Posts Tagged With: Journal

4/21–  Especially tired today.  Onto 3-shot mocha, had 4 this morning.  Quick meeting planned with ‘100’ students.  Sending them to library…  Need nap before Fountaingrove hills.  Presently in Adjunct cell.. sipping this espresso, but cautiously.  I’m starting to wake, and quicker than my mind can process, decode.

Still surprised I wrote 3,000 yesterday.  Days off yield the unexpected, often, even though I don’t have them that often.

12:35PM.  In library.  Students looking for topics, researching.  I’m on the fourth floor, trying to keep Self motivated, awake.. difficult to clearly think.  Week 15 we’re in, and I’m ready for break, a break, of any length.  What the author could really use: a nap.  All the students around me, motivated by deadlines, thinking of my deadlines.. don’t want to be dead before reaching.  And I remember what I looked for when I would research.. which was–  Too long ago, once in graduate school.  And here I am, exiled in the library.  Hungry, but ignoring those impulses.  Hear students laugh from one of the group study rooms to my left.  The novel, my novel… under some type of construction.  So tempted to rise from this chair, leave, go get something to eat, take my nap.  But what if I didn’t?  What if I actually practiced what I preach; “Stay in the chair,” I’ve always told them.  I mean how else will the novel finish?

Around me, quiet, concentration, panic with the semester closing.. all these students facing their last days in this semester’s story..  Asking reference desks where books are, ‘where can I find, where can I find…’  There’s Life in here, pursuit of what one wants from Life..  You can build your Self here, in a/this library, in any library.  But I’m here, wanting to be a student again, but I don’t want to spend all the time, money, in some institutionalized program, where I have a questionably competent professor.  Am I talking reinvention?  Maybe a little, but more of a simplification, separation.  A “new era” for me, indeed.  One of the page, constant typing, writing…

Those students in the study room, doing anything but study.  Just laughs. “We were just talking about how tan you are,” just heard one of the boys say to the returning girl, back from restroom visit.

Kerouac, the poet (not my son) in thoughts.. thinking he may be my new focus, maybe something to read with students in coming terms.. ‘On the Road’.  I so very much want to be on the road, just for a week at a time.  Here and there.  Travel, Life, seeing, observing, recording.  The stationary day sets will not be permitted in this “new era”.  My ‘new era’ embodies rebellion, defiance of convention…  POETRY…  BOOKS…  revolutionizing the Self-printing platform and plight.  Publishers, I’m knowing now more than I ever have, are wildly evil.  And they can be defeated by Us, small presses.  And my journals will be the starting salvo in this period of my Life.  What in here I look for.. affirmation, not from outside sources or articles, necessarily, but some kind of lens that assures me what I’m doing is needed.  8 days, one month, till 35.  THIRTY.  FIVE.  Time, easily my greatest enemy, but it too will suffer tremendous setbacks in this “new era”.  Hate that wording.. meant to be so profound, emphatic, when really it’s hyperbole– flabby and false.  Allow me to hold, “Illustrating and cementing chapter”.  And it’s been in motion for some time, as I’m tired of regularity, expectation set upon my character without my permission, or any sort of negotiation.  Who do you think you are, fool, devil?

1:13PM.  Wrote a poem, one easily destined for reading, recital.  Think I’ll submit it tonight just for laughs.  The poem is meant to capture me, in this library, my moments in this place that’s supposed to be quiet.  But now that I’ve finished my criticism, I’m glad, quite pleased actually, that it’s anything but quiet.  Talked mySelf out of the exhaustion I felt before ‘100’ and much of my presence here.  Ready for lunch, some sustenance.  And I think I’ll submit the poem right now, here from this fourth floor.  The volume has declined, and I’m in better mind, finally.

Not submitting from here.  Have to set up some account with an online submission manager and that could take a little time, so I should leave, go home, enjoy lunch and a nap.  Then, ready Self for run up hills.  Yesterday’s jog, or walk/jog, through Annadel/Spring Lake was so fruitful for my thinking.  Need to enjoy that same course more frequently.  And now, I make the leave.  Should count Self-publishing funds once home.  I know I’m over $300, which I said I wouldn’t do.  So I’m stopping, sealing the envelope, and not digging it up till I have my MS printed, ready to truly publish.  I’ve been in this circle for years, I was reminded last night reading entries from years ago.  But in these new chapters, it stops.  And I finally can begin.

