Telling the kids we have to go up and get dressed, brush teeth, get ready for day, but I give in and let them have more time.  And I could use more time on the day’s story, this second day of a thirty-day measurer.  What will I be at the end.  Who cares.  Have some time to self today, and I’m thinking after the run go somewhere, to some coffee shop, locally, and write.  I do want to take some vineyard pics as well if I can.  But Saturdays are busy, no matter where you are in the season, so that could prove problematic.  Maybe just down the road, to Hook & Ladder, or De Loach.  Don’t want to do too much driving.  So remain close to this writing studio… needing to take a break, now, go cuddle with my babies, there on the couch and before they’re so grown they’ll avoid writing-daddy at whatever turn they see.  I laugh to self, looking at them.  I’m a dad.  ME.  40 next year.  So now I see the inner-shove for this 30-day project.  Get self as close to what I want for self at 40 as possible.  My office… travel… more wine notes and tastings, blogging and… yes, I need to go tasting today, somewhere just down the road.  I’m thinking De Loach is my spot.  Little Pinot, or Chard, think they make a Syrah of some shape.  But, after a run.  After a run, no buts.  How far will I go.. how far can I go, what distance I can produce, better question.  Haven’t been running as much as the running writer’d like.

After kids are dressed and with teeth cleaned, they draw.  I’m back standing and typing.  Wife on way home from workout and I need to put self in runner’s head.  Will do normal route, then something added.—  Jack harasses Emma by drawing on her sheet, Emma growls and I laugh which doesn’t help.  Ready to run…. Between 5 and 10 miles.  That’d be lovely.  Lovely.  Get some healthy mile count and come home and shower and head out to write more.  Make as much use of the day, this “day off”, as writer and new techie can.  Am I a techie?  I’ve learned more new worlds and specifics, more Newness, at the office new than I ever did in the wine industry’s joke of an industry and business.  I’m a wanna-be techie, I think.  I have a blog, but that doesn’t make me a techie, tech, technically savvy strut. 

Hours after run, 10 miles, then nearly 3 miles of walking, I’m tired.  Kids back from pool and I write as I did this morning.  Jack continues to contribute to his math workbook that he created and designed himself, this morning.  Emma, little Ms. Austen herself on the couch with her laptop.  Would be outside but too hot.  And I don’t object.  Walking around Bottle Barn I imagined my eventual wines, that I’ll make with sister, there.  Just one bottle.  Not too many.  I’m very anti-inventory, since leaving Roth.  Too many SKUs, too many blues.  And, the counting is just a pain.  More than a pain, like a relentless sickness.  That just returns and returns.  Tomorrow helping friend at Idlewild off the square.  Don’t have to be there till noon.  Wife heads out to Train Town with friend and her daughter, so I’m heading to my day and creative missions early.  Take pictures of vineyards and walk around blocks, catch views of harvest if I can.  Definitely heading to Roth, maybe Foley Sonoma, or something outside the Foley book.  Just want to be in wine’s world and valley to do just that.  BE there.  Not working, just being, creating, writing.  I’ll be Kerouac as well tomorrow, but a Madigan model and chronicle.  Writing everything down…

Daughter slides off couch and walks around, dazed.  Can tell she’s tired.  “Emma, you wanna play with Dada?” She doesn’t answer, and I head back to these keys, hear train passing outside, Jack still very much in his authoring actuation.  I ask Emma again, she lazily and with extended annunciation, “No.” Okay, so I don’t feel too bad about typing as I am.  Again feel the depletion from the ten mile run.  Wanted 13.1, but the heat stopped me.  Surprised I got as far as I did.  While walking around Spring Lake, I thought to myself about stress and how so often it coms from trying to control something and not being able to.  So my new resolve, resolution and trenchant view involves just dong what I want and if something blocks me or impedes then loudly amplify ( a word I much prefer to “scale”) demiurgic movements.  All of them.  I watch both babies, Emma now visibly drained, trying to fall asleep on the couch.  I offered to take her upstairs to nap with her mother, and then she revives with no notice.

