Merry, Boisterous, Convivial

6:05, quite quiet, me on floor, typing, not letting Self back to sleep.  Still tired from the day yesterday, the onslaught from when the doors, or gates were opened till we left.  Hoping today’s a bit more tame but who knows.  And with my label, or “winery”, what do I want?  How would I have it designed?  By appt only?  Could I even pull that off?  Probably, but what if you don’t book as much, or do book and they don’t buy enough to cover a day’s overhead demands?  More I think, this may happen, especially after the remarks, two in one day (day before yester’), messages on social media and emails about how wonderful my wines are tasting.  One of the notes, written by Katy, the wife of a winemaker friend of mine, read “Had your New Dad Red.. keep making wine, you have a real gift.” I smiled and smiled, waiting for our order up the street at the golf course, while I enjoyed my beer.  And the other note, from a couple living in the East Bay, actually pouring it (my Merlot) for some company they had over.  So I reasoned right there, sipping the last of the Lagunitas that I’ll make wine this vintage, not just write about it, and get closer to the winery, Arista, learn more and take notes and find suggestions in the wines that I want to mimic or perhaps build upon.  Winemaking is not beyond any ability in my continuum, at all, and I will do it.  As well.. I will move wines on this wine blog, wines I believe in and ones that I feel exhibit some entrappingly ambrosial character, and all through words, the words and the wines will forever be linked– and that IS what brought me into the wine world, quite frankly, as I’ve disclosed to so many people: the stories, the STORY.  And that’s what the story wants me to do, I’m realizing, be one with wine and one with wine in my writing and teaching and every literary and/or pedagogical effort for the remaining days of Mike Madigan.  I try to ignore wine and the industry, but I find it too interesting, and that question Dad posed at Monti’s months ago still very much me haunts: “In a perfect world would you write or teach?”


“Well you should write about or do something with wine, ‘cause you still like wine and find it interesting, right?” he said, sipping that PlumpJack Merlot I brought.

Yes.  Definitely.  Now I see it.  I see it all.  And if I could get more into how the brand of Arista is managed, not so much by Mark and Ben but just how it, the brand, expands and retracts and what wines are grasping sippers’ assiduity.

Back from working on the RRV Pinot push through the blog.  Think this will work.. the idea is to bring the winery buyers through the blog, sell it but don’t sell it, if you know what I intend.  And the adjunct role in my life diminishes then, right?  Well, I guess.. I certainly don’t want to teach 6 or 7 or more classes if I don’t have to.  I’d never see the little Artist nor my wife and candidly, it wouldn’t be as much fun as wine.  Wine is simply more fun.. ‘fun’, need a better word, I’m hating my wording this morning in this entry, if I can be honest.  And, like Dad has always told me, “You have to have fun.” And that’s especially known now, since the weekend of Uncle Ross’ service.  Still can’t believe that.  And I have to write them, the cousins, another letter.  And a former student.  And a couple others.  And organize this laptop.. all which gets done tomorrow, an awaited day off.  Drop Jackie off early, get coffee, grade for a bit, then write then grade then have a surprising streak of words streaming from my senses if I have any left.  And, I guess, try to run, at gym, and if the knee talks to me then I’ll swim (which I’ve been meaning to do anyway).

6:33, fridge stopped humming.  So much to move out of this house, or condo and into the new house on Autumn Walk, where the New Mike finally starts his Story.  And with this journal and my wine writings and pursuits and curiosities and links to Literature and jazz and everything Art I can only succeed.  Why?  ‘Cause it’s honest, it’s Truth, it’s what I want to do.  So pleased I didn’t let myself fall back into sleep.

Thinking of coffee.  Of course.  None in house.  Why didn’t I get some the other day when I was at the store?  I had the sense to get those snacks, beer, and something else.  But not coffee?  Shame on me!  Well, I’m somewhat paying for it now, but I’m quite quick this morning for not having a cup yet.  Part from me tempering my wine sips last night, bringing home that ’12 Zin from the winery.  Another wine I want to write about…..