8:14PM…  As tired as I was all day today, and after the broken nap I took once home, I can’t believe how well I did with that Fountaingrove run today.  No intervals this time, but a 2.25 out then back.  So 4.5 total miles.  I’m pleased, and that’s all that matters.  I still very much plan on sending off the poem I wrote today in the library, and I begin a new log of my submissions.  Sipping a Little Sumpin’, as I always am anymore when it comes to beer.  I’ll open one of my wines for dinner pairing, but I need to stay alert, sharp in this ‘new era’ of MINE– like the beat generation; rebelling, confronting conformity at it stands so bold, sure of itself, convinced it’s so witty and invincible.  And I start with this poetry collection.  One title I thought of, while running up one of the first hills, was ‘Oblong Ode’.  But anymore, I’m beginning to have an aversion to alliteration.  And how poetic is it, really, in its obvious commercialized slouch?

Sipping my Merlot, so very re-laced.  My story tonight, about the moment I’m in, as will be all my work in this new stupid era.  I’m in a new character’s suit, and it feels lovely.  That would be the reason this writer still sips.  I won’t be in my late fifties, or sixties, just celebrating the publishing of a book-length work, a novel.  Why, ask you.. as I publish my Self.  I only need approval from myself.  And I’m not like all other Self-printed penners..  I’m fanatical, extremist, militant.  Publishers kill writing, except when the publisher is a writer, and his only Artist is himSelf.

The re-inventive chapters begin.. tonight, and tomorrow.

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Mountain Letter [draft]

