Posts Tagged With: Freewriting

9/11/14.

And before you ask, yes I remember where I was.  But where I am now, watching a Mickey Mouse show with little Kerouac.  Ms. Alice timed perfectly this morning so I could get our coffees ahead of schedule, so I’m properly caffeinated, ready for day for the most part.  And it happened again last night/early this morning: that inner narrative, about the winery and the wine industry and what my functionality is in IT.  Posted to teaching blog, and I will do nothing during today’s lunch but work.  I’ll eat what Alice packed for me before my scheduled time.  And I’ll write for the novel, bring ‘Road’ with me as well as my teaching Comp Book.  Wish I were in the library.  Wonder what it’s like in there in early morning hours opposed to my usual visits, P.M.

7:42AM.  Should leave in less than ten.  See how Jackie feels about that…  “Jackie we have to go soon,” I said.

“No, five minutes.” He threw back.

Still some coffee left.  Have to start my word count log, the newest that is.  Well as my running log (written).  Don’t want to rely on some device, and that’s not writing, I want all written, ALL.  Just remembered, though, it’s set to be hot today, brutally so, possibly with three digits.  IF that’s the case, then my writing in the park plans may be perished.

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note, 7/5/14

Coffee, now shower.  Thinking about that measly check from yesterday.  I’m going there today with a predator mood.  I want blood.  I need it.  I’m the orangutan.  They, my rue.  Making it known today, I’m moving on– mentally at first, then tangibly second.  What is that wage going to do for my family?  It’s not my Beat, that’s for sure.  So much time of my life, and for what?  My hangover, not tearing at me too tyrannically at the moment.  Glad I switched over to water last night before bed.  Mocha, now, just at right, reassuring me it’ll be a good day.  Hope it’s right.  Keep saying to myself, ‘my Beat, my Beat’…  And what it is.  Thought I figured it out at the end of Spring semester.  Think now– or realize now that I’m just starting to put pieces together.

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EIGHT

6/18/14

Kerouac down for his nap, and I’m tempted to take one myself…  Class in a little under four hours, nearly all grading done.  Admirable progress today, I guess.  I mean, I’ve shocked myself a bit with it, if you should know.  Quiet in here, peace.. think I will rest my eyes for a bit.  And when I’m back up, ready for class, this semester that has so far proven to be arguably the most rewarding since my first classroom in ’06, at Chabot.

 

10:25PM.  Readying for bed.  Couldn’t just sit here, watch the news.  Another lighted session with ‘100’ group.  And now, back to that bloody tasting room.  It’s fine, I make it work for me.  No days off.  Have to plan everything.  Going to charge this device overnight.. write lesson while in Room, go to class, come home and enjoy one of the Lancasters that was delivered to the winery the other day.  Need to get to the Road, break this curse of regularity that’s lasted far too long.

 

6/19:  In classroom, 5:26p, students’ll be arriving momentarily.  Today was painful, not motivated to pour a single one-once hint of wine, nor did I want to give any tours, information.. nothing.  There was a mood there with me, one sharp, dark, and it’s still somewhat about my character but this mocha’s assisting in its removal.  Tonight I’m most certainly opening wine, some kind, more than likely Lancaster as I said in the last entry.  More poetry, more poetry…  Have to think in rhyme, and finish editing the book.  This semester’s taking all the surplus time I thought I had.  But it’s fine.. I’m teaching, writing, having incredible discussions on Gatsby, and I’m sure the books we address from here forward will be equally electric with reaction.  Could use a beer right now.. Sophie and I shared the same thought, driving around the estate, around 2 this afternoon.

 

9:07PM, back home, exhausted, not wanting to go back to the winery tomorrow, sipping this Lancaster SB, 2013.  Finally a moment to Self.  But not many.. so tired of this cramped schedule.  If you removed “the industry”, I’d have more time to write than I’d probably know what to do with.  But that’s how it always goes.  The mood from the winery today still crawls around my thoughts, motions, and unseen makeup.  I’m a wreck I feel, but that means I’m more of a writer, right?

First longer reaction paper assigned.  Will post to the teaching blog tonight– Have to check on the pizza, in oven, and get another sip of this SB…

 

10:18.. now to that Cuvée they do, the Sophia’s.  Running tomorrow, hopefully, right after work.  Ah… this is the type of wine I see mySelf sipping while on the Road, in a hotel.  My focus, straying, but I stay typing, just again reiterating my intention for the Road.. with my fiction, the stories I see all around me, but I’m not in many places.. only two, now: the tasting room and the classroom.. two rooms that dominate my swoon.  Not letting mySelf go much beyond this line, but I still thinking of what I’d write if I were in that hotel room.  I’ll be there soon.  What if tomorrow’s the day, the day I have that singularly and definitively rearranging day, the one that changes everything, the one for which I’ve been hoping since 2011, the days at ‘the box’?  We’ll see, all I can to Self say.. we’ll see…

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8:51PM.  Posted a poem earlier, which I’m quite sure I’ll use for the first poetry collection.  Two Irishmen coming into tasting room today, reminding me that I have an ‘old country’ to visit.  My sister has, recently, on a business trip, which makes me all the more envious of her travels.  So many thoughts going through my head today, while behind that bar– oh, which reminds me.. I need to get some progress logged on the next FT app [Marin]– which also reminds me, that I need inform you, reader, that I landed my first summer assignment in 5 years!  A ‘100‘ section, from 6-8:15p.  I’m again getting deeper into this professor/Literary Life.  And I hope it consumes me.  I hope it ransacks any hope of “advance” in the wine world, if there is such a thing–  And if there was, what would I care?  That world could NEVER give me the career/Life I want.  So I’m moving on.  I already have.