Interesting how I went away from writing/blogging from wine, but here I am, where I started in 2009, writing about wine in my own way, the whole vinoLit approach.. thinking thinking thinking and the ideas swarm to me this morning to assist their writer and developer into something no one’s seen before.  That’s the point, wouldn’t you say, of any Artist’s effort?  Truth.. be ‘declarative’ like Hem urged.

Think I hear Jack upstairs, walking around, or searching for something, he’ll call for me any minute, but I’ll beat him to it.

Going up.. breaking from my ideas, and if they’re as valuable as I think they are, they’ll stick to and simmer in me…

Posted Pinot Promo to blog.. see what happens.  I’ll push it the best I can, and in the tasting room the RRV PN will be my focus wine for the next 4 days (how long I’ll push the promo)..

Jackie plays downstairs now with me, while Alice upstairs rests, collects.  Back from store with coffee, and a new perspective and encompassing scope on wine and me as a writer/adjunct professor.. thinking

9:11, set to leave in 4 minutes but I’ll probably launch near ten.  The stress of the move is certainly getting to Alice but not so much the writer; I see transformation, I see motivation and rich challenge and I see another standalone piece, or set of, in this new house.  The condo now quite quiet, and I’m on the floor where I started this morning, but surrounded by more evidence of Jackie’s play and reign in this structure and surroundings set.  Today at estate I hope to have some notes taken, all wine-honed and starting of a story built.. and I can’t forget that, the notion and persistence and reality of building something, what I want to build for my family and me and the Life I see for myself as a Beat writer…..


Home, with night’s cap, a

vocally full glass of my sister’s red cuvée.. the one I mentioned earlier. Get-together at Bob’s, nice and diverse and communicative, all about wine. Didn’t get too far into the vertical, but I did encounter three vintages: ’95, ’97, and ’01. I didn’t know something that reprising and drawn could come from the Sonoma Valley AVA. But I learned, and I grew from tasting the wines year to year and now I have more material for ‘Krystal Vision’.. oh how I want to write that novel before the Massamen piece; and I had a thought, a lovely scope, flash just now, my whole literary and novelized career rounded from the lives of my sister and I; she, Krystal, and me Mike Massamen, and there it is, family on page, a “family business” as they love to say in the wine world but many times it’s just bullshit. But with my MSS it’d be truth, so truthful. The red tonight, more settled, more serene, more mirroring to my preferences, and what else am I supposed to look for? I’m a consumer just like anyone else and I want to sip wines I like, no? The effects of the red are staring to catch me, and I didn’t sip that much at Bob’s house, and I didn’t have a glass as day’s end, today, but I’m slowing, I see, but I’m fighting, potently. No distractions, just prose and stories and the people coming into the tasting room to taste but also some of them for answers, answers to what?… Who knows, it’s wine, that’s what I repeat to myself, but for someone from Iowa or South Dakota, say, it’s more; it’s mythic, it’s Gregorian, palatable Pantheon. And it’s only wine, that’s what I repeat to myself but I live here, it’s my life and I do see myself slowing, I have to type faster like Kerouac before he submitted his ‘Road’ manuscript.. how did he do that drunk? I’m barely bent and I keep having to delete and retype. Driving around the property with Sophie today reminded me of the spell and liturgy of the the vineyard and the Naturalism surrounding the commercial, the transactions, the wine club signings and all the ‘goals’. What? This is Heaven! And we trivialize it! We bastardize it! We reduce it to campaigns and banners and billboards on 12, or 29, or 128.. frustrated with what I see and in love at the same time, wine.. dividing my diligence, so sip whence…
Bed, sleep, sounding more than musical at moment. I need to finish this glass so I can close this night, the chapter that is.. and the bar, not full today, no as much as yesterday, and not as much material, disappointing. And the wine’s done, there, done, now I can close the day. Staring at the empty glass, I think of myself on the Road and having to give a lecture the next day and how I should be in trot of going to bed at more regular hour, like now, 9:23. Why am I not in bed? Tomorrow morning I’ll try to get little Kerouac to school early then to Kenwood to write, maybe some of that hit-and-miss coffee they have in the container in the back by the breakfast burritos. But I need to stay in this barreled bind, in wine, at all times, but tomorrow nothing of such sway! I’ll be running, then the next morning to ‘Road’ with 1A, then to ‘Sur’ with 1B.. I see completely all that’s me… Need sleep. Singular speedy shift, then I skip…

journal, shores

6/1/13.  Found typo in poem I wrote today, on phone.  Posted to blog, leaving it that way.  IF anything, it really captured the moment: rushed, written on phone, sloppy though showing writing urge.  Sipping ’12 Viognier, this Saturday night.  Went for gentle jog/walk with another co-worker, here in Bennet Valley.  After yesterday’s dashes, bee chases, my legs need rest.  No running for morrow scheduled.

