Posts Tagged With: Music

Day 1 – In Wine

Putting out boxes. This is all a novel I tell myself. Group, 20+, later. Focus on the sale, I order of Self. Speak of wines as I always do, from the Literary angle and with recital tones, the stage posture– my Beat. Speaking of wines as characters and stories and songs. Need espresso, just one shot to have my motion fully molded and motioned; a consistency and constancy today that I’ve never had. This is ALL a novel, novels within novels for one grand novel opus brick of a manuscript, one so heavy I’ll have trouble carrying it to the publisher or store or to a reader’s hands, shaking and tired from pouring for people I’ve never met and will more than likely never meet eyes with again. I’m writing everything down. Everything. Ev. ‘ry. Thing. Write. Write it all. All this wine evidence and the people coming here from wherever and however. Today, this day, my company built in a day, a company started on this wine blog, this Literary attempt to deconstruct wine and assign it new surreality and textualized tonality and temperament. All the day’s notes: Lit & Wine. Focused in and on my work. Making wine a visual argument of sorts, of all sorts and my sorts are in this novel sorted.
13:37, no one. No one at the bar, no one to talk to. I’m bored but not angry as I was yesterday with the overwhelming Omaha Beach-like invasion of the bar, the lush rush as my co-workers call it. But now, I’m bored and annoyed, no wine coming from the bottles, no one sipping and saying the silly shit they say. I’m a novelist with no novel, no fucking pages precipitating. Edgy, irritated, trembling with anxiety.. where are my pages? Me, no, not even a taste, I’m waiting, waiting till there’s someone to taste with, someone to share a deconstruction with, to elucidate that character in the bottle and speak of how wine elevates the admirer’s soul, the sipper’s sense, sensibility, they become sensitive and susceptible to the poetic strokes of this Pinot– I’m not tempted to sip, not even by this ’99 Burgundy, old world, that Lalo brought in, not at all. Is my character changing, ‘cause I’m not sipping? I don’t know yet. But, quite sure it’s front fore.
Close to 5. And I want some wine. No one in room with me, no one, no sippers they all left. I’m not angered by my refrain, but strangely pre-occupied by the novel, this novel in a more worldly book, one that’s a universe to this meek moon. Thinking of a sip. Or three– But I move on and move my thinking to other others. Talking to Lalo today about business models of wineries and how business could be grown and aggrandized. I think about my label, my own wine place and identity bottled and writing about wine– the process, MY process and what I observe each vintage; how the bins look when they’re empty, then filled, then pressed out to barrel, shoveling the skins, or ‘must’. Scribbling notes about the wine I make, again not necessarily how I make it but what I’m thinking while I make my wine and what I see and hear, feel around me– the scene and tanks, barrels, even the yellow jackets. All of it. My wine world paginated with all its dimensionality and diversity; the auditory, tactile, visual, olfactory… What I envision and what I hope for with the product end. But there is no end for a writing winemaker like me, ever. And why would I want there to be?
Right now I write from John Ash not sipping a thing but this water with lemon and imagining myself here as a winemaker talking to other winemakers (they often hang out here with their favored beers or cocktails); I’d meet them here with premeditation, accumulate and scribble secretly more ideas, for the novel and what to do with what’s in ‘bbl’. I try to now listen in on conversations but I can’t pick out a one.. I focus on the feel and scene of what’s around me– wine country, the life, the barrels, the crush pad, the stage and stories. And the literature connected. This reminds me of that first chapter of Moveable Feast where Hem talks of the café with indignation and praise concurrent. I only laud what’s at all sides mine; my speech manipulated as I fear the bottom of page. I don’t want to hit any bottom, or see any flat, nothing plain, no plain’s flatness and crazying infinity. I want those higher atmosphere slices and sights. In wine– Dreams, aims, sights, views– share this with the students, be a student myself again. OF wine. What it is and what it embodies, what it does to the moment and gathering, the conversation and story, like last night at Jason’s watching the fight, me beginning with the single-vineyard project, sipping slow, then ending the eve with that odd red blend. IT was all around and about and acclimated to wine. Wine! And OF wine. Of Literature, the story, this novel; the theory of writing and writing about it, and if not wine then anything one’s in love with; the actual, and conceptual, the dreams and the dreaming.

