Perception, in the kitchen.

Running in the morning.  Ahead on timeline.  IF you could call it that.  Great day in meetings, dinner with parents.  Still hungry but not eating anymore.  Writing novel on her… her… the one wanting more… the character changing jobs, going for creative and not the expected.  I should go to bed, she orders.  I resist knowing I shouldn’t.  In Kerouac beat mode, on beat time.  So what then… more story, more in this kitchen.  Cards for the babies, Valentine’s Day.  What is that.  I’ve never known.

Going to have capping of night, then to bed go… running in morning.  Have to write more on the run, the run is life, is love is reason, is the counter to the counter, the counterargument to anything pessimistic.

Sitting in this kitchen, at the parent’s house… some could judge, and that’s fine.  I’m so focused on my control and centeredness of things.  Some will argue, object and counter-cross-object and puff their legalistic language in so many climates and shapes, but I just don’t listen.  Right now, I’m righted in my Now.

More than simple perception or sight, I don’t know how to define it and I really don’t know how.  I don’t care to.  I think of the poets I study, and the diarists I admire, like Ms. Plath and Pac, Hem with his letters, and Mr. Sedaris, and I find so much funny.  I’m going to delight in life, knowing some will say something.

Distracted by messages.  Should go to bed.  And keep with my stance, keep with my keep, assert the sight and acknowledgement of everything around me.  The world is funny, Humans are funny and barely deserve that capital.  No one in this kitchen but me. Running when it’s dark. So.. go.  Light jazz in back, and me just going from thought to thought, possibility to new newness with this new movement.  Some would maintain a detriment in my narrative, but the peripatetic jabs are only a lucrative tell.  Somehow, they ought be.

Leftover pizza and prospecting thoughts.  What do I do now, to change approach, modify practice and perspective.  When I first started this position the director told me it’s like dating, and to go on hundreds of dates.  Agreed.  Need more dates, and I need more than just dates.  Much of me feels I need propel and speak the brand on my own, but then I think I need even more than that, even.  And if not more than that, something in addition to, or address some quality within what’s already present.  Possibly overthinking, in fact I know I am.  Just keep the conversation alive.  Going to return to certain commerce chambers, and people I’ve met.  In office today, but get out more.  Be mobile, be seen, be instrumental in awareness.

Other thoughts…. My next sale, how to speak this brand, and a removal of all stresses and self-set blocks.  How to liven the day.  Any thoughts?  Not really.  Not at the moment, with this pizza and ice water.  Grade papers, quickly.  Then write letters to prospects, to connections, people I know.  Maybe I should do that, just make a list of every fucking person I know.  Not practical, I know.

Pizza done, little time left in break.  Wondering how to approach rest of day, other than maybe one more cup of coffee, some scheduling of events or some meets somewhere, something.  Needing to get my energy level to more altitude.  Only reason for its depletion is from overthought.  That’s it… easily.  Just overthinking the fuck out of everything.  Going back to desk….  People walking in and out of this break area distracting me and pulling me from more purposeful prose.

Back at desk.  Voices around me but it gets me more into character, and thinking of how to speak Sonic to prospects… what’s in here, this creative and varied form of identity, present in our interactions.  Forgetting about it, for a minute.  All of this—sales and prospecting, emailing and canvassing.  Remember what one of my sales Leads, when supervising the Field Sales Team, said when offering insight to one of his Reps.  He said, “What do YOU love about Sonic?….What kind of person are YOU?” That’s what should be in the conversation.  I’m not one for scripts, at all, yet I somehow find self longing for a script, or some template.

Detaching self for a bit, so I can refocus myself with more sense and vocal.

19 minutes more left in break.  And what do I do…  Fill calendar.  Live in calendar.  Stare, at calendar.  What have I spent money on, today?  Starbucks in morning for wife and I.  And that’s it.  Didn’t get a sparkling water at lunch as I was tempted to do.  Good.  I can tell this entry conveys my mood, but I’m re-writing.  NOW.

Five minutes till next class,

set of one-on-one’s with students, if that.  1A was more than enough motivation for me, blending my professor and wine, writing, wine writing lives.  Dinner later, have to drive across town to pick up babies then down to RP.  What wine am I opening up, tonight?  The Calluna… no, Chris’ Viognier… no, the Chalk Hill blend.  No idea—  Looking at all my students with all their notebooks and taken notes….  Where is my notebook, the one I labeled on the outside “1”?  Think in my car, which wife has.  Should never not have that on my person.  Okay.. noted.  Three minutes now—  People in the building and have no idea what they’re doing.  Have little idea what I’m doing other than writing— but that’s what I do, it’s what I do and I can only do THAT, this, me in my books, in my pages like a fish in an aquarium, though I’m invaluably more free.

