Posts Tagged With: Self-publishing

oenobellion, 2014

So I’ve reached it.  My end.  Tomorrow, the full transition, ideologically, into writing, the Literary, teaching.  Wine, tomorrow, greeted by its execution.  And then, me free.  I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be getting from this, any of this in wine’s world.  Yes, I know, the steady check (which is bloody insulting, in its best stature) and benefits.  But what else, for ME?  Not even worth talking about.  No more.

Tomorrow afternoon, going to adjunct cell.  Working till 5-something.  Finishing the Marin app, then doing some grading, then writing of Wednesday’s meetings.  Or lectures.  Hate that word, to be honest [“lectures”].  I’m looking to bend my consciousness a bit, tonight, with Blair’s wine, the SB.  Or what remains of it.  May open that below-average Cab I took home tonight, from work.  My act of its consumption, with such indifference, punctuates my plight; wine is consumed, then gone.  How is it as significant as they boast?


11:06PM.  Intentionally trivializing this wine.  Drinking it for the pleasure of so.  So what do I mean?  These wine rods always seek to overanalyze, over-explain.  But tonight, I’m letting go.  Of everything except my students, my writings.  Met a woman today, in the Res Room, where I was stationed, that used to be a teacher.  She spoke of all the passion she had for her position; how proud she was to tell people what she did.  But devilish management drove her away, of course.  Now, she holds the same degree of self-regard, for her holistic/massage practice.  Was quite reviving, talking with her.

So interesting, how when I tell people I teach at the college level, they nearly immediately ask me if ‘this is my part-time job’.  I have to be honest, forward that it’s just the opposite.  But that’s changing.  This year.  Before I’m 35.

Right now, Mom & Dad enjoy our home in Sunriver.  Tomorrow morning, there, looking out at that snow, past the deck, I’d write as I did in ’09.  But in vignette.  From the random birds, eagles, squirrels, bears, dear; snow falling from branches; how the wind always makes a point of pushing the white dust from roofs; trees, plants, the few cars that pass.  I’m set, when my publication liftoff, to stay a night or three there, if doing readings in OR; waking in the morning to coffee, lots of, writing, napping, waking again to write, then to that lodge, where I could write to a nice bulbous glass of Cabernet [as I now be], setting self in a profitable session, waking the next morning to re-read, minimally edit, print, sell…  It has to be that simple for this writer.  And that’s what winemakers, wine obsessives, can’t grasp.  Our succinct strokes bother them.  They want to complicate, always.  And I’ll never get it–  How free we are as writers, educators, thinkers, bothers them so seismically.  I love it.  I’m so separated from their rants; They amuse me, especially the manager types, how seriously they take their jobs– clownish, stage for us, material, pages.. thank you, toiling toad.  This wine, the one I’m sipping: meaningless.  My reflection is minimal, if at all placed.  Only evidence would be this defamation, within which I’m in control.  And I know that’d bother “managers”, or ownership.  Now I just want to read, study, prepare for Wednesday’s presentation, especially after the way Nadav, “Dav”, described my teaching style; how engaging, passionate, demanding it is.  I felt honored– no, humbled– no, motived– I don’t know what, by what he said.  I know where my heart is.  And it’s obvious that some in wine’s industry resent that my love is outside its world.  Wine’s “industry” is a needled edge of a cult, targeting the freethinkers, anyone gauling to question a single cent of its scaffolding.  Well, I won’t stop.  Wine’s world is humorous, at best.  And I’m drinking tonight for freethinkers; for the Emerson’s, for the Poe’s, for the Dan Madigan’s.  Enough, enough.  Where’s my glass, devil?


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Oh, how free I feel.  And I’ll continue to drink this IPA, follow freely into Poe’s plea.  I feel invincible, frankly.  Yes, Hemingway served his own genre, but not like Poe.  Death, it’s disclosure, so animated.  So I return to my studies.  Tired.. from the day.  Tomorrow, Superbowl Sunday.  Going to post a poem before I throw up this prose.

Too tired to type more for night.


2/2/14.  And the Superbowl’s here.  Jackie watches a cartoon, or some Disney Mickey Mouse piece, while I have the rain at my back, on the other side of the glass doors.  Unexpected, these drops.  I don’t recall hearing anything even hinting at a drops’ set, in the news or by route of rumor.  Either way, it’s here.  And I’m writing.

