Posts Tagged With: Diary


Only days left in year and I’m thinking of reshaping, redoing, but that’s not what I need do.  I should …..  I don’t know.  But I’m thinking.  Just know I’m thinking.  And the coffee helps.  How to get to my office, how leave the clock’s grip, that’s my plated query.  How did that Pulitzer Prize winning writer do it, decide on one project?  Do all writers struggle like this?  I feel like one of my students unable to fixate into a project or thesis or even brainstorming.  Now my wheels revolve angrily, centralize in their respective eruptions.  Rome, Paris, Portugal– Madrid.  Let me pack…

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DAY 39: Saturday 12/20/14

From a dream I can’t escape, more like nightmare, or visions nightmarish.  I’m up.  3:39AM.  And it was quite a chore putting this laptop and myself in writing position.  Can’t type as fast, don’t want to wake my queen or the little Artist.  Laptop was in bag and bag was in kitchen so I more than tiptoed in, grabbing the heavy bag off the chair with only two fingers, lightly pushing aside whatever clothing piece shared chair with it — I then walked down the short hall past the bathroom like a catburglar, sat on couch.  Remembering that this monster needed power, I reached far left a gently pulled at the cord, bringing it higher and higher toward the arm of the sofa.  And now I’m here, now, typing in total nightly roominess with only the fading drips of the thin metal gutter on that wall’s other side to accompany me.  So the dream, can’t remember all specifics but– well I can, I just don’t want to write them here, but I’m startled, so much so I’m here writing as I always wish I would.  Just not like this.  I feel ashamed and spooked and analytical, going over every part of the dream I can bounce back into and out of memory.

I’ve always written about and toyed with the idea of halting wine consumption (this includes beer, too) with finalized reason, and instantly.  Used to say it was to see how my character would change, but now it’s control I’m after, more control over ME and my character and I’m resolute in believing this would forward the writing in some electrical and storming way.  So in this day of my magically diarist hundred, I drop such gavel…  I guess what frustrates me would be the pressure around wine, like I HAVE to drink it since I’m ‘industry’.  How is this delineation sound?  It’s not, and this is much of my separatist point.

Quite enjoy this compositional hour, just wish the fridge would hum so I could have some noise shield or cover, buffer.  Need to keep a dream journal like Kerouac, so when I have visions like this I can capture them candidly and richly when they’re still more or less fresh.  Would love a cup of that medium roast right now, the only other scenic ingredient which would have this all in perfection’s palm.  I hate typing with one finger at a time like I’m now doing (except when I need a capital letter or some punctuation like that opening parenthesis mark, just above, and left, then I use two fingers, risking more noise and more indication that I’m up).  If I don’t go back into sleep I’ll be drained today, completely, and with the lingering visibility of this cough or cold, scratchy throat and some light congestion–  Just went up to put Jackie in our bed, he breaking my session, calling “daddy… my daddy!” Love how he depends on me, his mother for comfort and protection, the transport to our bed, me carrying him this time.  I try most times but he insists on his own sovereign march.  It’s been some weeks I think since the little Beat has come to our bed, Alice just saying to me “I miss this.” Jack has become quite independent and insistent with his sleeping consistencies, completely abandoning his “training bed”, part of the crib, and stationing in his mature mattress-grounded bed, on ground.  I envy his little cove, so comfortable with all his blankets and stuffed animals and fluffy characters, like a whirlwind of soft invite that promises sleep, and maybe that’s what I should do (I realize with the fridge coming on..and my typing a bit more diligent, loud): go sleep in his bed, which I’ve done before.  But I can’t.  That bloody dream and the horror of are still a swarm of stinging millipedes around my concentrating cortexes.  I’m doomed to be awake, that’s it, so I must make a manuscript from it.  No wine.. easy, and it’s about fucking time.  I’ve said I’d do this for reels of time, now, and I’m finally here, forced, by the dream and this early hour and the rattling annoyance in me toward the industry, how you can’t be too honest and ‘watch what you say, it’s a small industry’…  That’s fear, in that statement, looming, tactical ‘boo’s!’.  But I won’t get started with that empty swing of sensibility, I look right and see nothing, where I know the kitchen is, that fridge that lets me type quicker now, and the hall (hard right), down which I barely touched the ground like I was some soldier that infiltrated some enemy something.  4:12 now, and I can’t tell if little Madigan and Queen Alice are asleep.  Think they may be, as I don’t hear any turning up there, but who knows with this hour and with Jack’s little in-the-moment character developments.  Now I want sleep, yes, I need it, known, but this never happens and if I go back to sleep what if I’m brought back to that dream?  Goddamnit I can’t win in this session.  “You’re at over 800 words at not even 5 in the morning, no one else you know in the world has done that,” you’ll say, trying to calm and comfort me but I don’t want to hear it.  I want more money, more from this writing, and more from everything I do–  And that’s another aim in this wine sabbatical leave: moving faster, more control which I already said but also a consistency with my writing that I’ve never known.  This, this dark room and my types which have to slow and be much more stealth audibly once that fridge silences, is the first meditation of a new me, the New Mike I’ve wanted in this hundred day hunt.  Hunt.. for what?  Just that: a new me, one who writes and does nothing else — Just remembered, I have to back up all this work on this unreliable monster laptop to one of those easily misplace-able sticks, the memory nuggets that promise a similar comfort and safety and invitation to little Kerouac’s bed.  Do I feel completely comfortable having all my work, basically my Life’s work, rest on one of those ‘things’?  No.  The only area that would give me true comfort would be ink on a paper sheetset.

