Posts Tagged With: Philosophy


And to Mendocino I went today.  Wrote about the heat in my new notebook, the one I took from the SRJC Eng Dept copy room.  It was so intense I was nearly convinced, thoroughly, that I was going to get sick on the ride home.  But on notes more uplifting, I only have official transcripts to send them, then I actually exist, or am “a real person” as the HR lady, Nicole, put it.  I did place a tentative book order, though, and did settle on the books just disclosed in a recent entry: Feast, Road, Wolff’s stories, and Me Talk Pretty by Sedaris…  Being on the Road today, as I was when commuting to Solano in Fall ’10 brought back not just memories but values, a world view I haven’t had since before Jack came into my play.  And all in a positive way.  The drive north, to Ukiah, taking a little over an hour at my slow speed, giving me mountains, a little river peek, vineyards, clouds, intense green then the barren…  It’s the Road, or as much as I can experience now.  But I’m doing it again!  I am!  A freeway flyer.  And I used to have the pessimist’s stump in my mental, since I let the wrong people infect me.  But not this time.  I’m in a true 35 Lark, honoring so many of my Laws, my new notes…  And I couldn’t be happier.  Yes, I know it’ll make for days long, so long, torturously.  But I’m set to be more regimented than I’ve ever been.  The days of wine’s world and industry in this writer’s wheeling ward are nearly executed.  Today’s drive made me feel independent…  FREE!  Just what JK would want for me.

Tonight’s session with the ‘100’ section went well, more than “well”.. it was energized, and I know they have to take control of this final assignment in a way they never have with the others, or with anything else they’ve done with other classes.  And that makes me.. I don’t know if “proud” is the word I’d zoom, but something like it, I guess.  Or how about ‘subtly supercilious’?  It made me feel good.  Healthy.  Alive.  And again, after my drives, even more FREE.  Little Kerouac, fell asleep with unusual diplomacy tonight.  Which is wonderful, I want to run tomorrow morning after Ms. Alice.  She registered me for the ‘Healdsburg Half’.  So now there’s no turning back.  Have to get on a training program.   And I love that feeling, the commitment on MY bloody terms.  The sounds this house makes always distract me, and I don’t know why.  I don’t believe in the supernatural anything, but I just get spooked when it’s too quiet.  But then so oddly and contradictorily I only long for quiet, like a couple Saturday nights ago when I was charging at the Reserve Cab, in the kitchen nook–  And I hope I’m awake tomorrow before Alice leaves, when it IS quiet, so I can add to the 40 pages, for the first of the series.. don’t want to call it a ‘penny dreadful’, but something like that, just more substance, more Literary, more hope and Humanness I guess.  And the coffee, that’ll always be in this writer’s morning recipe.


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And I was reminded, again, organically, by my own thought stream, to put everything out there– everything I write.  And I’m 35, the journey should have already catapulted, no?  but I can’t get into that again, that’ll only halt me.  And I’m not a genre fellow, I won’t write something that’ll be so conveniently marketed and categorized on Amazon, or at B&N.  I don’t know what set me on this road, but I’m thinking in dismal droves.  For what?  My Beat, my beat, like I’m an officer on my own streets.  Took my first sip of the ’10 Lancaster Cuvée, and I swear it wants me on the Road, in some hotel, writing, finish or just beginning something.  One of the people I took to the mountaintop today asked me, “So how long have you been working here?” That question I hate.  ONE, why do you care, and, TWO, I’m slightly embarrassed to disclose that two of my life’s 365- blocks have been consumed by that place.  And it’s a celestial spot, really, but the job is what ruins it.  The job.. another fucking job.  Dav showed me this collection of articles today, in a book.  I only had the chance to skim through it but none of the pieces, if I heard Dav right, goes beyond 800 or a thousand words.  And it’s journalism, reporting, accuracy or the hope of.  And my character, and characters, still waiting for their placement.  But the wine motivates, like that tree the other day, the one I saw from the gravel lot.  Still not sure why it folded me as it did, with its everydayness, but it was there, and so was I, and we were meant to see each other as we did– or I was meant to see it.  Right before leaving for class, just before 4:30p, I had a huge sip of the SB, the one from neutral oak, and I looked at the tank room, all that steel, and hoses, and puddles, discolored concrete– purple, red, slight brown or yellow or some shade I can’t parlance in this pulse of prose.  But today it took me, and as I succeeded in my gulp, I saw myself there, another direction, on that walkway above the tanks, looking down, or doing additions from up top, or watching the yeast react, eat what they could, but just watch either way.  OR, I could just stand in there, on the clock, find some hidden corner and just write, no photos, just notes, spy on them– these epoch edgers; what they do, how they talk, how they walk around like all of this is because of them; they’re so elevated and sagacious and sterling with their stenches and barreled tumbles and everything they deem an obscure and intriguing subtlety.  I pull label, and it is, ‘buffoonery’.  Comedy, meant for me, but I’ll still sip, ‘cause that’s the point, correct?  I mean, did I miss something, or am I just off-topic again?  My students need one speaking this frankly, so I completely let go, for the first occasion in 35 years.  So take that, devil.. machine…  And on my run tomorrow morning, I’ll recite this all in head, or what I can remember.  And I could care less if it has a SKU, ever.