Just told Emma she’s cute and she took such as an insult.  “ I not cute, Dada… I big guuu’!” I laughed and went back to these keys.  Like I’m in college, writing something just before deadline.  Not editing a thing jus typing and using everything around me to get to demanded word or page tally..  Or a wine journalist and blogger, notetaker, feverish jotter, scribbling more on the wines I last night had, the Italian white then red blend, not Italian like other character, providing contrast valuable.  Both said something to me about my relationship with wine, and how wine’s provided a platform for everything, everything, even getting into tech… the office new.  Wine and I, together out of the tasting room.  And what now… write something.  Wine, writing, running in Sonoma County in view of vineyards, sometimes.  Not today unfortunately.  Just wasn’t in the story for day.  15:39, and I still have a lot to do.  Stating and staying busy, working on this writer’s projects and everything in his writing ways.  Just charged camera for tomorrow.  Not sure why I’m so set on doing photography, tomorrow.  Why not.  See what happens.  One of my secret aspirations is to be somewhat, I guess, a photog.  Never sacrificing the prose, but more pictures.

Kids unusually calm, and me getting tired.  Hope they don’t get frenzied and decide to confederate against the running writing daddy.  Or, I hope they do.  There’s more story and AMPLIFICATION in that.



Opened one of my favorite bottles from Roth, guess I had one more, had no idea.  The ’15 single-vineyard Cabernet, Alexander Valley.  So then of course I think of the wine industry and all the years I spent in it, all the people I met and the wines fro Roth.  Where I am now in my relationship with wine, now in tech, sipping wine just to sip it and occasionally write about it.  The bottle tonight speaking to me in a way it never has.  Tell me to find my freedom, shed any anxiety or suppression, oppression, any muffle or mute.  I’ll have another glass in a minute, but first I’m set on starting this sitting… getting my thoughts in some revolution, some momentum.  Technology, the internet, where I am.  With this bottle and the last glass celebrating my first couple days of this second week.  A wine guy in tech, teaching his last semest—  Different approach.  I need quiet, after today.  First day teaching after a long weekend.  I need stillness, peace, no sound.  Need me, these keys, an early rise if I can but more than likely won’t.  Today though, waking at 06:00 on the dot, after hearing son upstairs walking around, to and from our room, saying how he’s going to get dressed so the writer accepted the challenge and shot from under the sheets, got in the shower and made the day start itself.  I thought of what I’m to do right when I walk through the doors after scanning my badge.  What I’ll say, what I want accomplished, what I want from coworkers, what I want to say to them. This office new has me riled and antagonized in a way the wine industry was definitely unable to do.  So I don’t know if it’s irony or paradox that I’m celebrating with the Roth bottle, but I am.  I’m sipping to sip.  Not overanalyzing, seeing more in how I interact and intersect with wine, what she wants to say to me in this occasion and what I’m to do with the next glass poured when wife goes upstairs, finally.

Sorry.  Just need time to self.  No one around me.  The day took a toll.  Not one terminal, or damaging by any means, but I certainly seek solitude this nuit.  No one around me.  May put on some Coltrane.  Or not.  Maybe just write to the sound of the dryer upstairs.  Breathing, thinking about tomorrow in the office, already ideas quake and bubble like eager thought lava. I calm it.  Mediate and meditate in everything in my reality, 39, now.  What will I think in a few years.  What should I care.  I’m here now.  And I need to put more into this project, this blog, this story, the wine/literary/techie.  I’m a techie?  OR, a literary wine guy in the tech world.  Why do I need a title?  Why do I need anything but a page?  I don’t….  Wie upstairs, finally, time for another glass of the Meola.  She waits, that red, for my reaction and my reasoning in response to her tide and vibe.