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2 of day’s 3 (no edits)

Woke to thoughts of a character, Crystal, in dream, her dilemma with Life outside winery with how busy it is AT winery, post-harvest.  Her vacation approaches but the executives want her to give a couple talks at dinners and tour once, a short trip yes but it would break into her time, her time, time she deserves.

Jack still asleep.  Me right to this keyboard, into coffee already…  Jackie downstairs with me and I think about the day and refuse to plan even a bit of it, no not a drop.  A new printer would be nice.. so much to think about in these hundred days and how to do it and am I going bout it all right– can’t think about just have to act, and a run, maybe, that would take away from the sitting.. the sitting, sitting, and writing, getting something onto paper but I can’t print ‘cause that machine upstairs has seen its final day I think.  I can’t let go of the dream I had.. she’s young for a winemaker of a winery that size and at times of anxious, overstressed and worried if she’s doing a well-enough job or not but the medals and awards and articles speak for themselves, people tell her.  She doesn’t think it should be like this, though, all this hassle and– yes it’s supposed to be work and a bit stressful but not like this!  It’s wine!  She designs her own label from time to time on small sheets of papers but won’t show it to anyone.

And I sit on the couch biting at the French Toast sticks and waffle with Jackie, knowing I have so many papers to grade but today I think I’ll just look through them and organize, maybe grade a couple.  What I really want to do is write in my loft, around noon or something and just write about my character and her finally finding her wined voice, and a balance of the having to make money from it with her voice, her intention, what she wants and how she sees wine, her oenological beliefs if you would.  And the time wears this morning, I find myself not at all stressed just thinking about what I want and my beliefs and those papers– and I’m not flustered!  How?  This is a first for me!  And next term, no Mendo!  I can barely accept it, that I’m free, that I have balance and more time to write and publish/print (like the word ‘print’ over ‘publish’, always have) and run and be with little Kerouac.  No rain this morning and I’m fine with that, the difference and Newness with the stage’s post-front glaze.  And no mocha this morning just black coffee.  Even Ms. Alice is surprised and I realize a bit impressed with my corporate coffee removal.  And that adds its own Newness as well, having all coffee in house.. and the loft calls me, no beer just the coffee and the espresso I have yet to sip up there.  Poetry in my moments and thoughts.. spells but I want these incantations to be implemented into prose, into my ongoing brainstorming of Crystal, the winemaker who just wants to make wine the way she sees, the light into which she dreams, visions, and that’s a centering similarity between her and I: we have visions, there is a way we see things for ourselves, and we just want to be left alone in our avocation’d vocation.  Thought about having her novel be narrative in Lit shape but I can’t do that to her and I don’t know her story like she does, I don’t want to speak for her, I’m not qualified, so I’ll just narrate from removed.  Not the most telling fan of 3rd person narratives but that’s what she deserves, me outside my comfort zone.

Back from taking little Kerouac to school and I stayed int he Suburu a bit after parking, listening to an American Jewish man speak, or read from a piece, narrative, that he’d written being a journalist and going to Isreal/Palestine– just the passion in his voice and the cruciality in his topic and address.  Wine has nothing like that, I thought but then refocused on his passion and voice and how he cited line by line and note by note, specific by specific the crimes Israel had been committing in these occupied territories.  I’m writing not that I agree with him completely but his coherence and voice and passion were something I noticed obviously and want to emulate.  But I need to stay focused, and I can be journalist like with this Crystal piece and character development, report on her findings and growth and struggles– and if anything were to be on such a ‘newsy’ level it would be the employment situation in the wine industry, how everyone’s expendable, how They, managers and ownership, want us to “sell a fantasy” when it’s anything but in the tasting room, in the office, encircling the entity upon which we depend for pay.  Activism in this man’s voice over the radio and I was humbled and embarrassed.  I want to follow my own cause, and I want to speak be heard and be read and invite discussion with opposing sides, debate bigshots like Baldwin.

