Posts Tagged With: Philosophy

Beauty Brooding

IMG_5691Attestedly, Pinot and I have a flimsy relationship– we bicker, we contest, we ardently altercate. But not tonight.. tonight we dance, thanks to this Russian River producer.. the fruit is not in any angle contrived or forced, or one-columned. I’m being spoken to, in song, in verse, this ’13 is like a convincing cloud of sensory force that I’ve never met; that other Pinots in set would envy and downright deplore for its palate prose. And maybe this would be the glass, my second, spurring the writer, but it’s Truth– this Pinot is its own mandate, a sovereign sewing of empyreal ebullience– wild herbs and field-y tones taunting the caesura of raspberry and maple, slight cedar– but I‘m not approaching the wine that way, with the dumbed cataloguing of notes and ‘descriptors’. This character deserves more, and more, and by ‘more’ I intend a story, and I envisage, some world, or setting, or moment where character like myself and another like-penner perambulate in words and recitals and– some crowd, listening to our words, all prompted by this Burgundy, from Westside Road… Next sip, forcing my diffidence, causing me to reject any and all boxes, and cherish my own chatter. When I find a wine like this, this is what materializes. And Pinot, of all forms, genres. This is no wine review, no silver-tongued sentence sequence, just me writing to wine; evidence irrefutable of the writer tilted and terrifically taunted by a new wine find. And Pinot… Pinot! I don’t want to be one of this new fashionable fold but it looks like I am. But that wasn’t the writer’s desideratum, by any measure. And that’s my understanding of Pinot as a presence: vagary, the espial; ensuing enclosure. But I’m digging too far as I tend to do, this writer-slash-professor.. I should have just sipped and scribbled, jotted some humdrum banality and skipped along with the glass-tilts. But that’s not how we arrange on page, we writers, the word-warpers loving simple syllabics with a bit of sip. And like Kerouac, there was a decision I’ve been meaning to stamp and solidify but it’s been tossed away from my perceptive plain, and pleasurably. And I thank the PInot, this ’13, for getting me to clarity some coherence of paragraph, composition.. wine wine always in a wine, me and my cyclical sentiments… my Beat.
And my glass empty. A lull ebbs in my Personhood. And to do.. what. Nothing. Just stare at this bloody glass as any Beat would. My curves and coursings opaque in any rationale, and so mundane when I re-write, and re-re-write. But this bottle’s solved that. And I’m untroubled. From this Pinot. Why does it confront me from sides blind? It, this contained vivacity light but not so, aims to have its Self heard. And I know you’re asking, “Where? From where? What winery?”
Why does it matter? I’m a writer, find love, a wine, mine, mind molded and resulted. Freed, me.. That’s REAL capsuled composition. So I sip again…..


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A Show

IMG_5638The walk to the gate in the morning and looking at the lower block, for bud break, and the wines–again the ’12, my focus of day– and the slowed traffic, the ride to the hill’s top, all of it had me thinking and more cemented in my wined position. The grapes to come, for me and my wine and the character it’ll assume– Again, like this morning with the ride home, me nearly running a red from all the possible theses in my head– I’m here in the nook pulled several ways, from the novel to this blog to contact assignments writing and blogging, to waiting for SSU which I know will take its sweet time, just like SRJC with a section Summer section. Dinner soon, and the rest of my Merlot. Thought about saving the rest for tomorrow night but I’d rather not– and being solicited for material by those in ‘the industry’, I’ll be mindful.. everyone wants a writer to write for them, something, and do some kind of trade, not money no not pay. “This’ll be great exposure for you…” Exposure won’t pay the Autumn Walk mortgage, and it certainly won’t–