3/30. Not 5AM, but not after seven either. 6:32AM. Was going to go back into the morning’s sleep, but suddenly I was jolted. And I’m not sure by what. As if something said, “Don’t you dare. You need to be writing.” So here I am. Still very much feel the run from yesterday– And like that, I hear Jackiie upstairs calling for me. He’s not crying, nor seeming upset, just light calls to “Dada.. dada…” No rain this morning, but there are clouds. Not sure if we’re in for a day as busy as yesterday or not, but I need to be noting wherever I am, wherever they have me. Yesterday, I wasn’t a writer at all. No notes. Just overly concerned with my bloody phone, where I could charge it as I didn’t the night before. That’s not Literature. And not writing. Won’t be the case or set of affairs today. Need coffee. None in the house, shame. So very glad I didn’t have any wine last night. I already feel like a monster writer, someone who would be in the café with Hemingway. And on the note of cafés, I met another writer a couple days ago. ‘Faye’, her name. From D.C., a writer, ballet dancer, and one of the more memorable, sweet, and enriching characters I’ve lately met. She messaged me yesterday, with a sample from a writing project of hers– a blog, with her friend I believe. I loved the tone and vision of her prose, and the almost immediately disclosed backstory and impetus to the effort. She sent me honest writing, which as you know is my obsession, very much these days. And she also reminded me, through the narrative of her piece that life is hauntingly curt, and that we need jail our dreams, keep them captive, put them into action, join the dream itself in blossom. 6:41AM. This room quiet. And no more calls from little Kerouac, upstairs. The fridge, not humming as it was a bit earlier, when I first woke. So the sound circulating this room from these writing fingers spiking the keys hopefully doesn’t travel upstairs, through little K’s door. I think it’s so pride-dousing when he recognizes me as a writer, seeing a pen on the couch or ottoman, so floor, kitchen nook table, and saying “Dada.” “Dada? Is that Dada’s?” I’ll say. “Yyyyeah!” he yells back, smiling, so confident and proud of his answer. And I say ‘pride-dousing’ not because I’m proud of mySelf, that my son already knows me to write, but I feel such pride in him, how vocal and almost academically analytical he is, this little Artist. Still feel the Lawndale run, very much. Both in knees, back, thighs.. strange, for when the run was finished, I didn’t feel quite as damaged. If anything, I felt very much as I do now: championed, in control of everything in this writer’s way. Class tomorrow. I’ll prep FULLY tonight. And I’m quite settled on Life & Death.. how the semester became with the latter, and ends with the former. Writers need to acknowledge death, yes, but be charmed by it as some ‘marketable topic’. The focus needs to be Life, and how it can belong fully to you. But, then I think of Faye’s writing, and how it sharply carves the reminder that Life is short, and that you won’t be here forever. The heater comes on, Jackie calls. Of course…. 7:17, downstairs with the little Artist. His waffle cooks while my coffee brews, and he watches his usual fish movie. Which is “Nemo”, if need you note. C sat in her office, which was really more of a glorified cubicle. “No, this is a cubicle,” she declared. She started with answering emails from people on the call list, then club members. She had an interesting relationship with the club members, as she didn’t deal with them often. But when she had a campaign with many of them on the call list, she had to deal with them. And may times the needle swam to hate, far away from love. Once that was done, she had a new campaign to design, then pitch to the owner at some point today, or tomorrow, or in the middle of next week. It was never really made clear. Shocker. Right before lunch, she decided to look at her wine/winemaking notes. She looked over what she wrote about the Sauvignon Blanc, night before last. Her writing more took the form of the wine speaking for itself, she thought. C—— didn’t really think of herself as a writer, nor did she really like to write since most of the writing she did was for work, for those campaigns, advertisements, the “tone of voice” as the owner said. She read, seeing the sentence “In the wild, herbal, electric, gripping your attention. I want to put you somewhere else, somewhere far from whatever stresses you…” It made sense, in more that a single stroke. She’d take her lunch early, go to one of the nearby tasting rooms on 12. Something small, though. Something with character, charm. No corporate maze or minefield. XDR Wines, at the edge of Kenwood, almost in Santa Rosa’s proper. She walked in with nothing. No purse, not notebook. Just her, her memory. Whatever made an impression she’d remember, put in her notes. Bar approach. “Hi, welcome,” the young lady said, with her light blue collared shirt, blonde hair tied back. “Wanna taste a little wine?” “Yeah, that’d be great. This is a beautiful tasting room,” C said, looking around, admiring the rich wooden walls, bottles placed on shelves, pictures of the vineyards, both estate and sourced. C didn’t want to say she was “industry”. She wanted to be guised in silence, in the tourist role. And she wanted to feel like she were on vacation. Just once. She looked forward to forfeiting the tasting fee, which, here, was only $5. “Have you had our wines before?” “No, I haven’t. But I’m excited to try them. You do just Pinot, Chard, and Syrah?” “And a Reserve Grenache.” “Really? And who’s your winemaker? Is he here?” “Oh.. actually, I’m the winemaker, I’m him,” she said with a little laugh, for comfort’s sake, making C feel welcome, unashamed of her statement. “We’re just short here in the room, so I thought I’d get out of my chemistry dungeon.” Hmmm, C said to herself.

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Need another cup.  I just can’t wake up, for some reason.  After 100, my character needs his rest.  A brief, or not so brief, nap.  My internet connection, giving me grief.  Wish I didn’t have to deal with it, ever, frankly.  Just have to make it through the next class, put them in a position to start writing their papers.  And I need to put mySelf in a position to finish my poetry collection.  Again I find it hard to bring myself to go backwards, look at older works.

Feeling panicky in this adjunct cell.  Should go for a walk or something.  Now the video on the other side of the door, in that auditorium classroom, talks about 9/11, and the impact it had on the individual, which only adds to my present anxiety.  Just makes me more exhausted.  Why am I so tired?  Well, my sleep was disrupted a couple times.  Not by Jack, just the sleep itself, which doesn’t at all help this A.M. Mike.



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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.


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Home a bit late this evening as I had some silly tasting to host.  And now that I’m here, on couch, after second Racer, I only think of the completed book.. this semester.  What shape it’ll take.  But I still have those other pages to edit through.  And the poetry collection, behind which I’m scarred quite far.  If I can leave just a touch early tomorrow, I’d be so very much helped, in so many manners.  Have to write letter of recommendation of student from English 5, TONIGHT, which I already noted somewhere.. think in that new notebook I carry, the one I bought for $3.01 [one cent over budget, for that overhead’d item].

Remembering one of my English instructors from Foothill, Denny, how he taught American Lit, introduced me to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Poe.  And even the letters between Emerson and Whitman…  With as much as I write, and how passionate I am in these lines, I should be somewhere else in Life, frankly.  But I’m waging a war, against the current conundrum.  Which is?  The clock, what need be every day punched.  Or swiped, in my case.