And I clear my desk as much as I can in this mental triangulation and myriad of curiosity that will lead me nowhere I know if I follow it too long.  So I take the old writings off desk, the papers from spring ’14 that I still have and don’t know why, and I look at my coffee cup, cold and encroaching emptiness– and left, about $17.  Putting in wallet.  Why am I letting the dayoff stress me like this?  Don’t go to Palooza, you could be writing during that driveTime.  More coffee and take a reading break if you need a break at all.  Noticing the reality in a way that I never had: yes I went to grad school to be consistent and follow through with the aim or “goal” of being a professor, but next year, February, will make nine years of adjuncting and for what I have to ask.  Today, no moving and no talking, just writing, write it all out, every dilemma, wish, thought, inconsistency and inanity.  The rain stops and I start.. hoping for a notably dose of madness today like Kerouac in Ferlinghetti’s cabin.. the delusion will be poetic so I have another cup of coffee, watch the ghosts lift from it’s opaque surface in the cup, cherries on sides, Alice’s cup, she would say I don’t need another and I know she’s right but she doesn’t know what I’m attempting and I don’t blame here, but this is honest, honesty.  Still, the rain at bay, quiet for me, wanting me to continue my story, this hundred day war with self, with my dreams and wishes.  Know I have errands to fold today but I’m not of interest right now and I don’t know if I will ever be, see, the books need to be returned to the SRJC library but who cares, are they gonna make me FT?  Of course not.  And the haircut, and taking out Mom & Dad’s trash bins (this I will do).. but what then.  Something, some newness, here, locked away, when will I feel the madness and the Creative lunacy that will strip me, peel me, break me from that goddamn wage cage?  The only thing for me is here in this written logging and meditation.  “One fast move or I’m gone,” he said.  I feel the same, and have been since turning 35 in May.  And I have till day 100 to organize, solve all problems and be the writer and father/husband and son/brother I’m written to be.  The story doesn’t have to accommodate me but I have to ‘it’.. the IT that Macy wrote about in Spring ’14 English 5 is obvious– it’s the sense, the Equilibrium, total happiness and control and identification with intention.  “That’s not possible,” you could say but it is, it most affirmably is!  No waves here, though, no gulls …

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…opened not today but

yesterday still encircles a sipper with swagger and sense.  But I have to stay focuses, and centered, even if my current subject is this varietal, Merlot, wish I could have another glass but I need to wake early tomorrow and take little Kerouac to his school and ready myself for a run that very well may be in the rain, but I’ll still go.  I can’t forget about my marathon which is I-don’t-even-know-how-close.  After the run, which should put me here at home near 10AM, I’ll go to campus, get into character, print an article before the 1PM collection of the 3PM groups’s papers.  Why don’t they just have the final time at the regular meeting time?  Yet another convoluted convenience in academia.  My budget, have to get it done.  Think I have one more check to write then I’m secured.  The Merlot’s starting to catch me but I’ll ignore it for the most part– self-publishing!  City Lights tradition!  Beatnikology!

Rain.  And it’s back, for me, for this street, Yulupa, and for my drive tomorrow and for the view from the 4th floor.  I fully expect to change seats a couple times in that four hour span of meditation.  But as long as the drops continue so will I.  I have to commend this weather’s inexorable intent.  And I sleep better because of it, and like other morning with those drops on the sunroof window, like little kisses to my vision for me to keep going, more than encouragement like a love letter more so, one genuine and not plotted or plan just for the moment, for me, for the connectedness of everything connected to a sentence, to new words and stories, as each rain storm or flurry or even drizzle’s a story, abbreviated or extended.  And the rain doesn’t worry about edits or revisions or even reformatting, it just pours, drops and descends, writes what it wants to.  How is that not enviable?  It just rains!  I only hear applause in my wiring.  This is a beatnik’s moving, not a movement as people understand but a moving, a new motion, one unplanned, scattered, disorganized and delicious!  Paragraphs overlapping and intermingled and blended kaleidoscopically.  I want my son to read this one day, and love and appreciate the rain as I do.  And Alice, my wife, the resolute reader, I hope one night sits to one of my pourings, one of my emotional and confessing deluges, downpours, or like tomorrow: hurricanes.  OR would it be a tornado?  Tomorrow’s writing will break any record or feat or milestone I’ve consummated.  Over 2000 words for the day.. how would the meteorologist report that?  How would I?  Not so much a storm but certainly a front visit.  Today is notable, but not historic.  I don’t even know if it’s a memorable raining of sentiments or thoughts but again it’s there, for you to read if you’re still reading.  And now I have to get ready for bed, and for tomorrow.  My first run since 12/6.  No more knee pain, and the hips seem to be brave enough, so we’ll see.  Bonne nuit, lecteurs!

