Posts Tagged With: Art

Mike kept writing. He wouldn’t let himself stop. He’d probably finish the novel, which was beginning to be more of a collection, vignettes and scattered shorts more than anything, before term’s close. And that was fine.

Second beer. His mind meandered, in and out of teaching, wine, his conversation with Craig.. fiction, everything was material. And he wanted to turn everything into something psychological, something that stayed with the reader– like he said last semester, concerning Poe’s work: “He [Poe] doesn’t want to scare you, he wants to be in your head, your thinking, and stay there.” That’s what made a memorable writer, one worth reading.

The semester vs the wine world.. so funny, the contrast; how much depth there was in one, and the other a dull dust bowl. He left all those thoughts where they stood, floated, and swept himself to his stories; one about a man at a conference, discussing what he had to discuss; he tried to talk about something other than work, what he was supposed to talk about, but everyone around just wanted to talk numbers, protocol, expansion, uniform, “business”. This was death, he thought.

Mike poured himself a full glass of the ’11 Meritage, which was anything but impressive. He kept drinking, and his prose went to blood, in streets, in apartments, something the police couldn’t decode. Worry warped the city’s aorta like a dust storm upon an outlying town. People hid, knowing there was quite the feasibility they’d be located by the hunter.

10:19PM. Quite drained from day, but rejoicing in what I’ve done, the writing. Thinking of rebellion, challenging instituted dogma, theology; the corporate theocracy. Like Dad said: “Everything you’ve told your students about thinking for themselves, and freethinking, has now fallen into your lap.” Why can’t I speak? I will. Through my fiction. I will be expelled for my probity; professionally cremated for my creativity, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Oh no, reader, this isn’t the wine talking. This is the aggregation of my dreams, visions, openings of insanity. And how beautiful… What is living, but TRULY living, thinking, speaking, expression? There’ll be counterarguments to this, I’m sure, but they’re only as legitimate as I permit. And yes, on this page, I’m the ultimate authority; I decide whether opposing opinions live, or die. And on death’s note: I would kill this entire bottle of ’11 Meritage if I had my envisioned fluidity for the night, if I were in a hotel, on some overnight, hours before lecturing out-of-state.. on Poe, or Plath, or Hem. I find mySelf more connected to Poe, all his remoteness, calculation. He doesn’t need to be “understood”, or accepted. He’s there, just as I am, in opposition to all with a noose.

I’m relaxed. No more tail rattle. Should sip the rest of the blend in glass. Getting late. Praise the Craft, as I’ll always be “saved”. I feel that in the morning, I’ll be with diligent armament, eager for interaction with suits… It does well for the book, so no matter the outcome, I’ll have pages. Bonne nuit…

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1:21PM. Three pages of fiction, done for day. But I want to keep writing. And I need to keep printing pages if I’m to have the entire book printed by May 19th, a Monday. So many characters around me, now, in this 4th floor reading room. Getting hungry. Think I’ve had too much coffee today. But how can THAT be?

Need to research something while here… Joyce, of course. NO! I’ll go by the bookstore, get a copy of Ulysses, take him head on, without consulting critical articles first. There. Done. Joyce, I’m coming for you, sir…..

Hate waiting for these colleges. It’s quite ridiculous, actually. I’m at their mercy. Fool… And what if they all reject me? Am I supposed to stay in the wine industry? Never. I’m writing mySelf far away from all this. With these shorts, vignettes.. and the poems, of course.

Steve goes out on his boat. It’s just after 6. Maybe 6:01, 6:02… He doesn’t care. He’s retired. All he needs to do: enjoy the quiet. Hopefully the fish don’t bite this morning, he thought. He just wants to hear the water against the boat, hear whatever gusts decide to race through those old branches of the trees on that far bank, near where he always parks. Where did the time go, he wonders. To him, it seems like only a few days ago he stood at the front of that classroom, trying to convince seniors that Shakespeare meant something. But not anymore. He doesn’t need to ‘mean anything’ to anyone. Not anymore. He listened. There. ‘Gluck… gloak’. His coffee, tasting better than he can ever remember. Before casting the line, he looks around, sees the older trees, wonders what they were doing when he first started teaching. Was he older than them? It doesn’t matter, he thought. Casting. And almost instantly, a pull.


