Posts Tagged With: Art

Day nearly done. And I’m exhausted. Between classes at SRJC. Starving as I haven’t had time to eat. How is it August 20th already? Mind spinning, thinking I should eat the salad I brought, put it in this 2nd floor Emeritus fridge, but I have to keep with the types. Happy with my lecture notes and with how all classes have so far gone. Think I’ll show some of that Kerouac documentary, the one I posted a link to on the blog. I don’t know. Maybe the second half of class.. yes. Should go into the room and make sure the tech works, definitely, as I don’t know how many riles I’ve had with campus devices and systems, from the computers to the phones and everything else with a bloody button.
Wonder if I received my letter from Dav yet. Hard to hold attention so hungry. Breaking to eat salad then rush to room. -5:15, 8/20/14

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With this day, writing in morning, run after work; 6.2. And now I’m here, planning, typing on the floor of the bottom floor while Alice battles little K to go to sleep. Tomorrow, day2. And I still have some more planning to do but I’m more or less prepared. I’ll be assigning the first chapters to ‘Road’ tomorrow. Luckily, I won’t be rushed to copy any syllabi or print anything, so that’ll dismiss any potential stress, much unlike day1. I’ll be bringing my laptop so I can keep with the novel and rope-around-neck it to completion and revisit the typings from Spring semester. The two terms of 2014 will make the novel. SO this I guess would be the last nudge, these 18 or 19 weeks.
Have to follow Glenn’s suggestion of breaking these sittings up, print the smaller pieces.

9:12PM. Twelve hours from now, I’ll be in class, waiting. Can’t write here, frustrating.. house too quiet. I’ll use my Mendo office space to type whorishly, print as well, soon as I find out how..
Each day of this term needs to be its own story, exploit, emprise…

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Syllabi are essentially ready. I’ll ask to leave early today, around 4:30, the time I did over the summer, Mondays/Wednesdays. One final proofread and then to Kinkos for printing. I might have enough time in the morning to do it on campus but I don’t want to risk.. and, I might use a certain paper type– no, just the time factor. 7:12AM, wanted to run but I can’t shake the enormity of tomorrow; 4 classes, the semester of the Maddened Read begins. And we start with a force that’s never been viewed in my teaching routine. I’ll run tonight, a few miles.. or a quick five, or 4 like my training regimen demands. If I can make this semester work as I wish, the wine world’s all by dead; certainly no longer needed, and I’ll be on the Road, soon. I texted Dav yesterday, wishing him safe travels, and he responded with something to the tune of, “See you on the Road soon, Michaelberg.” A joking name he’s applied to me for a couple months now. Something about his note gave me confidence, and assurance that I WILL be on the Road, soon, headed to Missouri and beyond.
Notes from yesterday:
-group of 3, from TX, daughter and her parents; she works in distribution; “Oh my good gracious,” she said, as we spoke of the TX heat compared to ours here in CA. I love that southern octave and gorgeous theatric curvature of speech.
-FT professor from JC, sitting in reserve room, said he always catches me writing, and thought I might be writing a novel, or assembling some MS. Told him I am. Was. The expanded ‘PD’ project…
-People at the bar, so many, asking me about neutral oak. Became tired and incensed with explaining. So I’ve magically minced my definition: ‘oak that doesn’t flavor’.

Wrote quite a bit yesterday, I was surprised. I was tired from the event, night prior. We all were, those of us who were on the hill that night. We struggled. The coffee didn’t seem to help me so I stopped drinking it. Had a couple sips of wine when I could and that kept me afloat.

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Nothing slipshod. All measured. Take lunch early. Flex your pages’ intensity and gibbosity. I don’t care what I encounter today, how lovely or writhen, I will write it down. I’m a journalist, a spy dans ce jour… and always. New journalism, all panegyric toward what surrounds me. The park on Warm Springs, my meditation plank. I feel rident this morning, renewed. I’m close to the Road… Less than 48 hours near. The campus in my vision:
What if I had nothing? What would you do? How would you make this class your own? Would you have statements, questions? Would you introduce yourself to the characters/colleagues around you?
Write your initial reactions– and only offer sentences that antagonize reaction, discussion– stay composed…