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Loft. 34 minutes maybe a little more

and I think of today so far, and standing out are the two cups of coffee I took from the 3rd floor and the cheese sampling in the back kitchen (our only kitchen).  Visited a couple of the wines, nothing riveting, and talked to Zach and his wife Katie on the crushpad.  Didn’t turn the lights on on up here, wanted and still want to see how the dark affects me.  Nice crowd in here, talking but not with too much invasiveness, and the rest of the day who knows.  Just deleted a sentence, shame, I need to keep typing like a real Beat and not regret a thing.  MY budget nearly done and thinking about ‘Mp’ all the time behind that bloody bar, even researching Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books & Publishers.  The key is simplicity I again realizing and going big with small standalone pieces.  Steely Dan playing in the background and  I’m dristract by Time again, how I only have so much and what I do have is so/too quickly quelled in obligation.  So the next day will be the same, and the same and…  Love the dark up here.. wine, on mind, a wine bar, thinking of writing that 1,000 word piece on MY wine bar/shop, the idea, to form into something for my character and how she’d handle it.  Want to ask Katie but don’t want to be too obvious, what would that do but break my cover, totally crack it rending stale ineffective and moot.  Keep with my types, Kenwood, where I work and now break and break away from that goddamn clock–  Thought from the other day, before I forget: the architects sketching on pieces of scratch paper, actually solving a long-standing dilemma from their San Francisco office, they just used the backside of the menu paper, worked on what looked like one part of a commercial building or space, a 90’ angle, and then from there they were distracted by what bottles they wanted to purchase and what they’d have in the office, and what — Company started not too long ago, again, and only 24-26 members, small firm and wildly successful, just like my press; small to large and to that ‘large’ from the smaller pieces.  I have to get out, and I will by day 100, this is all about switching my Life to what I want for me and little Kerouac, and my queen Ms. Alice.. a house, property, the office, freedom, simplicity.. and it’s little Kerouac that really pushes me, fires further my fire.  No more orders or schedules or clocks, can you imagine?  Leaving the house whenever you want to or have to based on your project/s, their demands, and what you saw in that image of yourself, the defiance and the Autonomy, better than any bottle of wine.  One of the owners of that architecture firm had to stay behind in the office to meet his deadline, and one of the other owners that was present that day said he was upset he didn’t get to join their retreat.  Thought the dynamic was interesting and–  Did I tell you this already?  23 minutes.  Goddamn time.  When back I hope to taste a couple more wines in the tasting room and figure out what exactly my target or specialty wine is, or would be in the shop for my character.  Much I talk about owning a wine shop, I won’t, I don’t think.  Rather, I’ll confine it to page, I’ll confine everything to page and sell them.  Minimal overhead, as I want the majority of my stashes going to the house, the residence where little Kerouac and his future sibling will enjoy a backyard, build their thoughts and perceptions and form their own characters.  The dialogues downstairs become louder, more intent, I hear some people, I think Teddy being one of them (my bartending friend), is one of the participants–  Interrupted by Jeff’s wife, and I don’t mind, I actually learned from our brief interaction, about her needing a couple cases of Chardonnay and one of the neighboring wineries won’t sell directly to her and that winery’s distributor won’t return her calls.  Don’t understand why the industry has to be so complicated when it comes to getting wine to a location.  Where’s the formula, where’s the consistency and Humanness?  I’ll never understand that, why wine’s industry overthinks so much.  Oh.. have 16 minutes left, which gives me more than enough to edit.. tomorrow back at school, but just to collect those final papers.  Run in the morning, then finish whoso edits, then 1A collection then write for over 4 hours, in library, and I want more than just ‘progress’, I want my character definitively changes and I want to bask in the stressful energy from the students.. and I want to write in the Comp Book, just brainstorm freely and wildly, and on the 4th floor by the Kerouac books.  There will be a definition settled upon tomorrow, I can understand now, sitting here and my seated table in the loft’s darkness and I know what I’m doing, or I tell myself I do, just trusting that what I’m doing is what the story wants me to do– Thinking.  Noting.  Sharing.  Mp should be a nucleus of not only written engagement but thought aid to other writers and thinkers, teachers.

And I’m still.. focus on singulars.  Like.. the sample I tasted on the pad with Zach and Katie.. Cab blend, I’m guessing, and telling in its vocality and positioning.  But not what I say is distinct.  It wasn’t a poor wine, not at all, it just wasn’t a project that would set the globe ablaze, but I don’t think it’s meant to be, and they confirmed that: intended for the anytime sip.  But I’m distracted by wine and if I should make it and that shop idea.. what if I did?  And what if that became the family business, like Scooter & the Lighthouse?  Something to sew, unsew and re-sew on the way back to the overflow lot.  I should contact my sister I’m thinking now, afterall.  See what her thoughts are on what be, wine and wineshops and labels and Cab fads and anything.

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4PM. So it’s raining outside.

Nothing cataclysmic nothing torrential, not even something impressive or worth reporting in my opinion.  But the weather still reports, foreshadows.. predicts.  One said it was “moderately confident” of the weather that was to land tonight and tomorrow.  Moderately confident?  What does that mean?  Not many showed for the 5 points for a rough draft, so I was out earlier than I measured I’d be.. troglodytes.  Hard to eat and type.  Starvation definitely more ameliorative.  Ordered a grilled chicken sand’ with fries, regular not curly.  Want to be somewhat health-aware.