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14APR, 9:41AM. And I’m done grading, or retroactive grading, for English 100. Now I can write. This feels amazing. I will say.. the one thing with which I struggle as a professor: assessment. I don’t enjoy doing it, and not ‘cause I’m afraid of student reaction, I just don’t like being a judge– okay, you don’t like that word.. then “evaluator”– Don’t like that one either.. well, then assess-er. I’m in love with the Exchange of Ideas, with the conversation, with the exploration of text. Grading elevates me to something I don’t see my qualifications reflect. Even with a Master’s Degree…

I’m on the fourth floor of the library, and have more time than I thought I’d have to write. Looking left, out that panoramic window, loving the low clouds, light drizzle, and I guess what could be qualified as fog. This is what Joyce would do– lock himself in the study, the library, surrounded by books, no devices.

Writer friend on my mind, as she’s still about the map, training for this new job of hers, a flight attendant. Being one’s son, I know all about the role, the stories that accompany, and what’s seen, felt on the Road. But she told me something interesting, and a bit disturbing the other day: that she has not even a second to write. Not that I doubt her.. but how can this be? Writers–it’s my stern conviction–always have time for their pages. But maybe this break from her written work, to fully immerse herSelf in the new role, understand what it brings, and enjoy the Road, new friends, challenges, will build her character, strengthen her paragraphs.. bring her to a finished work.

Students all around me in this room. I sip a gradually chilling coffee, the Sumatra blend they offer in the library’s café on the second floor. [...] Just took another sip, and yes, it’s much cooler. Hate cold coffee, or a temperature that isn’t motivating. Can’t believe this is Week 14. I’m preparing both classes for their final projects.. the English 5 class having to write a story, or narrative, or whatever shape they want, about their growth this semester, actually being encouraged to minimize any emphasis on my class, academia.. but what did their Life teach them? The goal of the assignment is that they realize they taught their Self something.. and that readers, anyone, can learn from their story.

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C—— had the last glass of Rosé. She thought about opening a bottle of the blend Rosie made a couple vintages ago, but thought about the meeting she had in the morning, what they wanted her to present; budget, projections.. How do you “project” how many people are going to visit the website, buy wine.. visit the tasting room, join the wine club, which was becoming more and more humorous to her. Whenever she had her own wines, or tasting room (which she was more and more against by the day), she would be that label that didn’t have a “wine club”. She hated how that sounded, the whole idea… Wine club. Rubbish.

“So are you gonna quit?” Mikaella asked.

“No. Not yet. I’m a ways from that, but eventually I have to leave. This is just too much for me, all this pressure to sell, the constant threatening.. it’s ridiculous.. this isn’t wine, the wine industry.. this isn’t why I got into this business,” C said.

“Are you headed home after this?”

“Yeah, I have to study..”

“For what? Are you trying to be a sommelier?”

“Oh, no. For making wine.. I’m just looking into different wine styles, yeasts, oaks, and whatever else I can learn.”

“You don’t want to be a sommelier?”

“Uh, no, not really.” C poured the rest of her SB into the sink behind the bar. Everyone else saw her dismiss her wine, and thought she would say something, but she just walked out the front doors. Why was it so odd that she wanted to make wine? Her own wine… What did anyone know, especially Mikaella. She’d been in the wine industry for what, two months? Once home, she’d study like she were going for the bar, or something else.. no, she wouldn’t compare, because there was no comparison. This was for her.

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Roundup End

Confusion, like painted shells,
and I can’t rely on translation.
Using my place to have said one
release. I’m having to watch, so I’m
sipping this as fast I’m able.
Turn the ethics to wharfs, where
I’m actually encouraged.
Dancing to what rhythms escape
beyond branches. I’m list, lost,
glorified, imbibed. Wishing for
intent weather. Blank cups in A.M.,
that won’t help. Already eager for my fly,
Hours away, find me a forward button,
one that works. Edges roughed, picture lux.


