Journal MS II


6:32AM.  Jack slept in this morning a bit.  We’re downstairs, where it’s noticeably colder than the above flat.  No writing in home today, this morning.  As soon as drop-off’s  complete, come here, shower, depart.  Hard to wakeup this morning, for some reason.  I feel heavy, wet although I’m dry, and my eyes seem injured or something.  The coffee machine’s temp is activated, but it takes a few minutes.  Let’s see if I can brew.

I need it bad, badly–  See?  I can’t even write.

9:05AM.  Didn’t plan on writing here, back in the castle.  But the temperature, this mocha, paired, demand it.  23 degrees, currently.  Desk, moderately clear.  Enough to write, not feel any stress, or encroachments from items.  Decided I’ll grade the Poe Projects between 5 and 1A, in the PC library, which would be different for me.  And I think advantageous, frankly.

11:42AM.  Now :43.  A couple adjuncts, or full-timers, talk out in the hall, here in the faculty office building, PC.  Sipping sparkling, as this morning’s caffeine load started to make me feel a bit odd, uncomfortable.  But now I feel like another.  Graded 4 Poe Projects, will do the rest after my meeting with Eng 5.

Still quite cold outside.  Where do I want to finish the grading?  The café?  The mainland’s adjunct cell?  Re-reading Mr. Gutierrez’s words.  And thinking of how I could gather a legion of vignettes for this first hardy book.  Steve said, “work in that genre if you feel an impulse.” I’m completely impulsive, hardly ever deliberate.  But I’m still writing, writing…  So I’ll follow the vignette summons.  He also said, “…passion and belief– those are the real ingredients of any successful writing.” So good to hear from him.  And again, I’m even more spun to circumvent whatever’s kept me without book.  Those days, dying.  And by 35, I’ll be writing for Life, finally living by pen.

He hated grading.  Wasn’t his favorite part of the role.  But he loved their words.  Most of them.  Some, he could tell, only submitted something to avoid the zero.  Oldest trick.  He did that, in the GE’s that had papers in the grade composition.  He read on.  Then stopped.  Enough.  He turned, looked out the window.  How would the trees look when the semester ended?  He knew how the lot would appear, and that he loved: empty.  Deliciously divine desolation; no students.


Onto the next paper.  One the zero-dodgers.  One line…  “I think Poe likes the scary stuff, cuz that’s what sells.” At this point, he just laughed.  And why not?  What else could he do?  Well, he could kill the paper, give it a zero.  Doom it to corpsehood.  It deserved it.  He did it.

He wrote it.  At the top.  ‘0’.  In wet red.  Dead.

He laughed again.

These students, this character type anyway, needed to know.  Now, he would, this student.  And loudly, visually.

He shoved the papers into his bag, left.  While leaving the building, a gust shoved him, telling him to continue his rampage.  Then, looking right, just in front of the library, with a group of friends– laughs, humor, profanity aflight– his victim.  “Oh man, that’s so stupid, why would any teacher make you do that much?” he said to one of the three seated friends, his audience, at such a volume the four buildings, with their upset sides, played catch with the student’s wisdom’d entertainment.


3:36PM.  In the adjunct cell.  Not grading, and not passing back tonight.  Going to keep it as an office hour.  I’ll pass back their Poe journals on Thursday, after the final rough draft session, the last regular session of the term.  My goodness, that came quickly.  The English 5 session, or office hour, went well.  The first student there, ‘M’, said how excited she was for this opportunity, to talk to me about her paper, have me give it a read.  On very few occasions have felt so.. I don’t know.  Honored?  Flattered?  Humbled?  A blend therein, of?

After the 41-page book’s printed, I’m scraping together poems.  Whatever I can find.  And, write some new ones.

Love all the time I have to just sit here, write, collect Self.  Researching Self-publishing.  I know that’s how I want to live the rest of my life, a SELF-printed Artist, but I still think some light study, or intense, can’t hurt.  Hate how I become blocked, or slowed, when I have just what I always want.. time to write.  Well here it is!  Do something with it, WRITER!

3:54PM.  Minutes later.  Interrupted by another adjunct who shares this office (the same one as usual).  Wanted to note I ran into my Napa friend, Lindsay, at Starbucks on Mendocino.  I know, strange.  But she sighted that it’s just over the hill, after expressing my surprise.  I imagine she just wanted to go for a drive, take some work, get some coffee.. enjoy some alone time.  She told me she’s working for another new winery.  This is her third, since I met her, after I left the Dry Creek disaster.  Her new development forced me to see mySelf, where I am, what I want to be doing.  And it’s simple: write, teach, write about teaching, or whatever I bloody-well choose.  Can you imagine being one of those people in the wine industry, going from job to job, your whole life?  The wine industry’s infamous for that– not even really ‘infamous’, just known for such; it’s expected, the lack of stability, assurance, job safety; they would just as soon fire you as they would butter their bread.  Sick, their mentality.