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excerpt from this morning…

That will be an experience, one writeable. The estate last night, so dark and threatening and everywhere, appearing larger than it is or maybe just how grandiose and expansive it is just magnifired by not being able to visually assess it. It was like a pool, or river I was in but could breath, but no sight– that added to the story of it all thought, I have to admit. I wanted to walk around, hike with only flashlight, and see where I landed. And he’s down here with me, playing with the ruin, the toy pile and luxuriates in his known province. Saved my grades while he re-stacked each character in his toy cannon. And now, I’m totally committed to Fall, clear head and clear vision. Make sure that everything about the reads this coming semester are maddened– need coffee, more of it, keep the story cartwheeling into its own depth. Rereading Crystal’s story and there’s something about it I want to fiddle with on my own, something subtextual but I can’t pin it. Why do I want to? Go with initial impulse, sensation or tickling– well, it’s exhaustion with what she does and that she does it for someone else. She wants her own winery, or label– small, distanced from anything corporate and she also wants to be known as a writer, one of small pieces. She hasn’t the faintest compulsion for novel. Her masterpieces are her bottles– the Chards Cabs and Zins she’d produce. That’s her latest menu vision. She wants a small counter for her Room

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Short story began the other day, nearly finished. Nothing to report from day– I worked, two mountain tours which yielded not a sole fold of writing push. Only had one beer tonight as I want to wake early, at mother-in-law time, 4:45AM. Want this novel done, as I’m always telling you. Semester, only days away, less than 4 in fact. And I’m leaping towards it with a separatist sentiment. The wine world doesn’t exist anymore to me. Only the page and the novel and what I envision through certain caffeinated road in the morning. But I won’ be with a hot cup so early.. don’t want to pull the little Artist from sleep. He just went down, for the second time– and I feel an urgency about me with my novels and poems that I’ve never before held. I thank Jack London, his ranch, and Dad for going with me. But I still feel intimidated or scared or reluctant for some reason, like I’ll never be him, Jack London, OR Jack Kerouac. I have to stop that and just keep writing, everything I feel, be honest, like how this morning’s meeting, the big important one with —— was such a waste of time and so pedantic and condescending, like we’re kids– when will they realize that we, especially I [!!!], don’t care? Not going into it, not letting them into my evening, into my night or my thoughts. Thinking of a run tomorrow morning if I can, I’m working a wine club event and don’t have to be in till around 12:30 I think– hidden boon, I think.
Can you envisage punching a clock the rest of your breathing? Imagine if you spent your last breath on someone’s clock, watch, payroll? Would you look down or back and think ‘shame’? I would, but that’s me, and my attitude as I sit here in the nook. I have to write everything and record every observation but I don’t feel like there’s enough time– the water bottle, new comp book, cell phone charger, and on floor: work bag, plastic bin of papers I still haven’t graded, or finished anyway, my running shoes, and one of Jackie’s sandals. Odd swirling of realities. This eventide with bottled auxiliaries, ones telling me to take divergent routes to things, like my dreams and my paths and especially the Road. Dad once asked me if in a perfect world what would I be; writer or professor? If you have to ask, and you know me, you know the answer. My sensibility lies in the pen’s simplicity. And that’s all there is to my envisioned branches– there will be no branches, just one root. Away with this laptop, this blog [year’s end], and any “social” media. I’m reverting to what writing is– WRITING. Ink. Sheet. And my semester will embolden students to know what the value is in such a scope. Looking at the pictures of Mr. London’s office makes me ashamed of my practice, I have to be honest. But proudly, I report that I’m ever more innervated to modify my manuscript manners.

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Listen [draft]

A page to Comp Book, now I leap to the laptop. Second cup ready and I think of the Jack London museum I’ll visit today with Dad. And the short stories I have to finish, and the classes for which I’m to prep, and I’ll stay awake late tonight finishing everything. Need more sparkling waters, stay away from wine especially now it’ll only slow you. Just like commas. Anymore I hate them as with a lot of punctuation.
“How are the stories coming along?” Scott asks.
“Good I guess, but I keep getting distracted,” I say.
“By what?”
“Ideas for new ones.”
“New stories?”
“Yeah don’t do that. You’ll never finish anything. I thought that’s what was up with you, but didn’t want to ask. Just write till it’s done and print it. Don’t edit till.. well, maybe not at all.”
“Not at all?”
“Sometimes, yeah. I mean, maybe a little, but not so the piece is too shiny.”