Running through my words last night interrupted by some thought, can’t remember. The sky today, surely won’t catch me like yesterday’s did on that morning walk with Al & Janice. No wine tonight, run tomorrow morning. Frightened the left knee won’t be happy with me should I now go out. Will soon be into that 7daysaweek pattern, but I’m not worried, it won’t be like when I was at K—-, I’ll be more eased with this new estate and their embrace of the writer and who I am in wine’s vessel.
Hemingway wrote of the people of the Seine with such herald and regard, and he IMG_5613couldn’t stop with his enumeration/catalogue of their actions and the articles on the banks, and I have to do the same today– so I now here admit that I didn’t satisfy my assignment to Self yesterday with taking notes while behind the counter and I had every opportunity to do so at day’s beginning, with no visitors, only that oddly diligent wind, talking with my coworkers, and tasting that ’12 over and over. And I was right, it is certainly the more evolutionary of our wine, from its high-alt’ blocks and the severe soil above the fog, near the oceanic ambient temp, it said to me: “I’ll keep writing, just like you, I’m telling you to keep writing, but do so in short, smaller pieces, today’s mine, so what’s yours?” And I don’t believe to be paraphrasing, or re-gesting.. I believe this to be its thesis for me yesterday.. that sky, the high clouds and my angle through the Pinot leaves, then sipping that Pinot, then walking with Kevin out to the lawn to appreciate where we were, are, the valley and the property and the moment, its own standalone, its own declarative madness; the green and light but rich red of the Japanese Maples and all the varieties with which I’m not familiar– so much to learn about the property and wine still, still, and that’s what separates me from Them.. any industry bots, the character of the adjunct finding a laid oasis for him in the schedule he’s trying to change. Wish my students could see me now here on the floor typing with Jackie behind me watching his educational ‘Big Cat’ show, with all the lions and cheetahs, a couple leopards– Would love to do what these blokes do filming these animals, waking early to capture all they can.. the discipline, the routine, the godhonest work of it all– me now with wine.
Rain last night as I fell into my new dormancy, resting, and I thought of rain and the vineyard and the drought, and I shouldn’t then have been trying to sleep but to stay up and write, finish the bloody novel, or at least a standalone sketch– any advent of Newness, fruition.. and recite, this idea of recording the fiction to tape or at the least reading it at Redwood Café– but it’s too noisy and too many not listening which infuriates me, that was evident when I went there with the students earlier in term. So how about start a workshop/podcast/group/lecture sequence/…/… ‘slash’ everything. But all around short fiction, between 100 and 1500 words. Ideas ideas and I credit the wine and all the wine people around me and my sister the winemaker, and even the template wine bloggers and those ill-breeding lumpishly scuttish sommeliers.
IMG_5616“He’s funny,” Jackie says about one of the lion cubs, playing with its sibling, rolling in grass like nothing threatens. The sky now, a bit hazed but blue with insinuations of gray. Alice getting up, and Jackie asking me “Have you seen my little blankie?” I go on a hunt, my writing again interrupted but I don’t mind, and all my readers if any should know that this, parenting, and my son and Ms. Alice and family empirically come before anything, especially wine and its world, but the wine world shouldn’t mind by definition as so many speak from the perspective of family or being family-owned, or at least starting so before vending soul to some corporate jawset.
Today, focus on Zin, both Zins, open both (both 12’s), and WRITE in notebook, anything from ‘rich, slow-moving’.. worded and musical.. I don’t know… I have to taste later, and note note NOTE what’s poured and how its being syncs to all my scribble sensibility, if I have any at whatever point in the day. As you have read, the Room can be exhausting just as well as when it’s emboldening.
Coffee 2, and I’m thinking again about this new idea for a podcast, or broadcast, or whatever it’s to be called. When I started teaching back in ’06 I prided myself in my lectures about thinking ‘outside the box’. And now, I must perform what I promulgate.
Issue of P&W, left, coffee right, and quiet in the condo after Alice and Jackie leaving for the gym, Jackie to play with the other children there and on that slide, the “fun slide” he loves so much and always talks about. And I’m here, left to face the day and the sky, the wine, vines, and characters visiting.
Summer and Fall classes exasperating me, as there aren’t that many.. what if teaching was my only option, as is with many adjuncts? Don’t think like that, cuz it’s not. Just beat on in your Beat, writer, and let songs and airs varied infuse into the prose, the story.. and be outside the box always– I usually don’t write in affirmations like this, but this morning it calls. And I again am convinced of the morning’s importance, the first lines in a story…..

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Back from liquor store where


