And 39 just treks and trudges toward me. I have the wrong attitude about it, age 39 and it being mine, I know. At least I’m up now, gathering whatever thoughts are left from yesterday’s close of the semester. Now into Summer where I don’t teach but have only the wine and its industry to write about. Last night, a Chardonnay and Syrah. Think the Chard spoke more to me than the funky Rhône. Or maybe not spoke to me but showed me more of the language and a side of Chardonnay I haven’t seen before. The wine keeps me motioned, keeps my writing, young. That’s what I tell myself. It’s not the wine, it’s the writing I’m after. Truthfully, I only see so much in wine, can speak about it in verse for so long and have something to post on this blog. Last night’s offerings had a way about them, I’ll say…. the Syrah with its unfettered jumps and locomotive-like presentation and palate pummel, then the Chard with its instruction. A new induction, for me, wine… write more freely, as I told my students yesterday. Care less, be fearless, be free… wine’s distant inquiries and immediacies are for me, this summer and beyond that. If I seek to leave the tasting room and write more about wine and travel and speak wherever about my missions, then I need study my essays on wine, my notes, consider the meta of meta’s meta. 39 is nothing, I see now. Just a number and I would dispute even that. It’s a lose concept of quasi-reality.

Thinking of that Chardonnay, again. More than the Syrah. I remember going to Burgundy in ’09 with family, tasting more Chardonnay than I thought I could ever handle. Same with Pinot. The trip showed me I need more trips. Longer ones. Writing escapes where I don’t escape but self-station in new stages and scenes, thought mazes.

06:21. The winery…. the winery…. Have to find something new, there. Either in the cellar or out in the vineyard. Something about wine’s place and character, sense and way. Why have I been blogging about wine since ’09, at someone else’s suggestion. I got away from it, wine as a singular address, here and there, but would always come back to her and lean on her for ideas and a pulpit for me to speak my verses and translate and deconstruct her as a metaphor. I’m a bottled ox as my prowess and visible formidability generate in and from and for wine. People ask what I write about, what I blog about, a question as you might know used to send me through all roofs. Now I answer. WINE. That’s it. That me. That’s my best. Age 39 or whatever. Wherever. Typing next to some varietal, some glass, to a vineyard visual, the thoughts that from there compose. Wine as a symbol, an image to interpret and explore, defines and redefines composition in so many ways. So many that I don’t have time to catalogue and calculate, narrate. But, going over student essays yesterday and speaking on composition, the essay and what it does, structure and support, introductions and summations, I see wine as a foremost expository piece.

More later, I promise my aging self. But here I am, my thinking, at 06:29, 12 days before 39.


Today at winery….


Slow start, take lunch at 11:44-abouts, to collect here in writing, look through pictures taken on vineyard walk this morning.  Today’s teaching me about my wine story, what I’m to do with and in wine… making the day my own in all ways I can.  Had an idea from a writing friend, to do something with my meek photography efforts, and another business friend of mine, woman photographer building her photog shop in Headlsburg and recently self-publishing a book her mother wrote.  Love the tasting room, and all the magic in its walls, but seeing more magic outside, in the vineyards and with the people tasting wine on the patio, while they snack on what they brought and overhearing what they talk about.  The writer need be mobile, and look at past entries, think about past winery jobs— from Dry Creek to Sonoma Valley, “the box” in Napa, to helping a friend out in his tasting room in Kenwood just down the road from St. Francis.  The tasting room itself encourages me to find more poetry and purpose, principles, out the door.


In the office, so quiet and easing with my beats, listening to drum hits and high-hats… just want to travel.  How do I get there.  I’m already there, here.  Working and living, writing where people from all over this globe visit, save for years to see what I can on a lunchtime walk, or getting away from the tasting room for some air.