Feel sorry for my brother, Blair, with those mislabeled bottles, his SB.  I don’t even know how I’d react.  He’s much more a poised person than me, the crazy writer.

 

Need a break.  Blocked.  The clouds, teasing me with rain thoughts, but I know that’s all they were doing.  Foolish moisture plots…

Haven’t heard from my writer friend in a while.  Not sure I need to, anymore.  She’s hardly dependable, and her style’s underdeveloped, age-reflective, situationally-scattered.  And she’s a student–  Need to be more isolationist with these sentence trysts.  Like this morning, with all the spoken words flying through my vision’s vortexes.  The instrumentals, speaking to me in ways they never have, as I drove little Kerouac to his grandparents‘ home.

Ugh, if only I could remember all the inner voices from earlier today, from when I was behind the bar, tasting the Meritage for the eighth time, counting down day with that bloody clock.  Well, one: the Dry Creek Disaster of ’10/’11.  Why did I leave teaching for that?  It’s alright.  I’ve learned.  And I’m so thankful for that mistake, frankly.  That was the first step in truly exposing the industry’s ailments, and why I should be no part of it; how muddleheaded management is.

 

9:56PM.  With night’s cap.  Yes, another beer.  And I find myself quite tired.  Bringing my camera tomorrow, the little one if I remember.  Want to take more pictures, use them for the entries as I used to.  Something about photography that today so riled me.  Must have been that group of 4 that Jay had in the res room; the one guy with that bazooka device, snapping everything from merchandise to his friends’ lifting of glass.

The still I shot in the tank room, swirling whatever red I had spouted.. making me think of my label, my own bottles, with my name– winemaker.  Should I?  Could be an experience, a story, like today in those caves, watching that barrel fall.  And that’s really my push behind winemaking, or why I wanted to start making wine– decoding it all.  IT’s not the majesty that everyone awards, really.  This winemaker worship has to stop, as it’s us, the consumer, that decides the bottle’s fate.

(2/13/14)

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journal– 1/28/14

And I’m home.  Switched ResRoom for Mountain, with Dwight.  Relieved, as I had a chance to enjoy views, air, quiet.  Tomorrow, back in classRooms.  Feel like doing nothing associated to material.  In other words, only touching on themes, not necessarily analyzing texts.  Announcing first formal paper, in both sections.  After 100, I’ll be at a café.  No nap tomorrow, no ma’am.  I plan on fully enveloping mySelf in a Lost Generation’s habit, pretending I’m in Paris; with no bills, obligations, appointments, responsibilities.  Oh no, I won’t be drinking.. just writing.  Not grading, planning, and certainly not thinking about wine’s industry’s tightening noose.

Past entries, from recent days, posted below…  Love the short story I wrote this morning in Annadel Park.  Takes me back to graduate school, that one presentation I gave in Dr. Fuch’s class, on Postmodernism.  My partner, Robert I think his name was, a newly-converted and very proud Buddhist, had the most ambiguous non-specific, and confusing, definitions for the theory itself that I was lost, even when giving the presentation.  Fuchs was an interesting guy.. pulled from retirement to teach this class, a fiction writer, poet, in love with Alexander Pope.. had a great time in his class.  Think I took three classes total with him, if you count the independent study credit, where I wrote several papers on Pope.

Sipping my night’s cap, already [8:11PM].  Want to get coffee tomorrow, for my 5-ers, so they can sip it while we watch “Midnight in Paris”, getting a sense of what Hemingway’s in love with, while he writes ‘Feast’.

 

Started a vignette today, writing when I could, mostly before the two mountain tours.  where’s my wallet?  Oh yeah.. the kitchen.  That’s where it is, in my wallet, those stapled pieces of scratch paper.. the makeshift notebook that I always make.  Mostly dialogue, inspired by slow days like today, in the tasting Room, where all you can do is sample wine, repeatedly.  But, just so you know.. IT’S FICTION!

More compliments on my wines from co-workers.  Today, on the Merlot.  Maybe I should do another, for ’14.  Why not?  No.. dedicate your entire life to the page.  If you want to write about winemaking, follow a winemaker.. use him/her as subject.  Anything pulling me from page might as well be death.

You know.. the image of me at the delicatessen, eating my chicken salad, sipping a Racer (as I am now) sounds beauteous.  And no, I won’t be inviting any writer friends, or anyone claiming to be a writer when in fact they only write little dialogue snippets and do nothing with them, to join this REAL writer.  And I’ll stay there.  No need for location change, as I did that first day of class.

And my little son, losing his littleness.  Nearly 2.  Was just looking at a photo album with him, of when he was only months old.  His reaction was interesting.  We’ve done so before, but tonight he seemed more pensive, realized.  That that’s him, that he’s aging.  And it’s documented.

Finally transferring all the pictures from this devil phone to computer.  So many old stills of little Kerouac.  I have to say, for as much criticism as I throw at visual expression, it proves legitimately valuable.  I can’t believe what time has done to us all.  But that’s what has been documented, I guess.  Sipping what remains of the ’08 Syrah I opened night before last.  Tastes more like a Pinot, frankly, now… Has to be the oxygen.  Just received another compliment on my blend.  But it’s from a friend.  Does that count?  IT’s wine.  How hard is it to observe, critique?  With writing, you have to be acute, precise, poignant.  All these pictures I’ve taken, the computer now shuffles through…  Makes me think about observation, as a concept.  Need another sip of the red, this tired, tumbling red…

Should go to bed soon, actually, and change patterns, as I’m set to run again with Carmen on Monday.  Will definitely be obstacle-laden, as that’s a teaching day, and I haven’t sprinted since 1/1.  Changing habits, now.  Tonight, my last of a bottle brush, please note.

