Up from nap.  Tasting earlier at J, then KIN lunch.  Cancelled class for night.  Angry no sections in Fall for me but utterly elated.  So why in this mood.  Don’t know.  Now hot coffee.  Needed.  What to do for night, spend time with babies.  Trying to add paying projects, from wine to teaching…  Going to work late, tonight.  Committed to.

Thoughts go in one direction, then another.  Need to train them to be on singular path, singular straight, in singular yet compounding and varying effort.  Luckily Sonic encourages someone like me.  Tomorrow, heading into day like a bull, a hungry and tireless bull.  Wake early with wife as she will for her morning workout class.  The coffee pulls me from this cloud – Interrupted.  Man knocks on door I go to door somewhat agitated and defensive.  He sells cleaning services of rugs, carpets, interiors, something.  I take his car but by my disposition make it clear I’m not interested in services nor conversation.  He points out there’s a Hello Fresh on our stoop or patio I say thank you and hollowly thank him for coming by, pick up the Fresh box then return inside.  Put everything in fridge then back to types, coffee.

Wife leaves to get babies and I stay behind to plot, plot something.  What I don’t know.  Just keep thoughts in tow.  Like I wrote this morning being taught by the day and all decisions, everything around me.  Put on a beat, start writing, more, not hearing from certain contacts has me feeling nothing.  I need look and converse inwardly for more flight, more wholeness, completed character and beat.  MY beat now, NOW, is of harmonizes garrulousness. Each figment and frame around me begging to be written, put to page and sown to prose.  I feel stalled, not so much confused.  I solve the stall by just moving, just typing, inhaling the rest of the medium roast, or most of it.  Travel, right there, waiting for me.  The classes I’m to teach and the vehicles I’ll be in—planes, rented cars, buses, boats, ferries.  Everything is right there, here ahead of me.  Like Sal, Dean, Plath and all her aims and dreams poem’d and prose’d.  We think too much, far too much, rather than just rolling and being redolent in what’s already present, creating from there.

No new cup.  I pull a copy of Road from my home office, an office which has decided to form itself more as a landing for the babies and their toys, drawings and raincoats rather than a writer’s corner, the initial intention.  I start reading from a random spot, where Mary has an idea about hitchhiking.  I see Mike Madigan as one now hitchhiking, destiny’s the driver, or maybe Mike is the driver.  Either way, I’m going where the going’s going.  Writing everything, everything… tomorrow in the office, even before I get there, write the entire day.  What I want, what I want it to contribute to.. each thought scribbled then later spoken.  Known to self and the world I’m in, each character around me.  I’m Dean’s whim and Sal’s written method.

The man who knocked on the door in sales mode, much older than me.  I pity him then with anxiety and an overtaking eagerness seek to mimic him.  Selling, unafraid, just getting out there like the Field Sales Team I work with, doing what you have to for realities of building business.  Maintaining that business.  You ask yourself, at some point, some point—“What do I want to do?” I find myself there, again.  I’m not leaving Sonic, no way.  But there is more I want, as you know.  Work, what work should do, and Sonic has taught me that it should be an invitation to know Self more intimately, to understand what drives and decides your character.

5:07 and I write freely, refusing to be webbed in meditation and excess contemplation of character essence and my narrative.  Just write to this current beat, and see what self sees.  I know where I’m going, I see the hotel rooms, the views, me waking early and writing in the lobbies—what I want for work.  So I go get it.  My wine business….  Little of the blush I opened last night.  Decide on that rather than more coffee.  Want to again narrate wine as it’s a literary and beatific centricity essential to my functionality.  It’s natural for me, it’s ME—rhythmic and redolent, ready with song and eagerness.  Thoughts over more thoughts, the thought of me doing something for the rest of my life—one singular thing, act, practice and maintained habit.  Wine poured, and I see my shop, store, whatever you want it called.  I play with ideas of me showing earlier and writing from a desk before having to take inventory and do what’s not entirely the most enjoyable or fun facets of being a business owner.  New experiences, new characters, voices, sights, sight as imperative determiner.