Flowering at Arista Winery, Russian River Valley, Harper’s Rest Vineyard

I bought not liquor but a sparkling lime– I mean lemon water. Not sure what I have to do, what’s on the to-do list, what’s left but I’m not caring too much as I just want to enjoy words and thoughts from yesterday; the German friends whom were speaking German to each other of course but I for certain heard a “Gerwurtztraminer” and “Riesling” in one plot of the conversation. A bit nervous about tomorrow’s classes for some reason, not sure why.. just overthinking I’m sure. When thirst becomes officially silenced then I’ll move back into the coffee.. need to be on fire tomorrow like I have been these last few lectures. Heard from SSU’s Faculty Affairs sector, confirming they have all my items for the ‘pool’ application, but I feel in a state of hebetude waiting, like I’m waiting for something that’s not really a tangible something but could be something.. the pool is only for possibility, that won’t feed my family, help pay for this house, so I go back to yesterday, a co-worker and I walking down IMG_5564before 11AM to open the gate, checking out the little bit of bloom in the Harper’s Rest plot and the sheep and goats, the little ones rushing to us in belief we have something for snack. The morning stayed cool, slight overcast actually giving me a bit of chilled core but flying away in little patches of thinning cloud, later.. then a beer by myself, where I took the last of day’s notes: “Quick glass after work, writing and staring at empty stein, thinking of building my business and career and direction, where precisely I’m going with this new direction, wine.. “Wine, tell me!” But no words or hints or even odd sound or nod or gesture, no glitch, nothing. Tonight, I’ll open one of my Merlots again, play with wording in my reaction, MY wine “business” or whatever it turns to be shall revolve around life & art & words. JAZZ– the luring dimensions, all of Art, wine, the paragraphs antagonized by such. Driving home now, thinking, dreaming, convinced & convicted.” And I am still, very much, here in the nook, with Miles playing for me, inculcating a new appreciation for this new estate, Pinot Noir and wine altogether, the inclusive spell I’m letting into IMG_5539my Now– notes all around me like the clutter from this move; this nook has become more of a bomb bunker than a place for my pagination, but I’m fine with it, all, all of it, and all this I incorporate into the morrow’s lectures, but I wonder, in this world of mine and me trying to perfect it, and with the newly-healed bond with wine and its ‘industry’, do I want to do this much more– chase assignments, hope to one day be full-time, grade papers and battle student excuses and my own attitude before class (occasional)? I only think of this new house, and my children, my wife, and me still playing the adjunct game, being led by them– and this is too interesting as the wine industry has made it clear, several times, that it doesn’t care for my kind– the Beat writer, the Freethinker, the Artist and one in search of trued centeredness and sovereignty and Wellness, valuing my own ideas. So why the switch, why the now-opposition to its own practice and prior visibility? I don’t know if I need an answer right away but at some point would be lovely. Think I’m ready for the coffee and more thinking, more fascinating of being on the Road, pouring wine and meeting new characters and writing about it all in my room, wherever I am, the travel and its situational atticisms making me more a writer, more the writer I’ve always hoped I’d be, and that won’t happen if the system which imprisons us as adjuncts keeps me in its soggy circle.
Starting coffee, it now brews and falls into its temporary cup, and yesterday again, the sight of the buds breaking, blooming, building themselves for the IMG_5552vintage and there was a reason I saw that, right? There has to be.. so who or what’s the reasoner, you ask (or Dad, my prodigious Philosophy Major friend, would). Not sure if there’s a reasonER, but it’s very much reasoned in me that there’s a purpose for those little anthers meeting my eyes yesterday morning, and that’s all I’m begging from mySelf, the question, that the question has relevance, and if it’s not a question then an excavation of the idea itself; me, walking to open the gate, looking at the vines from habit or slivers of curiosity, and seeing ‘break’. Perhaps, the Story suggests that soon I break, I bloom, I in my character come to formidable fruition. Maybe. And I feel new brio in my typings, just here with this coffee in the nook and with my jazz. And those dreams last night obviously warning me away from technology and social media and anything with electricity.. so why am I here on this devil button slab? The immediacy, it has to be, like Amber said.. but that’s no excuse! I need to get a typewriter.. no, they break.. shit, I’m everywhere in my thoughts today, and I blame– why do I have to blame.. center yourself in the session. This is what all adjuncts go through, and my efflorescence if you would, will, get me away from this shackle-set, and have me like the vines, coming alive toward inevitable fruition. And from an artist’s scope, I envy the vines. They will be bound, released, published and sold, see meaningful fruition. Each vintage for a vineyard is a novel– hmm, now I think further, and know I have to make wine, two barrels of Pinot, which would be a little over two tons (?). More pictures from yesterday in the Room involve just wine, an ounce if that in a bowl, and laid horizontally so I could roll the glass and appreciate (not examine) the texture and precise shade and tint of the juice.. the wine tasted far more intricate and vocal, much more Literary in its sensory sinews than shifts prior. “Shifts”… My days there are hardly shifts, more lessons for the writer, generous opportunities from the proprietors allowing the writer to gather material, well as sell bottles he believes in– and not so much sell but share passion for. And I always tell such, “I’m not a salesman, I just share my passion for the wine.” And that’s not a pitch, either. It’s transparent disclosure of my character. But what I can’t ignore, is the supportive narrative and nature of the winery’s chief holders. They seem to embolden me knowingly and provoke my prose. And again, this can only be Truth. I like to think I’m quite cunning when it comes to character consideration and accuracy in analysis, and I feel no oddity or incongruent nods or shakes, no gladhanding from these chaps. And I’m relieved.