Home, and I have a, or ‘the’, last glass of the McCrostie Pinot, here in the nook thinking about the novel and how my son already loves his books and fights with us before bed to stay up later to read his favored MSS. Good for him, I think. And good for the people coming into the tasting Room, finding new wine loves, new characters and stories, new interpretations of Pinot or Chardonnay, or Zin, and walking away with bottles, giving the glass’d contents a security in their respective domiciles. And that’s what wine is, in many perspectives and confessions, a place, or sense of.. new story, and this story, the novel, this new manuscript and day and stage of the writer’s life, with this new house and this new vintage and the poems in my prose. I find myself confused now, thinking about ME making wine and my sister and the character based on my sister– posted something earlier to the blog that I want to re-write and re-re-write and write again over till the original sketch is never again detected. OH the day, the new me and the new novel.. would love to have more wine but I need to keep writing, and thinking about how harvest is not just ‘around the corner’ but just down the block, it’s here and waiting to be recorded by a novelist, and the novelist has to make wine contemporaneously to understand his subject– I don’t have to go to fucking UC Davis, and conventional education with wine is not always, and manytimes never the answer. Look at my brother, KAZ. He taught himself how to make wine, he conducted his own research and had his own experiments, and here he is, respected and with his own projects and manuscripts and story, one that I will never be able to hold eminence over or even alongside.

9:45, and I’m beginning to tire. Wine done, but the wine fascinations won’t go away.. ha, funny how They used to tell me to sell a fucking fantasy but I see now that I can live it and sell it in my own way sincerely and now have to conveniently contort it, I can be honest and just talk about my bottles with heartfelt avidity. But I can tire from my ardor, and that’s what’s happening, but it won’t be like this for all days mine– soon I’ll have my office and a place where I can retire and retreat to to write my fiction, and pile more novels and maybe all won’t be bloody ‘best-sellers’ but I don’t care, no, I only want to live from the pages and I have to have those page circulated and baptized in wine, the fermented and the cared-for fruit that enables the story and the characters and bring the guests to the room, making it not empty and me energized and not disenchanted. And this I’m very much obstinately averring, as I have to– The wine depends on my staunchly trenchant penchant for the wild scribbles following a sip.
I wonder how many I know outside the wine and “academic” shiftings write as I do, how many are over a thousand words for the day, how many want a novel, how many have a subject or topic or loose aim, or the keys at their beck? Am I unctioning Self in what holy vacation begets? No! I’m just wondering, and I’m telling my Self not to be so hard on the writer– oh why have you not left the TR yet and why aren’t you on the Road yet and why why WHY? Don’t worry about it, I tell myself.. ‘Mañana, mañana.. tonight we don’t worry…..’

REWRITE OF EARLIER SKETCH: “Percentage Onlyness” — Krystal skipped about blocks with thinly rich alacrity and keenness. She found herself caught by her own preoccupation. What augmented tones and angularity would the vintage carve, she thought. The Chardonnay couldn’t be done the same, she thought, even if those marketing louts thought that it just had to be done, what did they know, working from their cubes and with their spreadsheets and highlighters and red pens? The shift, explosively summoned by the currency, the Now, the all and the call around her. She saw the flowering and could only wait and count and plan and not care what they would throw at her, like that question, “What did you do to the blend?”

The laptop attacks me and become accusing with what I type and how I am and how I want to type fast.. “You’re too sensitive,” I can just hear it saying. “Wow,” I rile, “how perceptive, you’re calling the writer ‘sensitive’, brilliant.. again, how perceptive!” Time for bed. I need to have an enriching sleep so I have no time for this nagging, this negativity from the laptop; bloody device, negative repeater.. I see strength in my repetition and my redundancy and my usage of singular words; their own worlds and expansion invites. To bed, and I’ll try to sleep but I know I’ll only think of the novel, the pages, the wine and what I noted at Ash, to my water. Tomorrow I’ll taste through everything, and note all the stories and voices. Just as I did with that ’12 Dry Creek Zin.

Watching footage on news of the Nepal quake.. I couldn’t cover that, journal it as a journalist and be objective.. how could anyone? Too much hovering over and in and firing at my layered reasoning. But the layers aren’t reasonable, not all of them. I’ll find reason, and be reasonable tomorrow. In wine, wines.