Think I know what authors I’ll be using next term.  Again, ‘think’.  Full-timers laughing in the halls, ha ha ha… Life is so easy and I’m in one place and I get the courses I want and I love my office… ha ha ha.  Pretending I don’t hear them and I’m going to stay here.  The library doesn’t call me as it used to.  And I thought while walking in the where-the-hell-is-the-rain rain that I can’t write too much in a day, ever, and I can’t post “too much” to the blog.  I’m always concerned about excess in terms of release.. thinking, “Could I Self-publish too many novels?” Of course not.  So there’s my reasoning and I deem it quite sound.

Full-timer just walked in then into the mail/copy room.  I said ‘hi’ and she gave me a bothered smirk like ‘what the hell is that part-time guy doing eating in our meeting room?’  Sandwich done, now just fries.  She walks out again and back to her office carrying the James Baldwin collection that I’m pretty much set on using next term.  Only read a couple of his works but the struggle he shares, both with race and sexuality, Civil Rights, should prove engaging and provocative in the classroom.  And I need a new author anyway, and Baldwin is one of the strongest, most relevant and pervasive authors in the American “canon”.  So, I’m using him.  Wonder if they have a spare copy in the office.  They used to have spare copies of books in the office, the featured author for the semester, or the “WOLM” as they tag it.  Civil Rights, as a pronounced consistency in his work, especially with all these incidents all over the country with police and black men, will be especially beaming with topic potential and ideas’ exchanges.  I’m excited, researching him right now, my new author.

These fries aren’t cooked as well as I’d like.  I prefer them with more crisp and audibility than this.  Why am I complaining?  It’s from the school cafeteria….

Just had an idea.. take on some of the full-timers with your Baldwin approach.. get competitive and have your own position that you have dominate the Baldwin exploration on campus.  No more of this ‘just an adjunct’ placement.  I’ll show them.  All.  Have to start soon and I’ll have him, Mr. Baldwin, be one of the 1B authors.

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DAY 29: Tuesday 12/10/14

I should feel different this morning.  More excited or relieved or something, that this is the last Mendo day, the last drive up here, ever, ever…  But I’m laced in angst and anxiety, stressed– why?  What the hell is with me this morning?  Maybe it’s the 4-shot mocha, haven’t had one of those in some time.  And I feel like I failed with this Mendo assignment, in some regards.  But then I think I’m being too hard on myself so I don’t know, I don’t know.  But I’m here, on my last day, just stuffed the Dav letter and 500-word piece in an envelope I stole from the supply cabinet in the breakroom, or LUNCHROOM, as that one sourpussed adjunct snarled at me at the beginning of the term, the transaction going “Do you mind if I eat this here?” I said, referring to my salad — “It’s the lunchroom,” the twit replied.  I’d be miserable as well if this were my base as an part-time community college instructor.  Yes, I’m done.  On so many levels I don’t have time to produce a list.  Roll sheets printed, going to offer one last word of the day for the students, well as a quote, and I’m done.  When at SRJC I should have at least 2 hours of writing time.  There, today and tonight, I just plan on checking rough drafts, sticking around for 1-on-1’s if they want, then adjourning.  Semester done– so why am I in this misty swirl of an ebb and character pulse?  Need to do my budget, for ‘Mp’ and family and house savings.  Leaving me close to nothing.  But that’s fine, I don’t need anything other than books, pen and paper.  And in this new year I’m using this goddamn thing a lot less.  Writing, writing…  In fact, tomorrow at Palooza, in my loft office, writing will be doted in the parameters of the Comp Book.  Was thinking of something now I lost it– oh yes, the Comp Book.. where the hell is it?  There, found it, buried in bag.  Budget started, already I’m thinned.  Caffeine wearing, and I won’t drag as I did the other day, Monday, morning after Dad’s party, no not today.  I’m raising my mood and I should I’m free, free from this commute and this campus and the lack of centrality and now I have more time for me, ME, time to write and run and be with little Kerouac, my ever-artisanal son!