Wine tells me to be

strong.  Relentless in what I want, which is to write about her for the rest of my life… what I tasted tonight in that bottle I pulled from the Yulupa Whole Foods, a store that I’m hesitant to say doesn’t behold the most impressive, expansive, or even encouraging wine selection I’ve seen.  But I found one, and this was the one.  I’ll get into specifics later but as I now sip I hear what it orders a writer to do— keep writing.  Don’t let myself stop and don’t focus on the wines I’m not sipping but the one—and all I need is one, at a time—am sipping.img_6157

My first days in a tasting room were a bit of a victory garnished in folly.  Folly in that I really didn’t know what I was doing.  I mean, I knew the St. Francis lineup, or most of the wines offered that day, but I didn’t know the tasting room posture, or presence— at one point I thought to myself, “Seriously, what the fuck am I doing here?” But I was there, I told myself to be strong and that I could do it, to trust myself and that there was nothing that could stop me from doing it, making something of my experience in the tasting room.  At the VERY least, it’d be something to write about, and it was. It still is.

That was ’06.  Here I am, and old man in ’17.  Wine tells me to be strong as time just plows through my life and days, continues to remind me that I’m getting old and now I have kids and they’re getting old.  Wine assures me it’ll always be there for me, though.  “Pick a side!” I’m thinking, “Yours or mine!” But I’m overthinking, and that’s wielded with death.  So I sip the rest of this Marin County Pinot… the bottle’s on the counter by the sink, and I’m too much in Kerouac mode to get up and photograph it with phone and bring the capture back here to post, put pixels into this prose.  What difference would a winery name make, I think.  None.  Enjoy the wine as a wine— yes you have the specs of Pinot and Marin County, and that’s all you need in this immediacy.

Tomorrow arranging a wine club inventory, OUR wine club inventory, among other postulations.  Has to be done in the wine industry, such is what people don’t think about, but these details I find the most valuable as a writer.  I wish those dreaming to be in the wine industry could see what I see, have the vineyard walks that I do before the day starts, be in the tastings I am.  Not to see how special it is, or how “cool”, but to understand what’s involved.  Agreeing with Chris Silva, in an interview that I did with him years ago, wine is a beverage.  BUT, from a writer’s scope and perspective, there’s a vastness of vastness that most don’t meet.  Now feeling like I’m a reporter, behind the lines, behind battle lines especially now that it’s harvest…. I’m strong.  Stronger that strong, after today.  I have a journalist’s posture, tasting room spell-casting, the present as my most potent of selling tools, speaking lassos, cruising modules.  Another sip— radicalized cherry, raspberry doused in rawly dusted cocoa and light leather—  I’m lost and formed, told and unrelenting in what I REALLY want.


Tried going back to sleep but couldn’t.  But even more than not being able to, the writer didn’t want to–  My thoughts were such I had to answer them.  So I’m up with Jack and my cinnamon-coded coffee.  Today, go by LE and take care of wine orders to be shipped, then writing.  May go to one of the sister properties, have laptop and–  No, go somewhere new.  Today, a wine industry day off, the writer needs Newness.  Make progress in book… yesterday’s page/piece written after class, how I printed it and held it, stared down at it, taught me something.  And funny, that’s what the piece was for, on– education.  This morning I’m learning, or am reminded of, time with my children needs to be a more persistent movement generally, universally.  How, because I work so much, is what I need to calculate.

Let me think some more, just the reason I’m up..


img_2242Goal today is three pages.  Can I do it, I hope so.. but the start is rocky, rolly, literally, with this table I’m sitting at, Yulupa Starbucks, wobbly, not wanting to be still for the aging writer this morning.  Have earphones in but didn’t ignite any music as this place is already tallying tunes I would find on Hutcherson’s station.  So my mind must have thought, or me subliminally, that I was playing into ears, through these little phones.  Pulled table closer, and no wobble.  So now I think of the week ahead.  Have to gather book, my “Real Wine Book”.  Only tentative title but maybe it’s not.  Can hear older couple at left talking, about something depressing.. getting sick, being sick, a friend getting or being sick and dying… “We lost her” the man said.  Need music directly into ears now.  But then a sax stretch plays and I don’t want to turn on my usual jazz selection.  So far the morning’s been relatively smooth.  Got a chance to shave and iron pants, get babies ready while wife kept reiterating how early she had to leave, and she did, and I understand— staying home Friday to show Jackie a special day, on his preview of kindergarten.  I must say, how Alice made her career happen, just the way she wanted it, having singularity and strength and support at one school, impressively bewilders me.  Feel the same about to happen to this writer, with the new winery assignment and much else.

