be there, right there, in the Room for some disclosure and geographic sensibility.  I react to wine, but I have no reaction.  Cornerstone has me simply smitten.

inward jot


Fund Other Subject

Client writing.  In home office.  Time set for 4 hours, see all I can get done.  Have 3 hours, 23 minutes left.  Coffee from Whole Foods on Yulupa tasted like shit.. young kid remaking it after I told him it was cold.  “You said ‘extra whip’, right?” He said.  “No.  I didn’t.” I jabbed.  And even if I did, what the fuck would that have to do with the temperature of the cup?  Anyway I’m here suffering through it, writing about wine-food pairings, and the ideas fall on me like the rain the last few days.  Have to go to the bookstore on campus, in a bit.  Should that be part of my 4 hours, or should I do it after?

Done with draft.  Almost.  Then have another client to write for, one I’m not charging that much which may have been a mistake, but.. well.. here I am.  Going to need a break in a minute.  Listening to Hutcherson— or Coltrane, rather— enjoying being a writer but have so much in my head that… that… ugh, I’m a little lost but found at the same time, concurrent with the life I’m targeting.  Traveling, teaching.  Class, tomorrow.  Day 3 of this semester and lecturing on HST’s ‘F&L/Vegas’.  Feel bad shortening the title but I’m short on time.  You do what you can, in business.  Learn along the way.

More than ever, I need an office.  Something offsite, away from home where I’m isolated and separate from home clutter.  Not that bad in here, but enough to stress me or/and distract me.  Three hours, exactly, remaining.  Have to write this bio really quick, then be on the writer’s way.  Should buy myself lunch today, no?  Where should I go?  Sandwich?  Brunch?

You should see me now, with three projects going.  I’m on my way to the Road… my story as a writer/blogger/business bloke… quicker, quicker.  The peace in this house can’t be over-appreciated.  I keep moving.  Moving with all I have and know, writing and recording everything, everything.

Last sip of that putrid mocha.. ugh, thank the Craft.  Couldn’t stand another sip of that thing.  Yes, ‘thing’.  Not sure what he did to it, and I don’t want to know.  Was it soy milk?  I don’t care.  Fuck it—  Never going there again.  Should go get a book, really quick.  Then come back.  What else can I get done today?  Know what I absolutely have to get done…. Reasoned, need a break, going for a drive, will get something to eat and bring it back here.  Have to move and work and live quick.  That’s how I’ll get my office, that’s how I’ll get to the Road.  This home office, today at least, is an incubator of sorts— where the writer self-nurtures, grows, measures and fires.  What I’m learning is to think less, just jump.  If I don’t, I’ll never fly.  Monday’s motivation begins to take hold, and I mean REALLY take hold.  2 hours, 37 minutes more.  Soar.


img_99951/1/17.  So it’s here.  And I’m here for a couple hours to gather self…  Not an inch of planning, just doing.  Hopper Starbucks for a couple hours and disbelief that it’s already 2017, but I have to get over that, and immediately.  Woke with a bit of a stomach-honed uneasiness but that’s not at all a result from the wine or sparkling J Rosé I bought Alice, but eating too late.  And that ice-cream sandwich nightcap.  Yeah, won’t be having one of those for a while.  First lesson from this first day of ’17, is to just do.  Feel like in English classes they instill too much process and procedure when it comes to writing.  In high school and even in the JC’s quirky and medicinal-looking rooms.  Why not just hop into your idea, start writing and edit or polish or refine later?  Why can’t writers, or any of us, just be allowed to DO?  To write?  To express and be ourselves as that’s what living is.  That’s what Newness is and learning from Self— when you try new approaches and avenues, and you find yourself in a belle vie.  The first day of a new year, after so many do so much planning, you’ll find me here in Hopper just writing, just flying at the page with a blind appetite and subscription to this writing life.  To this creative life.  Even with my center a bit a-quake, I sip slowly a medium roast.  Left the sparkling water bought for me at home.  She just called to remind me.

Rather large man sits across the room from me, making noises and laughing.  I’m not being judgmental but I do need to concentrate.  On my story as a teacher with this new year and how this WILL be the semester to end all semesters—  Or rather, to START all the following semesters.  Me, mobile, sharing my ideas and thoughts and approaches with students, and formulating new ones with them.  Saw one of my strongest and more cherished students from Spring of ’16, yesterday at the Piner Café while in line to ring out with Jack (after he and I enjoyed a daddy-Jackie lunch).  The man across from me makes more sounds but then focuses on a tablet he brought and is quiet, or quiet under all this Hutchinson I have playing.  2017…  New Year, New Day, New Mike, New STORY—  So I fly toward it like a fly on a freeway about to hit a glass flat, but I dodge and continue flying toward impediments, evading them or slaying them.  Wine is music so it will be there with me in my story, in the 2017 stream…

Already see day one of Spring ’17—  Theme: Freedom.  In all the authors we’ll be covering.  Hunter, Plath, Kerouac, Hughes.  This will be the most constructive and magnetic semester of my career.  For a number or reasons, but foremost how everything will extend from the “teaching”.  Connected to this blog and to me and culminating in a book, sending me on travels where I’ll sip wine from some hotel room and write about the wine and the room and how I can’t wait to go back home to Alice and the little beats.  One object for this year, as I scribbled in the Comp Book, was something like “MUSIC…more music”.  Again, something like that.  But Bobby now tells me to just play, jumpy around in your own notes and knots and consciousness hops.  2017 is about life in the creative and only living such.  No playing roles, or “looking the part” as so many say— that’s always annoyed me.  Why spend anymore time doing anything but actuating.

More people come into Starbucks, appearing beat, worn, over-sipped, tired from the night before.  How could you do that to yourself?  That would waste if not terminally infect any forward in this first ’17 page.  Others aren’t like me, I know, or like my writing friends like the lady at work in the office who also teaches and understands this phylum of thought.  We have to write, we have to be we, always.  It’s definitely here.  The year where everything has to happen.  Freedom and exponential simplicity but I’m overthinking as usual, as a usually over-self-used writer.  Write forward, write from this coffee and to the next one, and back home to the water you were supposed to have drank more of.  2017 orders me to continue as veridical as possible.  No fiction, only truth.  And I do plate any fiction, like with Kelly, then it has to be from a place of truth, a fold not in any way fictive.  Truth solves everything, and truth coupled with creativity is impervious.  I start to relax, on this first day, while Roy Hargrove and Ronnie Mathews play.  The first day puts me in a place.  One if not lucrative then assuredly, freeing.