Drat! Already over a thousand. How did that happen? Now I do want to blame something.. the coffee! Just noticed a mosquito bite on my right arm, just under elbow on way to triceps, shoulder. Makes me think again of the day, the walks around the property; in the water gardens and the lawns, driveway, field where the sheep and goats wander, then the Two Birds Vineyard where I was at the end of the day, shooting a short video to post but that’s social media so I won’t build more in that recollection.
Knee left indeed hurt while attempting to run today at gym, so I went to a form weights session for the first time in over a year, then swam. I sense a new character in the writer, and a new love for Wellness, and the new probability promised by those breaking buds yesterday morning. I have to get back there soon, well I’ll be there Wednesday but I wish sooner. And when can I say that’s ever happened to me in “the industry”? Never. “The winery I’ve always wanted,” as I’ve told Mom and shared with one of the owners yesterday in a brief chat we held about my writing on the ’13 RRV Pinot. This laptop now, threatens to die, run out of juice and I’m just getting into my role and rant, I feel, the adjunct disgruntled but with options, and I’ve always felt so grateful for my choices, in wine of course, as many other adjuncts either don’t have alternatives or other interests, OR they think themselves too good or bluntly too smart to get a job, like at a winery or anywhere. That’s what I understand, and empathize with, but will never be. I know I have to have a job, but I also reserve the fortitude to refuse a job I’m certain I won’t enjoy. Had too many of those, as you know, and many in the wine world. SO, I find myself happy, and I feel strange. Isn’t that diacritic, and a bit idiosyncratic of me. Yes! But that’s Truth, that’s what I’m feeling and what dominates my character’s scope at this table, this table and all items atop that are soon to me shuffled to the new house, the Autumn Walk base. Love the name of our new street. Autumn, my favorite season. Walk, the idea and consistency of a saunter versus a run, something rushed and sped. This is what the story intends and I’ll sip wine in the backyard and have my little pages at ready that first day, night, our first true pageset on the new street.

Back from errand. Tomorrow, after 1B, thinking of going to taste, somewhere. Where. What. Notes, new stories flying around my head but can’t catch them. Tomorrow I will. I have to. And be unlike anyone else writing about wine– or the trends of what to sip.. what if I just order a wine from curiosity’s tavern and start with my jots? No pattern. Not here. Not with me.

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4/18/15: A Matter a matter

First, walk with Alice and Jack up Bennett Valley climbs (by golf course, those streets, with those houses that cause fantasy in me), then coffee (mocha for the writer), then rush ready for work then a frenzied day of pours and preferences and varying attitudes from so many from so many somewheres.  Now I’m in the nook, ever-focused on consolidation for the students, writing the most interwoven and intricate and antagonistic lectures I can.. so the maddenedread blog will be executed at this term’s end, which is now only a matter of week from the when in which I sit.  Tonight’s wine, a Zin, the Dry Creek option from Arista.. then later write about the RRV Pinot, then just, quite bluntly, keep Self writing, and no TV, no shows, not even the writing documentaries I frequently use to push Self.  Monday a day off for the writing adjunct and I’ll spend it completely in adjunct role, and I’ll write a lecture on Sedaris and the essay form, around 1500 words worth.  I’ll have them all silent and connected and eager to respond but reluctant to as well.  I have to keep writing and posting and SELF-publishing to this bloody blog so one day I can print and disseminate my own efforts.  I do value the traditional printing and distribution of page, but this is what I have to do for the being time.

I do find my Self in a bit of a mood, here at the nook table, acknowledging Time’s assault on me and my work and my knees and the patience I may have never had.  I want to walk outside, and I would on the Road, at whatever hotel I’d be put in, just walk and with no aim or destination, stay away from the bars and people– just find the moments for Self, look at sky, knowing it’s the same as Yulupa’s but with varied angles and positionings.  The Life– topic and glow, in the pages I’ll show, who’ll read and who’ll conceive?  I’m quite overthinking the prospects and punctuations of my presence, with any.. but there I am, HERE I am.  And I don’t know what to do with this mood.. concentrating on wine, making wine, wine of my own and with my interpretive sieve.  Know Eddie thought of this once, maybe once or twice before he was published, but I can only wonder, and I’m getting tired of wondering, why am I still pouring wine like a local dunce and why do I let my Self be lead, carrot’d as an adjunct by Them– those chairs and deans and presidents– doing whatever on stage on professional development days, trying to look like one of us or give some convivial impression.  And who’s now the dullard?  You should have seen him, this guy, this ‘president’, dimwit dope with that assured grin knowing what his salary is while adjuncts laugh at him and thinking of throwing something.