Going in late again today, just a bit, so I can get some more words into this semester’s book.  Need to count the money in the Phil[osophy] book upstairs– all set aside for publication of poems collection.


Second cup, already, this A.M.  These cartoons, or whatever they are, distracting me.  That, an I can just a bit feel last night’s wines; the SB I had before dinner, and whatever Cabernet the waitress selected for me.  The food was nice.. not exceptional by any means, but quite ambrosial.

No stories, really, in TR yesterday.  Meant to taste through tanks at lunch, but was too hungry to do that.  I’ll make point at some portion of today’s surely sluggish shift..  Oh, note: two nice people from the city yesterday, talking with on everything from Literature, Philosophy, wine [a bit], the environment, to topics random and scattered.  By far my favorite characters of the day.  Need more coffee…  [Don’t let me forget: the Steinbeck MSS he suggested, the character from yesterday...  Guess TS wrote a journal while he was writing one of his books.  Definitely want to give that a read, or at least a quick skim.]

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journal– 1/28/14

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

These pictures, still “downloading”.


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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2014 ~ And I’m off…  With a new semester.  New students, new voices, new reactions. A new set of stories thereby sewn.  Again, back to Zinfandel tonight.  And why, the writer doesn’t know.  Think I found a new writing hideout.  You’ll know what it is when the book’s released.  Still can’t detach from that energy this morning, when it was still dark; all the students, hurrying to find their classes, find their way– in more than 1 way.

9:59PM.  Much more awake than I was earlier.  Just need one more night’s rest, wake well-rested, to persist in purposeful pose, prose.  OH, wait…  I have to schedule my bloody bottling, sometime this week or next.  How will I do that?  I’ll talk to Blair tomorrow, and/or Zach, see what they suggest.  Have to pick up 3 12-packs of beer for them.  After leaving little Kerouac at Ms. Lisa’s.

Couldn’t believe how warm it was this morning, today.  Where is this writer’s bloody rain?  And I don’t care about the wine world– I want it for my sessions, to sip espresso at that bar, writing in journal, while plump little drops assault Santa Rosa’s downtown.  Just this day, this first couple pages of the new semester, have coated me with a confidence that I have never felt.  Grandma ordered: “It’s your life, you have your choice.” Indeed, ma’am.  I have chosen.  And I choose to be free.  The industry, not for me.  OH, but there could be consequence from your candor.  Welcomed!  I won’t be welded to script, pattern.. the expected.  How is that living?  That’s existing!

Writing doggo, but not so.  I want the world, even those that could harm me, to read my words.  Dad said, “If you don’t think for yourself, others will think for you.” He also said, “Everything that you’ve instilled in your students has now fallen into your lap.” Oh how the industry can’t handle someone like me– this cumulonimbus confidence– cosmic candor.


10:17PM.  Hard to stay focused, with my exhaustion, which easily muffles any sound rippling from Zinfandel’s bend.  And then, I remember last semester, how the English 5 section, so many times, pulled me from moods.  And now, my little Artist, doing that with just a jog to me when I come home.  He’s more than mystical, magical.. he’s a drawing drawer of reason, uniquely layered to yield knowledge.  This little one, teaching me more than I could ever hope to teach students.  And if any of them are reading, I apologize that I can’t be as skilled an educator as my 23-month old.

10:23.  How is time moving as it does?  I always ask this, and it’s far too cowardly to answer.  But at the same time, it’s a cudgel, always assaulting the writer.  But I still write.


Now feeling boorish.  And I blame this odd, stupid varietal.  Should have opened a Cabernet.  I’ve always said Zinfandel’s the varietal for people who know nothing about wine; don’t know how to appreciate wine.  I said that when I cared about wine.  Now, I just don’t like Zin.  Or wine, for the most part.  Love when I speed across the street, Hwy 12 rather, for a beer at Kenwood.  Beer, more my present poured passion.


Going to finish Zin, then watch this episode.  Poe, though I’m not relaying his works this term, very much on the writer’s mind.  I’ll forever be a Poe-ian.


I know it’s time to re-read, edit.  But I don’t want anything typical, akin to.  I want to skip into irresponsibility, that’s much more fun.