Tasted through a couple of the red… Pinot, Cab and another Cab.  Nothing saying anything new to me, today, at the winery, which is more than fine.  I situate in my realized and wined singularity, looking for new notes and beats in what I’m so used to sipping.  The 2015 Alexander Valley Cabernet… talking in more spoken word narrative, having me bob my head and explore inward with jot and hurried notes, profuse chocolate terrain and oak-prone tones that not at all muffle or mute fruit but teach it to be more connecting, communicated, more eager to recite.  Thinking of tomorrow, teaching, but I can’t stray too far with too much fray.  Stay here, at winery, listen to what people say in response to wines and what my brains speaks right after a red lands on tongue.  Wine holds… recites, wants to work with me, write a book with me… me and vino composing what we chose, from that first blog entry years ago to the conversation with my sister-in-law that ignited this whole forward.


At the winery, not so much an employee or even a writer but just one in admiration of all transactions here.  And I’m not talking about bottle purchases…. I mean the lives, the reactions, the way the light hits the little clusters in the Sauvignon Blanc lot— this beat gets more than just gently lost in thought, but enveloped in Newness and his own beat-time.  One minute before noon, not wanting to do anything but have these wine syllables and letters dance about my growls and questions, looking to sky out window knowing a vineyard is under it, somewhere close and distant.  In the building while throwing thoughts out of it then back to this page… my own collective bay, say.


What’s in the glass doesn’t matter.

Just know I’m with wine. Red. Me, connected to and in love with Now. My Now and intersection and thought climate. My character in wined proximity compiles and collects, composes in its own election. I watch her. Sitting there. Staring back, she questions me– What now? Where are you going? I have no answers. Just sips and meditation, more wined evaluation and scape.

a thousand wines project



This MacPhail expressive told me to write more in a jazz tone, pulse and purpose.  Bold but not overstepping any sensory lines, with floral voltage and personality, differentiation of chords and clefs, she wandered around my Personhood like a lost phantasm.  She had me in a singularized and more sense-honed and sensual collection, meditation.  I thought and thought about Pinot and my story, how integral and defining she’s been.  Stopping by John Ash on the way home from a demanding day in industry, she was there waiting, brought to my table, just me and my notebook, I watched the still, placidly provocative puddle in glass, blackberry posture with edgy raspberry tint and talk.  First sip and the narration started.  There was no necessitated wait or needing her to “open”.  She was on stage and recital-ready.  I listened and more of the steps and ballet fray in my thoughts— realized vanilla walk with the fruit back-and-forth, oak hints but nothing intrusive or that blocked what she wanted to say to me, there staring out the window wondering the next time I’d converse with this bottle.  I couldn’t fixate on that.  I let Self fall further into moment there in chair, my out-the-window and Burgundy-brought stare.  Concentrated, fixated, on everything she said.  This precise composition and the degree to which it enveloped me, I had to note.  Bringing out.  My little pages and scribbling like Kerouac on the Road—  “Rich, soft, commanding and purposed, clear philosophy and reasoning…”

Pinot and I have always be amiable, and noticeably amorous.  Pinot is my Now, I thought while the people around me talked and paid no attention to what they were sipping, just talked and talked, which is lovely as that’s what wine embodies, the occasion.  The Now… what you’re doing and who you’re with, what you want to say to that person, a right-then-and-there gala.  Pinot punctuates wine’s most fundamental thesis— NOW.  Though, MacPhail ushered such with unusual astuteness.  With its poetic pagination and voice, coherence, way… I was transferred, with transcendental momentum and current.  This character was, IS, the act of writing.  Pages and pages, a narration, certain memoir parcel in one sitting, staring at vines and watching the people around me talk and laugh.. I was in immediate intersection, palate tryst.  Why is this writer into wine as he is, with such bizarre and illusionary Wonderland-esque fervor, fever?  For wines like this.  That have me.  Capture me.  Lose me and find me, concurrently.  Specific and jazzy alchemy.  What do I do next, I thought, when near the end of my glass.  Wrote, “Should I order another?” I didn’t.  Sipped the last, stared at glass, the minuscule puddle and bowl’s lowest flat.  This personification decided for me, where I’m going with Pinot, with wine, with these pages.  Could still taste her, driving home… the verses halted none.  I was, am, done… just replaying her son, stretch, texture-flown aria still around my sentences, non-scribbled musing, unedited page storm.