Coltrane on.  Couldn’t resist.  As I wrote earlier the bottle shows more aggression than the last time I saw her.  Less restraint, a principle-driven grace to her setting and postmodern dialogue.  I let her sit a while, next to me in the stemless bowl.  I look at the color, more than depth-void, like an opaque rhythm and beat which I only associate with the unknowns in human consistencies. When you don’t know something, you should feel encouragement and intrigues. Push to explore and wander.  That’s what she does, tonight.  She has in past, but the Now contrasts.  With intensity and new rhythm.  Her voice is familiar but with a new bewitching beat.  I’m the one in the corner listening to her sing, wanting to write down some reaction, some emotion from what I see and taste, experience, but she’s away orbited. And I collapse in my speak-lapse.  I can’t write a thing, but only experience and not react or live or to page anything give. What I am is a sheet with only lines unoccupied, ashes, but then in next sip I’m new tint, new chromatic habit, sporadic, a her-fanatic.

Before getting too fustian in my sentences, of her, this wine, I think of the Roth tasting room.  Sitting there at that table, the long polished wood surface either intentionally or by-chance in California’s shape.  Never got an answer on that.  But how I’d show early, on weekends, to write, in the quiet of that room, the tasting room, doing more for me and my writing than the others did, for sure.  I wait for my next sip, think of literature, tech, wine, me, Sonoma County.  Not sure why, but here I am. There I am.  I’m everywhere in this ride of thinking, this paragraph to paragraph jab and meditative lab, here on the floor of my living room with wife and babies upstairs.  I’m closer to 40, when I’m to write a thorough, loud and ostensible self-assessment of where I am in this story, my story.  Where do I want to be?  Well, There.  My, THERE.  I know what that is, but anymore I’m fearful of paginating it. I wont.  I see it. You’ll see it, my There.  Readers all, will.  The wine, she massages the worry and any self-doubt from my cloud, my Now.

One shoe on the wood part of this floor, feet from where I situate. My daughter’s, the left.  I think about the last step she took in that shoe, what she thought while taking it, where I was when she stepped that step.  Don’t think she wore that pari today, so it must have been yesterday.  The Cabernet reminds, time, it doesn’t care.  I have to keep writing, wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, like when in the field the other day and sneaking a couple minutes to write some short poetic impressions.  One foot, literarily, in front of the other.  Situate, meditate, on the words and my Now fixate.  Wth wine’s loving shove.

Hermetic Glass

img_3291Later in day, I’m more into my new reality, less than 365 days till 40.  This is a joke, right?  I’m going to wake before wife does for her little bootcamp or mommy workout cult, or body fit.. form… whatever it’s called.  Today in the tasting room, taking shipping to base across the street then later counting inventory, not at all my favorite thing to do, has me in a mood.  Not so much a mood but how I’m going to get to where I want to be.  The same as these winemakers having their dreams of starting their own beat.

Some Cabernet from tasting room, a ’15, home with me and making me think more of wine and life and the possibility of touching what’s only to some a vision, some delusion, something to which they’d say, “Maybe you want to aim for something more realistic.” Too lazy and cranky to get up and sip more of her, so I sit here and … just sit.  Be bitter.  An old man.  39.  Then I say, “Remember what the DMV guy said.” True.  The wine industry, testing me… and quite boldly.  With no apology.  I accept.  And more motion from me such begets.

Ready for another glass… and to meditate a bit in current thought bluster and climate.  Hear the wind outside and it reminds me of the fires then I think fuck it I don’t want to think about that so I force myself to stop, and ready for next pour.  Getting messages from friend at work, whose last day is tomorrow.  Not sure how I’ll manage without him, but I will I just have to get into a more fighter sense of a writer turn.  It’s my turn, to advance in career and in my writing, books and general reality.  Day’s close, and this writer’s mind opens to stars…

Two weeks till 39,

img_4124tomorrow last of Spring ’18, and this glass of the St. Francis OVZ, my last.  Tom Wolfe died today, and again I’m reminded.. curt, life is a trash compactor wall.  So I sip and scribble and meditate over day at winery, where I wondered how many times I can wipe down a counter, how many times I can walk out to the vineyard, saying to self I should taste the Pinot Gris a couple more verses till it says something that actually says something to me.