This white, like vanilla silk sip sequences.  Love it–  Now I’m in mood to write.  Just racked up to page 10 in Book.  Keeping pieces short.  Measuring everything, like the ever-meticulous winemaker.  Need more poems, short erratic entries.

You know what I never understood.. how someone, anyone, could just sit in front of a TV screen.  Mindless, lifeless, motionless, Selfless.  I don’t care what kind of day they’ve had, how tired they are.  Surrendering a mind is death.  And that’s just what the character’s doing, sitting on couch, staring at “reality” show characters scream at each other over matters less than petty, insignificant.

Took some notes in the little pages today, for Fall semester.  Thinking more about life’s brevity, especially since finding out about Grandma.  Today, I learn her condition is terminal.. pancreatic cancer, I guess.  I know she’s 90, or 91, but that doesn’t make any of this any easier.  Can only imagine what’s going through Mom’s head, my aunt’s.

Need to take advantage, more so, of all my days.  Make this writing work for me.  Take my compositional concupiscence to levels unseen.  Walking around in Bennet Valley heights, then returning to this meager condo shook me, told me to truly focus.  “Your 34,” the moment said, sternly like a cranky 2nd grade teacher who forgot her coffee mug in her house’s over-cluttered kitchen.

Wine Bar beats on.  Need a beer, thinking about Grandma.  Just hope she’s not in pain, that she’s comfortable– that she knows she’s loved, immeasurably.  Life, what this “blog” is really about.  Yes, wine’s a fixture, I guess, minimally at best.  But, Life is my main topic.  And not just of a writer–an OBSESSED penner, but of one knowing Life’s rules, inevitabilities, fragilities.

More relaxed, from current track.  Imagining mySelf on some Greek beach.  Writing, pen2paper, naturally.  no deadlines, no desired progress, no goal.

just the moment


Winery’s caves, for some reason in vision.  Still haven’t tasted my wines, since topping.  No, I’m not getting lazy, I tell Self.  And I’m not.  Only real chance I have to taste is if I show early, at lunch, or after punching out– which can be difficult, especially if the manager needs to leave quick.  And that’s what I don’t like, at all.. me, at someone else’s mercy.

New writing routine, in place tomorrow.  Books first.. then brief blog entry.  Expecting to make my first book sale before 6/30/13.  Should really have a calendar with all these dates mapped.  Could do so here on laptop monster, but that’s against principles newly enforced, re-enforced, -instilled.

Turning on news.  Not sure why.  Always has same tone, messaging.  Vacation, I keep thinking, with these beats.  Away from others’ aims, goals, campaigns, whatever word they want to use after last meeting.

Ocean, right there.. mine.

At least till I tire, want for

rest.  Finally, no


This is some world, other, again I’m finding.  Not editing this entry, now, as I wanted, as I usually would.  Trying to act out of character.  Surprise Self.

Day over.  Night as well.  Poetry throughout day, having me feel more Artistic than I have in months.  And this ’08 Zin has me retyping everything.  A short entry, before I switch to berry-blended sparkling water.  Tomorrow, all to project R.  Almost too tired to finish this entry.  Haven’t had a pen touch paper all day.  Not Literary.  What am I doing still typing these keys like one of the box’s employees, like I still work there?  Clocking out…  Tomorrow, hoping I have a more balanced mocha than I did today.  Was disgusting, tasting like nonfat milk; Only got syrup sludge at end, completely missing the espresso throws.. This has to be the Zin talking.  Definitely in a writer’s best affairs to halt prose, rush to close.  But what if I don’t, what’ll happen?  I remember telling my students, “The onus is on you.” One of my students actually posted that quote on her web page, at one point.  Need to demonstrate more ownership over my onus.. transform this predictability into a journalistic mobility.  And I am.  I’m there.  Just waiting for harvest.  2012, my vintage–  When I come alive.  Playing with punctuation, delaying my fluctuation.  Sunriver, in thought.  This is definitely my Zin voice..