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10:31PM.  Now, my Merlot open.  Running tomorrow after Alice returns from her morning jaunt with her sprinting partners.  So renewing to have my little Kerouac back.  The Mendo classes.. planning for them already.  And tomorrow, with the ‘100’ students.. have to throw them for some beneficial spiral.  But what?  I’m thinking…  Something with writing, something with independent research, and something with them seeking an answer.. an ANSWER.  But what.  How do I frame this?  See..  I never give wine this much thought.  And I shouldn’t.  It’s wine.  It’s consumable.  IT, quickly gone, then forgotten.  And then the consumer looks to the next vintage.  And then that’s consumed.

Rain today.  Renewing.  And that smell, with the pavement, like a new season was coming but wasn’t.  I remember standing there, right in front of the doors, with Micah, confused, like I should be writing but not, just experiencing the oddity of this precipitation– new phase, or year, or me, finally free.  Should put Self to bed soon.  But I fall into sleep aware of what I need to do tomorrow morning, before on MY run.  The class, it’s all about the class, the students, and the sections of Fall.  I’m staging my rebellion, and I can only win.  (7/20/14)

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Alone Dare

He woke the next morning with a cranium of quartz, or granite, and it was cracking.  All he could remember was staring up at a capsuled sky, the night previous, the low clouds disrupting, or ruining, light drops, barely noticeable, his view of stars, and the planets that’d be visible.  Was it Jupiter this month, or Mars, some other in another galaxy?  He remembered them talking, joking, drinking their Racers, but he just thought, about the next day, all the classes he’d teach in Fall.  And it was nearing.  He needed more coffee.  He was giving himself notice.  And that’s all he could do, was try to remember.  A disappointment, he thought.  He was supposed to stay in, finish the novel.  But he was distracted.  “My goddamn fucking distractions,” he thought.  But there was no value in the dwell.  Just drink coffee, he thought, that would make it all better.  And tonight, he would finish his chapter, the last one in his series.  He was actually going to finish something.  He couldn’t believe it.  Kerouac would be so proud.. his wife, son, Mom, Dad.  And Them…  They wouldn’t know what hit, the size of the ordinance that had defamed them and directly struck.  Mike was ready for the fallout.  It was part of the story.  It had already been written.  He’d pick a nice red to open, not so much to celebrate but to keep this series in stream.  His students would have a REAL writer as a teacher, or “professor”… whatever they called themselves in recent.

Like the penny dreadfuls of old, Mike would keep his pages raining on the populace.  And he didn’t care if people read– well, he did, but he wouldn’t allow the worry of potential of them NOT reading hold him anymore.  He had a war to fight, and there’d be no more distractions.  8:52.. to work…  Keep the story going, he thought…..