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Saturday. Mike knew it’d be frenzy, from early till after 5, when people started prolonging their tastings, probably afraid to get in the car and drive, he always thought. But he made time to write, finishing the short story he started yesterday in the lot of the Kenwood Market. He read it again.. noticing a certain appropriate candor to the gruesomeness of the character. He’d never followed-through with a short of this literary shape; exploring tones of vengeance, revenge, justice.. or karma which he didn’t believe in.

Today, a run scheduled. Up Lawndale, and maybe a bit past the winery once he was back on the valley floor. Everything today had to be recorded. The piece he wrote yesterday, which he intended to send to The New Yorker, still on the little pieces of scratch paper. He hated how those so quickly collected, piled on his desk, or on the kitchen table, in that Literary nook of his. He needed an office offsite, and he wanted to be somehow pushed to it– He didn’t know where he was going with that thought stream. And he didn’t need to right away– Or maybe he did, he knew, turning 35 in 1 month, 17 days.

He’d target the New Yorker piece tonight after work, after his run. And he’d cap himself at 500 words; on the truths of the wine industry, the misperceptions, the horror of the fantasy that they sell– OR, he could write it in fiction, have two characters behind the bar, on a slow day, talking, sipping, going against the custody. Yes, commit to fiction, he thought. “The New Yorker,” he wrote, “I just have to write that one piece, that one piece.. everything will change. I will use them as my voice propeller. Journalism.. voice.. perspective… TRUTH. Nothing will be able to hurt me. I’ll show everyone…”

8:30AM. The second cup, done. He was tempted to fly to the kitchen for another, but that’s what the mocha was meant to do, keep his inner catalytics luminous. He brandished the little black notebook from his teaching bag. “No stapled scratch paper sheets today.. this is what journalists, REAL journalists use,” he wrote. His new writer friend from yesterday.. he couldn’t remember her name.. saying how she “only wrote in a diary,” and how Mike assured her that such writings had value from their unfined truths, that she should develop them, send him a page or two if she were comfortable, wanting ever a reader. After she left, he wrote ten lines in his makeshift tablet, in the back room next to the kitchen, where he wouldn’t be bothered. But today, he’d write while in the trenches, while the people were right in front of him, asking their colorful questions, that always, nearly every time, either made his eyes roll or core untie a giggle.

He took a second to think, gather what fragments of poise he could assemble before his leave, before going there to clock in. He went to the New Yorker’s website, started reading, whatever he could. Then, to the History Channel’s site.. see what happened this day in history, just to see if there was something there to push him. Civil War begins.. okay… FDR dies, first man in space– “AH!” Mike said, “Galileo guilty of heresy… Beautiful!”


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9:01PM, in kitchen nook. Glass, boastfully full, ’11 Anderson Valley Pinot. Nearly too drained to write, but I wanted my moment in this nook. Two small groups in TR today, with both Literature addressed; writing, Life, passion, pursuit. My friend, and current ‘5’ student, Nadav asked me towards the end of the 8: “How long does it take you to write a piece?” I should have some kind of answer cued for such a probe, but I don’t. Does that mean there’s something wrong with my Literary practice? Do I need to focus more on singular/submittable standalones rather than these novels? I began writing something today, on a makeshift notebook, that I aim to send to The New Yorker. I do want to Self-publish, but I also want to play ‘the game’; submitting; the acceptance, rejection, waiting, not hearing a thing at all.

This Pinot, more earthy than I’d like, but how do I know what’s right with the red Burgundy? But never mind that– right now I’m ENJOYING wine. Not consumed with sales goals, how to talk about it, description, how much I pour, what I’d pair the bottle with.. I’m sipping. And that’s it. Me, wine, writing.. REAL Art.

Dreaming of writing a piece for NatGeo.. traveling somewhere, and conveying precisely EVERYTHING I see, smell, hear, taste, feel. Everything’ll be on the page. And I’ll work quick, not sleep, needing only a week, at most, to capsule what me greets. I should be transferring the words I wrote today, on those pieces of scratch paper, but I’ll leave them, those words, for morrow, with coffee. And I’ll be able to wake at cruel hour– this is my last glass of the fragile red. And it does taste fragile, scared, insecure, hidden. I’ll again sip, let it know I’m here to communicate, not evaluate.