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Vintaged Mood Mud

Clocking in late, 9:51.. rough morning with little Kerouac and his unwillingness to go to school, get ready, just being defiant to I believe see how I’d react.. but I’m here now with my head in a million places with Ross’ funeral tomorrow, the move, packing, getting all the documents for the loan, me calling in classes today. Wouldn’t say there’s IMG_5348tremendous guilt, but a little, and a little, as they say, goes quite a long way. So I dive, headfirst, olympianly, into the coffee. Was going to write at SBUX but decided no, the people just annoy me, and then the library but then I saw myself only being frustrated while there– BUT WAIT!! There were some books I wanted to rent.. maybe.. no. I need to stay put, here on couch and type. Jazz to be activated in a minute, and in such artful spirit I also need to visit some wine spot today, for my ‘Mock Somm’ series.. listening now to KCSM jazz online, wouldn’t have anything else frankly– this tune, not sure name, doesn’t display on website, but it motivates me and understands my mood, with the blues suggestion and slow New Orleans-esque pacing. Lovely. Again, just what the writer needs in and on a rough morning like this. Papers from yesterday, right.. and I think about the adjunct life and world and role, and how it, IT itself, may drive me away, and if not away then toward another FT attempt in wine, that bridge to my own label and wine-oriented outfit. Wine, always sharing a story, something expressive; some voice, there’s no criticism like with that greasy pig full-timer that slighted my writing and teaching and me, and at Mendocino College no less– no, wine is that sensory embrace that reassures you, brings you to a certain Reflective Equilibrium, leave you pleasurably pensive; spellbinds, find, sings in its own individualized chimes. The adjunct world, and Education collectively, notably at the JC level, and Univ’, seems to contradict, convolute and corrupt all it professes to endorse and support.
Jazz, wine, more closely linked that the classroom, teaching and real writing, real expression. Wine encourages; wine IS jazz.. more than poetry but a colorful Humanness that I can’t stay away from, it’s own auditory opiate– I want everything from this day forward to be jazz, in my Life.. everything is jazz and poetry and wine. LIFE. No struggle and if there is there’s victory and sight in the struggle.. so I write like I’m making sense and not at the same time– jazz, as I said. MY morning suddenly begins an incandescent insinuation about everything around me, and what I’m about. So my story has a new chapter and song.
Driving Jack to meet his grandmother, Cathy, somewhere between here and Monterey. More than likely in the city. Should I take a detour, do something new, find some Newness, that Beat time that she wrote about.. write by the wharf? I’m thinking too much, and all the clutter around me doesn’t help, the move, crunching my consciousness like frail dirt clusters under a determined tractor tire. Keep moving, you’re on stage, wine wine wine– The thought and alchemy to the reality ahead of me, what I want.. Eddie’s story. I’m soon to be there, I know, on the Road writing and talking about writing and wine and California, not so much how to write but certain ideas I have for starting a project (where my adjunct years will serve me). Not that I don’t want to teach, I just don’t want to be in this context, but that too I’ve written already. I’m tired of the consistency and the perpetual presence of certain certainties and realities.. I want the Newness.. the randomness, the not-ever-expected. And quite and noise, just like the breaks of this current track..
Blogging, not exactly how I want to do it, but I have to now, and it’s instant, as Amber said.. what she does now in India, what she writes or blogs or sees I can only imaging, but that’s that Newness! Experienced by one of my students; she’s passed me, ardently, admirably. I want too to walk those streets and smell what she does there and talk to those characters, drink that beer she mentioned, and just write in some kind of NEW. When, though? I have to ask. Humans always want the stew of stimuli to stream, especially us, the real writers. Not the people that post to a blog everysooften and say in passing, to people at a party or meeting new people in a tasting room, “I’m a writer,” or “I write.” Really? I always want to say, “How much?” “Oh, every few days or so,” they’d say, and I’ve heard this reaction, I have! Not saying I’m a better writer or person, but much a more frequent and serious penner than this character. I’m losing you and myself, but that’s what jazz does sometimes. Where’s my word journal, the little Paris book that Mom got in my city, for me? Shit.. kitchen? Upstairs? This house is a mess, and I doubt anyone’s reading still, I’m exhausted by this prose as well, but it’s truth and my Now and the room I’m in, the mood that has me, or rather had me.
2:30 or 2:45, have to get Kerouac. Then driving south, to wherever.. lunch, what to have? More writing? Sure.. reading, have to dive into my five MSS I promised to read. And that’s another facet to teaching English at the JC, or at all: you can’t read! Papers, yes, but not the books you wish. Robbery, the “profession” pummels us into stoic simplicity, and I’m tired of it. That’s not jazz, not Art, not Lit. And not wine. Wine wouldn’t do that to me, and doesn’t. I know, my relationship with wine is lovehate, I agree, but it doesn’t abuse me like the adjunct world. Why would I keep going? What would I be if I taught HS English? Failed, in certain strain. So, no.. I know me, and I wouldn’t be happy, or alive even.

And a note: job titles; they’re ridiculous. Do centralizing, and not in a beneficial way. And the title THEY determine, they decide what you’re called. And yes my mood’s back.. I need to keep moving, go get some more coffee.. the mocha I bought this morning from that barista, or brewer, or whatever she’d be called is plebeian and limp. My job title: what do I want it to be? I mean I guess I need one, so what, WHAT, what is it? Writer. And if someone asked me a couple years or maybe months (me being optimistic) down the TimeRoad, what do you do? I’ll say, “Write.” “Write what?” “A blog.” “About what?” At this point I’m thinking, “What the fuck? Why all the questions? What are my answers going to do for you?” But, being the mature “professional”, I’d respond “Life.” I write about Life. Yes, the dominant topic is being an adjunct, and wine, and writing, being a dad, and running as well.. so, why couldn’t I say ‘life’? Over thinking, and I blame the jazz, the crazy baritone sax that competes with the frenzied drumming, and the string bass, not sure if it’s a cello or.. but I’m trying to keep up. And the morning’s back on my side, no more mood, no worry, I’m not letting any anchors into my sight or senses this morning. I have toughen, and I will, have with this entry, with these tracks. So… what wine place to visit? No sipping, just smelling, and okay maybe a couple spits, but that’s it.. then coffee after, more coffee for the writer, and no planning! That too adds to this writer’s stress. Just live and write and play like this sax. Song title doesn’t matter, just like a job title. It’s jazz, it’s music, ART, and I love what it does to me. To the kitchen for some coffee, then some thinking, just listen to the sequence, this playlist, and think. No writing. Not now. Just live, note in Comp Book if you need.