The wine industry.. Lately, we’re amicable.  But if I’m tested, even slightly, once more.. all’s released.  The manuscript I wrote, the notes I collected, on “the box,” aging.  When I do bottle that manuscript, the Ox’ll finally be released.  And this log’s closed.  By May 28th, 2013.  In the mood for something sweet.  Maybe one of those brownie bites in cupboard.  Would that keep me up, though?  Doesn’t matter.  No work 2morrow.  Well, that’s not true, actually.  project R has to be completed.  No fail.  If it’s not, I resign to habits old.  Change, now beckoned, far more than any occasion prior.


wine entry, more ’12

At Mom and Dad’s, instead of a Starbucks.  Up here, total quiet, peace.  Working on project R.  Just wanted to check in, let you know where my types were tipping towards.  [2:09pm]

All I have to say is that life is great, and incredible realities approach, I realize writing this material for project R, listening to Wine Bar beats.  Soon, I’ll be on the Road, touring with these ideas, pages; speaking, sharing.  About Literature, Wine, Life.

Symbol: door unlocked (door to garage at Mom & Dad’s, when I went to toss Diet Coke can in recycling).

8:19pm.  Actually, the door was locked, just not closed.  If it would have closed, I would have had to call someone to let me in.  Well, no, actually.  The front door was open, from when I arrived.  Point: it resulted in my favor, that many doors [probably more than I realized, ever] are open for the writer.  Life, becoming more Literary, by the day.  Tonight, spending time in winemaking research.  Lovely progress with project R.  I’ll be ready when it’s time for release.. ignition.

Tomorrow, beginning a video blog on harvest 2012, even though it hasn’t technically started.  It’s right around the corner.  Tomorrow’s temps, as predicted by The Weather Channel, that I continue to credit Dad with getting me interested in this rich resource, give tomorrow 86 degrees.  These vines, continuing in their vitalization, push to picking.  No wine tonight, just a couple IPA’s, some sparkling waters.  The Merlot from last night, just nice, sippable, recreationally enjoyable.  Not really riveting like the Chardonnay from a couple nights ago, that made me understand how incredible the varietal can be.. that I need to make my own.  But, with this video blog, I want to just capture the fruit where it is, thus far in vintage, as well as other terroir aspects–soil, topography, whatever else I can find.  My journey as a winemaker started last harvest, it joltingly excellerates with this one.

2morrow, little Kerouac’s 6 months.  How?

(8/14/12, Tuesday)

enter: exit extolment

Tonight’s Sauvignon Blanc, barrel aged, fermented, where last night’s was stainless.  Had an idea to start a newsletter, take subscriptions.  But, there’s a conflict.  Primarily, it being that’s not what I want to do.  It’s too virtual, too technological.  Like Kaz said, “Stay true to yourSelf.” And I will.  A newsletter?  I want to write books..  That was a silly thought.  2nite, Saturday’s eve.  Not sure what I want to do, in way of writing.  This journal, exhausting me.  I again had not a second to spare for poetry, prose.  My day, in the wine club room, much more manageable, today.  Mostly on account I had colleagues at side, aiding.  Sold over 2 cases.  2 wine clubs.  Had me thinking of my Wine Shop, how my club would be crafted.  Confined to page, for now.

Kelly, my character…  All I’m thinking about.  Mom and Dad in Sunriver, see mySelf staying there, on a touring trip, for a book, or some project.  Where would my appearance be?  I guess, Bend.  Eugene?  Getting ahead of Self, dreams.  Speaking of dreams, I’m not too far away.  This SB, more passion fruit-grounded than the other ’11 white Bordeaux.  This manuscript, the one I’ll “sell,” taking a different shape, getting further away from wine.  And it relieves me, honestly.