First sip and my memory tussles with me.  The race on Saturday.  Registering for marathon and only completing half.  The rain that fell in the last mile ordered me to accept the narrative shift.  To not dismay or despair, but to more joyously blare and what I did run.  Up the rocks and steps, the inclines that were more than inclines but more geographic intentionality to challenge me.  When across the finish line, or not-so-finished line, I was given a medal of fake metal and went to tent for shelter and otherwise unappealing snacks.  Then had a beer.  Then just looked around me, thinking of what other shored there are on the planet.  What else I haven’t seen.  Where else can I write–  Interrupted again, now by former student seeking essay advice.  The Now of me orders more order.  To work.  Work more for ME, for my family. To speak and speak with fearless vessel and flight.  Rhythm, beat, beats, music.  I remove myself from my stall.  I’m on my Road, arguing from each thought.  Today, while tasting through those wines in the J Lounge with wife, I saw everything.  Felt everything.  This is more than Philosophy, and more than academics, more than life.  But, thought.  All thoughts.  Living in and from each.


Self Note:  Be appreciative of the Now—It gifts you with reason and questions, more Road and sequence than most estimate.  Love it all, write it all, see more Self in all beats.


Morning following morning of marathon that was only a half for my, my thoughts are on and in literature, writing, teaching self and being taught from experience.  I don’t see yesterday as a victory or a defeat, but a prime lesson.  Instruction on everything.

Morning with family.  Kids on couch with their mama, my over here at kitchen island, writing, in Kerouac’s novel, wanting more of what Sal did, what Dean did and thought he did.  In travel, in wine, in music.  The wine I had last night, bought with son at store.  Jack telling me we need to buy some wine so can “do some business” as he put it.  Everything I need for my Road, for my travels, here.


Mike thinks about his day off, what he wants from it, how to approach it.  Thoughts, everything in thought, what’s in his thinking and the ideas that pass that he won’t remember, that he won’t write down.  Mike Madigan, analyzing himself and what he does.  Wanting to feel what Sal and Dean did in the car, at the jazz clubs, at all the unexpected locations with new people they’ve only known for so long.  The reason and reasoning, thought and philosophy to everything from people at a house to beer and tacos, to the sound of cars being parked in a lot, crazily.

Mike forgot about Sausalito, about the marathon, about running altogether.  He thought about wine, again about self-publishing and wine, what to do from there.  New ways of approaching wine and teaching, books… Sedaris’ essays, Plath’s poems, Kerouac’s novel, Hughes and all his pieces.  Mike would re-read Road, note every sentence, including the first where the narrator lets readers know this is about him, Dean, how he felt right when he met Dean then onward into his life.  Mike has a son, daughter, since knowing them he sees the world with more reverence and hesitation—How does he live every moment as deeply as he can?  Why does he spend so much time thinking and overthinking rather than writing, living?  He didn’t have an answer.  Not this morning.  He wouldn’t.  He didn’t need one.  All he needs is them.  Those two.  Their mother.  The house.  Writing father seeking more reason and reasoning in everything, all that he does and what’s around him in his current scene and current.

Thought—everything in the appreciation of Now.

Living is literature, he finds.  He’s always know this and Mike has always seen wine as more a literary presence than some chemical or agro result.  Mike returns to wine, for this thought.  Sitting at the kitchen counter and looking over at the bottle of Grgich Merlot, ’14, that last night he explored and let speak to him.  He refused to let wine leave him, or him leave wine.  He’d write each sip, even if twelve essays or pieces or sketches came from the same bottle.  Wasn’t that the point?  Each sip, different.  Each second there is more in the jazz of what you poured.  Maybe this is the business little Kerouac was talking about, yesterday in the Oliver’s wine isle.

Wine speaks to Mike in a way it hasn’t, ever.  She tells him to move, move quicker.  Edit nothing.  Just express.  Self and the Now, thought and reasoning in what you sip, the appreciation of the Now… no going back, now.  The story is set.  Now he writes.. Several books.  With wine.  A marathon of book output, then another, then a marathon of written treks in the vineyard rows.  He sees it.  All.  All sips and steps.