These pictures, still “downloading”.

 

1/26/14.  Interesting day.. only 1 mountain tour.  Class tomorrow.  Bought another notebook, as I accidentally left my mini Comp Book in pants pocket, along with some notes, so it could have a nice stormy challenge in the wash.  Angry at Self, or was, now I let go.  Sipping the only glass I’ll have tonight, the ’13 SB I last night opened.

Hemingway tomorrow morning.  Setting alarm for 4:45AM, like mother-in-law.  Getting grading very much done.  Have to put Self in runner’s mindset tomorrow, as Carmen and I again go out for a 5+.  Not nervous, as I was earlier in day.

Book, thoughts over and over, all throughout day.  So much material, especially since ’09, when I started the first blog.. I can only bind something.  And all those cubeNOTES, while at the box.. what am I doing?  What am I waiting for?  I think it’s so funny, that it took them so long to let me go, those office bunions.  I wrote so much, on their dime, on the stationary that THEY provided.  They had this little area, for supplies, a medium-sized, waist-level cupboard, or “office closet”, I used to call it.  And I would absolutely pillage it, rob it for goods, for what the writer could use.. pens, paper, notebooks, highlighters, even paperclips.  Then, on lunch, I’d go to the roasting company, write for 50-60 minutes.  Oh, that bloody office.  Their obsession with sales–  Yes, I know that’s their gig, or what be, but I don’t have to like nor agree with their tonality, tenure, track.  I find them repulsive, with how they bastardize wine’s innate intention, which is enjoyment, fun, familiarity, the ‘ease’ of it all, far as I, and many with whom I now closely roam, feel.  And I know, they’ll say it’s ‘so Sonoma’, how I’m talking.  And of course.  That’s what Napa people always say.  So I’ll topic shift, take another sip, of this SONOMA VALLEY Sauvignon Blanc…

 

Tomorrow morning’s class, or classes, may be a bit curt, as I’m going to put them in essay mode.  And with English 5, the ones reading EH.. I want them continuing their research, finding out more about Mr. Hemingway, his habits, ways, beliefs.

Nearly bought a copy of the NYT.  Would love to have a piece published in their borders.  Much as I slander publishing, its world, and “being” published.. there are a few houses into which I’d like to be invited.

 

In kitchen’s nook.  And sitting at a different side than usual.  My back, not to front door.  I see it.  Wish there was a rain storm on the other side.  My friend, ‘N.S.’, working for the JC newspaper, against a deadline tonight.  He came out for one beer, but made it quite clear that he’d be in his office, in the pressroom or whatever, working towards final draft.  I want deadlines, I want the rush.  There’s so much I want, as a writer.  And now it’s time I take.

Have another bottle of this ’13 SB in freezer, chilling.  Please don’t let me be as hungover as I was this morning– wait, I don’t think I was so much hungover as I was fatigued, slow, not at all interested in giving petty repetitive tours.  But I did.  Only one, thankfully.  When I’m back in Paris, I’ll use the journal I today bought.. I don’t see much of a long wait for my next visit to my city.  So funny…  Only one cent over budget for that notebook, $3.01.  Hilarious.

Mom and Dad, back from SEA, today, or tonight.  Think there in home, now [8:46PM].  The only way for a writer like me to revolve is to travel.  I want to go to Mali, like Dad, and Egypt, like my distanced cousin, Nick.  Nick.. so sad, his story.  Once an Artist, now a mere mechanized commercial goon.  Yes, oh yes, he’s paid well.  But his soul’s  a lost goat, looking for suckling, for Life.  I don’t have any time to help, be some sort of savior.

 

Centering.  Tomorrow morning, being a shepherd of sorts, bringing students coffee, as I did on that first day.  But we’re only going to be there for an hour.  Yeah, I know.  IT’s part of the plan.  I’ll put the “traveler” in the lounge, or copy room, let the other instructors have at…

The SB, still in freezer.  And the pasta, still on burner.  So paranoid about time.. am I going to get enough sleep, am I going to be ready for tomorrow…  Will I have everything ready, perfect…  Just relax!  IS this any way to live, this obsession with time?  No!  Thinking the best way to defeat Time, my ever-enemy, is to ignore it, deny it significance.

 

Four years ago, I was adjuncting.  And that’s all.  I may have been in the wine world, but on my terms.  4.  YEARS.  Ago.  So I guess me acknowledging this would calculate another win for time, right?

 

My friend, J.M., been with the estate for over 20 years, a true connection with terroir; all its conditions, fiddles, respites, wanders, contradictions.  I admire him in a number of quarries; first, work ethic; second, knowledge and encompassing familiarity with the vineyards, all the blocks, micro-blocks, microclimates…  And, frankly, wine as an element, before it reaches the bottle.

Tonight, just as interesting as today.  How, in that I sit in a different seat in this nook, with an empty glass, waiting for this dinner to cook.  Ideally, I should be asleep, now.  But ideal is never the real.  So here the write reels.  And, I just checked on the SB, in the freezer…  Nowhere near what I’d deem “ready”.

Want to post one more note on the teaching blog before I resign to rest for night.  But I’m unsure.  Only one more glass for the writer.  With dinner.

 

If I were in a café on some hidden Paris street, I’d probably, in this current Literary shape, not write.  I’d just observe.  Have my wine.  Relax.  And OBSERVE.  Like the Hemingway depiction in ‘Midnight in Paris’.