List for tomorrow: [a day that has to be played perfectly, time-wise.. no errors or missteps]

  1. Type 500-1,000 words in PhD Plath article
  2. Go to SSU, research critical articles on Plath, anything you can find
  3. Send ‘Ed’ to print, 10 copies to start (you’ll need a new ink cartridge for this…)
  4. Mail off two submissions of the 3 poems
  5. Start gathering writings for poetry chapbook
  6. Start gathering old writings for ‘project302’
  7. Buy running gloves; 1 pair for you, other for Alice

Again let me note how relaxed I am, currently, in this adjunct cell.  Leaning back in this chair (which is pretty cozy, I must say, with the heater going), sipping the 3shot mocha (2nd of day), planning my day tomorrow, one away from winery…

  1. Grade 20 items (Poe Project, Eng 1A)
  2. Read Hemingway, letters and ‘Feast’… then write India
  3. [not sure yet]

4:15PM.  Vignettes on the mind…  VIGNETTES!  Piece some together in head, from the box, when I had that godforsaken thing around my skull’s top, the mic at my lips, calling through that call list…  Then, something more pleasant, the snowshoeing in Oregon, by Todd Lake, and by Bachelor.  That intense quiet, the peace, the cold (think I have some video footage, somewhere, I think.. will have to look, maybe that can be item 10).

Wonder how many will show tonight?  Only a handful, I think 6, showed for Eng 5.  And tonight…  well, we’ll see.

I’m opening wine tonight, please note.  And I know just what I want.. that ’10 single-vineyard Cab that I always sip.  And tonight, only writing poetry.  Or vignette.  I’m avoiding linearity, convention, purposefully.

4:30PM.  Waiting for class, or the extended office hour, to start.  I’m going to ask them to have questions prepared.  I’m not doing any blind reads, not tonight.  Still thinking what tomorrow’s 10th target should be.  One idea: stop by Schwab, make a small deposit into house fund; another: go for a run, my first in weeks– and somewhat of an offshoot of that: rejoin gym, do first run on treadmill [I just can’t see myself running in this intensity cold].

Was just reading an article about traditional publishing…  What a deathtrap.  All the waiting, waiting…  Not for me, that’s for sure.  I need immediacy.  Write, release.  Looking up poetry readings, here in Sonoma County…  Got some.  And in addition: send out more work!  You can self-pub as well as shotgun your pieces to publications.  You can have both. [Is it odd that I’m speaking to mySelf, or writing Self?  No.  That counts as letter writing, doesn’t it?]  Hate submitting electronically, but it does save time, money.  So I’ll do it every-so-often.

10:05PM.  Dinner done.  On couch, typing in this entry just a bit  more.  So many ideas for item 10, but I’ll leave it blank.  Don’t want to commit 10, not yet.  Opened the Cab, 2010.  Only 1 glass, so far.  Don’t see Self having too much, as I’m beginning to tire.  Surprised with how many showed this evening, for the 1A meeting.  More than Eng 5.  Would post to teaching blog, but I want to write in 1 place tonight.  Right here, the bottled ox…

Enjoying this frowst.  Comfortable, how I’m able to still write, over 1,200 words later.  Think I need another glass.  I keep looking at tomorrow’s list, where do I start?  What if I could get it all done by 12?  Then take a nap?  Going to pour mySelf the most boastful glass, ever.

There.  But keeping it in the kitchen, as I usually do.  To not sip too fast, hopefully not finish the whole glass.  Want to be more than level when with the little Artist, in morning.  Want to write a couple letters, tomorrow.  Maybe that should be item 10.

Realizing:  I love poetry.  But I’m drawn to fiction.  Don’t know how else to word my inner motion, lean.  That’s why I asked Steve about vignettes vs flash.  Jack, now asleep.  Alice as well, upstairs, I presume.  The wine, relaxing me, putting me further into this day’s words.  No distortedness, not in least.


He took wine from the first barrel.  Everything fine, but not special, not really speaking.  The next, same.  “Barrel3” saying something; more texture, more personality, fruit, grip, something; it spoke.  The fourth, he couldn’t figure out.  So what was he to do, blend them all?  That was his his idea, in the beginning.  Should he blend over them, maybe with a little bit of that Syrah that his friend had?  That’d be cheating.  The idea was to keep it Cabernet.  The whole way.  No other varietal contact.  18 months of oak, two rackings, three counting bottling.  And done.  But now he was hiding, from what he was tasting, what he could do.  Would oxygen help?  No.  Not at this stage.  He’d have to blend over.  Yes, with that Syrah.  Wasn’t the worst thing to do.  Not if it made the wine better.  He just wouldn’t tell anyone.  And if some sagging sommelier said he tasted Syrah, or something in the wine, he’d tell them “No, no, it’s pure Cab.” What could they say, that he was lying?

Thinking the 10th item, which should really be the 1st, should be to write on teaching blog, speak to students on their final projects.  And, I have to write my final letter.  So let it be lamented, decreed:

  1. Write for teaching blog, and final letter to students [1 FULL page]