Day’s end, and

Pinot is there to ease me, sing and educate, provoke meditation and new sight, exploration of prior hours. She instructs the writer to not work as hard, not feel so obligated to fill a page. See the room you’re in, she says. Walls sing alongside her and the floral scape of her animated way.


Driving home from SF, talking with co-workers about cinema, favorite films and what would, then with one of the characters in cabin with me while I drove, literature.  Books and characters, who likes Hemingway and who likes Gatsby— a novel I have always been free in voicing my qualms toward.  Home now, after drive, after walking up 2nd Ave, and up 3rd.  Or is it down 2nd and up 3rd…. Sipping Chardonnay and going over, somewhat proofing a note I to self wrote while in vehicle and then before when in the Chinese restaurant with someone I work with.  There has to be a better way of saying that, and not “colleague”.  How ‘bout just ‘with someone’.  In the context and scene you or a reader would know. I work with her.  Anyway, back from away from field, I jotted this note with thumbs on phone.  306 words at end.  Obvious presence of typos, and here at home and on second glass of this stainless Chardo’, I’m not caring too much.  Before writing this, I dreaded writing, writing this… thinking “Oh what am I going to write?” What’s happened to me as a writer?  I need regiment.  Militancy, at this stage in my life, the aging writer approaching 40 and not finishing a book but having two blogs and retired from wine’s industry and into another sales world which he likes assuredly but still self-doubts.  This writer, Me, mike madigan, sip again and a full pull from the bowl of the Wine Roads event glass.  House quiet.  Think little Kerouac is in our bed, which means I may be lodging on couch for suit which won’t be that much a negative as I plan on waking, hoping to wake, at 4.  For… something.  Christmas gifts and ornaments and remnants around me, saying something about time, that I have to let some things go, like I can’t control how fast my children age and that maybe the wine shop isn’t in my narrative—just thoughts of it are, or story ideas about it—that I may not ever have my own wine label or vineyard.  But I can write about it.  All of it.

Today in San Francisco, on that one street, I think still on 2nd, I saw and sensed my truest of characters.  Yes a writer that lately has had somewhat of a furrowed and sharp self-estimation and declination but sees.  He does see.  Sees himself.  This writing father, wine in his story, Chardonnay making him remember the Cabernet from last night and the Anderson Valley Pinot.  Driving home from SF, talking about these great narrations and me mentioning Raymond Carver’s short stories, how Mom has always told me to write shorts—  I go back tot he wine industry, the tasting room, those mornings where I’d open Roth by myself and taste through the wines, jot my jots and stock thoughts.  Just what happens now, for Mike Madigan.  He looks at his glass, pineapple and green apple, frenetic vanilla and mint, all around his thinking.  Road after Road in each sip, shown.

from a journal


Kids with opened presents.  Wife and Kerouac left to retrieve cousins.  Preparing for more chaos and sounds loud.  Now, Emma and I play with her new toys and enjoy our Now.  The Now of today, more than yesterday and the same, augmented and magnified.  Me on the floor typing away with daughter behind me, remind me me of life, who this character Mike Madigan is.  What he wants where he is.  Simple.  Toys surround me like mountain ranges that overlap and intersect and criss-cross unconditionally and erratically.

Knowing Now, last days of ’18.  What can I do, what can I fit in in these—how many days?—7 days counting today.  And why not count today.  For just thoughts to new books.  Gifting myself something…. TODAY.  No mood and no stress, nothing but celebration of the Now.  More music, last night listening to atmospheric beats of Thievery Corporation and like-groups and artists, setting mood around the wine sipped and putting me in more sights and belief in the office, pairing wine and music, words poetry voice visual, all.

Music.  Only song I hear now is a kids track, not much I can harness self to.  Or can I… the play of it all, imagination, free liberating qualities and facets, universes transfixed and morphed into something else.  Educating key strokes with Now’s effulgence and expanse.  Daughter tells me to stop working, to sit not he couch with her and cuddle.  I turn the laptop off, and do what she tells me.  Mike can only do what she says, every time.  No exceptions, no variables.  It’s a consistency that not only dominates his day, but makes me more beneficially beat.