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Cold, -er

[1 year, 29 days]  Didn’t touch app today.  Far too tired.  But I did manage to get down to the café.  Hand-wrote nearly three FULL pages.  Towards what?  I guess the narrative novel idea…  I guess.  No wine tonight.  Only sparkling water, if I have any left.  Can believe I made it through the day.  Yes, the quick nap helped, but not for that long.  In that adjunct office/cell, the exhaustion wrapped itself around me, unknowingly, like a sly constrictor, perfectly hidden in the jungle’s collective tint.

Too tired to eat.  Or am I?  Could I get a burrito really quick?  Should I?  Not good to go into sleep slightly starved.  To exhausted to think straight.  The café, on mind again.  Maybe I should write the whole book there.. have my novel centered in that coffee-crowded center.  Cold lemon water, sparkling, telling me to make a decision already, stop whining.  Okay, okay, I deflect.  I’m going…

Or not.  It’s too late to have what I was set to retrieve [burrito, from down the street].  And writing slightly starved, and as drained as I am currently, may produce some lightening material.  Decaf tonight, right before retirement.  Only three sessions left in semester, one of which is nothing more than a glorified office hour.

Hoping to wake earlier than early tomorrow, as tonight I’ll be putting mySelf down unusually early.  Where will I write?  Narrative novel, not for blog.  And about?  I don’t know.. I write the moment, what I’m thinking in it.. so I’ll see.  More than likely about the PhD visions, becoming what I’ve always wanted to be: a university professor.  Of Literature.  And the whole ‘publish or perish’ reality people talk about.. couldn’t think of a more candied set of days to comprise my Life.

And the hunger scrapes against the inside of my armor, again.  What do I do?  So cold outside, tonight.  Was all day, couldn’t believe it.

Now the writer’s mood falls, with this hunger, heavy shell. Have to stay with it.  Write through it.  What if I were just off a plane, landing in Paris where it’s fully day.  What would I do, go to bed?  Sleep in that hotel room?  Oh, no!  I’d walk around, find espresso, continue.  Write where I could.  Paris…  Want to put mySelf there, in my city.  Stuff mySelf with that movable feast.

My story, my narrative: detailing of days.. the adjunct, writer, Self-publisher, dreamer, poet, dreaming poet, poetic dreamer.  Did I get it all?  What am I?  Which am I?  All?  My mood is such right now, I hate what I’m writing.  So why don’t I stop?  Good question.  I’m annoyed with my word choice, sentence shape, imagery void.  ‘Cause I’m in front of this obnoxious dwarf of a xmas tree.

 

9:13pm.  After a nice carne asada/grilled mushroom quesadilla from the lovely little eatery, just two blocks down from this very living room, I’m ready for sleep.  Not going to set alarm.  Leaving all to the writing apparitions around me.  Need to start reading movable feast, see how EH captured his scenes in his/my city.

Just learned one of my former students, from years ago, is traveling around the world.  Currently, she’s in Thailand.  Tonight she posted a picture of herself at the Loy Kathrong festival.  She’s lighting a light attached to a balloon.  Never heard of the festival, don’t know what it’s for.  But it looks stunning.  And she, my former student, Allison K, looks like she’s having the time of her life.  I wrote her, briefly, with only a couple lines, one reading, “Hope you’re keeping a journal of all this, old friend!”

She responded, “Journal full!”

I do want to travel, but I’d hate to be away from my little boy.  I’ll deal with it when I get there, to the Road.  Guess the way I’ll have it in perspective is that it’ll all be for him; I’m on the Road to provide him with the best Life possible.  That’s what my Dad did, as a pilot.  Mom as well, with her 25+ years as a flight attendant.

 

A portrait of the café, my new writing stage.  Warm, wooden, rich in aromas flying everywhere (you can’t escape them, even if you decide to leave).  So many talking, conversations, days planned, or escaped (one lady there, meeting her friend.. overheard her say she’s playing hooky for the day, that she needed a break…  Who can’t relate to that?).  Menus atop glass display counter, register always going, wine bottles lined in front of piano, paintings on wall (none of which are impressive standalones, but they do contribute purposefully to the floor’s character; views of Old Redwood Highway, cars parked in front (included mine, today), newspaper stands, crosswalk, Cotati’s heart.

 

Time for rest.  So pleased with wine’s absence.  Last night’s Cab, in waiting on counter.  It’ll have to wait, till tomorrow night, after little Kerouac’s down.  Only saw my little character for a pinch of minutes this evening, when home from class.  Makes me sad thinking about it.  As soon as I hear him in morrow, I’ll fly into his Room like a lion hearing the cub in distress.

No decaf.  No energy to make it.  Rather, I’ll lay down, think of Paris, what insight awaits me in Mr. Hemingway’s piece.  When I was there, I couldn’t believe how vast the Louvre was.  It was almost too much, really.  All those artifacts, paintings, people looking.  And that one man, there with his sketchpad, drawing one of the large statues.

 

note: character outside the closed starbucks tonight, all bundled, typing on laptop.  Interesting.  I should try that.

 

The heater comes on, growling like some jurassic resident.  I rub my right eye, like my son does when tired.  Sleep, sounding ever more sacchariferous.  Lights off in kitchen, this Room.  Finally, retirement.  The rough chapter, added.  Next, hardy contribution to Ms. Plath’s world, my essay– or article.  Whatever program into which I’m accepted, they’ll never have seen a candidate like me.  Note that…  (12/3/13)

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Candidacy Soon

Officially started my typing for a PhD application.  The Personal History Statement.  UC Davis, if I remember, only allows 4,000 characters, including spaces.  Which isn’t much.  I already have over 1,000.  Which isn’t much of a shock, knowing how obsessively, quick, I write.