Need a quote for the day, but by whom?  Or FROM whom…  On way back, I’ll get a picture of that one vineyard in Hopland that I always glared at carefully driving south.  Think my phone’s charged, but if not I’ll charge my camera battery in the classroom, use that rather.  So quiet down here, this bottom floor, no one else.  No full-timers, or those constant adjuncts, nothing, just me and these words.. happenstance?  Who knows, but I’ll take it.  Ride home, already looking forward to it, or the ride to SRJC I mean, hours of writing on the Kerouac floor and I don’t care if students are around me I’ll stay there anyway, observe, immerse myself evermore in studentdom.  And the mood comes back–  What is going on with me, the entanglement, the roar of dull waves in an inner oceanic tilt.  I’ll write my way through it.  Asking myself the expected and trite hallmark card-ish question: “What did I learn from this assignment, up here in Mendo, from taking it to following through with it?” Hard to write, but not to take too much to the plate, and that all ends, anything that disgruntles you will eventually be extinguished.  And my expressive senses stand more solidified on this December 10th.  And here I am, realizing I never have to come here again, ever, if I don’t want to.  And that’s one thing adjuncts don’t realize, much of the power is with us, what we say ‘yes’ to and what we refuse.  We have the druthers, just as much as them.  True, they decide if we become full-time, but if I don’t want to take your dismal developmental section and whatever o’clock I don’t have to, and there’s nothing they can do.  Well, they could not hire me back for next semester, but I’ll live, I’ll always live, and as I said on Monday my focus is Life, MY Life and my family’s.  I’m a writer and I’ll write it all out, write myself away from commutes and campuses like this.  Up term’s close, I victor.  Now, for that quote…

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Loft Writing, 12/9/14 (minimal edits)

Spent too much time downstairs deciding what I’d sip with this session.  Well here I am in my loft with my pour.  No rain and today, just slow but painfully, I don’t know why I haven’t noted anything, not a single detail or character or tonal shift in day.  First sip, not bad, not what I usually have–  Two characters: couple from SoCal I think, lady telling my she’s retired and that a friend of hers kept journals and now has a book out, if I listened astutely or recall correctly.  Either way there was a Literary mention.  Already thinking about how much time I have left.  Goddamn time and what it does to me and how it governs me, I should be focusing on the fact that there’s a regular seated table up here, that I don’t have to sit at the counter, on the tallboy chair.  And this, what I sip, taking me away from here and the fact I’m a t work, a working day.  What should I note when back–  Well, what I really want to talk about is something the woman from LA asked me, something like “So where are you taking your writing, Mike?” I should keep that secret, that I write, as I hate being asked anything about my work or what I’m writing or what my newest interest and effort is, but I invite that on myself so I can’t blame her.  I told her ‘novels’, obviously referencing my ‘QS’ novel, which I will animalistically edit starting tomorrow.  I want that pageblock out in the world, right in front of everyone.  Another sip.. Bend, Oregon, the house in Sunriver, the weather, and on weather’s note: everyone talking about this “storm” that’s about to hit.  Why?  It’s rain, maybe some elevated wind.  And?  I relax for a bit, looking around my loft, door to the office close, with that translucent window letting in what light’s even partially ardent outside.  These clouds letting nothing in.  The season is for writers, not that we can’t write to sun, but we, at least me/the New ME, prefers rain, staying in; to coffee, espresso, or this, what I sip.  27 minutes left in sitting, or till I have to be back, so if I budget 7 minutes to get back into the TR’s walls and zone, then I have a solid 20/19 minutes for my words, and my thoughts of a wine bar/operation of my own.  I’d have to have my sister in on it.  She’d have to help in a number of areas, especially if the shop is to have our own label, like ‘A’, the guy who owned the store next to the box, downtown Napa.  I remember I used to go in there and just look around, stare at the bottles and pretend I could buy some for myself, those higher-shelf projects, the bottles over $100, $200.  But for what?  Would I really be able to tell the difference?  And if that yahoo in Sebastopol can do it, then…  Love the wood feel of this loft, and I love hearing the people downstairs– people, people, it’s the characters that push the story forward, so naturally when there’s no one in the TR but us, I become a little uneven.

17 minutes.  I relax, slide into this moment forgetting about angst, the drive tomorrow morning, one of the last.. yes, I’ll have to drive up there to drop off papers graded and maybe for something else, I don’t know, I’m measuring/mentally budgeting 2 more trips up there after tomorrow.  And 2, no more, not a drive more.  Think on the last trip up there I’ll stop in Hopland to taste at one of the Rooms, see what wines they offer and what kind of feel, what encompassing and pervasive, persuasive, character exists about the room, the room as a character– ROOM.  I need a Room, and office to ME, I need be given a little Room to write, operate diaristically the way I like.  Haven’t had this since .. can’t remember.  I calm and become equalized further, not caring about much.  Think of Bend, Dad, how he and I talked about that River walk just outside the brewery, again calming and intercollective.  I need more than a vacation, I need be given ROOM– no, I’ll take it.  And Time continues to fly away, just remembered I need time to edit this sitting and it’s more of a meditation or like the lady said at the bar, “affirmation”.  And I affirm I’m a writer–  I don’t want to teach, less appropriately monetized, I just want to move my pen–  Dad the other said, firmly and in his Philosophy major conviction, “You’re a Writer.” Cozy up here in my loft, MY loft, my space to write and be a writer and act like a writer, not downstairs with the public, I can’t see a single character right now and I explode with thought with reflection with Art, the bean counting buffoons don’t get this, why we are, why we write and log thoughts like this.  I think of my students and their ambitions and how in class they have everything before them.  Their notebooks/journals, and some binder, whatever text we’re addressing.

