1/6/19

Been writing in more than one place for the ’19 story.  Oh well I say to myself with another glass of sparkling, Jackie over there playing on the tablet my mom and dad bought him this past xmas.  Nothing I’m writing lately I’m liking.  Certainly not loving.  So what’s the bandage for that?  One part of me says just write free, with less shackle and inner-hassle.  What’s that mean I don’t know so I re-focus on Jack.  The day he and I have had, his sister too.  She now off with wife and wife’s friend and wife’s friend’s daughter to Target to get who knows what.  Kerouac has some inner dialogue with himself regarding the game, if it’s a game or some scholastic, learning program…. “Jack, what are you doing?  What are you playing with?” He gives a bit of a mumble but I’m not convinced that was directed at me.  He goes back to doing that, whatever that is.  He rests the right side of his face in his right palm, right elbow on right inner-thigh as he sits on floor, legs crossed and lightly locked.  We just spent the past couple hours watching football.  Playoffs.  Or postseason.  Chicago versus Eagles, in Chicago.  Eagles pulled it by a point.  Just one.  I of course was on CHI’s side for various reasons—none of which I’ve told you so I guess I shouldn’t write “of course”—and so was Jack.  Both us disappointed in the result.  But we move on.  He with his game, or learning program, me with words and this morning before our together time, and time with his sister, a 7-mile run which I now feel.

Hoping to get some reading in, tonight.  Hemingway, Coelho, Plath, Hughes….  Not sure I’ll touch all four books, but one of them I’m rather confident.  Need to write more poetry, read Hughes more, and other poets like Cummings, Plath of course, Yeats, and from that collection of several poets I was gifted years ago.  Today teaches me to not work against existing momentum, ever.  What you want to do with the day is one matter, what you’re able to do and what you can do with what is present is quite another write.

Writing everything down….  Jack, quite poised and careful how he touches that screen. Face Ibn right palm, again.  He says nothing to me on his own, and I don’t want to break his connection to his current action so I just push these buttons while I look at him.  My little boy who daily loses his littleness to time— Time, that fucking animal, devouring all of us as a matter of duty and functionality, normalcy.  Why I deplore normalcy, the patterns.  The expected.  The unavoidable tumult of the clock.  I look at reflection, mine, and can see changes in my face, around the mouth and eyes.  Forty this year— fuck.  Have I lost some of my awareness and writing ability?  Am I starting to fade?  Looking over at little Kerouac, my little beat.  He’ll keep me young.  His sister, too.

Three days left in year.  Today counted.  Coffee in nook at work.  Break before work, or work before work depending on how it’s looked at.  As I noted yesterday, again I caved, having lunch at a nice spot actually on I believe 4th and Balboa— sorry, 5th and Balboa.  Don’t regret the chicken sandwich and fries I had with co-workers, friends.  But I should have gone to café.  Of course today I set out for same, but I dismiss the dilemma and set self in now where I’m set in this nook, at this new table and chair, writing spot for a writer going into a new year, on his second cup, made in the back office where you proceed down a somewhat sizable hall with glass offices on either side, then that one magical room with the coffee.

Phone, journal on desk, or table, right now it’s my desk or that’s what I have self convinced of.  Writing meditation, the morning, Saturday, next three days off with the new year cartwheeling toward my pages.  Not only learning, I always say that— but instructed by the intersection of one year, then another.  Me growing in story and character… we all grow, or don’t.  That’s a decision.  Yesterday at California and 7th, “Not everyday’s a treasure chest but work feverishly to get what you get.” Jotted before crossing street to next block where reps were speaking to people at their doors, remembering Plath’s words in Bell Jar chanting ‘I am I am I am’ in every street pavement square and at every stoplight. 

Music in everything.  If we don’t see IT that way, then we’re only living, going to work then coming home and sleeping.  The worker shouldn’t see work as work— they shouldn’t work, they should be passion explorers, and if they don’t like their job, their “work”, make it something’s that not only liked but layered in love, loved.

As someone who obsesses over work,

and what work he has to do, what I have planned the next day and the remaining hours of this day, I am honestly with nothing.  But I make myself write.  One student tonight saying one of her goals is, was, is to wake at 2am to get ahead in her studies and I assume write a little as she does write poetry and write in short lines, short stanzas, pieces that span only a page.  And I say ‘only’ out of awe, that she does so much to a page in only a page’s pulse.

Was nearly too lazy to write anything tonight.  Told self, “Just a hundred words, per blog.” But I can’t hold self to that.  Should I do what this student plans on doing?  Should I set alarm for 2?  Isn’t that the time of the artist, the writer and poet?  Didn’t I read that somewhere?  On my lunch today grading papers and writing in the Sonic journal as this goddamn laptop didn’t want to let me use it.  Of course, now, I do push the buttons and have a note in my writing normalcy.