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(letter to Spr ’15 students)

Dearest Students,

I sit in the nook where I often write and think.. about the final submissions, and what I hope you hope to gain from it, from the process; reading and researching and finally composing…  At this stage, you should be brainstorming, scribbling furiously in the caverns of your Composition books and toying with the possibilities of idea direction.  If you are in fact organizing these thoughts, well done!  Just don’t consume yourself with formal composition just yet!  And this may be difficult to do, restraining your own Self and ideas, especially if they pulsate aggressively, ordering you to sit and type!  But my counsel to you, for our collective record, is to wait.  Let it develop, ferment, and then if it has stayed with you over a couple days, or eve a week or so, then throw yourself to page.

And, with research, be playful with what you search for and how you search for ‘It’.  For example, if you were to do a paper on ‘Morality’, or ‘Wellness’, or even Jack Kerouac, start outside the topic, or “reach” as I’ve said all semester, then work your way backwards.  For example, if I’m going to write a paper on Jack Kerouac, wanting to argue that ‘he was his own genre’, I could start with something connected to him, like travel (as a theme in his work), then research the benefits of travel, or travel logs, then start looking into jazz music and connect the movement of jazz to the movement of travel, then come back to JK and show how in his writings (‘Road’ and some of his poems, maybe some short prose pieces which I can lend you) it makes this ‘genre’ of his.  Something like that, I don’t know…..  I just don’t want you all worrying about this last paper, and there’s no need to!  It’s about you and your ideas and how you mold them.. I want you to assume the role, nearly, of an investigative journalist, a true scholar hellbent on making his/her point known!

And as the semester closes, I’m quite aware, “easier said than done”.  No?  I get it, believe me.  That’s why I urge you to balance everything, schedule, and schedule dimensions of your life in a way that works for you!  You determine what your standard of Wellness is!  And no one can break you from that if you truly have ‘faith’ in your vision (vision of you professionally, personally, academically, or…).  I humbly wish you all to be well, and composed, and successful in these final weeks of the term.  Let us promise each other that we’ll end not only on a “strong” note, but a memorable one, and enriching one, a distinguished one!

Well…  Time to go to work.  Do you ever wish you could just stay home, relax, be it through reading or writing or exercising, or just drinking your coffee (if you drink coffee, or tea like some young scholars I know–) and reading the Times?  Well, not the reality for this teacher, this morning.  Readying for work, and thinking of my students, what else we can teach each other in these concluding pages of our academic calendar.

Contact me if you need anything, be it with ideas, the assignments, the reading, or this letter.

Loyally, Always…..


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4/14/15 journal — “Tackle”

Done with 1B grading, and ready to leave. Will write more after class, planning on going to Redwood Café for some short fiction and a water with lemon.. no coffee, no more for me thank you.. or should I come back here, to the condo, which we’ll on inhabit for another 24 days or so, and nap? Oh how I wish I could nap now, but no, no I need to keep today in proper motion with the lectures and the short fiction ahead; the café and people waiting for their plates and coffees and people they’re meeting there.. and the conversation in 1B, centered around Baldwin and his views, his world views.. more later…..


Little Kerouac with his new truck…..

Classes done, no nap, and wasn’t in the mood to write, earlier. And who else to prompt me to pen but little Kerouac himself. We now, just back from store where I bought him a truck and now we have our usual end-of-day conversations and cartoons and play with trucks and cars and the usual chase down the hallway and through the kitchen. While driving he waved at all the trucks around us, and individually, methodically at the corner of Yulupa and Hoen. Why do I stress as I do, and why do I let so much bother me? Money and classes and so much that’s out of my control? Yesterday was given the greenlight to write about an Arista wine for the purpose of generating sales, case movements. I’ll write up some copy tonight, some short prose and post some pictures– but, shit, those were erased when I restarted the phone, I think… Yes, gone. But I refuse to let it bother me. If I do, then tech wins, and I’m taking my war with it quite seriously. More writing by hand and less of the typing but I’m typing now, that’s what the Story renders and I can’t be divergent with the Story, ever. I can’t afford to.
Now I’m in the living room seated, leaning against the couch, while check claims that he’s stuck between the arm and the endtable. I laugh while and after he says whatever he does in that dialect of his, the Jackie tongue.
Nothing to report, bored and still not in much mood to write. Just want to be lazy and watch Jack, no assignment or prompt around this moment-set. Now he engages me, running away when I threaten to get him.. here comes the ‘Daddy Monster’ I impend. And then we together laugh, hysterically sometimes. And now he’s back to his own language with a little bit of a higher octave to his words and this funny squished face he does.. I laugh now, and continue, don’t want