Left work early today, around 3:30pm.  Now, finally having a chance to write.  Sipping some of the Meritage I brought home.  Only letting Self type with this sitting.  Then to newJournal.  Since I didn’t make it to my café yesterday, live as Hemingway did, I shall tonight.  Only sipping wine, scribbling my lines.  As simple as possible.  Have EH’s letters at my left.. hoping to dip into them tonight as well.  With TV off!  Anymore, I hate the television, nearly all shows it punctuates through its devilish screen.  And people like me, with my aims, don’t have time for that devil box.

My students, this semester, many scrambling to finish their college applications.  Then soon after, they wait for response, watching the mailbox, for that little wheeled cart to stop before it, the arm reach out with a little envelope brick.  That’s what I want.  And I’ve always told students that you can write your way out of, or into anything.  Shared that thought with yet ANOTHER graduate student today, also interested in teaching.  She currently student-teaches while earning her M.A. at St. Mary’s in Moraga.  Can’t remember the specifics of her focus, but I do, still, appreciate the impassioned octave within which she voiced everything.  That’s what I have, once again.  And at this point in my Life, I’ll devote everything to my teaching practice, literature, and moreover.. the WRITING.

This bottle, more illustrative than other bottles of this wine I’ve before opened.  Perfect for this evening’s sitting.  But it would certainly pair better with ink than this oblongly stalling laptop.  I swear, I hate this thing more everyday.  Only using it when I have to, from now on.  Seriously.  Know I’ve said that before, or something like it.. but I’m quite serious this time.  In the newJournal, centralized my thinking, energies, by making a list of everywhere my words go.  Only 7 items so far, which includes the journal itself.

Attempting a book club with one of my coworkers.  Our first project, my selection, A Movable Feast.  Of course, by Mr. Hemingway.  I’m glad I was allowed the choice of our first book, as I am allowed to travel back to Paris through EH’s memoir.

Poured my last glass…  Trying to think of anything else worthy of key pushes, from day.  Nothing rattles me now–  Well, was going to taste through the tanks at lunch, with Blair, but I never took a lunch.  I need to get better about that.  I deserve a lunch, everyday.  I need to just take one.  So all those wines, at that stage in their growth, at that time, whenever I would have taken lunch, can never again be experienced.  Will do so then on my own, Friday.

 

note: The wine now develops a rolling gallop of floral pulses.  Is that strange for a Bordeaux blend?

note: Don’t burn yourself out too quick with the writing for the PhD applications.  Take your time.  The writing you submit has to be the best you’ve ever put into another’s hands.

note: This quiet downstairs.  My glass, the plastic stemless, perches on the counter, next to the coffee machine [Keurig].  Can’t wait for my morning cups.  It was said rain would greet us all tomorrow, promised by the weather drones, but you know how that many times results.  Hope I wake at 5am, or earlier.  Haven’t run in I-don’t-know-how-long.  So at the very least, or as amiable substitution, I can write in harsh hours.

 

Time to edit, time to sip.  Then to journal [no longer calling it newJournal, as it’s not so new, in my view].

(11/27/13)

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Menu Change

Class tomorrow, Halloween.  More in the Poe spirit.  I’ll get further into his messages, his rhetoric, next class.  Love the 1A section’s reaction to “The Following” episode that I showed.  Debating, near stressing, if I should run tomorrow morning or not.  If I get home before nine, why not?  But that’s time that could be spent on the books.  With Friday off, I could fit in a run, one long, testing, redeeming Self for time I could have/should’ve spent in dash, tomorrow.  That’s how I’ll play it, I think.  10 mile run, Friday morning.  And after that, I need to shoot for at least 4 days a week in sprints.  Going to re-join gym, Friday, as well.

How long should I keep the students, tomorrow?  Just let it flow, as IT wants.  1A, keep them no more than an hour.  And have that whole hour be lectured, on Poe’s multilayered passages, addressing and redressing the prompts I offered last night.  I’ll just let it evolve, see how the class builds itself in Poe’s pendulum.  Should probably re-watch that Poe documentary I the other night showed.  Only an excerpt offered, but still…

Poured for a group of employees at day’s end, 38 total, from YouTube.  Spoke to one lady about educational resources, usages with the website.  Made me think, about implementing SOME, not too much, video on the teaching blog.  Something to think about, definitely.  Anything– well, almost anything, for student involvement, engagements.. INTERACTION.  Don’t want to pull the trigger.. not yet.  Want to keep my Literary/Teaching Life simple, so having to set up another YouTube account, demanding perhaps another new email account, would just complicate and dilute what’s already working for me.  Want to act as though I’m living in Poe’s day, using as little tech as feasible.  So why are you typing, on a laptop no less, you might pose.  Exactly acute.  I’m just in the mood to type tonight.  But only allowing Self 500 words.  Not a bloody syllable more.

This morning’s verse, reminding me of poetry’s prominence.  No novel ambitions.. no serious ones anyway.. not at the moment.  Want to lecture on poetry, just as Poe did; Why it’s just as, if not more, impacting that prose.

 

Waste basket bound,

not this page,

at least not in mine.

 

Sip what I can

if I upright land.

Lens letter in hand.

 

Into decaf.  Only 1 cookie.  One of the halloween-themed pieces Alice bought for her class.  Can still feel the ’11 Matanzas Creek SB, but trying to ignore it.  Getting low with energy, suddenly.  This is precisely why I hate wine, anymore.  It shuts ambition’s door.  But I ignore.  More poetry implored.

Lost igloo from colluded

cinders.  Looking at letters, loving

alphabet bets.

 

10/31/13.  3:34am.  After a dream peculiar, strange with its dangerous detail, I’m unable to sleep.  Afraid to lay head again, actually.  So I wanted to base touch with you, reader.  Always have you, and for that I’m cosmically gracious.  And humbled.