Finish the fucking book, I tell myself.  Like my son said tonight as I poised to make his bed with new sheets, “GET TO WORK.” I am.  I say the same to self.  

Sip the Barbera I popped last night. It, she, more calm.  Me the opposite of anything tranquil at the moment.  Working in the home office which isn’t as common as I’d love to tell you it is.  But, WORK.  Work.  What I write about.  Force self to write when I don’t want to.  I do write about wine, but that’s not my only onus and thought light.

Now, I’m like a train with this, these writing thoughts.  I, not failed.  Not failing in my aims.  I won’t allow that.  No one should.  Why would you.  You are here, once.  And I’m not addressing the fact one only lives once…. I’m speaking to myself and you, that where you are, right now, the opportunity and life invitation to bring a project to completion is singular.  You see it once.

You are a train, if you wish be.  Some unknown animal of fruition, bringing works to an offering stage.  There are only stops that persist acknowledged.  So acknowledge none of them.  I see so many of these speakers and motivational-who-be’s profess all this counsel but don’t consider the most apparent reality… the audience member has to decide.  They only elect to act if they bring themselves to movement.  Tonight I could have just as easily poured this red from El Dorado, sat on the floor of this home study, went on phone and scrolled through some photo pour.  No.  We decide to draw, paint new plausible for our Personhood.  Decide to move, be alive, mentally, alive, wildly alive in all movements of your steps and actuating saunter. 

What work does for and to the character is animated in divinely lucrative chant.  Dodge the task, never.  Distractions and suitable sanctions to project-dodge are terminal.  The panacea, always, is preemptive production.  Never, labor deduction. 

10/15/18

The Glass

img_7604Late, and wine and music, thinking about the day and week ahead.  Day off tomorrow from office new but class later.  Going to put thinking in mode of close, already for semester.  The writing daddy thinking, thinks now, bigger than in past sittings.  Tonight, Pinot Noir.  Went to winery he just in the last month left, yesterday.  He misses it, wine, the industry.  Would he ever go back?  Fuck no, he says to himself.  He says it loud so he can hear himself think it and say it, and feel it more before the next sip.  He’ll have his own winery one day, something small.  That small little tasting studio and room where people, anyone, can just taste wine and talk.

He closes all the other docs on his laptop.  Focuses on his memoir or note or memoir-ish novel piece, he throws more Pinot into his circuitry.  And I’m tired already, even though I did manage a nap earlier, and after having some coffee.  Guess the writer needed it.  Mike looks at the wine, remembers his last days at that Chalk Hill spot, going into the vineyard his last day with the TR manager to do his exit and she saying this is how it should be done as he’d always talk about the vineyard and everything in it, how he’d walk it everyday.

He’d write it.  That tell-all.  Or something like a tell-all.  He wasn’t trying to expose anyone or call anyone out, or do any tabloid shit on his blog, he just wanted to write the wine industry, the bar the glass the towels the inventory.  Each turn, jot on a paper clipped by a spreadsheet metal clip-y thing.  He looks again at the glass and writes more notes about it, what he thinks someone from, maybe somewhere like, Indiana would say.  Some small town Indiana person, now a rich oil or farm behemoth.  “That’s nice, that’s like one of those Pinots that tells you what Pinot is, what it’s all about… I’ve had Pinots like this before, I’ve had a lot of them…” He’d heard lines like this, so many times before, someone trying to sound like something, some wine something, an expert or “connoisseur” or “aficionado”, or just a fucking EXPERT.  But it’s in his head.  He knows he has to write this down.  All of it.  He sipped the Pinot faster, pour another glass or sip right from neck. It’d changed, 

Wine speaking to him in octaves applauded, in his thoughts.  Empty glass, full head of wine visions, walking a vineyard again like he did at every wine he’d ever worked at.  He doesn’t know where he is in this session, and he doesn’t care.  The mocha, maple, cherry and milk chocolate from the wine speaking even several minutes after sipped.  He sees himself light up after writing about glass’ occupant, even after gone, even before letting it sing through a bottle’s neck like he were Kerouac.  Much to tell, more now later.  As a writing daddy ought do.  Much anew do.