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Next day, I’m up around 6:40-something. Sipping coffee, watching little Kerouac play, on this toy drum that talks back to him and encourages him to hit harder, make his own music which I like.  Last night, sleeping better than I have in some nights.. deep, composed, still and mentoring.  Jackie doesn’t like me typing, so this session has to be postposed.



Didn’t want to come in early.  And I’m not.  I’m just in the parking lot, the “overflow” as they call it.  Part of me was afraid to come to the estate early– “the estate”, makes it sound so exalted, so mighty, but it’s not, it’s an ordinary workplace, just much prettier.  I look out at the Merlot and Chard blocks, see the tree to my immediate left, nearly touching the roof of this Passat.  It moves with the wind’s orders.  And I listen to my music, pretend I’m not here, or fully embrace it.  Have to apply to that job, the distance learning assignment through Klamath.  OH– and I need to call Solano.  Should do that now, or do it on their dime, while I should be working or setting up or counting some bloody register.  This novel will reveal everything, showing all the industry that writers won’t be quiet– and I mean REAL writers, not dim-witted and dopy-brained bloggers or wine journalists, or wine writers– yes, I know I titled my latest blog, which I started over 2 years ago, “another Literary wine blog by Mike Madigan”, but that’s just it.. ‘another’, meant to be sarcastic, satirical and spiteful, and ‘Literary’ meaning that it’s more important than the wine component, and not just from being capitalized.  The jazz, telling me to go to San Francisco, walk where the Beats did, live like them, continue the revolution, or social movement.. move, you have to move and be in constant movement to be part of a movement, don’t you?  The mocha, in fact all the coffee I’ve sipped this morning, making me uneasy, a bit touchy, or “punchy” as Dwight says of me when I’ve had too much, but I’m rolling with it.. this fiction, about the characters based in the TR and the ones visiting, sure to change it all, strip this guised industry of the fantasy, show how most Rooms are merely revolving doors, only interesting in the “bottom line”.  You could call it justified in the capitalist net, but I call it carnivorous opportunism.  And I’ve had it.  Now the coffee feel’s beginning to balance.  Much better.  Miles Davis with me, and the image of a dark room, trumpets, saxophones, drums, a young female vocalist riling me.  On a trip, to Manhattan, for my book, then down to Missouri to see my brother, Dav.. check in on his photojournalism, his studies, his latest works.  Now Sonny Rollins, I’m on the Road, visiting people I never thought I’d meet.  So I continue with the logging of everything I see, each corner, light, building, smell, concrete stain, bookstore, auto repair joint and tavern.  But I don’t drink, not a single thing, which is hard to believe for one formerly in wine’s wicked industry.  I have only the little pages in my back pocket…


See a young lady, sipping her coffee at the bus stop.  Part of me wants to go up to her, see her coy red lips, not too bright, up close, and examine the pattern of her white shirt, sleeves only going down to where shoulder meets bicep and tri, how her hairs like a thick caramel path to her upper back, partially exposed; I wonder what she does, she’s probably a singer, or maybe a student, why is she taking the bus?  Maybe that’s what they do in New York, no one has a car– I’ve heard that actually.


Alley.  I want to go down, but something tells me know– I mean ‘no’.  See?  Too much coffee…  I only see a lone dumpster, no litter on ground which is curious to me.  No people, no cars, just quiet, and the dead-end, like an atmospheric message saying ‘don’t bother, you won’t get far’.


9:11AM.  Should go in soon, or not.  Maybe I should leave early.  That would help me, and that’s all I’m concerned with at the moment; the page, the characters, the story, my novel.  A former student, ‘A’, experiencing fiery betrayal from a loved one; I tell her it’ll get better, but I understand pain, the two-faced reptiles that hive and enter our lives.  And I think about what I wrote her, mostly questions– she, a grad student; me, envious.  But I’ll be on the Road soon, maybe visiting her, in Portland, or wherever in Oregon she is.  A little hot in this car so I roll down both windows, but no crossing breeze greets me– there it is.  How will I look back at my position here, at the winery?  Will I wish for it one day, regretting my resentment?  I don’t think so.  I’m 35 and know what I want– or more, I know who and WHAT I am.  Novelist, poet.. with maybe a short-short and/or vignette in between.  I heard a weed whacker, or lawn mowers, and it intrudes on Arturo Sandoval’s playing.  Goddamnit.  “Shut up!” I want to scream, and hope someone hears me.  Maybe I’d be fired.  Huh…