Behind on the verse.  And I can’t afford to be.  Like Shakur, right out of jail, I need record to stay alive, Free.  Now I need a glass of my Merlot, opened last night.  But I think I logged that as well, earlier, in Annadel.  Love writing where I do, there, in those unpaved lots.  The morning, those trees, the bullying sun, always does something to me.


Envy Mr. Hemingway, not distracted or even slightly pulled by tech the way we today-writers prance.  It’s maddening.


Constantly thinking of what to do next in class.  What I can offer the students.  Have to post to their blog tonight, at some point.  Invite them to more dialogue on the paper topics, keep the conversation in collusion.  (1/31/14)

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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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[1 year, 30 days]  Just came back from store.  And while in line, I realized how I’m tiring of the process, want to start seeing bound product from Self.  I acknowledge I’m in a bit of a virulent vortex, so I’ll try to temper my tone.  Back to school tomorrow.. coming back here from Lisa’s, only for a bit, then to café.  Not bringing laptop tomorrow.  No sir.  Only writing in new journal– I mean, journal.

Looking at it now, below my copy of Ariel.  Also tomorrow, probably after English 5 section, I’ll go to Barnes & Noble, get my books for English 5.  Need tomorrow to be exciting.. so…  Pack light to each class.  Walk in with only a Comp Book.  Or journal.  These last four sessions are workshops, anyway.  So why not?

Each poem must revolve around something.. a singular something.  Or a singular set of something, or somethings.  Thought in car about steering wheels.. what they do, how crucial they are, and what if we had them for our existences.


What wine to open tonight.  Maybe one of the bottles I bought at lunch, from Enkidu.  The Pinot or the Cab?  Feels like a Pinot night.  What is more poetic?  Well, Pinot, obviously.  Need it after such a SLOW day.  But, I did do some GRE studying, wrote for app packet.  Am I on schedule, behind?  I don’t think either, really.  Just know I’m contributing, that it’s on this writer’s radar.

And I’m stopped.  Probably by my own mood.  I look at Jackie’s artwork.  He’s only 21 months old, with two displayed standalones, right here in kitchen.  Granted, his exposure’s limited, but he’s done what I’ve been for years attempting.  You could say I’m exaggerating, or being too hard on mySelf, but that’s my measurement presently.


9:19pm.  Decided on Cab.  2010, AV Winery.  Now, to journal, poem.  How quick can I make it to the café?  If I don’t shower, just leave from Lisa’s, I could be there before nine, which would give me over two hours to write.  Nearly 2.5, to be candid.  No wine tomorrow night.  Only decaf, water.  Getting back to my 5 mile runs.  4 a week, totaling 20.  [...]  Reading a couple of Plath’s poems, the first few, in ‘Ariel’.  I see at some point I wrote in one of the margins, “Wow.” Just what I want readers thinking as they read my work.  And if I’m to get into the doctorate program of my choosing as an already-formidable author, making his living with lines, armies of them.  What would be more admirable, worthy of future candidacy?

This Cab, even better than the last bottle.  Is that bottle variance, or a result of “aging”?  Sure some winemaker would give me a three minute explanation that should only take 10, 15 maximum.


Tables, full of past.

Arguing with ears.

Noises metallic, glass,

take an elevator to

psych ward.  Out, two

minutes into cart.  Gurney.

Toes on a typewriter, must be another

angel looking for its share–

where?  Wind in a bin, vision thin.



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Tangential Triangularity

Far too late to be sitting to write.  But not the first time today.  Finished a poem at lunch, one take late, around 3pm.  Two mountain tours, both easy.  And what made them even more melodic, the weather.  The ambrosial nature of the atmosphere, view, surrounding vines.  Day’s end, a co-worker and I went to mountain’s top to clean up.  We took longer than usual, finding ourselves taken by what the guests were, and other components I’ll admit.  I remember one of the people I brought up there saying, “There’s nothing better than this.  I mean, what’s better than this?” So thankful I wasn’t trapped in that tasting Room.  Didn’t get a chance to touch the Poe pieces, as I wanted, but I did post to the teaching blog, twice.  I’ll leave it alone for a couple days.