9:16 left on this clock, or phone, or clock.  How many times do I look at my phone for the time, does anyone else find that odd?  Think I wrote about that yesterday, a poem I wrote while the 6PM section was workshopping their essays, each other’s work..  If you could see it up here, kegs, the bar, the empty bottles on the bar the seated tables the tallboys and the painting behind that small bar–   I want to go stand behind it, think, act like a tender, imagine I have one in my home, the house I’ll move Alice and Jack into.  I want to image then actualize.  And publishers can do that.  What if I left early?  Could I?  Should I?  One of the other FT-ers always does that, complaining that it’s too slow and that this is a waste of time and that they’re going mad being there when no one’s walking through those ridiculous doors.  While I empathize, we all deal with it.  But what others think and mention doesn’t concern me.  I just use it for page, confine it to composition.  Five minutes to edit, and I don’t want to overpolish–  I want this to be simplistic and raw and Truthful like this loft, like this pub, like what I sipped.  Outgoing notes, dialogue swirls that I can’t sort, too many talking down there, if only I had more clock to me, more space…  More ROOM.

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DAY 27: Monday 12/8/14 (first words, no edits)

And it starts, Mendo’s final week.  Not at all sad but moving a little slow from Dad’s celebration last night.  70.  He doesn’t look it.  At all.  I said last night when it was my turn to offer words on Mr. Madigan, “My best friend, my hero, my dad..” Words I stand by.  And everyone there, everyone with a deep tie to the family, even people from the Boulder Creek stage.  But this morning I think about Life and how short it is and how we need to have passion, we can’t be passive.  We need to go after whatever gives us life, real life not just existence and a bloody day-to-day.  I’m, the New Mike, a writer.  Even Dad said that the other day when we were getting in his truck and I called myself a beatnik.  He said, “You’re not a beatnik, beatniks don’t have jobs.” And he’s right, their philosophy does reject conventional employment, and I’d sight that Kerouac sketch or blurb I mentioned the other day as evidence, but I qualified myself and said “I’m a writer and an English Instructor.” He closed his door, gently rolled the keys into the catalyzing turn thing and said, “You’re a writer.” And that was it.  No qualifications, no adjustments in his wording, no surrounding adjective garnishment.  Just ‘you’re a writer’.  Coming from him that means everything and confirms what I already know yes but tells me I need, must, have to do it NOW.  Dad was a commercial airline captain, and he didn’t compromise.  And neither will I.  Done.

8:44.  Ready as I’ll ever be for this workshop today with the four classes, two campuses.  So badly wanted to remain in bed this morning.  Light rain on 101 but nothing that startled me till I hit a little standing water right before the North State Street exit.  This campus, so laughable.. and it’s too bad, considering how lovely it is with the radiating greens and intimidating mountains behind the the building and how energetic some of the students are.  Could be my attitude and I will admit to my bitterness to a degree and how this semester, one I never should have elected with its four sections over two campuses, has beaten me.  But I remain, forward and confident.  Nearly forgot about the Dav letter but I won’t.  Would print it now but I’m to head to the room early to set up and be ready for any questions, lack of preparedness, or nonattenders.  Hear a full-timer getting in his office, or hers.  Not sure who it is and I don’t care so I won’t look.  Shit.. forgot my power cord at home office, under desk.  So I’ll be writing pen-to-paper later.  Good it’s better for me.  Went in to get a paper towel from lunch room if that’s what you’d call it and saw the full-timer, woman, I said ‘good morning’ she replied same but barely with life energy or eye contact.  That could be from her ivory tower disposition as one tenured or on track or semester exhaustion like me.  Don’t care.  Done.

Would give anything to have a nap right now, any level of rest.  Didn’t finish my coffee so already I crash, I should have drank the whole goddamn cup but didn’t I had to focus on the drive, the drive that I looked so very heartily forward to before Fall ’14 began equating the 101 to Kerouac’s notion of the Road and how the Road is Life but now I just fiercely deplore it.  It, 101 North to Ukiah, or as I call it ‘kookiah’, represents a commute, the adjunct struggle and pain and minimization; what They do to Us.  No more.  My Dad didn’t deal with such boxing and confinement and I won’t either.  After Wednesday, I’m out, I’m free, no pain about me.

Jack coming home today from his Monterey abuelos’ casa.  Can’t wait to see the little Artist and hear all the new sentences he has prepared.  And I most plumingly look forward to tomorrow morning, when he and I can spend some time together; me taking him to school, walking him to his classroom and him turning to me saying “Go to work!”