Just noticed there’s a lot of blame in my writing. I blame my moods…..


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3/30/15 journal

Had to break from novel writing.  Already on page two of day’s 3 pages, or 3+pages.. mood low from the matter with Uncle Ross, and I can’t shed it, nearly tearing while dropping off little Kerouac at school, thinking to myself ‘What if something happened to me and he was left alone, and Alice was left alone?’ But then I toughened, hardened, that will nowhere me get.. so I sit on the couch, timing myself 55 minutes to write–now 52–and on with my day.  If today’s slow, then I’ll write the rest of the day’s requirement behind the counter, or at one of those chairs on the porch, hoping the mosquitos don’t completely chow on my shell.

And the mood remains, the pessimism, the observation of Time and Life and how both can deliver merciless manuscripts to us all and just move on, move on like we don’t matter.  The coffee’s not helping with my state so jazz then, the play the music the notes.. the lovely lawlessness of it all.

Researching the adjunct matter more, I realize I don’t want to be swallowed by it, that.. THEM!  Life is far too brief for that.. and do I want that to be my battle?  I’d rather wage war on publishers through my blogs and self– SELF-printings, than wait for some bloody measure to pass or some law to be approved, or some sort of recognition that finally shows and understands that we deserve more money.  And benefits.. yeah, almost forgot about that part of the picket.  NO,  I want Art.. I want LIFE.. family.. WELLNESS, as my new writer friend Phoebe addresses in her work.  Still haven’t heard from her and I don’t blame, no, she’s on assignment, doing what I hope to be– or rather, where I want to be in my writing and blogging career.. I’m writing, I’m always writing, but I want to be away from the adjunct noose and the having to have a part-time wine position.  And I LOVE Arista, like I never have a winery, not even St. Francis.. but I don’t want to have to be there, don’t want the obligation and the chain and the schedule– demand, be THERE or else!  No, not for the writer.  This morning.. and mornings are a major consistency in the Massamen novel.. I’m understanding the value of a morning; how it starts, sets tone (cliché I know), initiates and establishes tempo, to use jazz terminology; play with pace and tonality, chord combinations and whatever else I think of in the moment.  The schedule isn’t for me.  And the Adjunct War evolves, into a total attack on that reality I could select but choose to dismiss.  The more I read about them, adjuncts, the more pathetic it all is; why put yourself in that position?  And if you do, why not make it work for you?  I’m turning my back, on everything of that folding and I make it MINE.  I’ll keep my teaching blog very much alive as that will be my classroom and how I “educate”– or better, exchange ideas on everything from notions of the Road, to Kerouac himself, to Theory, to punctuational conventions and how there’s more Art in the shunning of and– just wait, just wait.

And now the coffee works, and works well.  Now, a sax, doing what it wants over the drums and piano (“Theme for Maxine”, Woody Shaw).  This is me, this jazz and the mood it creates– I deny death anything, any presence close to me.  Re-reading my drunken prose which I partially hate and a bit adore as it was honest and more music than most of my paragraphs of late.  I just love this morning now, and no that doesn’t indicate any manic mentality, or maybe it does, but either way it’s truth, THE truth about today and me as a writer and the life around me.  And notice.. no adjunct nonsense, none of it– the Adjunct War: how I fight is to not fight (Kerouac embrace of passive resistance), and yes I will win, technically, I can only, right?

Balance my character and prose and the novel will just happen, the Massamen story about not just adjunct nonsense, more, more than the expected and what’s always being written by adjuncts.  And it’s not me trying to find myself– I already know who and WHAT I am, simple, a writer.  And the coffee’s speaking to me with a volume that it sometimes does when it’s angry with me, my mood, but it won, I’ve changed in my scope and attitude this morning– and there, like that, I have a memory of the last winery, there full-time, more than merely miserable, always being barked at for something.  But no more of that either!  In my Wellness, there will be NO authority over me, EVER!  The key to being Beat is that you dance to your own, establish your own tempo and are sovereign in all thinking and action; and Create from that flight, that aloftness you capture.  And just now, nearly 36, I capture it, I have it and am playing with it.  That’s how I want Jack to see me, my little boy, as a father free from Authority and any devil wanting me to be content with impoverishing wage.  These adjuncts do it to themselves, partially.  I mean, why stand for that?  Well then you could say, they don’t, they assemble, they become active.  Okay, I respond, and how’s that going?  Get creative, I argue!  Scribe your own set of convictions!