1/15/14.  In the middle of January, already?  5:53AM, leaving for campus, shortly.  Love these early hours.  I especially love the feel of the day when English 5 ends, I walk out and it’s 9, or a bit after, or before.  The day’s so young, and the sun’s a faint shove for us to start the day.  I’ll leave after Alice & Kerouac are up.

Approaching Hemingway today as someone we just met.  What do you think?  Does he seem happy, sad, interested in something particularly?  What did these students observe, is what I want to know.


9:17AM.  And that morning air I love so much, right after I left the Room, greeting me, like a coach of some kind, telling me to fall forward, directly into my day’s layered nature.  Had to get a cup from the caff’.  Straight black.  Great discussion this morning, with ‘5’ on Hemingway as a character, writer, Human; how he seems to never be satisfied, always looking for a new shape of moment.

This coffee, too hot to sip.  Just remembered this morning that Monday is MLK day.  And on that day to Self, I’ll work on Wednesday’s class.  Later today, finishing, or all but, the SRJC full-time app.  Will do so after meeting with writing mate, 1:30p.  So much for today planned.  Can’t be tempted with nap when home.  Stay caffeinated, I’m telling mySelf.


For 100:  Start them off in a journal freewrite, about anything they saw in Orwell’s piece.  Theme, narration, objects, people.. doesn’t matter.  ANYTHING!  Just get them writing.  And talking.  Will have them read some poetry as well.. poetry, exploring its problematic attributes; writing as a recipe.  For what?  Expression.. much else.  Can’t let mySelf slow.. keep moving, teacher!  Want to walk around some more, drop this laptop off in car.  But not yet.


Waking so early, different tax on my person than in ’07.  This, much more costly.  Has to be my age.  How did Dad do so all those years, waking early to drive to airport, then fly across the country, or internationally?  I guess discipline, and sort of strength set I don’t have.

Going into winery, after meeting.. what will the wine taste like from its bottles?  Can’t wait to write something to that first bottle I open; of both the Merlot and that Grenache-based blend.  It’s all for this– the work– the books.  Going to take my time with the English 100 section, today.  Go slow through Mr. Orwell’s work.. I’ll have them read, as I said, but I want them to read aloud, asking each other questions about what they observed.  With the students interacting with, and challenging, or simply responding to each other, creates a true classRoom– one of Life.. the words; the book: a story being written.


Have to organize this book I’m writing this semester, by the day; don’t fall behind!  What happens, what I like and don’t– or moreover, what engages me and what doesn’t.  But that’s difficult, as it all keeps me writing, typing.  By the end of the semester, I’ll have some sort of reasoning.  I’m sure.  I


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Does the writer have more to say?  Of course.  As I’ve reconnected with Cabernet.  Don’t expect this entry to be long, reader.  Just know I’m still writing, enjoying wine.. as that’s all wine is, something to be enjoyed.  So many OVERthink it.  And it’s funny to me.  But writing’s looked down upon.. too laborious, too academic, too much reading.  But wine, all you have to do is sip, pretend like you know what you’re talking about.

In fact, I’m done, after this glass.  ’09 AV Cab.  Would I describe mySelf as conflicted, like Poe?  Maybe.  Actually, yes.  Definitely.  My umbrella of pause, putting me in oven-like lull.

What could I do, if in Poe’s day?  Would I be this Mike Madigan that you read?  Was compelled to put a comma in there, somewhere.. but I want you to get a sense of my drunken pace.


Know.. the pulsations have taken shapes evolved– epistolary archetypes, lassoed Literarily, only for the student’s furtherance…  What Poe would want me to do.  Wish I had another bottle of Cab to sip, put prose to a page, with a certain curved passion.  And this is all for my students.  I don’t want them to think safe is safe.  Safe is censorship.  Why would anyone want to go one without identity?  Self, the only time cluster that colludes to any New.

Coffee, calling me.  And when back in the TR, come Friday, I’ll try to be normal– a laborer, loyal to their clock.  Till I cut it from my sense.

This day’s run, telling me that I’m alive, in a way that I’ve never been.  Absorbing my Self in my own possible toggle’s bull.  And what does that mean?  I’ll tell you when  I wake.

My son, quiet, asleep.  Peace, for my little Artist,  SO I, finally, tranquil, holistically haunted; admirably alone.