10:22pm.  Regather.  But I don’t know what for.  Tomorrow, Friday, for me.  Today, one gentleman, from Central Oregon actually, thought the Zinfandel I poured tasted like salty berries.  I’m not saying he was wrong, but I did think his reaction was too reactionary.  Plus, I think he’d been to a few other wineries before landing at ours.  Evidence: it was just before 4p, his arrival, with 3 other people.  Never get tired of responses to wine.  And, day before yesterday, a guy from Norway accused one of our wines, also a Zin, of lacking “zip.” I think that wine confuses people, even “experts.” No, ESPECIALLY “experts.” If it’s a living thing, which it is, predictability’s not plausible.  And I don’t know why it interests me the way it does.


Mike wrote verse for all minutes till bed.  That’s what he ordered himself to do.  They barely made sense, he just followed whatever rhyming trend was below nose.  He couldn’t believe how much of the white wine he’d sipped.  What was it saying to him?  He didn’t know.  He didn’t want to.  He just wanted to enjoy.  Kelly was on her way over, and he had nothing to cook.  So why did he think he could finish anything tonight?  She made him foolish, often.  That was his plan, believe or no.  Maybe he still could, accomplish something.  Maybe a page…  So what would he cook?  Something Italian-ish.  Or Mexian-y.  He couldn’t do either, he knew.  But he could pour wine.  And when he did order in, when Kelly found he didn’t prepare a solitary calorie, he’d just pour more.  Wine always solved.

The night slowed.  He wished he could just fall into his sheets.  But it was only 6:39pm.  How would he make it through dinner?  He needed another sip.  That would help, he thought.  And anything other that writing, he didn’t want to think about it.  He didn’t even want his success visions.  He just wanted her voice, her there.

Knock knock, knock.  Knock.



Moved over 1,000 words to book idea.  Wrote them over the last few days, and decided this morning, actually right when I woke, that it was too much to just throw up onto blog.  Haven’t had coffee yet, but I’m typing like I did.  Looks overcast, not sure how that’ll affect traffic.  Right after this AM’s 500 words, I’m printing 5 pages.  No [at first, I typed “Now,” conveying just the opposite] more of what I’m planning to do…

Selling wine, I’m finding involves less selling than’s told.  It’s really about connection, connecting someone with a wine they like, or love.  And that, deals with a sea’s worth of luck, who’s approaching you when at counter.  Not sure why I’m exploring this, this morning, but if I want to have my own label, or wine bar, or wine shop like my buddy Dan in Napa, this should always be somewhere in sight.

Still haven’t talked to Katie since her return from France.  Really should get in touch with my winemaking professor sibling, as I need my camera back.  And, now, looking over at Ms. Plath’s entries, I’m reminded of all I have to transfer, poetry-wise, from the little notes, as well as my infecting devil device of a phone.  Right as I woke, typed a moment’s haiku, in the “Notes” section, or app, or whatever.  Have to stop doing that.  Only to paper, I keep reminding Self, but seldom practice.  Time for morning mocha.  Bringing little pages with me, back-pocket.  Hoping it won’t be as hot today. Can’t wait for the rain to come back, much better writing weather.

Had an idea for this paragraph, but I think I may just be getting bored of my voice, my writing, my thoughts.  Can only imagine what it’s like for you, patient reader.  OH, the short stories…  Not telling what I WILL do.  Just going to do.

An office of my own: don’t care how big it is, as long as I have a spot to Self-sequester, to write for 8+ hours a day.  How else would I make a living as one of pen, if I don’t have my own studio, away from fray?  This, my first goal.  If I never own a wine shop, have my own wine label, or embark on the Wine Bar fantasy jaunt, I’ll still be a writer.  I’ll always be A WRITER.  And so, my first official aim [mind you, this is quite significant, for me, to me]: that office, MY office.  Yesterday, my friend Steve said to me over the phone, after I asked him how things were going with his wine bar, with him, “Oh, you know man, just trying to take over the world.” I know the feeling, I thought, and responded.  With my office, I’d be able to, FINALLY, take over MY world.  Off to get coffee.  Hopefully Stacey will have the beer her husband acquired for me, after the last 12 pack she left at work was removed by the clowns that do their nightly deliveries.  “Who would do something like that?” I asked her, still ask mySelf.  Okay, leaving.  Seriously, this time.


journal, Sauvignon Blanc [6/24/12, Sunday]