This Zinfandel isn’t with my sitting, not here on this floor and with me and these keys.  Wishing self back to car, on my drive down to Anaheim in the harshest of A.M. dark time, morning, after getting coffee and letting thoughts trample me going across the Richmond-San Rafael bridge.  I don’t care about my age, not massively nor with minuscule sole.  I onward step and type and look to the light right above my head near a non-moving fan, hearing the fridge growl at me from left knowing the time is tempered and taught to squared legs.


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.


In hotel room. (NaNoWriMolecules)

All unpacked.  This is exciting and odd, excitingly odd with concurrent flashes of education.  I sip what’s left of the Calluna blend and continue with the day, here quiet to me— and I think to myself, “Well, you’ve always wanted to write in a hotel room, on a trip, well here you go.” Laughing to myself and needing music in this odd, unfamiliar room.  Falling behind on book progress but the decline in pace isn’t terminal like last year’s attempt at a book.  This is so many letters.  To me and to students and to everyone and everything around me, that I accept it all and don’t resist a thing.

The wine tells me to put on some Hutcherson, or Coltrane, to relax and not think about a thing…. This is not for you, but for your kids, for your students.  You work for them, just know.  Getting a little hungry and wonder when the bar downstairs opens.  I remember they said 17:00 (they just said “five o’clock”, but that’s how I in head noted).  Irrelevant, incongruous, my overthought.  So I persist pervasively in this strange room.  If I were on an overnight, here, or say I’m somewhere like New York or Miami, Texas or Portland, what would I be speaking on, tomorrow?  Well, writing I guess.  And how what you write is more of a statement than what’s on the page.  It’s more than a statement of and on you, your like.  You’re tossing a significant thought stone into the collective brook.  It will ripple.  You should be mindful of the ebb and ricochet of your offerings.  Writing, reading others’ writings as well, has alway presented a bewildering intensity of intimacy to me.  So I always offer to students, “Don’t think, just write.” I admit.  But know yourself before you start typing, or start penning.

Finally, with some Coltrane.  “Equinox”.  I’m on the Road, literally.  Or I was, on the way back here after retrieving some particulars from the Autumn Walk Studio.  But I’m not going to overwhelm you nor I with why I’m here in the room.  I’m activating my son’s mentality, of this being an adventure… being excited to be here.  I’m here because of a disaster and that hour I now re-mold into a manuscript, this month’s/year’s novel.  A letter to me, you, the students, and everyone around me… the tidal wave of perception doesn’t halt and neither will the writer.  The Calluna deceives me in its gentle landing and traffic.  The prospective pathos forwarding me in a  tiered and tireless rhythm of Me.  This new writer, this new student, and I guess Educator.  What I’m learning from this, more than perspective, more than managing my attitude, mood, but opening my eyes…. Looking.  Understanding the scenic ingredient and calculating my composition.  You want to write?  Yes, just start.  But, know why you want to write.  I was recently told, “The ‘why’ doesn’t matter.  The ‘what’ does.” This remark had to deal with winery inventory, so the speaker was actually I guess correct.  But in the literary world, my world, my educating efforts, in the lectures and letters I’m about to offer the planet, the WHY is the functionality, what breathes, what circulates blood in the idea.  The what proves ancillary.

Tonight, while writing, or reading, take notice of where you do so.  “Location as character.” As I used to offer in class, more often.  Where I am.. this hotel room.  This hotel.  Never been here before.  Never seen this building from the outside before, I don’t think, let alone its guts, or this room.  My view… a pool, a hot tub, parking lot, casino across the street.  Love the room you’re in, even if it’s a dentist office, or cubicle, or waiting room, if you’re waiting for your car to be serviced.  This hotel room is like a place of worship for the writer…. Regret missing class today, and very much wish the day didn’t dictate as it did with it integral complicit contingencies and volume of steps in my house, people I didn’t know.  But it was there.  THEY, were there.  Didn’t want Alice alone.  So I stayed, called both sections, and am here now in a hotel with the sun running away and this seat, this jazz, this wine, and quiet.  No air cleaners, or people ripping tape off anything, people talking to each other about something I have no fucking clue what—  Relax.  This is the day, and the day is done and this quarter is my Now, mon espace.