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9:33am.  Writing retreat day, 1 of 2.  Already catching Self in OVERthink.  Just write, I tell mySelf.  Going to have a couple waffles, the blueberry kind that Kerouac loves, take quick shower, then return to café.  Shooting for a 20 page reading dent in chapbook1.  Now, truly, it’s about necessity.  Plainly, I need the extra money.  AND, I just want work other than what’s on this bloody blog out in the world, in front of readers.

Quiet kitchen.  Perfectly Literary if it weren’t for all the clutter.  One of the primary reasons for some offsite writing.  Charging cell on table with me.. Alice’s computer, a plastic Halloween pumpkin, with blank inked face afront, full of candy (in plastic bag, which I opened last night for two peanut butter cups, to have with decaf), an empty tall plastic water bottle, then Jackie items, toys, little socks.  Need one of those clean, clear rectangular tables at the café for any productivity.

Character at coffee shop, just over 30 minutes ago: young man, second day on job, obviously frazzled while still in struggle to remain pleasant, hospitable.  Gave him two dollars, saying “Don’t share this with them, that’s for you.” He smiled, saying “Thank you, sir.” Hate being called ‘sir’, but of course I didn’t say anything.

Funny, how I’ve always said I need to take some PTO days, for writing’s sake, and here I am.. stressed, about what to do.. what to write.  JUST BLOODY WRITE, MIKE!  Very well, okay.. I do want to finish a piece of flash fiction, about 300-350 words on this new character.  No details here, sorry reader.  Saving for 2nd chapbook.  WHICH, I promise, will have some older writings in its borders.  Said the first one would, but I became overly excited, distracted as always, and failed to top with any.  So…  Next book.



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Menu Change

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

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

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

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


Waste basket bound,

not this page,

at least not in mine.


Sip what I can

if I upright land.

Lens letter in hand.


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

Lost igloo from colluded

cinders.  Looking at letters, loving

alphabet bets.


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

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

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

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


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

Now I tire again–

Only dark in this downstairs.

Soundless, surrounding, safe.

Time for me, finally.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Alarming Harming

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

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

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

The fridge, now mute.  When did that happen?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Good, then keep writing!


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

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

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

One day I’ll be studied.

One day I’ll be remembered.

One day





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



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Pose Coincidental

9:08am.  Getting in shower soon.  Just wanted it noted that I was very much in accordance with last night’s stated plan of getting to Petaluma obnoxiously early.  Much I’m tempted to sit here with mocha, write to outside fog…

4:24pm.  Timed Self this morning, for grading the 13 papers.  Have, or had, 17:44 left on 1:30:00 timer, or countdown.  Using that surplus for this sitting.  Wrote Poe lecture, the first one, and typed it for class.  Found one typo.  Too late to fix now.  I never realized how playful he was with form, and language.  Well, maybe I was, but I never fully valued what he did, and how often, in such abbreviated Poetic works.

Having a 2shot mocha from caf’.  Need it.  Feel Self fading from this day.  I’ll finish the 500-word piece, short story, I last night started, tonight, while enjoying the remainder of that ’10 Cab.

Running from work, tomorrow.  Lawndale.  Because of how short the days are becoming, tomorrow’s sure to be, I’ll be racing the sun.  Hopefully it won’t be too busy.  And speaking of work, just received an email: next month’s schedule, and notice that we may be opening later, 11.. possibly 11:30am, as we enter the slow season.  That will only take money from my pocket.  I HAVE to finish the 41pg project, begin selling it.  Can’t allow Self to be hesitant, excessively editorial.  Just write, read once or twice, correct, release.  My system has to be that swift.  Everything in best interest for company…  But us?  No worry, I can take care of mySelf.  My writing will take care of me.

Feel great, thanks to 2shots.  Already 3 students not showing to 1A section.  More than frustrated with student attendance, especially with the 1A group.  Don’t get frazzled, Mike.  Or frustrated.  Just work with who’s there.

10:38 left on timer.  What else to report…  This union between my writings, the teaching.. the lecturing, being given a soldier’s shove this evening, with this first Poe Lecture.  And yes, it is a LECTURE.  Simply titled, “Poe.” May show a clip at the beginning of class, see if anything that’s said was unearthed during their initial authorial research.