At right, glass of Barbera, if you can believe.  A 2010.  Can’t remember the last time I sipped this varietal type.  My assessment…  Not for me.  Not my “palate.” Too acidic, too bright, too loud.  Yes, I know it’s a food wine, or at least that’s what I’m told.  I’m offering my assessment, and it doesn’t need elaboration, explanation, expansion.  I mean, it’s only wine, after all.  But after taking a second significant sip.. I get firm strawberry suggestions, pleasant eucalyptus, white pepper.  Interesting…

Writing retreat, one week from tonight.  I’ll be with coworkers, on a Gatsby night of sorts.  Bowling alley, if I’m not inaccurate.  Can’t let Self be out late.  And I most certainly can’t permit my character to forget little pages, the scribbling faculty.

May do a beer for 2013, since wine’s no longer on runway.  I’ll do so with Sam.  Again, maybe.  We’ll talk about it tomorrow, my colleague and I, in his lab.  Exploring options, gallon potential, possible taste shapes.  I also want to bring my camera tomorrow morning, my “best” one, to take a couple pictures of descending vineyards, in their approach to dormancy, their seasonal sleep.

Writing everything.  That’s my Creative shape.  Much like Plath’s pieces in ‘Panic’.  Want to watch that movie again tonight, at some point [“Sylvia”].  Why am I straying from poetry again,

with these paragraphs–

this marketable formality.

I don’t want to



on some bookstore



But I’m not that distanced!  I wrote a poem today.. or finished one.. at lunch!  I’m OVERthinking.  As always.  Third sip from glass, more colorful, playful, than the other tastes.  But no moment spoliation.. I can always pour one more.  And I will.  Moving from this kitchen nook to couch, where I can better situate, concentrate.

10:43pm.  Bottle still open, cork removed, air invading.  Good.  I want to see what else can be unlocked.  My goad for poetry, shocked into some strange stasis.  Now that’s all I can hear.  And with this new confidence I have, especially with speech, idea generation, I can only see printed sheets, book sales.  Bloody edit that book, then!  This new confidence, so funny…  First time I noticed it was the other night, Thursday, in English 1A.  Hard to word, but I just felt like my position could only be clearly conveyed.  And I just felt strong.  Still do.  I stand by all I say, and I follow through with all statements, sans qualification.  This has to be written.  It just was.

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journal: Dutiful Dereliction

11/14/13–  First opening for writing, all day.  Went to PC as early as I could, to grade, plan, type and print the final paper handout.  From there, went to get quick haircut, as I didn’t on Tuesday, then to campus to do just what I did in Petaluma. Relished in another Poe discussion with 1A.  But I’m in a Hemingway fray, again, like last semester.  Opened a ’10 Cab.  Only 1 glass, thus far.  Taking my time.  Thinking of next semester, as this one is, in my mind, all but closed.  That’s how ahead of schedule, and the students, I am.

Should be editing book, contributing to my narrative, but I’m straying.  So what.  This is my first sitting of day.  I need freedom.  A FREEwrite.  ‘Moveable Feast’, next semester for Critical Thinking.  Then, ‘Bell Jar’.  Maybe ‘This Boy’s Life’ by Tobias Wolff, for nonfiction.  Had an energizing discussion with a favorite student of mine tonight, about destiny, Life, doing what’s best for Self.  All Literary, all writeable.  Hopefully she sees that.  Sometimes I think I haven’t lived anything worth writing.  But then Mom of course will respond, “What about what you went through?” She’s write– I mean, ‘right’.  But it’s still too painful, and I don’t remember much of it.  What I can write about now is being 34, a father, and having an expected roll.  Those knowing me know to what I’m alluding.  But next semester will prove the last nail in the “real world’s” coffin.

Our conversation tonight, that student and I…  Not sure what to of it make.  Her voice, so strong, convinced, but with a subtextual blanket of restraint, sadness.  So pulling.  So much respect for her, don’t think I’ll put it to page.  Or at least any time soon.  And that’s unlike me.  Everyone’s a potential page placement.  No one’s safe from my scribbles.  And don’t threaten me with consequences.  I.  Don’t.  Care.

Need another glass…  More smokey than I remember.  Now, the writer’s tired.  I did manage to wake this morning at 5.  But only to fall back into sleep.  Why?  Why is it so hard for me to just shake Self into creativity?  Posting to teaching blog tomorrow, before I touch the estate’s pavement, parking lot.