Can’t believe I’m here.  Singular word for me, now, in this Now…. ‘Everything’.  I’m taking everything.  Everything used for the story—  Was just interrupted by a business call, someone tapping me for creative input for his friends’ label.  I’m flattered and inspired by the call, but as well a bit irked I was taken from my sitting.  Mr. Coltrane speaking to me through randomized note tangential.  Know the bar’s open downstairs, but I don’t want to hear any voices, not even my own.  No noise, just this room, this room, MY room.  Or at least at the moment.  The room tells me to stop writing, enjoy the view.  Then I respond, “The view is of bloody Rohnert Park.” It says nothing back.  Which means the writer/teacher/displaced daddy has to cull his next command.

Not really unpacked.  All the bags are here and I haven’t touched them since I put them all here, there, on the bed and floor and the room me makes anxious when I look up.  Empty glass, full thoughts, new notes, and this table makes a funny sound when I type now, without any justification since I plugged in laptop to wall outlet.  New Room, hotel… want to go for a walk, observe and capture all that I can.  Could go to bar and write what I hear people say.  Not have anything to drink, but merely sit, scope, scribble.  What’s left in the session, time-wise?  Not sure.  The pool behind me glows, that cinematic blue-green-white.  I have no idea what to make of it but I’d love to jump in, swim while it rains or drizzles.  Walking away and jumping into the pool could be MY statement, in this writing.


Kitchen and coffee, dropping off Emma before Jack, which I thought would be brilliant but wound up making Jack late and had to go to office and get some pass to return to class as attendance had already been submitted… but I don’t let it slow me, on Friday’s eve, which means nothing to a writer who writes and notes and does something IMG_1480everyday.  Next cup of coffee, after drinking what I made last night from container, or thermos, or tumbler… what I normally drink coffee from.  Giving self an hour to write before hopping in shower and rushing to campus to rush through grading and get whatever I need done, done.  I’m more than merely motivated… I feel a galactic shove or urgency all about me.  Meditation in this kitchen, composition, but more a lightening bolt of boldness to what I want to do… get to my office, wherever it is.  Healdsburg, here in Santa Rosa.. wherever.  Auditing my notes, all writings, and using all, marketing all, selling all… while offering all for free.  And how can that be?  You’ll see, trust me.  Not ready to leave chair and walk the three or so feet to get coffee.  I don’t want to stop writing, ever feel that?  And if you don’t write then the inclination to stay in the chair, or just ‘put’?  That’s what’s me right now, in this immediacy, this containment of my creative character— nothing to do with wine, or at least at the moment but I think about all the sounds and activity around he winery now, after the fires and everyone’s wine country stories of the fires and how they interacted and intersected with whatever blaze was IMG_1259closest to them.  Keep saying I don’t want to talk about it, but I do and don’t.. odd contradiction but how the writer feels this morning, after rushing out the door to two learning places and back here.  Thought about getting coffee at the Hopper Starbucks, which just re-opened, but then decided to just come back here and have hot remedy, free.  Je souris.  (I’m smiling.). This morning tells me to listen to the music, now Miles Davis sharing his “Blue In Green” number with me.  Today, today… nearing end of month, but I don’t care.  Time is irrelevantly romantic, romance in its irrelevance… each moment is its own piece.  Photos of grapes and the winery, my son and his friend standing under a tree in Kenwood… life passing fast but I try like hell to outrun and out-stride it… notes and blazing paragraphs in my modular whim.  I just do what I do, write the moment.. beginning day, with just over 47 minutes to self, here at kitchen counter… what am I learning?  I don’t have two hours to write as I’d like, or even a full hour.  But I have what I have and that’s what I’ll use.  These pictures I shot help, more than “help”… they define my morning definition this morning, like Kerouac with his scroll I have not a single droplet of interest in stopping.  Now I walk to get the coffee…. Hot enough.  Hunger felt, but I make self refrain from consuming any food, at least for now.