9:17.  And the fucking countdown.  One of my coworkers just pulled in; Karen, in her red mini.  She has the same expression on her face that I held driving in, before I started writing: “And again…” I don’t blame her.  Why else would I be writing, wishing for a Road, wishing for visits, those Manhattan sights, the Portland micro-breweries.  Don’t think I’ll make a thousand or maybe I will, but I can’t edit a single thing– this does this to me, the schedule, the clock and how it’s always threatening; you don’t clock in you’ll be written up, you won’t make enough, you.. you.. you…..  How is that a Life?  Well, plainly, it’s not.  Certainly not Art.  I want more coffee, the most jurassic I can find; I want seismic coffee, that makes me rattle and results in internal tsunami.  Love.  that’s art– the push of Self.  Oh, jazz…  Kerouac…. poetry and Life and escape and Big Sur and the Bay Area, where I grew up.  I see my whole life and I’m not dying.  I’m just coming alive in a way that was drawn, that Grandma promised.


9:25PM.  Sipping the 2012 Malbec.  I know, I should have waited, but I didn’t want to, and I have no regrets.  Yes, it’s muffled, but I don’t want to think, I want to enjoy what I drink.  Nice class tonight– oh, need to post to blog, almost forgot.  I’ll do that after this little paragraph.  In full teacher mode, especially with the possibility of landing a Comp section at Mendocino, for Fall.  Couldn’t be more excited.  This weekend, my writer’s retreat, and I’ll write the whole time.  No Gatsby nights, as I used to.  Total isolation.. printing.. wine.. relaxing…  Jazz.  I want it to be one of those sittings where I remove all clutter from this kitchen nook table, maybe setting it on floor or on one of these teetering wooden cheap chairs, then having one of my favorite bands or artists play what gives them life, then giving me life, finishing my novel.. and the wine, only an additive.  Not really needed at all, just pleasant to sip in quiet, my peace, my place, my night.  Little Kerouac asleep upstairs, and I envy his peace, his optimism and joy and movement, how does he do that?  My notes from tonight’s class, just ruin, and what do I do tomorrow night to keep them interested?  How do I keep it “fresh”, whatever that means?  There has to be some teacher magic or resource, or “method” (hate that word when talking of teaching, sounding so clinical)–  But who knows.  And if I was traveling, how would I have time to teach?  It’s just what I’d rather do.  I do love it, but not as much as the reality of living by pen–  PEN, not laptop, which is what I now touch, these fucking keys and the noises they make, like little plastic giggles reminding me of what a bloody hypocrite I am.. no, I’m not a man of consistency, but one of layered pattern and myriad mess, failed test, just more unrest.

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note, 7/5/14

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

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Written to Many

Just back from a 5.17 mile run, my last before the Foot Race.  Not bad time, 8:01/mile average…  Started typing the short story, this morning, to my three-shot mocha.. not sure how I want it to end, but I will cap it at 1,000 words.  Then, send it wherever I can.. maybe even to the New Yorker– but I’ve said that before.  Felt a bit of a scratchy throat this morning, but I’m ignoring it.  Warm outside, but not hot, just perfect for my run, clearing the writer’s head before class.  Tomorrow, back at winery.  Meant to go in today for some Cabernet blending, but the time just wasn’t there.  And I wanted to start writing this story, this short about the journalist, David.. how he keeps the camera close to him at all times while out, then writes to what he captures with his lens.

Quiet down here, condo’s first floor, with Jackie and Alice napping upstairs.  Both have a bit of a cold, but I refuse to let any bug, even the briefest of stays, stay with me.  No class tomorrow night, so I’ll have chances to collect Self, rest before Lawndale and I go at it for the second straight year.