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thousand words from today’s 3 pages…

Writing retreat in reverse, the kind I need honestly.  No wine distractions.  Listening to those chilled “wine bar beats” that I used to on the lunches I’d take working at the box, crossing the street to the Roasting Co, but it’s distracting, this music set, I feel unfamiliar.  So, remedy: jazz.  Ah…  There.  This morning is about getting closer to New Mike.  Have to budget for the new printer and the gifts I want to get Alice, Jack, Mom & Dad, my little sister.  This desk and its clutter, not “getting to me” today, at all.  Even the filthy laundry room here in the complex; dusty, gray, unsettling, I’m always in a rush to leave it, but when so I drag one of our clothing articles unintentionally across the interior vent or whatever it’s called and get some of that lint shit on the piece, be it a sock a shirt, one of little Kerouac’s blankets or what.  I hate that room and it’s always the sun in my motivating spirit; sending ires of fire and explosive forwards into my prose.  In my head writing in there this morning, just before Alice left, telling myself I’m going to put more money into the house fund, a huge part of this New Mike, and what a problem pummeled away: getting my family out of here.  Oh this jazz, this retreat, just what the writer needs.  Still very much feel the run last night, on that blasted belt.  But I have enough in me this morning for a jaunt, I don’t know about the 13.1 I intended, but certainly something meaningful.  Need to get rid of– sell or give away– some of the books in the closet, make a section designated for my Kerouac research and exploration.. hate that term, “research”, so clinical.  ‘Exploration’ I much prefer.  I can’t get over how renewing this feels, how Transcendental, being up this early (current: 6:15AM), jazz and my coffee and these words, which are begining to bore me in their usualness.  Don’t want to just regurgitate a thesaurus’ innards, but I need more in my arsenal, in my salvo and cache.  This goddamn closet–  Finally spoke to Katie’s wine compatriot at SSU, yesterday.  Interesting opportunities but it’d take from the writing, and it’s just another form of the adjunct cell they keep us in.  Can I make it work for me?  I don;t know.  She did mention and interesting idea, this lady, Liz, and it involved writing press released for wine, new wines and releases.. but to construct a whole semester of such, that’d be a stretch from me and it’d take a tremendous momentum from the writing and the Kerouac reading and me as an Artist.  And at this age, I can’t I’m afraid.. I’ll email her and mention some ideas, but kind and passively apologize that I simply can’t at this point.  I will be grounded and consumed, incarcerated by my Literature, my Beat.

After this page I begin my clean, the one I intended to do that night Alice was away but became too relaxed and lazy with that Lagunitas Ale (only one bottle, remember) and a touch of my Merlot.  This morning, it’s a cup-after-cup approach, not to exceed three.  If I developed an immunity to coffee I’d be devastated, but I’ll impugn that feasibility with the staunch conviction that coffee’s my entrenched ally in this marathon writing of mine to free me from the clock, from the blood job notion.  Was reading a piece in ‘Atop/Underwood‘ where JK talks about having a job and how his aversion to the job expectation pushes him.  That’s me, especially this morning.  Approaching this page’s lowest tier, so I have to start my de-clutter, if I don’t now I’ll never do it, I know me and my tendencies, ones that will always frustrate me.  My first cup, just deceased.  Second already in cue downstairs, but I’ll hold for now.  If the first sign of lethargia show in the next halfhour, then I’ll fly downstairs for my caffeinated aid.

7:02, done with desk for the most part– next I take the roaming writings as I call them, scattered sheets and notes and expressions forgotten till now and I’ll put them in this containing holding the Eng 5 Spring ’14 papers.  Then I was thinking of getting ready for my run, just get it out of the way, maybe a 10k in the spirit of next Saturday’s race.  Something.  Then when back home, coffee, shower, or shower then coffee, or make the coffee put it on bathroom counter so I can sip right when I get out.  Reiving today of massive material.  Legs weak now that I analyze, and think about what this structure, this aging frame is saying to me at the moment.. can’t remember how cold it was outside when I tended to the laundry.  But I’m sure a bit brisk, maybe a little bit.  So I should wait to run, right?  The story tells me now that I need more coffee– looking at all collected in the closet and all that I have to now throw away that I should have thrown away months ago, sickening.  Why do we collect so much.. shit.. stuff, this evil clutter!

7:29, back from a break and I reason to forget about de-clutter for a bit and just write.  Was going to skip out on run but I can, I have to run, as running is writing and I want to smell the wet pavement and the richness of what soil and dirt even mud surround the streets I choose.  thinking I’ll do my old “big daddy” run as I called it.  After I finish this second cup.  Shouldn’t have brewed it but I noticed myself getting tired.  And if I feel a crash coming whilst in stomp, I’ll slow, and just enjoy my run– “Just forget the numbers, and just enjoy your run..” as I chant to myself many times between leg reaches.  Have to be at Mom and Dad’s in just under 5 hours– (12/5/14)

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