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…
Posts Tagged With: Diary
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.
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 …
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!
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.