6:04.  Back from Field

and ready for home.  Rain in Berkeley, my sweater still a bit damp.  Office thinned, with people working.  Quiet, but not.  The Inside Sales team of course animated as always.  This place with it being a work spot of energy and technology, creative, never truly stops, or sleeps.  With me writing about it, I notice the difference between morning mood and atmosphere to now, 6pm and later.  There’s a contrast, but not.  Maybe it’s just a different collective character in the office.  I study the texture and language of this office, even when I should be clocking out, going home, getting running components ready for coming day.

Now, walk across floor, all the way to the other side of building to room where Field Sales is based.  Put tablet in safe, make sure closed, then more steps back to here.

At 3:35pm I’m in a mood to write everything, try everything

with my writing as I urged when I started working at the tech company.  “TRY EVERYTHING” I boasted, and still do.  So what do I do with my day.  Have a sweater on, and feel a bit warm and uncomfortable.  There’s another instructor in the room with me now, obviously an adjunct as she uses one of the incredibly outdated computers in here and snacks on crackers she brought.  I feel hunger again, and not sure I can resist the hunger.  Would love a burrito or something from the cafeteria.  Have to save money.  Don’t do it, Mike.  If you get something, I say to self, use the change in the backpack.  There’s too much in that small outer pocket and it would make the bag lighter, so use that.  Maybe I will.  No more caffeine, after this cup which is almost done.  Want tonight’s lecture to be different.  For me, more than them.  I talk transformation but what I really mean is relocation.  Quite truthfully, I’m tired of this campus and the feel of the building the smell and sounds of the rooms, not having an office.  I really am resigned, not eager to offer effort to anything here.  So I move on, more than fine with the actuality of not having a class here in Fall.  So what, I say to myself.  I’ll teach independently, somehow.  Or, just put lessons out there, no charge, see who follows or signs up, responds.  I am hungry, and feeling venomous.  I do what Hemingway suggests and use it for my work, for this, my Now, right here in this larger cell of a conference room, opposed to the smaller cell that’s the shared adjunct office which anymore I refuse to set even a single foot in.

I look left and see what’s she’s doing on that computer.  Looks like grading something submitted to her from a student, either a paper or some online midterm or something.  My skin retracts and I feel anxious.  I have that stack I need to grade, in my bag, but refuse to touch it till after 5.  Right now is MY hour, time for me and my thought, my Now, my life.  We let so much be dictated for us.  Ever notice that?  Or that’s what I’m thinking now, looking at the wall of instructors, their older self and a shot from their youth.  And now, aged at least ten years from the submitted latter portrait.  Time is not our ally, or rival, just a force that pushes past the present.  Admirable and deplorable in the job it does, as I see it.  Can still hear her typing, and it sounds like the keyboard is one of those older PC plug-in’s, which it is.  I need a walk.  I need a new scene, new campus, new beat, new habits new music new story new project new everything.  So I try everything, again.

The cold brew, one more sip in it.  Starting to taste skunky, like the last half-sip of a beer in a pint glass.  Beer sounds incredible right now.  A full-timer walks in, looking much older than his later-in-life shot on the wall, with a long gray beard and slightly hunched, slow walk.  He exhales in the whistle fashion, not hitting any note but just blowing air.  He leaves this area then goes back into his office allowing the door to slam behind him.  I don’t want to be that, when I’m that.  Older.  I’m going to get older, I know, but what if I mock the aging.  What if I only vow to move quicker as the world around me expects slower beat?

 

At a certain point in Feast Hemingway says that he knows he MUST write a novel.  I’ve always wanted to, myself, but always either give up and lean on journaling and something resembling memoir or essay, or submerge in poetry.  I run the other way.  What if…. What if I took one of the dozen or so legal pads from the mail room right in front of me, in a drawer labeled “Yellow Notepads” or something, and wrote one.  Right now.  Okay, so that’s decided.  Or about to be tried.  Tried again.  Try everything, I sing in head looking at the last half-sip, I look at Feast, the current page, where he remembers a novel he wrote that was lost.  He writes about letting pressure build.  Is that what I’ve been doing all these years, up to now on 40’s lawn about to walk up three or so steps to knock?