IMG_54479:36PM. Tomorrow I vow to wake early, and write track after track, just like a singer-songwriter locked in studio. But fiction, all fiction, short rushed panicked fiction. Back from Mom’s birthday dinner at this new spot, or relatively new stop in Windsor call.. what is it?– oh, ‘Kin’. no complaints, really. No, at all, none. Great service, great wine selection.. amazing Cab the waitress selected to pair with the burger I ordered (which was cooked flawlessly)– sometimes I feel I should be a food critic, or blogger, some tweeting foodie that just talks and tweets and posts and doesn’t care, just puts themselves out there– and why not? Why not do that with the fiction? With the small pieces? So much on mind right now with this new house and the sale of this condo and moving and Summer & Fall semesters, booking the Fall classes this Friday.. and work tomorrow….. Need breathe, just calm and forget about everything, just write and react to what’s here in front of my game, this adjunct plate, and not stop– a social media friend of mine, a blogger she is (not sure about what), said that “you can never put out enough”, referring to blog posts, tweets, material, copy and photography.. just put yourself out there, all of you, and some of her work isn’t precisely mind-strangling.. so if she can make a living doing what she does, then a writer like me, this writer here at this nook table, should have no problem transcending.. and why has it taken me so long? I’m just venting, and I should, I deserve to after what I’ve been through this last week and what’s been on my mind– the grading and the prep and the money and all arranged into that maturity box.
Sipping still water from glass, and getting tired. Bed, go soon, so you can wake early and what– vent to the page as you always do. IS that what Baldwin does? I find his essays scenic and instructional, but a tad prolix. He’s it, though, lived as a writer and done the traveling trek that I dream of, and when I listen to NPR in the morning, of these journalists traveling the world and seeing war and recording it and relaying the findings by page to us in America, I feel ferociously failed. And I know I shouldn’t. I can just hear Mom saying something like, “Don’t be like that, don’t doubt yourself.” OR, simply, “Stop.” And that’s why my mother is invaluable, and I have to note that today, on her birthday.. if it weren’t for her, I’d be nothing like this writer, here in the kitchen nook of the condo we’re about to sell thinking of the next words to write.. sip the water again, more than absolving.

Day, time to end. No more writing. Just living, thinking, like Mom told me earlier when I called her stressed, she told me to just sit and think, don’t write. And that’s what I need do now.. soon phone to be OFF, this devil laptop, too. And then to bed, and I have to note how thankful I am that I’m not in wine’s throws at current current.. just this water, Equilibrium, and thinking of the day’s lectures, this morning’s 1A especially, on the symmetry and value of living, being one of the living, that tomorrow’s not exactly assured.. now I enjoy my night, for thinking. Writing done.

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Day Close, 4/10/15


Breezeway, Carlmont shopping center

And I finish this beer, in the nook, my last, as I’m hoping to get out for an hour run in the early morrow and then come home to write, or maybe write before then run. No coffee in house, which worries the writer but I’ll just furry to the store from some.
Uncle Ross, my father’s brother, my my little cousins’ father, now rested. And I don’t know what or how to feel. Sadness, yes, but is that what I’m meant to express? When I think of Ross, I think of laughing and stories and him helping me play baseball on Bayview, and, again, joking with me.
Alice, asleep on couch. I’m sure she’s depleted, having to meet all the Madigans. I am, and I’m one of them! But the day’s over, and I can’t help but want to live and write and be there for my little Kerouac. My lecture on Tuesday.. oh….. You have no ideas how lively I’m to be.. and those that have the glazed mask, I’ll address them, not to make them feel foolish, but invite them to discussion, to immerse themselves in the pages. I’m a new Mike Madigan today, after being in that church and having coffee in the Carlmont Starbuck, my old neighborhood.. seeing all my cousins (to which, ALL, I just sent a letter). Chapters new about my bow, and I’m inviting.
Time for sleep soon I know but I just want to live and stay awake and away from rest and that’s death’s relative, now I find myself thinking of how Jack sees me, how he’d remember me if I were to early leave.. what do I do, what do I choose and what do I select next? I’m now motivated by death, which I’m not sure is a boon, but it’s a reality after today. My uncle would see so this way, I’m positive, seeing as how so many spoke of his passion and loyalty and labor ethic.