Maybe I should rest my eyes, be horizontal and still for a moment or two..


tonight in class: about writers, how they are…

Walls… her siblings in book

Essay topic

Groups, object of meaning (symbols, metaphors)

What she’s saying in certain parts of the book.. or what she could be saying

journals, maintenance…


4:56PM, and I’m in the adjunct cell.. prepared for class..  Think I’ll get another Racer 5 at the Hilton, think about this new short story.  No class tomorrow night, and while at work, I’ll be sure to bring this new story with me, contributing only notes, short sentences.. nothing full.  Dad sent me a video of a thunder storm in Sunriver, right over the house.  Wish I was there, badly, writing as the flashes encouraged me.  These teaching assignments, the winery.. what is it doing?  What is it REALLY doing for me?  Yes, I get the whole bills notion, reality, but beyond that?  How long am I, are we, supposed to be living like this?  I’ll tell you.. I’m changing.. all of it.. with this new short story.. I’ll ride the short story wave, then put together a book, or I’ll ride it while I put together some MS.. I don’t know.  I’ll just do it.  The winery will be the first to go– then the classes.  THEN, I’ll be living by my pen, like my character, David, or “Dov”.  5:01PM.. feels nice having this time to collect Self.  Sipping a 3-shot mocha, yes again, and I have a bottle of water waiting in the freezer, in the mailroom.  My checking account, right where I want it.. and I have a budget for Saturday night’s dinner.. have to have everything perfect that night.. as I will both finish my short story, AND put together, somehow, a sellable MS.  I will.  This is it.  This will be a bold, vicious, and truthful work that will show everyone I’m the writer to read.. and that I’m not in any way mirrored in wine’s floppy industry.

Feel the run, definitely.  And I can’t wait for Friday morning.  Wonder how well I’ll do.. pretty sure I’ll beat last year’s time.  I will.  Don’t even know why my mind’s going there.  Funny, usually I don’t care for this office, but tonight it very much suits.. need to find a word and quote for tonight’s meeting…  Done.  And with more than enough time.  Rest of night?  Well, I’ll now write it–  class, beer, home, put Kerouac (little) to bed, dinner, early bed…  but not before I have 1,000 rough words in short story’s body.. two objects: one character’s lamp, not used, and on desk, then Dov’s camera…  And I’m here, I realize I’m here, a teacher, what am I teach, why.. Self, or at least passionately promoting it, I guess.  I have the visions, the visions, of me on the road, and how I’ll get there, what I’ll do when there, how it’ll benefit my son, how he’ll have a more equalled father– one happy, not ashamed, not questioning.. I’ll live in my words, the words of others, I’ll drive over the Golden Gate, back from the airport, SFO, thinking about what I saw, did I write everything I should have, or that I could have?  It’s imagination feeding, not necessarily lying, but certainly conveniently creating.  Eight minutes to class, and I know the students will have questions, questions, so many questions.. good for them, my studying Human forts, with their journals filling, filling, page addition, I see it in so many of them!  This does something for me, believe!  IT does so much, something the fucking wine world could never do.. there’s no Beat there, only here, with thought, freedom, no chains or restriction or signs saying ‘go another way’.

Poetry, what if I just spoke in it, all the time, what if I always wrote before I spoke?  What if I just drew my language, and told people this was the only way I could think, talk, walk, breath, be, see?  That could do something for me, make me “successful” maybe?  How about that, I’ll look at everyone around me knowing they know, who I am, that I put my envelopes in the mailbox differently than anyone else, because they’re manuscripts most of the time, not bills.  I sold my TV, I don’t want distractions, none at all, only my little boy, Jack, little Kerouac, how he plays and makes new sentences and just IS.  Why can’t I do that?  I don’t know, but I can write it, I’m pretty sure.  I’ll have fun though, and I’ll have this thought tonight, just as I take the first IPA sip, to its last sudsy stroll down the glass’ side, to my professed purpose.

Scrambling to realize where I am.  At work.  I have to go to work, go teach.  But not for much longer.  Thinking about my beer, precipitously, with a Zen’d pen.