Just sitting.

In nook.


Waiting for…..


A story.  Woman winemaker.  Early 30s.  Traveling more than she’d wish, but she always finds something to take away from the hotels, the meetings, pourings, instruction to merchants, stores.  There’s a way she wants to make wine, a way she’s convinced that certain varietals need be translated, as well as certain vineyards, terroir, region/AVA.  But she’s always silenced.  By them.  “The Board.” Marketing goons.  The number nymphs.  How much longer can she do this, play their game?  She has to stay professional.

Would it be “unprofessional” if she spoke up?  ‘Discretion’s the better part of valor’.  It’s also a way of rationalizing cowardice, she always thought.  She was tired of being safe.  She had enough saved.

Time for her own Room.


I know this character.  Quite well.  A character, no one real, so snip your suspicion.  And I realize I’m jumping around quite a bit, about “topics.” But it’s quite deliberate.  And my writing is stretchedly above simple “topics,” so I’m not at all bothered.

My second glass, poured.  The night’s cap.  A bit late, 10:43pm.  But it’s only a 2nd glass.  Nothing excessive.  And it’s in the kitchen, again forcing the writer to separate his sips, take time, enjoy.  Loving the way this Cabernet Self-transfers to its next stage.  And I credit the wine for that, on its own, by ITS choice.  Not anything, or anyone, else.

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Stress Picture Chances

8:58pm.  Sent 3 poems to 2River, an online publication.  Going to start a handwritten submission chart.  As I know if I place it here, on the monster, it’ll be lost.  Notice that’s been the trend.  Had a glass of an ’08 blend with dinner, just poured Self 2nd.  Need this additional pour, as now the waiting begins, with submission/s.  But that’s the aspect I have to learn to embrace.  It’s part of the game, and I want to play the game.  And each of these submission packets will stand as their own project.  Shopping these 3 poems.. where should I go next?  Just look through the P&W directory.  Of Lit Mags.

Wrote a bit in the Safeway parking lot, today’s A.M., a couple hundred words to a piece of fiction I thought up while driving to Lisa’s, to drop off little Kerouac.  And my chapbook, sent to press tomorrow.  Fail none.  So tonight, I believe I’m entitled to a freewrite.

Tomorrow:  1) Grade 1A ‘Glass Castle’ papers, 2) Send chapbook to print.  And I think that’s it.  Wish I had time to stop at casino, simply observe the stage that exists in those new walls.  I know there’re characters there.  The casino’s an element, any casino mind you, that I know not even a little.  Went to Reno with Chris in ’02, then to Vegas in ’03.  And that’s all.  The limit of my casino familiarity.  I just think: vice, vice, vice.  And I’ll be there, the spying writer.  What do I expect to see?  Gamblers.  Skilled, and those aimlessly addicted.

Getting tired.  And I’m not sure why.  Today was torturously slow.  Helped a couple people.  Day’s other portions, starting and finishing a poem behind counter.  Gave 2 cave tours, which grow more redundant each time I escort a group into that hill.  Highlight: after clocking out, watching three friends press their grapes, Grenache and Carignane, the same bins I punched down with Sam.  And he’s one of the winemakers, of this particular project.

This wine I’m sipping tonight, lovely feel and flavor arrangement. It’s been oxygen-exposed for a bit over an hour.  So I can only speculate what’ll show in coming minutes.  2014, I will make another barrel or 2.  IF I had my wishes met, what would I produce?  two reds.  Merlot, Cab.  Done.  [...]  Chocolate cherry, vanilla on finish; raspberry, maybe a little black licorice and espresso.  Mindful tannins, admirably assimilated into pervading body.  Love this wine.  But then again, I love ’08, so maybe I’ve already sold self on loving it before I sipped.  But that’s not true!  I remember tasting this, during a tasting upon which I embarked during lunch one day, with a nameless friend, and buying a bottle only after nosing what was poured.  I bought before “officially” tasting.  So glad I did.  Perfect writing wine, I think.  Just in its poetic nature.  The poem I wrote today, should be typed tonight.  Not tomorrow.  Want it to have page-home.  And I want it submitted.  Immediately.


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