Still over 20 minutes for my SELF.  This morning meditation.  LIFE, I say, LIFE.. ignore Death.  Laugh at it.  It takes people from us, but not the impression they left; not the love and closeness we felt.  Death is only part of the rotation, something plain and obligatory and one-dimensional.  I feel sorry for Death, frankly.  It’ll certainly never win against Artists like me.  Huh, now I run out of anything– words thoughts meditation and sight.

More to do.


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Sq 4

Slammed, no care,
leave, draw, more
color, or others, or
once the wine finds
my aorta, then
my song will
be in a speaker, or
million, million-ing, vision and
image, a prism
from pittance


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Dodging Front

a shoe, stepping on concrete that

waits for rain, something someday, needed,

but then the clouds leave, find more attractive

flats, and the shoes are thankful but at a loss,

and so am I, what is this?


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No Why Of

am i trying to be correct in my planning, my
maturity if i even believe in that
hard to say but i have to at a certain point, i know
not a high or low, just slow, immeasurable pull
no team or advisory, on own but cliff looking at tree, that
cyprus meant to garnish sea view,
overlooking my notes and what i recorded and wondering
if i did it right
but that depends on who you ask, and who would you ask
the supervisor? nothing super about him, he
doesn’t like me cuz i talk, cuz i question, and there it is in my
truth pot, the table not yet served, i sit to gather self and order more
coffee probably don’t need it but this isnt manic, i dont think, but im not a
doctor or even a professional, the professional they want me to be, im just
a word wrangler, and im inchief as they say, so official, im in office, and
bobbing head with what the xylophone does, following the snare, my snare
as i stare into the smoke over the small crowd in this free hut–
not sure if its simplicity or if i some urge to
complicate and overcomplicate, so maybe its not them, not
them at all, maybe im imagining them, the clock, the obligation and
the schedule, i have to be there, that’s mature, maturity, maybe
we’re all imaging that–
return to the burn, the purifying waves of flame that come from the midday
into the notebook intel spell, attempt, no contact from me after, just silent
i spoke too loud and here i am, whoops, without
but im better, so much better, i should thank them for the paper work, release, out,
of a certain cell, look at me, seriously look. at. me.
no suffer, suffrage and suffer age, put my temper in the fridge, or freezer, thaw it
and what do i get:
sense, a chorus, words ive never sung– bong blong ting ting–
new jazz in a new life in a new street and new calendar square, dirty hands
but that’s art, voice or something like that
new extremity, so now they
call me an extremist, rabblerousing roarer
but as my songs on plays i sway on something
sharper, and my You’s a renewed ME–
landscape to escape or just remain, im
too mobile and manic to anything mold,
im told, complexing
and complication, what now, what now!

Colors circling and I get tads in dizzy,
More vision, though, there’s more
Trust me.
But I don’t trust me so I’m a hyperhypocrite, listening to
two idiots in front of me in this
cafe talk about philosophy and amoebas and followings
and Asia, and standards– oh they know so much,
and I just stare at the shade, the tinted blends on the wall, smell
espresso or biscotti
or maybe that’s just the wind outside– oh so now they talk about Shake
speare. they know so much!
Please tell me I’m not one of them, I’m not of their hem!
Lean into my keys and feel please but I’m around two pseudos,
send me to Peru, or Pluto!
I thought I was manic, you should hear this guy!
I’m annoyed, about to feel my patience fry.
Concentrate on what I have to do, focus I
tell myself but I’m a bad coach and now the younger gives the
excuse that he has to get to a haircut, he doesn’t
want to listen to him anymore and neither do I and
now that the younger has left I don’t have to– praises!
To the moment and to the oddness, now come curious pauses..
Does this happen to you, when you have days off? Oh, but this
usually is a work day, but not anymore, not anymore,
more than anything I have songs to bring, new life and
new me and some trumpets and snare, event

just notes on sounds, the espresso machines, fruffmmm and
shaaaaaaaahg, repeated.
ugh, now more talkers, ladies at table two over
left and they talk about days off they need or one of them
does– oh no, she’s talking about an
employee, she’s management, enemy, turn
that espresso machine back on!
Bring that younger back in here!
She’s one of them! One of the
clock lovers, one of those bots that make
my case lowered, ‘I’ to ‘i’–
can I go? Sure I can, I have the day, no noose, bless
ing, no dis
guise, look at my eyes, both, you see a sky and a lake of intent, or at least I
a guy wipes the counter, a tall guy walks in (he works here), and I just write, and sing to
myself cuz I love my voice, I’m no different that this amoeba philosophy guy
i need some advise, and a teamish tone
let’s see what I can draw, but I’m gone
and the shop wants me to go to, go out there,
enjoy your day,
you’re free, swinging in and
out of any
sea, no edit or controls I start to shiver
but then I’m enclosed, in love, set, and I
know why