Find mySelf stuck, but then I hear a clip of something, in that auditorium room, on the other side of this door, here in office, being played.  Sign on door, facing me, in handwritten light red marker, reading: “Do Not Block This Door!” It’s been quiet, the other side, that huge room, all semester.  Want to listen to what’s playing, see if I can put some pieces together, whatever there is to assemble.  But I grow bored quick.  Or maybe it’s the caffeine going to my brain, then to aorta, then to all veins, back to brain, into heart, to hands [why I’m typing so tasmanian-ly.].

Another sip.. no, I should wait.  OR not.

Less than 20 seconds.. just go to class.  This reminds me of when I was in college.. the delaying…  (4:41pm)

8:12pm.  1st Poe lecture went alright.  Well, B-, I’d self-eval’.  In kitchen nook, sipping another of Sam’s beers.  Think this may be the same type, but the character’s more coherent, in this bottle.  More carbonation, more subdued herbaceous quality, and just more creative palate approach.

Next lecture.. direct students to specific lines.  I did that tonight, but only with general thematic reference, address.  Next session, go line by line, with intent behind every mention.  And I’m holding with my address of Beauty as a dominant atmosphere, not theme, to his work.

Want to grade two of the papers that came in tonight, from the 1A section [‘Glass Castle’ paper].  Get ahead of my own game.  More importantly, get ahead of the fiery students.

9:32pm.  Rest of ’10 Cab, waiting.  Me, in reflection.. Poe intersection.  Decided against grading tonight.  I deserve a moment, collection of, to Self.  Especially after getting to Petaluma as early as I did to grade.

Looking over Poe notes, his background, I can’t help but feel sorry for his early years, and how he struggled, starved as an Artist.  I refuse to do so, ever.  I’ll have a “real job,” temporarily.. being responsible, using my shifts as material.  But I’ll always have income coming in.  I’m paid tonight, actually.  At midnight.  And I believe there’s to be some bonus blended into my check.  But that won’t be enough, if they start shortening shifts.  I need to start peddling pages.

Tomorrow, running Lawndale.  And I have to make record time, with day’s brevity, fear of its own hours– how quickly that cowardly sun retreats–  Have to note:  Session stopped for a minute there, from a light bloody nose.  Can’t remember the last time I had one of those.  Remember I had them often, when living on Bayview Drive, San Carlos.  Didn’t last very long.  But, how odd that was.

Anyway, my run tomorrow.. have to run as I never had.  Which will be difficult, as I haven’t run in a while.  I’ll begin slow, increase as I go.  And those hills, taken with temperament, collect Self on downhills, straightaways.  Have to return to running, seriously.  Which means somehow running after work.  Or before.  But waking at ungodly hours puts unusual pain on my person.  And I need to make Self do so, as I know the writing will benefit.  But the simple act of waking at 4am, or 5, muffles brain before I even attempt; it axes the ambition before liftoff.

Poe.  What he wanted, he really never reached.  So sad, I acknowledge, as a fellow writer.  But if I don’t mySelf see that, I only see Beauty in what he created; a new world, a new genre; he, AS the genre.

The story I began last night, to be revisited tomorrow eve, after run.  See if that puts a different direction into its respective directive.  Now, a glass.  That Cab.  Only thanks.

Have to bring work to work with me, tomorrow.  Papers, I mean.  Grading.  And the Poe book.  Remember, line by line…  Especially with “The City in the Sea.” Death.. have the students consider deaths from more angles than what’s simple, or obvious.  And, PLEASE, don’t forget a piece from your book, Mike-y…

First sip from last night’s ’10 Cabernet.. much more open to conversation, the deep purple puddle–  But all I can think about is Poe, my ‘main event’ for the semester. Just heard my little Artist upstairs.  He probably dreams of his days: playing at daycare, seeing his father or mother coming to pick him up.  Or, he just subconsciously envisages new movements, sprints– as he did this morning, away from me as I opened the car door.  [...]  Tomorrow, printing ONE standalone, taking it to work with me for proofing.  Getting past this bloody blog.  Outgrowing it, frankly.  Another glass?  Yes, please.  Hoping for more fog tomorrow, when I drive him to Lisa’s.  Visuals, crave.


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Impressionist Moving

Kelly, expressionist/impressionist coquettishness.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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