Two tours on mountain.  First, ten people.  Second, three, younger, more my speed.  Hard to ever desensitize to views up there, the feel of what’s around you.  If only I could just scribble a single line up there, in between pours or something.  That’d be enough.  Or at day’s end.  I could wrap everything up, up there, by mySelf.  Pen for five minutes.  Has to be one of the most inviting, tempting, seductive, magnetic writing spots with which I’ve ever interacted.  Even rivaling Paris.  In some respects.  Now, in home office, sipping a Lagunitas “Little Sumpin,” before more verse in the neglected Comp Book.  Feeling more than musical today.  Confident.. Creative..  I just want to keep fingers in type, pen on line.  Always.

Oh, and new ideas for 1Stop after meeting a guy on tour 2, also Mike, in terms of elements enveloped in DTC approach.  More later, just know that wheels turn for the other blog.  Autonomy, not far.  Closer than I before measured, actually.  2010 Lancaster Sauvignon Blanc in fridge.  2nite’s Wine.  Miss the crew at my favorite AV winery.  That cave, its presence.  Wish I did more writing in there.  Run planned for tomorrow.  Have to wake at five.  A.M.  Failure means I fail.  Can’t afford that.  Especially as a writer.

IDEA:  Chapbook, 35-39 pgs, to fund touring; verse & entry only; quick, in-moment.


10:17pm.  Night’s cap.  That 2011 Lancaster Sauv Blanc.  Haven’t tasted this in a while.  The acidity’s less fluctuating than I remember, plus the tropical element has more tenor.  Lovely wine.  But I’m getting tired, so my ability to valuably appreciate this bottle’s diminishing.  Now true tiredness hits, sinks me with Lusitania vehemence.  Listening to Wine Bar beats, skeptical of the blog, even though I know I don’t have much choice to hug it passively, in submissive scuttles.  Sauvignon Blanc, the one I’ll produce this year with my brother Kazzy…  Can see it much like this one from LE.  However, I’ll like it’s voice with a little more melody.  This bottle’s volume’s a bit elevated for my sight of an SB.  Meaning, it’s a little too loud.  I still enjoy it, but it lacks the subtly that I see for my SB.  I’m fine with the nose being as tenacious as it is, but the mouth feels confused, aimless, as if its intent wasn’t made clear.  Either way, all contrived analysis aside, I’m sipping.  Envisioning mySelf in Costa Rica, writing of course.  “Go write,” Alice said, as she watched one of her programs.  And so I do, flapping expressive wings till I’m a s horizontal as I was on the 21st.  That poisoning, still on deconstruction’s table.  Am I writing enough?  Need to start organizing, in case something happens to the writer.

As for Kelly.. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to write her.  Just want you to know that I did have a character–a young female painter, one drawing always; a true ARTIST; 4ever curious, never wonder if, just leaping; enviable.  On a night like this, a Friday of sorts, I see her not painting, but reading.  Sipping her favorite Rhône blend.  Not as worried, rushed as the writer.  Writers, most days, need to not be such writers.  I’ll keep saying this:  Sometimes the most Literary act we can throw as writers is not not write, but actually LIVE.

Another SB sip, please.

vintage: J. Barleycorn, ’79

Sleep, I win this round.  Time, 4:57am.  Almost went back to sleep, but then realized how sick of failure I am, was.  Finally having my London-like way.  Failed last night, though, in distancing Self from wine.  I blame Kunde, its winemaker.  The profiles of those bottles, more than from which I’m able to just turn, walk away.  Charismatic bottles, each of them, with stories in their sips.  It’s like they were made for this writer.  Anyway, the new routine, as it stands, tentatively: write in night, run in morning.  So, truly, I’ve already faulted.  But, I figure, if I can’t run…  WRITE.

Feels odd, writing this early, but it gives me time to evaluate, re-evaluate, these past four days at this new winery for me, my pages.  Was nice to run into that former student the other day, only my 2nd day, and to be invited to the wine blogger tasting of those three Kunde wines paired with those small plates.  Has me thinking I may want to re-assess the whole “wine blogger” approach, perhaps.  Maybe give it another attempt, or try something different.  Was also wondering what life would have been like, what shape it would have taken had this writer not majored in English, pursued professorhood.  Useless to entertain those likes, I don’t think so.  I think that’s what makes me a writer, all the what-if’s that sail past my scope.