Categories: No Why Of, WHOSO MAGAZINE | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Home, 9:01AM. (Day 72 excerpts.. no edits)

…Mom said, “Laughter’s a proven life-extender!” Yes, very true, Mother.. now I create and focus on my images, the one of me just walking around a vineyard (in this particular conscious envisage, St. Francis’ Wild Oak Vineyard), between Syrah and Chard, and I think that’s Merlot.. not sure, but I just walk, look up at Hood Mt. and stare back at the ground. My wife, Jackie and I took pictures over there, far left, over by the visitor center, where the tasting room is. All positive and poetic about this morning and this imaginary walk, ‘nother sip… Mr. Hutcherson plays, and I play.. music and poetry, my teaching, talking about Kerouac to the students and seeing what they have to say.. this 1B session, about wellness, health (mental and physical), about Personhood and “spirituality”. Duluoz, in a battle for Personhood, for (dare I say) recovery! He wants to, possibly, recover from everything and recover and/or recapture what he’s lost, leaving the madness behind– I’ll save for the paragraph below, the one I’ll post to the teaching blog. Today I live as how I saw myself living later in life when I was 17 or so, in high school, in Mr. Sullivan’s Creative Writing class; I saw myself, at this age, as a writer/professor, and that’s it. And today, that’s it, ‘that’s the ticket’ as they say, I’m him, the New Mike! The one I saw then and now and the one I revel in. Divorcing the negative, attaching Self to the positive; my son, my wife, my family, the words, the mélange of it all, all the positive, all the lifts and gives to growth, that makes me smile, this poetry, the Art and expression and LIFE! That old expression: ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.’ Radiantly correct! Why would you! Why would you dignify the negative and what would prompt to say or write negativity with the Art, with words? No! Only the affable and transcendent!

…COFFEECOFFEECOFFEE, my singular obsession in this sitting.. why do people drink alcohol when you can have this? Especially if you write? You’d rather have a drink, a whisky or wine or bourbon or beer? Are you a fool? Look at this, this madness that folds and delivers me from any sorrow or depression or holding, or clockish confines! I will hit 5 pages today you can bet, and when I wake from my nap I will run, only five miles, that’s it, maybe just do my ‘big daddy’ run that Alice often does, just five, a comfortable and leisurely 5! After 10 now and I should take a break from the page, maybe use the restroom, stretch, breathe, meditate without writing, but can I do that? Something so godly about Literature, and Philosophy, and the act of reading, what’s on a page, the Author having the fire to confess what he/she does. I could only have heros like Plath, Kerouac, right? Like Mr. Hemingway, like Dickinson, Joyce… I’m at peace in my Personhood now, so thankful the story brought me here, home, around my son’s toys and on this couch, hearing this jazz paired with the fridgehum in the kitchen. I’m smiling right now, fearless in my joy and positivity, my thanks for everything, my loves; Mom, Dad, Katie, Jack, Alice, Grandma and when she told me only days before she left, “It’s YOUR life…You have YOUR choice.” And, now and always, I choose to be happy, and to be in love, with everything, with tomorrow and today and what brought me here, all in my story. Namaste…..

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from day 61

At home working on my syllabi, Alice taking Jack to his friend Addison’s house to give me some time to work, bless her… Easy drive home, no traffic at all, none. Finishing this coffee, then to a beer which I’ve been craving for the last two days. Still very much feel the 9.3 miles, very much. Wanted to take a nap like Alice but couldn’t even if I wanted to as little Kerouac was still very much in his demanding standing, “Play, daddy, play!” So I did, and now I think of how to make this semester one for me, more than for the students. Of course I want to “teach” and show the matriculants new ways of looking at Literature but how do I make it more for me, how do I change my life and my story and the intensity and meaning of my existence? I’ll see, I’ll take some brief notes, and explore my owning notings. I’ll have to print the syllabi copies, at least those for 1A, the 7AM(!!) section at some point tomorrow after work. And I will, straight from work going to the copy place on 4th then back home to pack bag, again lightly (will travel light this entire term, a difference), then to early bed, ready, and I will fill that tumbler with the most extreme of coffees, more than likely the Pike, but have it to top, no “room” as they say.
Still feeling run, so very much. Why has it hit me with this intensity, this time? Maybe as I didn’t sleep that well last night. Next time, on the next overnight, wherever it is, I’ll bring my own pillows, sure that’ll help. One other detail from this morning I forgot to cite was the fog, in the park mainly, and how the pockets kept trapping me at the beginning of the race, even forcing me to run onto the side of the road with one of my little skipjumps that Alice always laughs at. But not at all hindering, as I always was able to establish my own pocket, and at the end of the race a couple trying to dash past me, and I let them for a minute, fooling them into seeing me as a dying engine, but then I shot past them with an furiously electric gallop they weren’t prepared for. I want to run around Petaluma tomorrow, I mean Tuesday, after class, around the campus and maybe up whatever street that is that runs into Petaluma Hill Rd, maybe just an hour run, or 45 min. But right now I can’t imagine running, honestly. Ugh, hate that I’m so tired, and that I’m not typing as fast as usual. Tomorrow in the goddamn tasting room, I’ll write both lectures, or take the notes, or those in addition to anything I write tonight. Have to go pickup dinner.. but not hungry after the late lunch we had, sandwiches from Oliver’s– I feel a mess right now, honestly, and I don’t like it, at all. Should switch to poetry later, write something that can stand on its own and be performed, read, to music, jazz then.. yes now I come awake with my deflated slate, think about writing a poem in that bar, in Union Hotel, at the bar itself while people sit around me and drink and talk and/or stare at the screen, highlights from today’s football games, or watch one that still might be on. Frustrate now and for what reason. I’ve had a wonderful day with Ms. Alice and now home with my son, why the sludge in my sight and this ephemeral edge, at least I hope it’s short-lived. I’m not in the shape for some internal skirmish.. go for a drive, I tell myself, go to the restaurant, order dinner, wait and have a beer and write a couple words, whatever lands, and stick, and provokes.
I’ll write one when there, on the first object or character that calls, but I have to be in the territory of bar, and after I order an IPA.