Jazz with me, morning with me, wine with me even though I don’t it now sip.  Actually, especially since I don’t now it glass-tilt.  The grapes on the vines, just showing who they are— no makeup, no guise, disguise, falsity.  Just visual candor.  The vineyards.  Me, always there, always.  Write my life from a vineyard, just stay out there and look at leaves, hear the air and the notes it wants to share and how ever long its pieces, numbers, like this Cannonball Adderley track, “Autumn Leaves”, all I looked at yesterday on my lunch walk, the leaves and the colors and how they want to tell me what to now do, how to see the county and that Petit Verdot block overlooking that valley to the north (I think) of Roth Estate. The air in the blocks, now, in Autumn, is all jazz.  Each slight or significant gust is a varying short and sequence of notes, teaching me a wine writer to let go, be free, be wild, be YOU.  Of course, I said back to it yesterday, making reluctance progression back to the tasting room.  Wine for me is nothing to do with wine—  But, out there, in the rows, the cordons, the vines, the rocks around the roots.. the sounds made by a writer stepping, peering in with his camera like a paparazzo more than hungry for ‘that shot’.  I run through more of my vineyard shots, some I’ve already posted and shared with the world but I don’t care.  I “revisit” them for my purposes, to get closer to the music out there, the sounds, sensibilities of the visuals… memories of old wineries, some enjoyable experiences while the others are nothing fleeting of loathsome, horrid.  They all teach, they all had their stories, now part of my story, a wild and wandering wine freewriter— huh.  Thought of something.  But I don’t know if the ‘something’ is a marketable something.  Do I need it to be salable right away?  Maybe.  Or not.  Who knows.  Have more coffee.  I bring the quaint cannikin to my journalistic lips, encouraging more expressive blips—  What I say int he tasting room, how I present wines, everything from the Pinot Gris to the single-vineyard Cabernet that I could never get enough of even if I swore off wine entirely (and even if I did I would write about how much I miss her, and I do, even now…), new languages and poetries, performances for and on and in and all around a writer’s kinesthesia.  Le vin ne me laisse pas arrêter de penser à elle.  (Wine won’t let me stop thinking about her.). Et je ne veux pas.  (And I don’t want to.). She is my topic, my literary love, ever.  My time, my place, my work, my non-work, my play, my passion.. tell and rile, world, storm, Reflective Equilibrium—  In the vineyard standing in front of a vine, not sure of variety but I don’t care, I just recite to her, and she listens, or I have myself convinced she does.  Best reading I’ve ever offered.

30 pages, excerpt (no edits)

…drive to Kenwood, run from Kunde to Lawndale like I used to, then further from that… maybe to St. Francis, up into the mountains, but then I’d have to run back to KFE.  OR do I do the same run from here, from the Autumn Walk studio, maybe I get creative and find some new route on spec… yeah.. a plan for the write, the in-the-moment prose-ist… need more of this Syrah, need log my notes, my findings in its Personhood—  Dark torrential, plausible anything—  Freedom in its form, talking to me like I need to be talked to with its maple-thrown bacon brawl of a blackberry escalation; life in a bottle that I’m not used to, structurally and with its after-sip song and reverb, just feeling what’s being narrated in this enclosed space— the bottle tells me to defy distractions, ignore messages and emails and ‘pings’ and anything not related to art.. sip, sense, found, sound—