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Another run this evening.  More than 10k, but I’m not sure precisely how far, as my device, my phone, shut down.  That’s two straight days of longer runs.  But after tonight’s, I’m tired.  Tried some wine at work today, both from bottle and bbl, but nothing gave a riveting note, something I’d like to emulate in my ’14 production.  No wine tonight.. hoping to get up earlier tomorrow morning, ready Self for class, and prepare for a nice wine for tomorrow night, more than likely Lancaster, or that Cab Franc Katie gave me.. want to look into races for August.. another ‘half’, preferably.

Early tomorrow morning.. early!  I keep telling mySelf.. and I want to– not sure.  Tired, more than tired.  I blame the run.  But tomorrow morning, my fingers won’t stop on this key field.  I won’t let them…  This morning, squaring the two Zins off against each other, like some civil taste skirmish, showing me a lot about character of wine, within the same vintage (’11).  On some sips I’d rather the “estate”, then on others the “Century Vine”.  Then I thought, why do I have to choose one, just one?

10:04.. Definitely feeling the run.  In my knees, thighs, even arms.  And the dilemma, any, with wine’s world, or industry, so below me.  I’m thinking about fiction, and how I want it constructed.. my characters.. it has to be narrative, and how my character sees everything in wine’s messy world, and how he sometimes find odd order in it, especially how he makes wine, or is just starting to.  He make wine, small batches, and is just selling what he can, basically from his trunk.  Yes, a couple restaurants carry his bottles, the SB and the Cab, but beyond that, he has no marketing plan.  Nothing.  He just goes around selling wine.. HIS wine, two types, SB and Cab.. simple.  Is that a marketing plan?  No.. but he did plan on only making two wines, so he thinks it’s SOME kind of “plan”.  He remembers the time he spent in college, studying philosophy and Art, and French.. that’s how he came to his wine’s label: ‘Égal’.. meaning ‘equal’ in French.. stemming from his value of balance, and equality in society, the quietude that should always be, especially when drinking wine.


He comes home from a tasting, not having sold a single bottle or wine club, or even a name for his email list.  His mood is badger-y.  He only wants to pop one of his own bottles and note.. note anything.. not necessarily write, just note.

“Red– deep– deeper– dark– sexy, larger pours, thick mouthfeel, and something you remember.. it haunts you.. yes, haunts–”

Third glass, and he stops with the noting.  Just takes a slew of seconds for himself.  He wants to get up in the morning and run, but he knows that won’t happen.  Especially after the next glass, which would be the one killing the bottle.  He doesn’t care.  Not at all.  Not after today.

“peace, label re-design”

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Up with Jack, 6:41AM, and I have the coffee at ready.  Ran 6.33 miles last night in a time I’ve never before hit, averaging 7:49/mile if I’m not error’d.  So I feel amazing this morning, only that I wish I’d woken earlier, to have one of my Hemingway sessions.  But I can only wish so much, and I’m tired of wishing.  Last night, only 1 glass of the ’11 Merlot, which maketh me more mobile in A.M., the less wine I sip.  Planning another run tonight, so I won’t be tasting too much today, behind that counter, nor from tanks, or bbls.  Want the head to be clear, for both poem and prose.  Still have to respond to student blog postings, and plan lecture for tomorrow.

A beautiful day promise, hot and clear.  Hoping I see a snake, preferably a rattler as I did last year.  Wildlife documenting, in the Amazon for example, or Yellowstone, something I see doing.. for Nat Geo possibly, or some other publication– going out for the New Yorker, or NTY, or even the SF Chron.  I want assignments, just as my students have, although mine would make me mobile– articles, stories, sketches.. then later a book.  The ideas in me, now, in the A.M., assault me, and I don’t mind.  Keep them coming…

Coffee.. another sip.  Mom and Dad in Sunriver.. could write about Mt. Bachelor, or the river, or the bike paths, or the golf course pictures in winter..  Just so much to see out there for this writer.. my thoughts torment me, telling me I should be out there– THERE, not here in this pattern, but you’ve heard this before.