Steve Lacy, “Alone Together”.  Love this track.  This whole day will be a jam session, instruments internal and all over, unplanned and beautifully disorganized.  Nearly distracted by a woman who walked by, smelling like an old man’s cologne.  There she goes again, out the door with her mobile order.  Making me a bit queasy, but I type on.  I narrate forward, toward the time I skip to the door then to my car, then to 101 North to Dry Creek.  Three pages… that means no vineyard walk today.  Did you hear that, Mike?  I’m fine with it.  Not that I’m getting bored with the walks, I just feel them being too similar.  So, inside I stay, typing at the winemaker’s desk, which I have to say is surprisingly small.  More of a makeshift or intermittent gathering surface.  Only seen him there, I think, doing work on a laptop once.  Will take lunch early and do whatever I do or will do, there.

Find myself just watching people pass me, to the counter to order their order, put themselves in that line.. the corporate dealers.  Me, one of their best customers.  But make no mistake, this is a dealing station.  I know, I’m making a mountain from a molehill, but I have a book to write, I have to hit three pages today.  Remember living just down the street, in that condo…. Seems like forever ago.  More than forever, like a quilt of forevers, tied to another quilt, in a store of like-quilts.  Wine is like this, people in its world with half a brain are like this— thinking and acknowledging what time is, what it does.  I argued that wine is antithetical to destination, and that’s why… it’s timeless.  Am I off-topic?  No… just jamming.  Older couple continues talking, but I can’t hear a word they say.  I imagine them seeped in a more positive precipitation of address, like going away to Europe for a month, or visiting a new grandchild, something that doesn’t harness to sickness or death.  There’s too much of that, too much, and I need more life to hit three pages today, and all days after.  Sip my 4-shot mocha and I feel more kinetics curving through my circuits.

I now next what do—  Who knows.  Get to the page’s lower floor— old couple leaves, I hear the man say to his wife “Whatever.” And walk out.  She follows.  I feel disconnected from them and everything around me, but advantageously, beneficially… oddly and fruitfully.  Aujourd’hui, ce sera une belle journée!  I know it will…. 08:56, don’t want to leave, but I have to.  “Says who?” Life.  She’s strict.  No matter.  I make it my matter, not so much of fact, but form, fortune, story more than the telling of it.  Lost in my own character.. scenes of wine and people tasting.. growth.


img_1897Day 02, April 21, 2017, Friday — Finally.  Seated for morning thousand and poem.  Day two of the project that should get me to my traveling and teaching in various zones and states, universities and, or, wherever.  At Dry Creek again… workers around me rearranging, and its especially cold in here— sleeves once up now down.  Quite a morning, with getting babies to school in molasses traffic, seeing one accident off to right, Jackie asking me “What happened, Dada?” Me just saying, “You need to drive safe.” A delivery man in front of me, bringing something to door that leads to back room, me trying to concentrate, cyclists on Dry Creek Road and a herd of them feeding outside, just in that side area by the driveway.  Feel so rushed this morning.  I somewhat understand why, and then part of me is utterly clueless.  It’s 08:54 in this breath, and I have more than 30 minutes to myself— to write, collect, promote, tell my story and have time to self (which these thousand words are often about, anyway).  Can’t tell what it is.  But either way, I’m writing through it.  Should be irregularly busy and sped today, with only myself and one other, J, behind bar.  Just have to be quick.  Wore old pair of running shoes today… so I’ll be in runner mode while pouring and getting shipments, getting other wines we need from back room or barrel hall.

Too many people around me right now.  I should go.  Write in my car somewhere, or just go to winery and write at one of the desks.  NO.  IF I’m to learn anything from this, it’s to write through distraction and less-than-beaming conditions.  First coffee sip, and I’m disciplining myself further.  Heard steps and lifted my head, girl saying ‘hi’ to me with that phony smile, or obligatory lip-up curvature, and me returning.  Don’t do that.  Just write.  This is your time— the morning.  After this your time is shared, commissioned.  Wake early, work early, for you…. Scone.  Blueberry again.  Asked about the breakfast burrito and the lady said it was close to eight dollars, or certainly over seven.  Yeah, not for this writer.  There’s the budget, but I want to be less comfortable when I write.  “A writer warrior”, one person said in a note to me.  Well, no.  Just a writer.  A serious writer— disciplined, firm, unrelenting, ardent and entrenched.