How does time do what it does with such shove?  Doesn’t matter, nothing I can do to stop it.  Tonight Had students, or offered them to, consider the different approaches to verse, from Kerouac to Shakur.  And of course me being the selfish penner I be think of me.  How am I in the arena, what am I writing about?  Are that many interested in wine?  Fuck— the writer’s a-mess, amiss, but still with his sipped bliss.  It makes me think of my run come morrow, my story and my hope it carries some duende weight.  Quiet… bottle in kitchen, Syrah.. when was the last time I wrote to Syrah?  Not sure.. but the death of a family friend has me even more sans peur (fearless) in what I’m doing, how I interact with certain certain’s…. The Syrah speaks, and speaks for me— this be the beat but a collaborative rhythm that I have no intention of tempering.  Time… just a gorilla, that I have no chance against in a fight.  Have to wake early…

wine framing


Cancelled class this morning, as I had that meeting and another meeting at a winery down the street.  All day been thinking about selling, and how selling should be more artful and genuine.  More on that later, maybe.  Either way, I’m home.. focusing on me in this freewrite which is assured to be short, abbreviated.  I’m on my knees, in front of couch as phone transfers pictures to laptop.  Goddamn tech, Hemingway never wrote like this.  So I stop and move to the kitchen counter, the island where I’ve so many times wrote.  Helping my friend out today at Hook & Ladder had me thinking about wine and wine language, how I talk about wine, and my helixing of the education and literature surfaces… then my tasting this morning at the old Stryker property.  A lot through my head, my character, possibilities all around… ALL around.  Done transferring photos so now I concentrate on this, my “platform”— ugh, hate that word.  And pour myself some of the Hook & Ladder Rosé.  Light of course, but anything but gutless.  I find this bottle—not sure what it’s a Rosé of—ardent in its storytelling— crisp and lively and dexterous in all its moments, or “palate progression” as my buddy Devin today said.

Title for book— ‘inwardoenojots’.  Don’t like the title ‘cuvée kismet’ anymore.  Was just a tentative title but still, was part of what went though my head while pouring with Devin in that somewhat stuffy, cindery room.  Funny with that last modifier, owner being a firefighter, but anyway I’m with wine-purpose today, more than I’ve ever been I think.  Done with Rosé glass, wondering what tomorrow wants from me.  Today the vines get a sincere jolt of heat, brought closer to their self-pollination.  Me getting closer to something, but I’m not sure what.  Well, I am, I’m just not sure what shape it’s to take.  What… what.  “Brand myself, then everything else.” I just said inwardly.  Not so much in jot form, or wine-influenced, but… present.  In my circulation.  In my sight and senses.  Learning from today that there’s purpose in my movements, in how I speak about wine, in how I see wine, how I taste it.. from the Sémillon this morning to the Chardonnay I had at H&L…. I belong with the vineyard.  This is not a negotiable exercise or echo.

20:37, with Pinot from Hook & Ladder and I’ll be honest, I want to throw myself at this wine, and all the H&L wines.  Yes, started from a firefighter’s conception but as well the approachability of it all.  And not just Hook & Ladder Vineyards/Winery.  Wine principally.  The puddle in my glass has me feeling so majordomo, so captain-like, like Dad in that race car around the Vegas track—  “This is a blast!” He said.  And this is.  This, me sitting not he floor with the air conditioning blowing right on the writer but I don’t care… I have my wine and my moment and this floor, hard on my ass which makes it smart but I’m smarter, outsmarting any shot the cosmic cannon darts my way.  MY way… wonder what it is.  It has to be a blast, blasting off, off to the cosmos somewhere as a wine writer, or journalist, or diarist—  Why do I have to have a fucking title?  I write.  About wine, yes, but other existential pillars as well.