Looking out at a field, small lake in distance guarded by mountains.  No movements, only though from a watchful groundhog, I think it is.  He remains still for well over a minute.  I don’t want to even bring out the pen, paper from back pocket.  He’ll see, if he’s not already focused on me.  Or maybe he’s enjoying the view, like me.  We have so much in common, at the Now.. we’re observers, we want to just look, out, at all this.  When he trots off, I go back to looking, how the sharp blue of the sky blends with such a circulatory softness with the fields, and the patched gentle white on those peaks.  I have to get back to my hotel room before it’s dark, but I think that’s a couple hours away still, so I’m fine.  Then a bear, of some kind, quite far away.  I start to write, about its slow movements, its downed head, looking at the ground– now she lifts her snout, eyes, looks around, like me.  My first time here and I’m so welcomed.  Clouds.. where did they come from?  Many of them, wanting to have this scene theirs.. thirty minutes later, they’ve nearly occupied the sky like a revenge invasion.  The drops’ll find us soon, so I have to go back to the room, overlooking those trees, where the bison show up from time to time.  And work, type what I’ve found.  But what if I don’t want to?  What if I just want to keep it here, with me.. leave it with the powdered tops, tall wild blades, and the little coated character that could only stare?  It’s meant to be a moment, and left.  “Don’t write it,” I tell mySelf.  Make something else up for them…  (7AM)

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Morning two with no Kerouac.  Still not favoring these mornings.. I need his voice, his quickness, his play, his questions, his new sentences.  Starting on this first cup of coffee, and I’m thinking about what I can do with this blog, and the writing paired with photography, moderated photography.  Going to drive out to Russian River, and I think to Dry Creek.. maybe get a sandwich, write, take pictures.. be a journalist, on the Road– granted these Roads will be local, but I’ll be mobile nonetheless.  And that’s what any writer should be.  Or any writer like me, anyway.

6:53AM–  Thinking about last night’s session with ‘100’, and how Gatsby’s written, the omnifarious arrangement of Fitzgerald’s words– more than poetry.. it’s like a revolving color wheel, one that’s hard to follow but the reader can’t help but enjoy the struggle.  I’m there with Carroway, Jordan, everyone, at the party.  Now I start a party of my own.  The run I planned for today will have to wait.  And on that note, a lady came into the TR yesterday, saying she recognized me from the runner’s group, and that I was an amazing running, which is more vocal gust motivating me to even closer link the writing to the running.. so maybe I should run today.  Just for an hour.

Cup one, nearly done.  Cogitating over me, at 35, where I am.  No job out there can give me the career I want, it’s clear now.  I have to build it mySelf.. so I’ll start with printing the chapbook, rush edit it today.  Deadline, deadline.. due date, due date, as my students would think.  Then, to the Road.  I’ll run later, as Ms. Alice told me it would be cooler today, hight of only 81.

Going to type the 35 Laws today, make sure I follow each one.. and have a daily reconciling of my adherence to my own laws.  That’s why I wrote them, right?  I mean why else would I have assigned mySelf that project?  Starting with.. ‘a poem a day’.  Writing one now, reticently not, however dumbfoundingly expository.  All my work should be that shape, that Literary Shape.

Before launching, I need jazz, lots of jazz, music to make me more musical for the day.. and only the Road, I’ll look for all the music I can.  Nothing will be disrupting or soiling my mood this morning.  Nothing.  And no one.


Feverish to get my day TRULY started.  Second cup of this Darker than DARK French Roast, and I’m thinking about the morning air, outside, how much I want to taste it, the start to my day.  In pajamas, in present, so I’ll look clownish, but I’m thinking of the day, all I can do with it…  The birds, can’t hear them.  John Coltrane has my attention, indivisibly.  I should go out now, get pictures, report back.. quick teeth brushing, some jeans, and GO.  See how the vineyards are waking to their day.. are they as optimistic as I am?  Are they in similar state, are they writing in their heads?  I should go..

I’ll be right back, reader…  I need follow this impulse, this pull, this drive, this galactic go-round.