Namaste, Uncle Ross…..

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Connective Shelves

IMG_5372Sipping some of my wine, the ’12 NDC. That’s New Dad Cuvée, if you forgot. And I get not so much weepy, but .. no, not nostalgic.. just reflective, and realizing that I can make wine and have my own label and write about it if I wish and create some new story for this writer. Discerning this moment and how the wine amalgamates with my current sentiment.. the adjunct war, coming to an end as I want it to– no surrender, no armistice, no walkaway. I’m sipping, here in the nook, to a bottle I, with much help from my friend Blair, produced. And I have to settle on varietals, I know. Don’t want Pinot. Just Cab, and SB, and Merlot.. that’s it. All Bordeaux. This sip… The Cabernet romps silence the Grenache assertions (and Grenache is the lead voice in this assembly, as I recall..). I feel this wine is its own occult oscillation, with the dark notes and visual, with the undercurrent of conviction and avant-garde story.. this wine speaks to me, and I made it!– Well, with Blair’s help. I’m not winemaker, but I’ve made wine with the activity and prowess of IMG_5371professionals. And here I am, after a day completely enraptured in the thought of wine, and I think more, about the winery I today visited and the Pinot I took home and the other wines I tasted in that rustic garage-like cove, making me think of what I can write and what I can do with wine and what I can write to while I do what I do with wine– postmodern repetition and mirroring; the Plath realization looking at the puddled cogitation in this bowl, this night’s pouring vessel. I’m just rambling I know, but like I said this was a night and day of wine…
Tomorrow, Ross’ funeral. I guess I’m ready, and I guess that’s why I’m sipping with such fervency. Who knows. I’m not blaming Uncle Ross, not at all, I’m blaming me, and my inability to decide that death is integral in this existential equation. I’m the problem, as I’m a writer; I’m to blame, I’m a writer, and death is everywhere, and I can’t hide from it; I’ve evaded it once, defeated it, to be technical and keep score, but I know it wants another scuffle with this Beat, so what do I do? For the moment, just enjoy the wine Blair and I made..

Now: still with caramel and raspberry and minty earth and herb. Need to share this, and the Merlot Blair with me aided, with the Arista faction. And soon. Saturday, then.. decided, for the next episode of the ‘cast Tome and I shoot every week.

IMG_5351Scattered in my thinking and I know tomorrow wil try me but I’ll continue, and stay in writer mode even though Tobias Wolff said in that lecture, specifically, that if you’re a writer at a funeral you should take time to grieve, not observe– but I have to disagree. I can’t just de-activate it, as some do, or can, or think they can.

So the wine’s done, and so am I. So till tomorrow, where I bid adieu to my uncle, my father’s brother…..


Categories: artist's notes ... | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Papers Ahead…..

And I’m here in the nook hiding behind my entry. But not so. I’ll get in there eventually I just need to keep the jazz playing and the coffee in cup.. this morning’s coffee, from the shop down the street, like I’m in the adjunct office, like it’s a work day, I’m in my role– I’ll grade all day starting at 11, 3 papers at a time, truly “Swiss-Cheese it” as Dad says.. already have rubric set up, all I need to do is mark the papers, or finish anyway. Gorgeous outside, that after rain feel, but I still incredibly am moved by the petrichor still in air, and falling from that intense blue. And I stumbled upon that word, “petrichor”, in a science journal, as it’s a new word used to describe the smell of rain; so I’m guessing it’s a noun and adjective, either way I thought I’d give it a home on page.
The coffee works but the jazz station stalls.. this isn’t helping theIMG_5343 adjunct. There, think I got it to work– and….. There. And revisited the rubric which I will dive into in .. less than two hours. Too lazy to do exact math. It’s interesting, the relationship between adjunct and coffee. This cup, telling me to keep typing and forget about the papers, just for a minute, but then I think it orders me to go grade one, just ONE. I will, just after this paragraph.. while in RRV, I’ll take pictures, see how the vines are progressing, and see how this drought is straining our dearest vines. Don’t think the rain was enough to introduce any mold or rot, still think it’s too early for that, and maybe too early for shatter, I don’t know. That is one area I wish I was more learned in: vineyards and vineyard management and truly what’s out there stemming from the soil..