In the dream, I was set to do 3 years in prison.  In the course of the hazy play, I remember my character thinking he only had 2 years before him.  But after taking a second look at a sheet given to him, un-crumbling it with delicate irritation, he relearned it was 3.  He spoke to a lady at a hotel, working the front desk with some inmates on a release program, or something, asking her questions about when to “report,” if that’s even the term, as well as her thoughts on a lecture he’d give in prison, on literature, responding to fiction.  She said it needed to be more like the movie “Something About Mary.” Very odd.  Think this dream shook me so, as I have always had an otherworldly fright of prisons.  Still can’t shake what my character felt, knowing he’d have to spend three years of his life in that horrible place.

Should I try to get some sleep?  And if I can’t, I can always nap after leaving little Kerouac at Ms. Lisa’s–

Think I know why prison would be in my conscious, or unconscious…  A student the other night told me she went on some field trip with her class to San Quentin.  That has to be it.

 

3:42am.  This is like a more intense Barleycorn session.  Early A.M., and harsh nightmare reflection, haunt…  One multiplied.  Met another writer yesterday, in that large group.  He was kind enough to accept invite to view some of my work on the “blog.” Even standing kind, patient enough to read the verse I put together in the Safeway parking lot, yesterday morning.

Now I tire again–

Only dark in this downstairs.

Soundless, surrounding, safe.

Time for me, finally.

Halloween.  So many recollections of Bayview Drive, San Carlos, childhood accomplices casing the neighborhood for sweets.  Parents, all ours, accompanying in earliest days, only to grow more independent, mischievous later.  Never participated in any shaking pranks, or vandalism, but I may know some who did.  I just think the concept of Halloween’s fascinating: one day, assuming another identity, playfully; the innocence of spooking; then later in Life, looking silly if you enjoy yourself similarly.  One day of the year where everyone is allowed to be a child, and just enjoy their costumed silliness.  How could that ever be seen as odd, even at later age?

3:49am.  Don’t think I’ve ever written this much so early.  Will give me something to think about, for sure.  Another detail from dream: my character was on a cruise, at one point, with knowledge of where he’d be only a day or two after docking, saying “I feel like throwing mySelf to those sharks,” witnessing a few expose their fins just off the boast starboard side.  Think the shark is an obvious symbol for predators, or being fed to them, or knowing their around, or coming [for you, me.. in dream].  The dream felt so real, with my character saying to himself over, over, “I can’t believe this,’  or something like that.  I’m here, in dark, telling mySelf as my mother used to when I was profusely young, “It was just a dream, it was just a dream, Mike…”

Funny, with even the mention of my mother, at this age–again, THIRTY-FOUR [shouldn’t have written it like that, now I feel old]–I become emotional.  Probably the exhaustion, the dream.  Should go back to pillow.  But it’s too quiet down here.  Will wait for either the heather’s hum or fridge’s jig.

What else can I accomplish tomorrow?  OH.. don’t forget: NO MEALS at café!  Only coffee, bagel.  In fact, I don’t think I’ll allow the bagel– wait, yes I will.. don’t want to feed mySelf some fattening pastry.  Go with bagel, cream cheese…  And the fridge jitters in a kitchen I can’t see.  Bonne nuit, mon lecteur agréable.

 

8:50am.  Went to Starbuck in Safeway, down street, or Highway 12, from Lisa’s house.  Writing in nook, kitchen.  The ripples from this morning’s dream have left, but I’m left considering freedom’s concept, and what it means to have it from you stripped.  Yes, even if you did something to deserve such circumstance.  Then.. I connect, conveniently, POETRY.. how the form invites, nearly predicates lawlessness, separatism, strength.  After this sitting, down here, in this stiff wooden chair, which I only sit in to feed little Kerouac.. I’ll fly upstairs, into my cozy office chair that was once Dad’s.  Verse only.  NO.  PROSE.

The fridge, beginning its shimmy.  So relaxed.  Not tired.  At all.  Thinking of what I’ll write today, at café.  Also, what I want from my 2day writing retreat, starting tomorrow [PTO days].  Want this first chapbook bloody finished.  I’ve had enough with the delay.  41 pages, 20 copies.  Done.  Reading one of the pieces now…

Done.  Need a break, I think.  And maybe a nap.  But I’m still sipping mocha.  Maybe change scene.  Or go to Petaluma early–  OVERthinking.  I know.

9:36am.  And this morning’s early early wake caught me.  Laying down, for an hour.  Then to shower.  Then to Petaluma.

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Alarming Harming

4:59am.  Tempted to go back to sleep, but I won’t let Self.  Not after watching that Hemingway documentary last night, learning he woke every morning, or many mornings, 5am, to write.  “The writing came first,” one of his sons said.  Now, in that famous downstairs dark, hearing only my key taps, the humming refrigerator.  The urge to let mySelf fall asleep, nearly overpowering.  But I’ll type through it.  Or try.

Today, another on a clock.  Still quite worried that my hours will be peeled away slightly when the slow season hits.  There’s never been a time where my own books sales were more necessary than now.  After these thousand journaled words, to book I shall book.

Want to check bank balance, but I’ll wait.  Yesterday’s budget, $20, not entirely eaten.  Pleased, indeed.  The surplus, to my publishing budget.  First run, 20 copies.  $5/copy budget.  Sell each for an even $10.  So, it’s literally taking a single dollar, watching it turn into TWO.  Just the way to avoid being the starving artist.  Certainly can’t afford that.  ‘Cause if I starve, my family will as well.  And that I won’t allow.

The fridge, now mute.  When did that happen?