9:22, back from drive to Russian River.  A couple photos of note…




But none that really gripped me profoundly.  Entertaining my run, now, get it over with, then return to write more, go through these photos AND older ones, see what I find, any inspiration or new directions to take.  All revolving around wine, the character, and characters, in wine.  And how it affects and influences us as characters, parts of a story, whether longer or shorter fiction..


Computer giving me grief.  Making a call to a winery’s GM in a little under an hour.  Going to get mocha.. may walk.  Yes, I’ll walk, clear head even more so after relaxing drive down Piner, Olivet, then Fulton– I mean River.. Road.  New chapter, I’m hoping.  I need that Newness.  So in true out-of-character form, I’m walking to get my morning mocha.  I’ll run at some point after the 11AM call.


11:48.  Alright, no more distraction.  Had call, we’ll see what unfolds.  I’m tired of this, though.. the chasing, the negotiating, depending on others.  Why is it so hard for a writer to be free?  You know what…  I should go tasting, examine wines from my angle for me, for the sake of doing so, find what life I can in those pours.  Why not go up the street, to Matanzas Creek.  Mocha done, and I feel even more frazzled than I did before.  I need to clear this desktop, be able to stretch, breathe, think, and with items circling me, rotating like a bully solar system, I get stuck, blocked.. and I used to not believe in that, that THAT happened to writers like me.  Need a drive, again.. where do I go?

Nearly noon, so a decision has to be made.  Made a gesture to de-clutter the closet, left, but just re-introduced the clutter to where it only moments before sat.  So no progress.  I had to write, I thought, keep the typing in tandem with thinking.  But I need material.. something to write about.  How about a winery I haven’t visited in a while, or ever.. like what– no, keep it simple, just drive up the street to Matanzas.  Then get lunch.  Students, tonight.. rough drafts due tomorrow.  Need to bring the Walls book.


4:27PM, and I’m in the adjunct cell.  Tonight’s class will be relatively brief, probably about 1hr 15min, as I want them to have a chance to make progress, significant advances, on their rough drafts, that we’ll workshop tomorrow.  Already had my iced 3-shot mocha.  Now I’m thirsty.  Is there a vending machine around here?  Asked my students the same thing last night, one of them, Clarissa, even volunteering to find one, or search for one with money supplied by me so she could buy both herself and me a cold something.

My bag.. too heavy.  Walking here I thought about the type of writer I want to be, or the one I am– as it’s too late in life, my life, I feel, to ‘want to be’ something.  You either are or you aren’t.  I’ll fill this bloody Comp Book, even though space is becoming more and more limited by passing days…  Just looked inside its borders, and it’s a mess, a disaster.  I need a new notebook, Composition Book, again.. ugh, again.  Then I will get one, post haste.. this will serve as a new start.. to one of the 35 Laws, stating ‘less tech’ or something to that effect; actually write, as Kerouac did, even though he was a master typist.. but I need to capture, capture.. two full-timers in the conference room, grading placement essays, leaning back into their chairs like royal characters not acting, so sure, so self-assured, so right, always.  How do they know what strong writing is?  Because they’re full-time?  That’s insane.  I don’t want to teach much, anymore, I realize, but want to write– but I have to be on the Road.  Well aren’t I already on a Road?  My Road?


Okay.. heading out of this cell, looking for a bottle of colder than cold water.  And after class, to the Hilton bar, with my Comp Book, something for record, for this new book, for any book, or maybe just a sketch (had that idea today, to collect sketches, of people, places, objects, thoughts, dreams.. anything…  Wine…).  The Hilton bar, from what I remember: dark, shiny, rustic but modern, space-age with the light pulsating slowly from counters; and all the guests, happy to be there, happy with themselves that they’re there.. at ‘The Hilton’.  Chic, suited, celebrated, and seen.  Disgusting, the vanity, but invaluable for a book, for my book.  I want these people, these self-anointed boobs, to act as obnoxiously as they wish, it makes better material.  They’re mine, in that hotel bar.  All.  Mine.

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

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