And I did it, graded ONE paper, one from the 1B section. He wrote about the connection between Plath’s Art and her eventual self-termination. First, the font looked suspiciously sizable. He has fortified points, but I thought they would benefit from that word-by-word approach with the poems, especially, and then the entries, maybe not as much focus on Bell Jar. This ‘word’ approach that I cite has benefited me greatly, this semester and a bit before, enabling me not only as writer but reader, teacher and Human.. in de-cluttering the house for our eventual and nearing move, there are certain books I refuse to stow away, and Ms. Alice this knows quite roundly. Plath is among them, with her entries and the collected poems.
The sun outside and the blue, the petrichor’d pavement and all the leaves with their newly augmented notes and songs, call me. Should I go for a drive now? Just leap out there to the car, head to the winery to get the paycheck stubs (my main and Adult/responsible/mature intention for driving there), take some pictures, maybe take the comp book and a couple papers up there and just find a new stage, some new surroundings? I can write and grade somewhere else, write?– I mean, RIGHT? I don’t have to be confined to the kitchen nook? This harsh wooden chair, paining my tuchus. Love that word, as it reminds me of Grandma.. Still can’t believe she’s been gone for well over a year, two years this June.. and now Ross.. Life too fragile. I have to just follow impulse, and not worry not fret not fear and to some extent not care, or not so much. Yes, anxiety and any worry is entirely much a cell; a jail; a still death to itself. So no thanks. The coffee, still falling into my core and I don’t let the narrative stop and just remembered I owe this day a short bit of fiction as I have the past several days and I have to print that poem as I want to share it with class tomorrow, read it to them, let them KNOW and SEE that I’m one that does, not just a ‘teach’.
Loading up backpack.. going to be a traveling driver, writer.. but to where? How ‘bout the bakery? Or Flying Goat? Or…. huh, can’t think of anywhere right now.. the bakery might work.. just need a scene shift.. and if I go to Healdsburg I’ll be nearer to Arista. Makes sense. The papers nor the students frighten me. I remember when I first started teaching I was afraid of student reaction, like they wouldn’t like me or they would tell someone, some department chair or dean that I was a horrible person and professor. Now I wildly don’t care, and just do my job (that’s what I meant earlier by ‘not care, or not so much’).

The morning calls me, calls me out, out there, under that blue, about the airborne notes of post-rain and newly glazed cement. I need to be out there, that will get the papers graded quicker, and make me proud of myself for finishing them so early, and so quick. So I ready then, after this sitting, and I’ll write while I grade, write what I find, have comments for them when I get back and welcome them to discussion (which few professors or teachers or instructors, whatever they call us, do), have them ask questions, have them ask how to strengthen their writing, how to make it explode from the page, how to have their convictions beautify the page and all the paragraphs cascading from their impulses.
Find myself now easily distracted and a bit tired. Pulled by emails and messages and this goddamn phone. I would love to murder it, make Poe proud and bury it alive. Not going to bring all the papers with me as that will only overwhelm the adjunct, put me in a bad mood and stall me further.. so I’m thinking, 20 items, pulled from stack (which I’m, again, surprised isn’t that towering, think I may be able to finish today, leaving for me tomorrow only to plan and write in the earliest of early’s, there in the adjunct office). Almost checked my phone, but no, NO! Staying away from that thing.. this is a jazz session, all my sittings be and just as the drummer and pianist can’t halt in their touches neither can this writer.
Adjunct in need of his succeeding demitasse…..


Categories: artist's notes ..., Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Class: an adjunct note

Group work. They pretend, some of them. But most are truthful and want to follow the prompt; they walk with each other in ideas, talk and exchange, finding quotes to prove their points, or single point; some even want to seem scholarly and here I am watching them, wishing I were them, looking for a thesis in the text, an idea, a noting, and argument; be inspired. I’m inspired. This is all I want, I think to myself, think my lips moved and a student saw, probably thinking I’m crazy, that professor that talks to himself. This is all I want. I’m not that bitter adjunct. I’m this.. that RADICALIZED adjunct. A bizarrely passionate teacher and writer and thinker and learning-lover; unable to stop– ADDICTED. And don’t find me a 12 step path ‘cause it won’t work.


Categories: short fiction, WHOSO MAGAZINE | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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