And now, I’m on the couch.  Entertaining another glass of the Anderson Valley PN, but I’m not convinced.. not necessarily swayed by its voice.  If anything, I want to dive into some study on Joyce; his inner warrings, methods, practices.. remember in that documentary I saw not too long ago that he studied with heated aim in libraries.  And I’m trying to enact the similar here, in the condo castle.. with the TV dead, off, and nothing but the fridge’s tremor about sense.  You know what, I think I do need another glass.  It’s Friday, and I’m a writer, dreaming of travel.  Now I’m rambling.  The wine’ll help that…

Think I should send some of this spoken word.. somewhere.  OR just perform it.  The Pinot will tell me.  [...]  First sip, last glass.  So relaxed.  C—— would be doing the same thing, after a day like this.  That’s why I feel nothing, ‘cause my character validates it so.  One character I met today, one from the aforementioned small groups, reminding me so much of her.  Hope she emails me, sends me some of her writing.  But even if she doesn’t, the novel will finish.

Another sip, touted.


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Visit Poured

She has spells,
That only have me hidden,
In some sweet dream, away
From the binding.
She left?
I can only write her return.
Meddling eyes, welcome,
air about sensual terrain,
Her, metaphysical, intangible,
All inches. Lay, next to side
Overlooking coves, unattainable
That’s fine,
I don’t want her.
I’d rather


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Having the last of the Pinot from last night, the Willamette. Not much to record from day– a vineyard tour, then merely regular routine from the room. Tasted the wines a few times ‘round, and no new notes that I could share with my character, what she wants to impart to her bottles, her future projects. Battery still low on this device, but then I just noticed I have the charging cord in the plastic containers for papers, right here, on table. But I haven’t poured the first glass of the Pinot, yet… There, right by laptop devil. Have another glass in that bottle, so thankfully. Finished another short short, right before I came home, on a makeshift notebook I made with scratch from the winery.. those same little paper shreds kept behind the bar, just below the register (reg 2). I see mySelf again sipping a random bottle like this in some hotel, in Florida.. or where my sister is, now, Las Vegas. Thinking about home, yes, but appreciating that I’m finally on the Road, seeing Newness for all it has to offer. And postulating what I have next before me.. what I want.. realizing, truly, that I can write the rest.. that what I wish can come to fruition– it’s not a wish-list, but a target sequence, one logical, attainable. So I’ll drink till this bottle’s dead. Till the contents meditate in my circulation like a quaint reflective assembly. I remember writing a short about someone being stalked in a cellar, the “Cellar Master”, actually. Where is that piece– See? That practice, of writing and forgetting.. done!

9:17PM. Tired, but I’m thinking of something to do which shoves truly tangible my intent. MY novel, nearing its dock. And all the short stories, flash pieces, vignettes, for its jingle. I won’t slide into dismalness, ever. Not with these characters. And the next Pinot glass, soon poured. And it’s needed. Now, anyway. I’m wandering on and in thought, which is just what I want. What I need. The characters at work I’m thinking of now, fellow workers, or “pourers”: C1, C3, C5, and 6.. all with different motives, fragmented conceptions and grasps of what the winery wants them to do, how they’re to appreciate what they have there, if anything. A sailboat, my own, in the San Juan’s, if possible. And I’d write there, a story of a man who always went out to catch fish, whatever he could. One day, he gets lost, finds a small island, lands, walks around.. he hears a subtle scale being played on some type of wooden high-octave board. It sounded like something island, something tribal. He loved its drama, that’s why he followed it so clumsily. But I just write, play with my character, genre.. happening in and out of genre, whatever I want to do. Now I need another sip of the Pinot. Actually, I’m just going to sip the rest in one shiny shop… And now I’m rambling.. but doesn’t that give some insight to character? C—— wouldn’t do this in her notes. She’s more to the point than I.

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Change in search. For.. What?
Everything digitized. Lights
Off. Air conditioned
Waiting rooms, calming you before
Sentencing. That’s millennium.


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