Already feels warm in this Room.  Believe the temperature today’s supposed to run past 90, if I heard correctly on last night’s news…  Feel like I’m supposed to type some carefully-crafted cataclysmic opus in this early hour, but I stall, like an ill-piloted aircraft, not certain where it’s supposed to land.  Then I think of my travel list.. Athens, Croatia, my eventual return to Paris.  Not sure I’d call it adventure, anymore.  But definitely, “exploration.” Writing assignments abroad.

“I can’t paint,” she says.

“Why?” I ask.

“I just…  I can’t, I don’t know what’s wrong with me this morning.  I’m just.. stuck.” Kelly looks through her sketch book, comes across a piece she did the other day, but then passes it, frustrated, sets the book back onto the stack of magazines, sips again from her dark off-green mug.

a former student of mine, Jeff, and I in the Kunde tasting Room …

And I wish I COULD just set this laptop back onto the desk, or floor just beside this old, metallically vocal bed, but I won’t let mySelf.  And I’m targeting much more than a mere thousand in this cruelly houred sitting.  Or, “session,” as I’m not really “sitting.” Not traditionally, anyway.  Think it was Capote said he does most of his writing lying down, or on his bed.  I, personally, have always preferred the desk, the official for this writer.  Maybe that means I’m INFECTED, with the office mentality; the crustacea of conformity’s shores have settled in my cognition’s hillside.. I certainly hope not.  But I think it has, to some degree.  I blame the box, their ways, how they take something so beautiful, WINE, manage to make it nothing more than a money vehicle; stripping it of all Art, beauty, spell and splendor.

I’ll never be back in such a toxic Titanic of a workspace.  They claim that’s wine-related, what they do.  Complete deceit; not just of themselves, but their employees, those “boxies.” Hated my title, when there.  Never quite knew what it meant.  And just being in that box, that cube.  THAT CELL.  Never again.  Now, I see hillside vineyards, those Kunde caves, the mountain top, my tasting Room characters.  And now that I remap my writing ways, it’s better that I sit–it works for me.  Maybe the urge’s roots spring from the box, or another office job–office JOBS–I’ve held, but it’s working now.  It allows me space, stretches to gather Self.

Still plan to write that piece exposing the box, all “businesses” in wine’s world of similar folds.  Was cited yesterday by some guests, who it’s fair to estimate had visited a couple tasting Rooms before ours, that I was “schmoozing.” Not sure what that entails, defines or delineates.  But, if I was seen as enjoying Self, my time with new guests, pouring wines and speaking on those glassed dollops, also smiling from the new elements at this new winery for me.. then this penman is undoubtedly GUILTY.  I’m not living box-like.  Ever.  Again.  No more hating each work day, each hour in that day.  The only thing I can credit the box: writing material, vessels-worth, and knowing precisely what I DON’T want from life, from my “professional” life.  And they always threw that term around the confines of that gray labor camp.  “Be professional,” they’d say.  “Talk about the wines professionally.” Please.

5:31am.  Before sitting, or semi-sitting, to launch in this entry, I stood by the bed, looking at the little monster laptop, coiled on desk.  Felt it taunting me, daring me.  Also thought of what it’d be like to know I fell short, AGAIN, in my aims.  Do I feel any rush in this session?  Not a drop.  Feels wine-like, feels free.  There’s a definite definitive freedom in writings like this.  No countdown till, or rush against, when I have to hop in my car, leave.  I’m just enjoying my Craft, or quasi…

Will I regret waking this early, dragging Self around Kunde’s estate, exhausted from this early of early sprints?  I hope so.  I want it to hurt.  Mr. Barelycorn pained himSelf to step as he wanted to.  Wish I could write from that mountaintop, or on one of those hills.  Soon.  Want to settle in, first.  Looking through pictures snapped over the beginning days, I know I’ve found something here, in this family’s story.  But how to approach so it works for MY story…  Remember asking students, “What’s your story?” Was a question I heard Anthony Hopkins’ character, former president John Quincy Adams, in “Amistad” ask Morgan Freeman’s [think it was Freeman’s].  Just thought it was fascinating, being asked to encapsulate your life thus far, in a couple lines; what brought you here, who you are, why your are the character on the current page, in present day.  Then I think of how I react to wine, the bottled character greeting this Literary bottled ox.  Now I feel the depletion.  I’m envisioning sleep, fantasizing about it, dreaming about it while typing.  But what would it do for me, more sleep?  How would that get me closer to what I want?