Cold still, but the people around me have left.  To take a break?  I don’t know.  No breaks for me.  I cross the 09:00 border.  Write quicker, with more poetic hue and form.  Read that Ezra Pound piece yesterday with class, “Before Sleep” I think it’s called.  I clung to his words and repetition, use of mythological reference and line breaks.  My form adds more poetic walk and color, as I age.  Why?  I’m crying less.  I’m not trying to be marketable. If I’m truthful to everything around and in my character then it’ll sell.  I’ll be moving.  But that’s the real priority, money.  MY apexing aim is FREEDOM.

Blueberry scone.  Not as amusing this morning.  Not looking at phone, or doing any marketing in this sitting.  Just the sitting.  Starting to love this store as a writing base.  What will this project look like when it’s done, this 2nd project?  The first one started with me biblically aggravated with money, work, myself.. everything around me. But I thought while driving up here, somewhere on the Windsor-Healdsburg border, again, that I have everything I need.  I’m not going to acquire the home I want with a teaching job, and certainly not working in the wine industry.  So, stay where you are… combine the two.  Make a story out of that— or rather, keep building the story from that, just intensify.  Test yourself.  Only answer.  In fact it’s not just an answer or a key or a solution— but a healing self-actuation.  Tourist walks by in workout clothes.  Not sure she’s one of the biker group, but she’s slow, deliberate, looking at everything on the shelves as though she’s never been here.  With such curiosity and analytical lean, tightened eyes and inner-speak.  Wonder what she’s thinking.  Would love to know, not only what it’s like to be somewhere for the first time, but to be eased… not pressured by time.  But I am and this is the writer’s story— this writing father.  The cool air in this this structure and lowered the coffee’s temp.  I write faster but become strangely relaxed, like I’m on vacation.  Maybe I should get one of those burritos, or a sandwich for lunch later.  No… still have quite a continent of scone remaining.

My goddamn backpack.  Promised myself, and you I think, reader, that I’d empty it.  Tonight, after gym, avowed.  But I could be jinxing myself with that oath.  Well, just know I’m thinking about consolidation and not having to haul this fucking this around.  Hemingway just carried a couple notebooks and pencils, in ‘Feast’.  That’s how I need be.  Today at lunch.. no laptop.  Well, it’ll be dead by then, right now only showing 29% support in its anatomy.  So me.. writing.. not so much typing after these morning thousand.  So let’s see… 28 days from now will be…. can’t afford time to check, but let’s just say 30.  May 21st, about.  Just on the doorstep of age 38.  God. Damn. It.  And time itself for that matter.

09:15.  Only 15 minutes till scheduled departure from my long, rustic, grainy wood surface here in the aorta of the store.  Forget the time… and it won’t take me a half-hour to get to the winery.  I should get there early, though.  See?  That’s my problem.  Need be earlier, for everything.  Ahead of schedule… with passing back papers, writing deadlines, waking up to write or run, or both— everything earlier.  Finally seated, but only to get back up.  That’s how it goes in the morning and the beauty of this project— that even with my constricted time mitt, I manage a thousand words and a poem.  Didn’t have that condition going into day one, but here it be decreed.  Thousand words, one poem, in earliest A.M. I can compose.

And into the day the writer blazes…  An Ezra.  Free.


Spending lunch with words rather than something to shove down esophagus and into intestine.  So I think of everything since arriving here.   Put together several little pieces of scratch paper, to fill before leaving.. little pocket book of poetry, if you will.  Only have two pieces, or most of the second piece, so far done.  Thirteen minutes left in break, which has barely been a break.  Snacked on some pieces of salami and almonds in kitchen, now I revisit ideas… wine… teaching… this bottled ox sees too much promise in too much.  Need to singularize.  Tasted three reds earlier in TR— Pinot, two Cabs.  Wine and writing… should get out and walk the Cabernet block, just to see the water on the leaves.  Be.  In.  The.  Vineyard.  So what am I doing here in this office.  Good question.  When back in the room, I’m tasting through the reds again.  And noting on all.  More wine story… more creativity… more bizarre descriptions.  Like with the Pinot— aggressive speech, spiced berry momentum, a shapely presence and profile.  When speaking about wine you should never have to feel a ‘should’ with your speech.  You speak as you speak, just as the wine delivers whatever it does, and what it delivers will be interpreted and understood differently.