Today, write poems to survive.  Try to limit fiction in the tasting Room, unless something momentously moves you.  Another element to last night’s Hemingway piece I enjoyed: the element of travel, how what he saw on the Road, or from the air, moved him to a new manuscript.  Like when he saw Kilimanjaro from the plane, while injured from.. can’t remember.  But I thought that was intriguing, how just a brief glimpse, of something so distant, pushed him to pen.

Tasting Room.. one of my stages.  One I’m hoping to see fade, gently.  I adore the experiences there, all the characters, but it’s time for me to write about it, only.  Have the stories, those dialogue clusters, streams, floods, find their way to profitable page..

“So how does this work?” so many say, landing at the bar with their elbows on that dark granite, looking down at the menu as if they’re imitating a microscope’s hunching.  I’ve always wanted to respond, “Well.. how do you THINK this ‘works’?” Do they know where they are, what we do here?  And if not, is the menu, its tasting options exceedingly complex, indecipherable?

Another flash of fiction I’ve always seen marketable, and I’ve said this a poll of times, often letting it dampen my pages: how they react to wine; how it make some act so ridiculous in the obscure words they try so sickeningly to summon.. “This has a little hint of pine.. or a resin-y sense to that.. do you get that with this one?” a man, local, threw at me.  Just the other day, in fact.  “A little, maybe, I guess.. yeah,” I said, close to 5pm.  Tired, annoyed, surrendering to shift, with what remained of the writer.

But these quirky interchanges are no match for the material I’m now finding in the classRoom.  No match at all.  Like with that one English 5 student, our meeting after class yesterday, inspiring me to be more creative with MY journal, my lectures, textual reactions.  [Heater coming on]  It used to be the complete opposite, I’d write, in my whiny adjunct days; 2010-2008, a little ’07.  Now, I’m winning my grading wars, with my new rubrics.. grading a little everyday, finding new ways to patch– or more so sauté my writings with lectures, lessons.  And, or, vice versa.  Especially now that Mr. Poe’s taken stage.  Much the reason I want only poetry in my little notebook, today, while in that room.  Yes, the tasting ‘room’ loses its capital’d character.  And it’ll be this way, I’m convinced, till I’m done.  At 34, I’m deciding what the rest of my performance presents, performs.  What it will yield, and ultimately leave on existence.  A wine sage?  Is there even such a role for Humans?  And if there was, would I EVER aim for that over anything Literary, Artistic?

C’mon, reader…  You know me far better than such, to aspire something so asinine, empty.

Can’t wait for ‘Cask of Amontillado’.  Read Montresor’s trapping of his former friend, or passing companion.  These wine-elevated jabber-jaws.. so antagonizing to me, the writer.  Both pro and con.  Either way, it’ll be written.  So that’s always ‘pro’.

5:32am.  Total silence down here.  Mindful again, not to hit these keys with ape strength, waking little Kerouac, if he’s not already up.  Heard him upstairs on monitor, making his little sounds, clearing his throat as the last steps of whatever bug he had leave his little ship.

Take to work: bag.. four items to grade [two 1A papers, two ‘5’ responses], newJournal.  Oh, and some pens.  Don’t eat at lunch break, but DO eat long enough before Lawndale run that you won’t be slowed.  What if I was to leave now, run on this cold, dark, voided Yulupa/Bennett Valley street maze.  Obviously I’m not going to, leaving this cozy sitting.. but what if I did?  What would I hear, see, write in head?  The only 5am run I’ve done brought me only two characters, that I can remember: one biking, just down the street, the other, a woman, maybe a little older than me, jogging towards Montgomery.

Still quiet.  The fridge, not talking.  Maybe it wants me to get some sleep.  But how much can I get?  It’s 5:40am.  Jack’s waking “zone,” as I call it, opens at 6.  Sleep, at this point, utterly senseless–  There it goes, running in its wire-y hum.  Sounds like a 1920s car.. to me.  I don’t know…  OH, and bring one printed piece from 1st chapbook.  Just found what I’m bringing.. a 2page journal entry.

Tired, now.  Maybe I will get a little nap in.  If I can– NO!

What are you talking about?  You’re surrendering after all the progress you’ve made, so early?

No.

Good, then keep writing!

 

5:45am.  Want to get onto 2nd page of short piece I started night before last.  One of the characters, named Jack.  Having a discussion with another character, Mike, about wine.  Need to have the conversation go somewhere unexpected, interesting.  But it’s wine.. how “interesting” or deep can it get?

The other morning, beginning of the week, ran into Nate, an old friend.  He asked how the teaching was going, I told him “wonderfully.. best semester ever.” He praised my zappy verbage, saying “good for you man, that’s where the passion is.” Haven’t let his words go, since.  He’s right.  And that evermore encapsulates me into what I’m doing for the rest of my Life.  Yes, writing.. but also teaching.. writing everything I’ll teach, as I did with last night’s Poe lecture.

For record: I love my post at the Estate, what I do there, aside from it being overwhelmingly sightly, scenic.  But I’m at a crossroad, -roads.  I’m behaving different, as I notice my Self change.  This very session, for example: this is what SERIOUS writers do.  Like Mr. Hemingway.

One day I’ll be studied.

One day I’ll be remembered.

One day

I’ll

be

read.

 

5:53am.  Now what do I do?  Oh yes.. to my short story.  Oh the journal jumper…

 

(10/25/13)

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Impressionist Moving

Kelly, expressionist/impressionist coquettishness.

 

10:03am.  That line, above, the last thing I last night typed.  Appt went well.  No cavities, or at none they saw.  The dentist, Larry, out of town with wife.  In Chicago, then going to visit son, Brant, in Minneapolis.  At Starbucks, tiny baby crying, Mom holding carrier, rocking it in reassurance, rushed comfort.  “Aw.. poor thing,” I said quietly.