4:03.  Writing a bit in journal, detailing expenses over past couple days.  Candy for babies, espresso drink bought at Los Altos gas station on drive back.  I put the journal back in bag and feel like I need to get out of this room, this conference room.   The only other place an adjunct can work.  Not much difference from the small shared office, just a bit bigger.  Still shared.  Will have to give into hunger here, in a minute.  Not able to write other than there’s not one idea in my head other than the one to get a yellow tablet, start writing.  You know, I bet if I just start writing I might finish.  Only other time I’ve attempted a novel was in a word processing document on one of my goddamn laptops.  This lady to my left and her chewing and typing and angry under-the-breath exhale-groans test my nerves and composition.  Going to walk around campus, however I can.  Maybe go eat then go to library and write or—shit, the stack of papers.  Won’t be saddened when this semester dies, I can tell you that.  Transformation, grateful I can.  I will.  Changing Roads and changing ME.

The novels starts with, her.  She goes to a café, starts sketching something, then is interrupted by a friend of hers from work. The friend wants to talk about work and everything happening there that has nothing to do with there.  Gossip.  She’s too nice to say anything.

2/23/19

Santa Rosa, Ca.

Sonic.net.

 

Wrote another thousand for book idea, or effort, or whatever it is.  In dark here in office, writing and collecting listening to Coltrane of course and easing into day.

This morning, much more eased and agreeable than yester’s.  Onward, with coffee, music, poetry, THOUGHT, reasoning what I want and how to get there, to my There.

About 20 minutes left to self.  Then into role, mode, actuation and actuality of one working on a Saturday.  Will be in city tomorrow with family for little Kerouac’s birthday.  Excited to not have to drive, walk around the streets with no other intention but to do just that.  Think we’re hitting the Exploratorium and I don’t know what else.  Either way, the writer needs just such a day.

Lady over by far window, in front of me and a bit to left, plays the guitar,

or at least tries to work on her finger placement and tablature, I think.  Music in everything, I always say and have said.  Me knowing it mandatory to write to Mr. Coltrane, in my ears now with a soft, slower track—poetic and containing, atmosphere-apt and just kind.  Coltrane’s work has consistency and beauty, then there’s no consistency or predictability in some track but the beauty is augmented.  Plan on incorporating him in my talk on the 9th, about Freedom, and Madness, the Beauty of being Mad, Free, of being your SELF.

“Everytime We Say Goodbye”, the current play.  Piano keys with brushes on snare, nonintrusive bass, John greets us again with notes that don’t overwhelm the other contributions.  His music is jazz but more, it’s life and love, freedom and this madness with which I am more or less obsessed with.

“Moment’s Notice”, next.  Now more wild characteristics and motions, more intensity and urgency, electricity and collection.  Sped and eager as the session is, there’s no loss of comfort or chord coherence.  I listen and type faster, feel more of my morning and any evidence of the run slowing me or having my being’s function turn to debility, vanishes.  Composed and in head skipping with each letter button pushed.

Lady works on her music and I mine, with my pieces and sheets, tracks and tells, a one-character jam session, here in this café I’ve never utilized for such.  Water nearly done, I pretend I’m on stage reciting in the moment with John and his partners, letting words fly and out and multiple become their own principles and exponents as they may and stray, deciding their own and my day.  Syncopating play, clef-sleigh, in any wild and wandering way.

9:47, should think about leaving soon.  I’ll continue this momentum and creative flight through day by using what’s right in front of me, the magic of the meta, where I am and what I’m doing, even if it’s swiping my badge to get into the building or notes for the day of canvassing ahead of us, the drive down, the music I plan on playing for self (good idea… will plan music), or whatever.  Today decides a direction new and revived, more liberated and sans-chains in Mike’s story, narrative and prose plain.

2/21/19

Santa Rosa, Ca.  East Wind Bakery.

Feeling the ten miles.  Already finished a 4-shot latte so no caffeine ordered here.  Surprised I made myself actually do it, order a bottle of water.  Going into work later, close to 11.  Brentwood again, and again tomorrow, day next, and next week.  Which I don’t mind, at all really.  Love the quiet, and frankly it’s a transition welcoming and welcomed, easing and eased after so much time in the city.

Not my first time writing here, but my first morning typed sitting like this, first time when I’ve had to go in late and decided to locate here.  Can smell the pastries, croissants, muffins and cakes, espresso and coffee, and I’m tempted but won’t answer.