9/23/18

Noting everything I learn in the tech scene,

world, language, behavior pattern and way.  I’m one with a little reluctance, but I’m using what I know how to do well, and from there amplify.  Guess that’s my new tone and talk, ‘amplify’, and amplification.  Think it’s safe to say I won’t learn how to code any time soon, nor design sights, install internet.  I speak, I write, I guess I sometimes entertain, I speak (already said that, sorry), and story-tell.  That’s what I do, what I know how to do.  13 minutes left in break and my eyes are still on that coffee drink.  But I’d have to use my debit card.  Don’t want to do that.  Just make yourself another cup of coffee and let it cool off, I say to self.  People play video games off to right, and again I take the energy here much more with a welcome write than how I felt at the winery in final days at Roth.  And I hate to say that and keep mentioning that in these entries because I love wine, I love even the industry, or at least what I knew the industry to be before I was devoured by it.  I swear, if I would’ve stayed…. I don’t want to think about it.  Wouldn’t have been healthy, or beneficial to me, and certainly not the writing.

I’m eager to speak to this new hire, and see what the girl I’m working very closely with to a blessing’s believability, T, says.  Questions, educating, me being educated while I’m more or less educating from the less than 12 full days of life here.  I’m going to teach from what I know.. sales, speaking, not just relating to customers but listening, seeing what they need and providing a certain narrative and depiction of what Sonic is.  Not sure why I call it “office new”, still.  Habit, or just being a funny, quirky, language tussling and fiddling pen bloke.  I don’t know.

Less than five minutes and I just made my coffee so I’m prep’d for the remaining hours in my day, here in tech’s step.  I shouldn’t say that, I think.  This office is much more than just a tech spot, place of business.  I see Sonic as a consumer advocacy group as I said to T a few days ago and earlier today, I think.  I’m learning how to do not just better business but more coherent business.  More creative, more life, more education… I don’t know where to start sometimes when it comes to this new office.  Sonic.. and me, the Lit and writing prof’, put into a new book and new storytelling  assemble and vocal.  Doing wha tI can in the breaths last, make them last, looking around the break room and feeding from everything from the video game sounds to the conversations right I listen to but don’t at all.  New job, new words and walls, chairs and tables, coffee and doors.  Everything a propellent, ascending action and atmosphere from one character to ‘nother.  The observations and written reactions and reflections, MY business.

On the eve of me leaving wine’s industry, I sip a Merlot.

img_6931The varietal that brought me into wine, that invited me into the collective compositions and narrative, luminous elucidation of it all.  After tomorrow, I’ll only write about wine.  Not be int he tasting room.  Not have to look at schedules and calendars, first thing in morning when the coffee’s barely taken its place in my pulse.  I’m sitting on the floor thinking about the past 12 years, in wine, the industry, the stories and people, everything.  Merlot, from Dutcher Crossing, inarguably the winery that made me the sales and marketing and wine storytelling expanse I am. Or that I think I am.  I’m nearly 40.  It’s time to leave. And more demanded, time to enjoy wine as a true consumer, not one saying they’re the consummate consumer, which yes I have from time to time to generate sales, which makes me feel like a slimy industry gargoyle.  But you do what you have to do.. to get that sale, oui?  Integrity.  I’m finding less and less of it, valley to valley, county to county.  I’m a consumer, now.  I write about wine.  I’m finally a wine writer.  Wow… I had to leave the business, or industry, the tasting room, whatever, to be what I’ve always wanted to… writer of wine.. translator of.

Haven’t taken my first sip yet.  I’m just staring at that Dutcher puddle, fruit from Napa, Atals Peak somewhere.  See it.. when I first arrived there, interviewing with two people now dearer than dear friends of mine.  Time, whatever it wants it just takes, and that’s my time, my life, this Now, that Now, every breath and second in a tasting room. Now, I fight back.  Tomorrow, my only plan is to thank everyone at Roth, at Foley, then start traveling.  Now I enjoy wine as a writer, a traveling wine writer who looks for any vineyard and cottage, any hut or terrace he can.  Why am I just being this, now?  I’m a wine writer, ‘cause I left the industry. There’s more than forecasted knowledge in that. I’m learning of my control, the nature of my dominance in my story.  Wine is part of it, but not everything.  So now, I sip to sip.  Imagine going to a tasting room and not identifying myself as ‘industry’.  Look at stemless plastic glass, cup, again, and breath, lean my head and neck back into the couches cushion.

img_6934

First sip of the entity, and I’m in a tasting room.  I’m thinking of how I’d speak it, how I’d “describe it” if that’s what you want to say, to a guest.  I can’t tell, anymore.  I’m just into the wine.  Staring at her shade and shape, sense and poetic form, radiant rile and speak from dimensions theorized.  I’m lost, found, loving the delicious duality and dichotomy of not just this wine but my wine story, the past, since ’06….  No miss.  Only a cherishing tryst.  I think.  Again, I’m lost in this, not sure if celebration’s the word, but something to the tune and tilt, tone of.