And I did write a poem at the bar but my little pages are upstairs. I’ll type it tomorrow morning, before prose, or I’ll try. Here in nook with nightcap, my streets in that neighborhood, Japantown, calling me, wanting me back, or the neighborhood through which Alice and I walked last night, to our restaurant; new topics sprout– sidewalk discoloration and wear; the uphill facet and consistency of SF, how I love it; and those buildings, the building that make me dizzy if I look to their topfloors, closer I get to Market and Union Sq. Sipping my Racer 5 I dream of the Road, other hotels I’ll frequent, write in, shower in, how the towels will feel, what tables I’ll place my laptop on, or write in my Comp Book, what the lobby will smell like, what the color layers will be and what the elevator will look like and what views I’ll have from my floor. Last night I was, we were, lucky, with that view of the heart of Japantown and Sutter St. and the people walking through that narrow plaza. Last night and this morning, I experienced Newness, difference, Life like I never have; that windmill, the waterfall, the expansive lawns, trees, the smells of those leaves at the end of the run (can’t be sure what trees they were coming from as I was looking at the ground at that point). I’ve found something in SF, my city, where Dad was born, and with this trip! I grew up just south of there, and visited ridiculously often after I turned 21, relying on North Beach for social circles and meetups and parties. Now, I’m an agin writer, never more desperate for material and pages and characters. Today’s characters: all on phones, or most of them, after the run at the afterparty if that’s what you’d call it, on phones, taking “selfies” (can’t believe that’s a word now)… Sick. I don’t want that in my story, in my vision. In fact, I may outlaw cell phones in my office, when there, on the Sonoma Square, and yes that’s what I’ve settled upon. Right off Spain…

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6:23am and in

a fanged mood already.  You know why, you know and you know me and you know it would fracture my mood, either slightly or significantly, that review.  Mendo.  I’ll specify, why not, what do I have to lose at this point.  Downstairs in dark, mouth dry from the Zin last night and ales that encircled.  A problem with my writing that can’t be overlooked, lashings from a full-timer, a teacher, how much a writer be he I wonder.  If any point to be remembered or relished in this transaction it’s this: the writing has to happen NOW.  No more of this delay and play with certain methods and recipes or tricks– it has to be this.  And, as my wife said quite starkly last night after Mom and Dad left, “so who cares?” She’s right.  I’m not teaching there next semester or ever a-bloody-gain and it’s Mendocino…  Mendocino College.  In Ukiah.  Ukiah.  Where’s that?  I’m a writer, my own Beat has been carved at this old age 35 and I’m not budging or compromising.  My teaching’s fine, okay, but my writing cited?  I can only laugh, in the dark here with this Sahara tongue.  Water, that Perrier that Alice bought, wonderful– I’m sharpened and I have to be and with thicker skin like Kerouac with people reviewing his words his books and sharings.  I guess why I’m bothered is ‘cause I’m tired at this age; tired of being reviewed and approved and applying and the back-and-forth and the commuting and the trying.  “So stop it, stop it all,” a voice says, probably one of my characters from the novel, either Glenn or Dav, or Crystal the winemaker.  And like my sister once told me, “if you second-guess yourself you’ll never make wine.” Or never write which is what I was drawn, my character, Mike Madigan, to do.  Would I want to be him, I ask myself, the full-timer that gave the review, be a full-time English teacher at a removed and obscure college that’s known for…?  No.  Now, if this review came from SSU, or SRJC, or even Napa when I taught there, I’d have reason to be even more hungover than I am, but this is silly–  I would deplore that role and reality, a teacher there.  “That’s where I teach,” I can’t hear myself say.  “I write, I self-published a novel and am selling it.. I wrote it how I write not how I think it’d sell, or it should be written.” There I am, me… And then further into this dream I add, “And I lead a fiction seminar at Stanford.” Ha ha, I reel to myself.  I know what I want and this, that school, isn’t part of it.  So he can sip his self-indulgent defamation and entitled mumbles up there in the mountains, on that campus that barely outsizes this condo complex.