Coffee cold, music louder, playing with ideas and interpreting my Now in new ways— the ideology of this current stage and current brings me to new understanding and questions that shed any understanding of understanding.  The aim is to explore, not settle on definition.

“Dada…. I need you…”


Ideas for next track…


Counting and inventorying everything I do today.  The new year already started in my head and I’m starting my missions not as trite resolution efforts but consideration of my Now, what it wants from me, what I can gain from it.  Everything teaching me.  Doing my budget, seeing how much money I spend in the field on lunch.  Want to count it all, tally it, see what I would have saved but that’d only aggravate me, I’m sure.  So I won’t.  Forward, no lunches in field.  Coffee is fine, and a small bite, but only funded by coins.  Change.  So, carry a bag of with you when going out.  

Thinking about a shop, after and during my run.  I try to get away from wine, but I can’t.  I can sell and narrate wine like no one I know, honestly.  In inventorying everything today, knowing everything in the Now counts, I fixate on me, what I love and what I’ve done for work.  Mostly teaching, wine, blogging, writing.  Why not consolidate.  Would mean I have to start another blog, or restart the ‘vinovinevin’ project.  Going to not think about it, not excessively deliberate.  Just sit on the idea.  Tonight’s wines, writing about each.  The SB, white blend from Imagery I bought yesterday, the Pinot and red blend.  Or should I bring the Malbec….  Just a bit after noon now, and feeling exhaustion from the run.  6.3 miles, where I thought about a wine business and a marketing story, the connection to the Now, how all of this is not necessarily connected by contributing to the momentum of the next frame, place.

Now, everything I need.  More.  The understanding of your reality should always entail celebration.  With each morning and sip, each sight and breath.  The poetry of the Now rises from already-present music.  My music, now, vino scribbles and travel.

Wine has been saying different things to me, lately.  So many ask me if they should get into the industry, and if they should work here, or there, and what wine should they have at Thanksgiving, this Xmas, or New Year’s Eve….  I say, “What do you want to happen?” And if seeking a job, “What do you want?…What do you want to happen?” Wine is overthought, more than most things, or professions.  On the way out of the office tonight someone asked me about wine and working in wine.  I was on my way out, so I didn’t have time to elaborate over too much, but it reminded me how I’m seen, and where I need put more of ME, if in this pursuit of knowledge and business and knowledge in business.

Tomorrow morning, should I wake when I want, I’ll write wine.  Only wine.  Even if it’s going over my final days in the tasting room or all my vineyard walks…. Wine is material, writing material and story, not something to be peddled or pimped.

End day.

Tired from walking Castro District hills, and the hills and streets above that. Up since 4. Me. Again tomorrow but for run. To write. About the early hour, 4. What it does to you, your day. How you see yourself and the things around you. And at day’s close all is angled. In moving waves with an magnetic sharpness to them.

Waiting for pizza and salad. Having beer. Wine when home. Write about wine. Anything I have and I’m running low. Time to again build cellar. Start a serious collection. Get more intimate with wine and what she wants from me, from my writing. How she wants me to put her on a page, varietal to varietal. Whatever winery I visit and whomever I talk to, whomever for me pours. Like the lady the other day, also a blogger, and quite traveled. Younger than me by I’m guessing ten years and already with what I’m writing for. What I want to live and write. Start tonight. With Cabernet. Everything she has to say. Everything with blogging started with wine, sister-in-law suggesting so many years ago that I blog about wine. I did, but didn’t. Wasn’t consistent. Tonight, take the field again. Think I have a Cab in the “cellar”. Or collection.

Walking past certain houses in SF I saw me on that balcony, looking at the buildings from a hill, my hill, writing, middle of the day and drinking an SB from Dry Creek. Dutcher Crossing or someone close. There was a taste of my nearing future, so close it’s not a future. The tired could be talking now. I need wine to write. How much longer for the pizza? Should I order a glass of SB? Pinot?