Getting cold under this vent.  Take another sip of the Pinot… it’s Pinot I poured, right?  Can’t remember currently.  Oh well.  I’m not like every other wine journalist, every other, some Napa gnat who sees themselves as one working with “luxury” told from their zip code.  Maybe I’m over-analyzing.  I do that sometimes.  Many times.  Ask my students, or anyone I work with.  Deep pull forms his Hook & Ladder Pinot and I feel Earth getting closer.. more dactyls of truth and earthly scope— what, then, me, in this oenological symmetry.  I know nothing, now, and I love it— I’m like one of those tourists from Iowa, or Minnesota, or Nebraska, or anywhere visiting “wine country” for the first time.  I’m enamored, I’m taken, I’m now bold, and emboldened and stage-told.  No need to teach a class who I’m being taught so much.  I’d rather be a student, anyway.  That’s more a ‘blast’ than anything.. learning, selecting and pocketing knowledge to which you’re introduced rather than being the dope at class’ head.  I’m a student, of wine and writing and writing abut wine and this floor.  Aujourd’hui, a semester concluded and catalyzed.  A new inward-oeno-jot stream…

5 Wine Words, for me… from me to you…..

I’ll get right into it.

img_05601….  Music.  I’ve found that all wines have a certain intrinsic music about their approaches and presences.  They speak in distinguished and varying rhythms.  They play and change tempos, change their chords and tonal consistencies.  Wine sings to us and then at other times just syncopates in shapely instrumental.  After you sip… let oxygen assimilate while the puddle’s about your tongue.  Jazz— rock— classical— spoken word.  Always present in music form.  How do we recognize its metered momentums?  Take our time.. listen to the wine.  Don’t just taste.  If wine is the Earth, we also have to recognize human existence on Earth, and how throughout cultures and their yesterdays music has always been present, realized in all reaches of the terrestrial.  So, naturally, what reifies can only message musically.

2…. Language.  The syllables of wine.  Its mechanics in communicating with us.  What it says.  Its dialects, whether old-world or new, whether Pinot or Cabernet, all wines have their own language.  Some speak passively, some aggressive, some poetic while others stretch rather straightforwardly.  Wine will always tell us something, approaching our senses and saying something to them.  Quite simply, wine wants a listener, wants an audience.  To listen, and yes taste, its story.  Hear about where its from.  The dialects of wine are so innumerable that a wine lover will never run out of pursuits.  Think of the descriptions you read on tasting room menus, or in publications…. Those are only some of the interpretations of the vino lingual.  What does what you sip say to you?

3….  Geography.  Where it lands on your tongue.  Where the wine takes you.  Where is it from.  If your wine is prominent enough to give you a sense of place, it offers a taste of that place.  It takes you somewhere, away from where you sip it.  Even away from where it’s from.  It takes you to a thoughtful plain where you think about your life, where you’re going, where you’ve been.  The geography I’m referring is not just tangible, map-molded and noted geography, but cognitive and sensory.  You’re tasting roughness in the texture, or a certain floral and red fruit frolic about the feel.. then you’re take to a shore, or a rocky view overlooking some vineyard stretch into a horizon.  The last wine I tasted, or drank, last night, took me to a couch, in the mountains, in front of a fireplace, realizing where I am in life— my age, my goals, my direction, those around me.  My story.

4….  Singularity.  Does it stand on its own?  Is it sovereign in its placement?  Or, is it all over the place?  Does it lack coherence?  Wines that are or have been stamped into my collection have always had a punctuation of presence— been individual, individualistic in their mentalities and voices.  Their convinced, convicted, convincing.  Is what you’re sipping stand on its own?  Is it self-personifying?  Frankly, does it have character?

5….  Atmosphere, or ‘feel’ of the wine.  Wines are known to wrap you in some blazon of feeling, or mood.  Or, they give off some kind of mood, or feel, actuating some angle of atmosphere.  I had a wine the other day that just relaxed me in a way that no wine I can recall ever has.  It had a calculated poetic sensibility that kept me, taught me, had me in a calm and equalized mode that made the day more manageable.  All wines have a ‘feel’ to them, create a mood and/or atmosphere.

Just some thoughts, some, many, I’ve scribbled with seismic dote in the past few months, years, on wine and its literary, psychological, philosophy-thrown tendencies and qualities.  What do you notice about what you sip?  Share your notes with us…