Tried going back to sleep but couldn’t.  Yesterday, more than crazy at winery.  More of that crazy you’d expect from a rainy day where the only alternative’s to taste inside.  Wrote down one line, from a guest, not sure where he was from and I overheard him say this to Gary who was pouring right next to me at day’s end, for a little over and hour and a half: “Old vine Zins always taste too incense-y to me.” Funny thing, I somewhat agree with him and understand his idea, so what did I write it down?  I’ve never heard it put that way with those words before– well that and I didn’t write anything the whole shift into my little pages so I thought I should scribble something.  I poured my people the ’11 Cab and turned around, brandished the little pages and used the back bar for support.

Wonder what Mr. Dav is doing.  Still haven’t sent him that letter.  I’ll print it tomorrow at Mendo and send it from SRJC’s base.  Keep typing, I tell myself down here, keep typing.  6:45, and I hear Jackie upstairs, coughing a little and saying something to Alice who’s probably only wanting to sleep, poor thing.  Going up to rescue her and him and further distract myself this morning.  That review of my teaching or writing, now far past my care, gone into some sewer of dismissed ideas where it certainly belongs.  And when we meeting, this reviewer and I, I’ll be silent, no comments, I won’t waste my words or respiration or time.  I’ll just nod and tune out and leave.  And, frankly, I have to get to SRJC so he only has so much time anyway.  As much as I permit and budget.

Jack and I now, on the couch, Alice sleeping upstairs.  I’ll make sure she rests till 8.  She told me that he was kicking and nudging her all night, my poor wife.  I’m sipping the only k-cup I had left.  Well, I have those decaf doses but those are worthless at this hour, or any hour other than those close to bed.  This coffee bouncing in my rhythms, just what I needed.

I just looked at the evaluation again and it’s just plainly droll, dull, and just what I wanted now that I see my students highly approve of my performance, in fact he himself even noted that my student evals are “exceptional”, and that most obviously means more to a writer like me than what some full-timer documents from having to.  My students’ approval has value.  His thoughts are just part of a machine, a track, an intoxicant that he’ll probably read to himself and show off to the other FT-er hogs.  “Look what I did…” Pig.

Miss the rain.  Want it to come back and I want my little boy’s cold or sniffle set or whatever afflicts him to just bloody fly away.  Now he plays on the ground with a small colony of coins he took from me; everything, pennies nickels dimes even quarters.  He won’t give them back, “My money!” he reminds me.  This is what matters, him, my little Artists, and my students; that they’re pleased with my lessons and the ideas that I offer.

I need more coffee and more time to write, prep for tomorrow.  I know how tomorrow will be approached, just how, Mendo will be conducted slightly differently, meaning I will have my students there enjoy their session with even thicker pleasure entanglements both in idea and expression and the reading– and with Hemingway on the platter now.. we have only the fruitful ahead of us.  I’ll wake tomorrow morning, I’m hoping, when my mother-in-law does, before 5.  I’ve always admired that about her.  I’ll try to run tonight, just five miles, which means NO tasting today.  Nothing.  I’ll let the guests tell me how it tastes and what characters and notes they encounter in the wine.

Jackie continues to throw two footballs at me, one small, which he calls the baby, and the other which is ‘dada’.  He laughs and stresses about nothing, bothered by nothing, just enjoys his morning around me while I type and record whatever I can to make myself feel like a writer.  When Alice wakes I’ll go get us coffees and then come back to shower.  I’m realizing that the music in my life is everywhere and that’s where the truth and gems are.  Not in the routine and the documented and the official.

IDEA: write a short piece, three pages, and distribute to SRJC colleagues.. no selling, just promo, sharing, for Art’s love, Life– and I know what to do, what to write, about what.. that eval from that gudgeon full-timer only convinced me that I’m a writer, one who will by the pen his way, and won’t be in the adjunct role or anything stricture-bound or pinned by any document.  I’m on and in my own Beat.  No more being beaten.

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excerpt from this morning’s sitting…

I speak, no more shriek

need more coffee, quick, my consciousness over tipped,

and I slipped on the what should be

proper, or responsible, mature–

that’s all myth, says this coffee

jazzy smoke and bass from corner have me continued in my straying

this feels amazing– okay that’s it, no more coffee for me

wait till I finally grow up


tricycle wheels over carpet, no sound, then

some fool on a harley quakes past

to show what he has, how musical, how nice, how needed

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