The man next to me, in line, heard, saying, with smile, quietly, “Eh, life’s tough.” He then went to tell me how he’s more annoyed by such cries, aggravated, as he worked construction his whole life, and would never get back to sleep when his FOUR children would wake.  FOUR.

The man then asked me if we were planning on another, after it was pulled from me that I have a 20mo/o little boy.  I told him, “I don’t think so, no.” Then after ordering his latte, I think it was, he said, “Good luck with that,” then scooted to the waiting area by the merchandise.  Wasn’t sure how to take that, ‘good luck with that’.  What does that mean?  Does that mean I won’t be able to resist having another child, or my life will be harder, not as happy in his view, if I hold mySelf to one offspring?

This man, interesting as a character.  Didn’t surprise me when he told me he worked construction, “hard, hard labor,” as he put it, operating jackhammers, tractors, other machinery requiring might, true brawny muscle.  He looked tired, happy to be retired–  OH, now I remember.. what started the whole interaction was him leaning in, so his mouth would be past my left ear, still a bit near, awkwardly, shooting direction antithetical to mom, saying, “I’m so glad I’m past that.” Also an interesting comment, in my view.  As fiercely I love Jack’s current age, I do somewhat sadden when I realize that he’s growing, getting further from babydom.  The whole instance with this man, my reflection, and now that it’s recorded: a victory for Time; having me realize that minutes pass, I age, and there’s nothing I can do.  But write about it.

10:13am.  Loving this quiet.  My little Artist was a challenge this morning, it’s fair to say.  And this mocha.. love on palate.  Going to push self to wake early tomorrow morning.  For running, not writing.  I want to feel morning cold, that dark again.  My running has become more separated, infrequent, which I don’t at all like.  And, I want to simply wake early.  Want to be ahead of Jack, not waking as he does.  I want him to have a father that’s always in front of him, ready to guide.

This sun, again in my eyes [upstairs desk].  No problem at all.  I’ll work with it, use it.  The morning, my new favorite time.  Cold, fog on way to Lisa’s.. Autumn drum.

Already had two students email me, telling me they won’t make the English 5 session.  What should I do?  Maybe make it a short day, send them off with a large Plath reading assignment, then have a Plath Lab on Thursday, while also passing back their 2nd formal papers.  And on Thursday, an in-class essay.  Have to start piecing together final grades, as to be ahead of that undertaking, well as the students themselves.

 

4:08pm.  In adjunct office.  Ready for class.  English 5 went quite well, closing up Plath, then exploring the writer’s existence through a short film excerpt I brought [meant to be shown last week, but had a tussle with tech.. yes, another one].  Just checked calendar, and I have more than enough time to get everything done.  In fact, I’m re-organizing a couple things to ensure the melodic closure of this term.  Has it been my best ever?  Not sure, but certainly one of my best.  And, most memorable.

No wine tonight.  Not a single terminal drop.  I’ll be waking early tomorrow to run.  Failing not.  I won’t allow it.  As I run, I’ll write, behind eyes.  The man in the tasting Room, the other day, telling me how he wakes at 4am to run, as he commutes into NYC from afar.  I need to have such habit.  And enjoy wine only on nights eve-ing non-run days.  Can’t remember if it’s NJ, or PA.  But either way, it’s a trip, for that character, his daily commute.  How does he do that?  Oh, maybe he was the guy from DE.  How far is that from NYC?

Coffee could help right now.  Immensely.  Didn’t pack a lunch, so I opted for some Chinese from the campus caf’.  Not bad, but not close to mesmerizing.  Kind of bland, if you want truth.  Could have used more sauce, seasoning, something.  [Like I’m one to talk.. the character never cooking.. please.]  But anyway, I need coffee.  Let’s see how much change the writer has…  Over $4 in quarters, then a dollar coin.  Coffee, I’m coming–

4:31pm.  Leaving in 10.  Or 9, I mean.  With mocha, I’m realizing this unionization, of teaching, my writings, namely prose, is necessary, this stage in Life.  Want my mind to continue to push itSelf, push me to new realizations, Newness.  And NEW Newness.  Next semester, with my early classes, leaving rest of day to grade, organize, plan, structure, put Self ahead of students.  And write.  And get ahead of mySelf, which could prove.. well.. fun, for better wording’s absence.

After class, I’ll come back here to write, but only for a bit as I want to see the little Artist before he goes down for his rest.  Can already hear the decaf calling me, wanting me to grade five more papers, edit the book a bit, re-arrange some pieces.. plan Thursday’s classes.  Post to teaching blog.. write pen2paper–  Huh, the decaf is sure asking much of the writer, so early.  This 2shot mocha tells me to ignore the calls, focus on and ENJOY the moment.  Forget about what happens later, and what that flawed fuel wants of the writer, again, so early.

Such a lovely day, with a pleasing dentist visit, that coffee shop character, this afternoon’s class, and now.. NOW.  This quiet, this time to write.  One of my “colleagues,” I guess you could say.. possible character for book.  50, or almost 50, just landing FT position here at college.  She seems tired.  Passionate, sweet, incredibly knowledgable about anything concerning teaching.. but tired.  And a bit dissatisfied, or frustrated.  Can’t decide which.  And who can blame her?  After teaching high school for 16 years, adjuncting for I-don’t-know-how many, battling/scraping/searching for assignments…  I understand her.  Love her character.

4:41pm.  One thousand logged.  Now, to class for short meeting.  Simple, as we begin Poe, explore his works, search for beauty rather than torment, horror.

 

(10/22/13)

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