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.


No decisions.. just narrative–

This newest of New Years is a day-diamond,

blinding me with visual invite.

Only one option and that’s to be a storm

of scribble creation, build with ideas

and blocks and moment, travel– learning from

a redrawn and more animated me.

journal –

img_9932Now just a dash to the third page before getting summoned to the tasting room.  And I have to caution you, this is going to be rough, sped, and maybe even a bit sloppy.  But it’s me in the moment, me in these less than 48 hours before 2017.  The year I turn 38.  Fuck, I don’t want to think about it.  And I won’t.  What I’m going to do with this new year is make it truly a NEW year.  A year which is only the start of more years where I do ‘New’.. engage in Newness and follow my artistic and creative curiosity and impulse.  Early and I’m already moving faster than I have all of December, and probably much of November.  2017 is going to be a new year, a better year, but a more educational year for this writer and teacher, father and runner, thinker, wonderer and wanderer.  Right now I hear co-workers talk ‘bout how they can’t wait for the day to be over, and what they’re doing new year’s eve, and I get that.  Some of me entirely agrees.  BUT… the majority of my ruling character wants to focus on the Now, me here in this page and at this desk, looking out at the vineyard but I don’t too much.  I need to adhere and harness self to the words, the the langue of the moment I’m in— this ME, right here at the desk listening to music and more than just looking the part of the writer— it’s not a part, it’s not an identity, it’s a materialized story of one of words; the sentences and stories and written reflections whereas others just disregard their moments or take them for granted.  Without struggle, no progress, Douglass wrote.  Yes… but I’m done struggling.  Not that I struggled as hard or horribly as him, but 2017 is a time for vast and expansive progress.  Profitable progress.  Educating and enriching progress.  I can feel it coming.  Don’t need to go back to grad school as this new year is more than a program or new major or graduate degree.  This new year is about being a new student, of the year itself.  Noting everything.  Seeing each following day as a quiz or test, revisit of the previous day.  If I’m a being in search of some greater meaning, as Plato suggested, I think I’ve finally found the meaning, and what I’m supposed to mean and be and persist as to the world.  So now, I start.  2017 is about actuation, not playing any part or role.  It is BEING.  I’m a being about being a truly written being.  When down to the third page, I’ll be ready for the tasting room, ready to pour and tell people about wine and speak in my poetic tumbles and vary foresights—  I love when people react to my words on wine, how I on-the-spot recite about my connection to the puddle entity.  Wine is more than wine… and if there’s anything 2017 knows about me, and what I know about it, is that it will be a year de vin.. words and travel, photographs and story telling, new people and friends and experiences and memories, books and crazed meander meditations and intonations.

Listening to usual Pandora station, looking right, out past the desk and into the vineyard, think it’s time for another walk.  Why not.  Not much happening today.  Phone hasn’t rang once, and I’m all about observation this morning.  Speaking and Newness.  Eventually I will have to get up from this chair and go for a walk and see what the vineyard wants to tell me.  Words and stories of its life— its own music.  Moving quicker and quicker, on stage reciting to people I’ve never met.  Isn’t that what art is?  Isn’t that what Newness is?  Sip what’s left in the Starbucks cup—  Goddamnit.  That’s it?  Co-worker just made coffee but I want to wait a bit.  Need to exhibit at least a little lash of composure this jour.  Too much fire invites a blaze, or inferno that escapes control.  But maybe that’s part of Newness.. the rich visual facets and the narrative and the new articles and meditations of moments I’ve never before met going into this new year.  Has the New Year already began?  Think so.  And why did I capitalize it there?  Why not?  New.. new riles and rules and laws that I decree and somewhat regulate.  What a poet is is a manager of New experiences.  One with a familiarity and lack of familiarity with them— deliciously polarizing and contradictory.  The contradiction is its own encouraging composition.  Looker, seer—  me, a poet.