8/22/18

Wine, Literature, Me and There

img_69121A meeting went excessively better than I forecasted.  Hoped or thought, or wished.  Now home, sipping some Nebbiolo from a friend’s winery, and thinking about how tomorrow is my second-to-last day in the industry.  I’m sipping slow, partially watching some writer show.  Can’t get my thoughts away from this wine, what it’s saying to me, how it congratulates me on re-write of my relationship with wine itself by leaving the bloody industry.  By leaving, I get closer, with distance, I’m even more THERE.

Don’t know what I’m tasting, wouldn’t know how to describe it to someone in the tasting room, and I don’t have to anymore.  Described it to friend managing the winery as  a charismatic and convincing character.   Wine… wine will always have me, in some way.  The words and the stories, the sipping and the sensory elevation and atmospheric promise…. Anyway, I’m sipping, after my lecture, or first meeting with the students, I’m more coherent and convinced of my mission.  To blog everything.. the wine and the lectures, work and this Room.  I’m closer to There.

Short fiction, me now. 

One of my characters littering his studio floor with sheets of short verses and poems, some haiku streams and anti-form pieces.  He gathers whatever he randomly picks up from the floor.  He reads them lightly, not wanting to find any errors as he knows he’ll be tempted to re-write or somehow correct.  Each poem should be a snapshot and taste of the Now, he says to himself.  Right at 5pm, he pours himself a white blend, something from Anderson Valley, and reads some more from the past 8+ hours of scribbling.  He has something, something to sell, just from a day.  Pours another glass, writes another page.

vinward jot, 2017

Last day of the year, I’m in a wined mind.  At the wood table with my coffee, knowing just where I am in my wine shop countdown.  Walking the vineyard, I had the thoughts that will get me there.  All was visible right in front of the Cabernet sign.  I need more bolder be, unapologetic as someone recently me insisted.  There will be no abeyance, but constant motion.  Jazz and poetry in everything.  2018 begins today.. and the three wines I’m pushing today will be an enactment of me at my shop.  Have a $20 bill in wallet, I think from a tip either yesterday or day before, from some day… that will be for the shop.  Putting it away when home.

Pushing the Pinot, Cab today mostly.  And to an extent lesser, the Carneros Chardonnay.  I’m in my shop, today here at Roth.  Have to sell $1600.  That should be easy, with Britt and I.  So I start early.  Posting what I can… writing what I can… even writing a different poem for each wine, describe them differently than I have before… The Chard, my Jane Austen.. Victorian and elegant, convincing and luminous.  Pinot, consummate storytelling, conveyor of atmosphere, place and mood, the jazz singer next to you that’s an intersection between a ghostly whisper and a flirtatious hum.  And, mon amour des amours, the ’15 Cabernet.  Gothic, a novel, a cascade of romance and truth.  I write further about each wine knowing I won’t remember much of it but it’s here to blog and I’ll keep my composition echoing in my pages that me follow to the bar when I set out menus, taste through the bottles with Brittany.. my younger and ever-eager and unusually sagacious soeur de vin.

2017 leaves.  Book closed, done, and I’m starting the most layered and rewarding, enriching and educational manuscript of my total narrative so far.  ’18 is the invitation I’ve been waiting for.  From wine, writing, business and teaching, me as a runner, father, thinker… everything.  The year of not just me, but US.  All of us, readers.  We’re here to get what we want, and what we deserve.  I turn the volume up on my jazz.. not sure who’s playing now, but I recite to self— no fruit flies this morning, and I don’t know how I feel about their absence. No time to thank bout them being on-present.  I’m working in and with, for and through, from what I have— a cold tasting room, quiet and empty and filled with jazz at 09:15.  Cell phone charging, coffee getting colder, both are at left, then to left of them and this table is the dark crush pad, or tank room.. one of the production sectors.  None of them here today.  But I’m here, building my own wined story.  And building a wined story is building all the stories— education, teaching, being a daddy, runner… everything.  2018 will see me at Stanford, me running the Big Sur full or half-mara’…. It will see me do everything.  We, are going to do everything, this new year.  Today’s a day of readying… arming Self with ideas and yay-saying talk, thoughts, pulses and poetry.

Wine is everything.  More than just the pour, the spoken word after the one or one-and-a-half-ounce, or two-oz pour.  It’s all our aspirations… our books.  Our words and dialogues.  The stories and characters.  That’s why I’m here.  And that’s what will take me to my shop, and all and any of us to whatever we demand, in ’18.

Here we go….

Et c’est parti….