No More Wanna Wanna

img_1217Telling myself to break structure, any blip of predictability, and I mean really BREAK it.  I’ll always write, but there’s been a change in the battle plan.  The last change, if you know need.  Sipping a port right now from the Kunde days, one the then-Cellar Master made from who knows how many varietals.  I don’t care.  I’m sipping.  Staying succinct in my focuses and forms.  On floor of home office, didn’t make five pages but I’m on the third and I had my championing idea of day and that’s what pronounces itself to me, most palpably.

Wife across the street meeting neighbor’s new baby.  Sent home from hospital when baby is barely 24 hours young.  Quick?  Don’t know.  But what moves quick is time and I need to outrun and outgun it.  I collect in this atmospheric composition of sensory— low light, me in no slight, only direction and affirmation of my story.  Setting alarm for 4, and when early up I’ll do what I do.. something.. just move quick.

Needing another splash, but more needing to research a couple things.  Port’s a funny thing to me.  Tasty, but funny.  It’s the result of an accident, if I’m not incorrect in my findings.  And if not a “mistake” then certainly something unexpected.  I’m about to actuate a reality, one beautiful and beneficial, for my family.  Business.. creative business—  Wife comes home from seeing the baby and we both hop into a nostalgic dote.  Our babies, getting older and older, and we too.  Time isn’t forever.  So I move quicker and quicker even though this port wants to slow me.  My next glass my last.. need cue coffee.  The writer knows his gears and energy can only segue to delightful diversification.  The nigh quiets, and my tyrannosauric talk calms.  Me, into meditative modality for collections cause.  But, one more port.  One more pour… one more sitting pulse for the writer.  4am, ready for my invasion. It’s record, nearly undefeated.  Tomorrow, this writer hopes, ebbs re-arrange.

inward jot

Character in the Wait


The windshield, thick slab of stubborn ice that didn’t want to budge anymore than I wanted to leave the comforts of Autumn Walk and drive 25 minutes north to Geyserville.  Turning on the car, turning on the heater full-blast, even running the wipers and nothing would move.  No little chunks of ice, no thin moving contents of slush.  NOTHING.  So I sat there, exercised an unusually and rare intensity of patience.  It felt amazing.  I found myself more centered and ready for the day.  True, my impatience was seismic in that I couldn’t wait for a mocha (this morning with the lower-than-usual temperatures, needed 4 shots), and cruise to the winery with my music.  But, I waited, waited.  And finally, it started to separate.

Why do we get so impatient?  Why can’t Human Beings have a healthy pattern and practice when it comes to waiting?  And what was I so impatient for?  I later thought this, mind you.  “Is Starbucks going anywhere?  …  Is the winery going anywhere?” No to both.  So I used the stall as a sort of exercise and icebox meditation for the sake of learning patience and more steady composure—  I lecture on Composition at the college as it pertains to literature, but it’s more imperative with Personhood, one’s mentality and mood, attitude.

As I drove away with the last bits of silt-like ice being pushed off by the long rubber arms, I thought about the New Year about to land in less than 48 hours, and how to satisfy the aims I now have in place, patience and immediate composition of my character need be abundantly actuated.  It’s the ice’s definition and trenchant tangibility that got to me.  I should have learned from its fortitude initially, rather than let it unravel and unnerve me.  Now that I’m at work, here at my desk looking out at frozen vines or vines with melting ice on them, sipping these 4 cozy shots of espresso, I know already about the New Year.  I know where I’m going, I know what it’s meant to do and I’m the one assigning the meaning.  That glacial windshield gifted me with these thoughts, the meditation that followed me up Dry Creek Road in my Passat and here to the desk, to tapping on this laptop’s keys.


Because of the ice, and that wait, I’m composed.  All departments of my thinking relate to each other logically.  Eager to start, to go, to fly through the next eight or so hours with my wild yay-yelling roar.  I didn’t expect to see the windshield that way, still.  If you want candor from the writer, I expected to forget about it.  But, as I noted, it followed me to Geyserville.  I just walked to the other part of the property, another building to note something somewhere, and I took a picture of a row with ice atop its skin, melting.  The peace there, right in front of those dormant canes assured and reassured me about the coming year, about how I interpret the metonym of the ice sheet—  It was a sheet meant to comfort me, counsel and teach me more about me and my moods and how I perceive the world and myself in it.  Going into 2017, and past that.  Patience…  Composition…  Composure…..

I’m Composed.