His words stuck with me. I couldn’t help but wonder how much I’d have printed if I just practiced this. It’s that’s easy I told myself, getting into my car but I had to practice it, show everyone especially my students that I was writing and printing and out there, truly out there, in print. My run today, while Alice is taking little Kerouac to preschool: 10k. That’s my goal, or aim or target or want, more a need. All I can see right now is light overcast, so it shouldn’t be too hot. That’ll help. Each run, I tell myself, is its own standalone piece and that’s what I focus on. Not the speed and certainly not how many calories I shed. Just the run itself. The process; sights, chips, honks, airborne notes charming senses– all.

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Throw Nows

New dock.
A rue caught.
My truth taught.
Change my pane.
Deign wry lanes…

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excerpt from this morning’s writings…

Thinking of doing my Lawndale run today after work.  And why not.  After a five-mile day, I’m ready.  A bit tired from yesterday’s jaunt, but not heavily by any means I just have to keep with my sprinting habit and if I don’t then I’ll run a couple miles around here, on and around Yulupa– no, go with Lawndale.  Those vineyards, the hills, the properties I fantasize about owning– those huge yards and trees that enclose them.  It’s memory whirlwind, and I don’t need to get out.  I always think of writing, running, the races ahead, and I realize I need to be more competitive with running and writing as they are one in the same with me.  A friendly rivalry with Ms. Alice would be exciting, enlivening, homeostatic, as she’s on a 6-miler as I type this.  Tonight would be 7-ish miles for me, if I did Lawndale.  And I will.  Want to be ready for this 12k next month.  That’s 7.46 miles.  I’ve done it so many times before my Lawndale run that I should have no trouble even after yesterday’s run/jog.  I say a little jogging as I had to talk myself into finishing, and I’m not sure why, wasn’t in the mood or didn’t think I could for some reason, but I did finish.  Felt I had to.

The older entries keep stacking, piling everywhere I look, be it notebook or Comp Book or this laptop.  And this blog, ending at this year’s close, only used for notes and short poems, no more long falls of prose, I need to keep my cards hidden to some degree, the mystery will help with reputation and mss sales.  Not that I’m that concerned with “reputation”.  What is that anyway, and why should it matter to a writer?  I have to ask.  I guess eventually it should, or might, but for me now all I want to do is writer.  More coffee.  Dropping Jackie off for his 2nd day of preschool.  Still can’t believe he’s in an actual school now.  And I had to confirm that with Alice yesterday, “Now, this IS a preschool, right?  Not a daycare.” She assured me, gently, and with some barely detectable laughter that it is a school, our son is in preschool already.

A new thought: no run today.  No.  I need to, on lunch, look through ‘Road’, see what lines I want highlighted on that first day of class and show students how many ways there are to interpret and they need to trust their initial impulses.

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Entered a page in the new Comp Book.  And I’m tired, sipping the 7UP I bought at the store, just hours ago.  Overwhelmed already by all the work I have before me for the semester, but I’ll keep my life simplified, into one Composition Book.  This laptop, used less and less.  It has to be that way; simple, condensed, fluid, singular.  Feeling not at all pained by the 5 mile run, but more from Jackie’s 1st day of preschool.  How is it that my little Artist is here already?  He grows quicker than I can handle.  Need a cocktail, or something, a sip of this 7UP then one of the Stewart’s Root Beers I bought.  Tomorrow at lunch, going to the Warm Springs park for writing, collection.  And only bringing this Comp Book, layering myself in nothing I have to, but only want to.  tomorrow’s theme, or major subtext note: exploration, true boldly honest exploration.

As I read further into Kerouac’s journals, I find he had the same struggles with the Craft that I do.  Not sure if that has meaning or just something I’m looking for anyway seeing’s how much I love his work, but it’s something I’m here noting.  Becoming renascent in a way I’ve never been, at least in my stepping, what I see, feel.  Going to alter me tomorrow, in some way, and write it all in my little notebook– so I have that one, this new Comp Book, and “Front”, the notebook I took from campus, from the English Dept’s mailroom, me writing “FRONT” on what I believe to be the front side.  Not sure, that’s why I wrote it, so I’d always know how to open.  Somewhere in there’s the key to Road– well that and all the old blog entries.  I hate the blog but then I love it.  We’re richly and tastefully dysfunctional.  We’re to be admired.  Our mutual abuse is like thrown seduction, a loud tryst with unavoidable light and shape and beat.

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