What do I want?

Noted: printed two pages yesterday morning, for book idea; need to take notes, my notes, on wines poured behind bar [initially typed [“proued” .. dyslexic?  Lysdexic?]; Run in morning, perhaps after this sitting/sitting-up-ing; more pictures, use little camera Dad took to Europe [first typed “Eurpoe,” must be getting tired.  Good.]; collect 41 pages, all printed in morning, each set could be releasable, salable.

Have to blend the rhymes I have scribbled into the little notebook, my right-rear pocket Literary lifesaver.  Wonder how many standalone pieces I could produce from what’s there.  Time, 5:54am.  Lassitude, remerging.  Thinking I’ll leave by 6:15am for my run.  Hope I’ll enough Me left for day’s remainder, to stand lively & Literary behind the counter, converse about wines‘ collective and individual character, characters.

6/10/12, Sunday

appointed pages, a beer bottle

Finished yesterday’s 3-page stint.  Now, just writing, relaxing.  Enjoying these Wine Bar beats.  Tomorrow, first day at SV Winery.  Nervous…  Not even a little.  More excited, now.  May have been a little nerved, yesterday.  Also on mind: publishing.  Was paid at 12a this morning, doing budget.  Only going to allow Self $100.  That’s it, that’s final.  Have to remind Self that budgeting is not about how much you’d like to set aside for business, or how much you THINK you need..  It’s how much you CAN allocate, how much you can honestly afford.  For me, now, $100.  Probably more than you need to know, reader, I know.  BUT, this is what truly independent writers [almost wrote “Self-published writers,” yuck!] should have in scope, always.  If they choose to ever go beyond an expected, fashionable, blog, if they started one.

Next to Jack, now.  He lays in his little bassinet, looking up at me, telling me to take a break from this device.  But I do think he likes the music.  Also looking down at my favorite little character, I again sit shaken, wanting to make this little one proud of his father.  SO, I have to keep writing, stay in constant session.  Trust Self, edit minimally, know I’m right in my streamed consciousness flight.

Last day off before returning to 5-day runs.  Speaking of runs, running, I’m setting  Self to run a couple miles later today.  Have eye on a race later in year.  One of the crew members at AV put me onto its time.  Clocking out for a small break, to have a talk with Little London/Kerouac, here.  Till later…


3:12pm.  Haven’t had one of these in a while, java chip frappuccino.  Sounded better than a second mocha.  After this entry, off to review SV Winery’s site, just to arm Self with some selling points, truly immerse Self in their wines.  Not like the box, when they’d hand us some packet before a winery visit.  “Go ahead and read this,” C2 would often say, tossing it onto my desk–or rather, into my cube.  So much healthier, now this writing’s away from that devilish wine labor camp.  And don’t think I’ve forgotten about all the notes I took while in that chair, with that headset, staring at that screen.  No run today.  Disgusted.

Looking through this Comp Book, the new one…  Need to finish this one piece I started just before leaving AV.  But instead of saying how I’m GOING to, why don’t I just DO?  My ever-present problem as a diarist.  Can’t get travel out of my head, must be why I’m so turned around, coupled with how fast Kerouac’s growing.  Almost 4 months.  Already.  How could that ever be possible?  Makes me only hate time, even more than I did before he was born.

Going to jump journals, again.  Over to Comp Book.  OR maybe that little black journal I bought a while ago, at some office supply store in Marin, of all places.  Tired of key pushing.  And, to be brutally honest, of wine to some extent.  In only microscopic moment, I’ll be in the car, en route to retrieve a bottle for tonight’s 1StopWineBlogShop beer tasting.  How many invited?  1.  Me.  Two, including whichever journal’s elected.

(6/5/12, Tuesday)