Last night’s talk with 100 class throwing new momentum at me and me the same with and at it.  Talked about narrative, closed my section on Sedaris and began speaking on Hemingway, how he narrates.  Shit, looked in bag for my copy of Feast but not there.  Think I took it out last night or this morning, put on desk in home “office”.

Studying how I made this morning happen, how I woke at four and drove to gym incredibly and surprisingly awake and ready to run.  Bed early, last night.  Ate lite dinner on campus—ham sandwich on whole wheat, no cheese, bottled water and plain Sun Chips.  And at work, light snacks throughout day and leftover quesadilla pieces.  Planning on waking tomorrow to write, 4am… want to write the book on waking early, at my time at 4am but I understand and wholly, perceptively appreciate that not everyone has such as their time.  Be it 5 or 6, or even 7, it’s attainable, more than attainable, with the proper preceding practice and habit. Then, maintain the habit and practice.  What writing is, or what Hem’ has me seeing I need do, with discipline and general written way, principles.

 

Clocked back in.  Two minutes early. 

On speaking, you should be to-the-point, but not depriving audience of anything.  Tell them what they want to hear.  Have the words be kind and heaping with life.  So… don’t just say ‘I’m here and this is what I’m doing and this is what I have…’ Rather, speak more to the point of YOU, the person in the audience.  Use ‘you’ in your language, loud amounts of it…  This is for YOU… this is YOURS.. I’m here to tell you this, or invite you to this, and this is why it’s incredible…  Sales entails sales techniques, but not sales voice, not repeated repeats of something not interesting.  Entertain your audience…  Don’t sell, ever.  Sales is not selling, it’s speaking, it’s sincerity, earnest echoes sung in impassioned fastidiousness.

Just noting ideas passing through head, for sales team and next semester’s course.

Office a bit quieter.  Think some took a late lunch.

In office, today.  Getting things done and thinking of new ways to approach what I do.  I’m overthinking.  This is consequence of the inspiration I attain from just walking around this office as well as going from idea to idea.  Today I focus on speaking Sonic.  The language of this place.  If this is a conduit or bridge for what I want in my story, then I need throw self into the singularity of this Sonic story.  The office has you going over idea and another idea… speak what we do in as few words as possible, I say to myself.  At my desk not bored in even a microscopic morsel but ever active, animated in the possible ways to adjust and shape this business and how I speak about it.

Encouraged, exhausted from my own passion in this office.  This place that’s more than a place—like a parallel and utter juxtaposition to everything that we’re used to.  I call it an antithetical workplace, but maybe that’s wrong.  Maybe this is what the work place should be.  It is.  It is, that I know wholly and wildly, now.  This is a place for creativity and whim, and lucrative lunacy and revolution, but… more.  Something beyond denotation and connotation.  Talk about deconstruction and examining dichotomies and dualities, this is its own plain.  A text, a subject, a set of vocals that not only persuade but impassion beyond normal human norm.

This isn’t an office.  It’s not a colony.  It’s a language.  Its own speak.

So then halfway through my Friday, in office, not with my sales team, I have time to collect for sakes of being with them tomorrow in San Francisco, to bring what’s here to the Sunset District’s upper-40 avenues tomorrow.  I’m enriched, today, again.  Supplemented, turned around made more a voice of this place and what it speaks.

Looking through to-do list.  Everything done.  I know so.  I do.  Been through list, each item, 3 times.  So I give myself new items.  Prep for tomorrow.  Timeline for tomorrow.  Keep busy.  This new coffee cup has me especially energized and alive, written fire and fire to be written.

3:10.  Feel self getting tired, even with the coffee.  Yawn…. Phone interview/screening to prep for.  At 4, and I’m more or less ready, so time for exploratory thinking, let mind wander to whatever and wherever what—

3:18.  Coffee not working.  All work done.  Now what.  Not panic I feel but something in the same flavor isle.

May need a break.  Air that is fresh.  Break from desk.  Talking around me and my head’s in the car, on Road, in classroom, possibilities compounding in delirium-inducing shapes and plateaus.  I don’t know what to do, now.  I’m going mad, but a forming form of mad.  Nothing hindering, nothing detrimental, not at all.  This is a profuse health contract.  I’m rebuilt in my readiness as a writer.  This time in my story, where everything around me is me, for me, telling me to write something to myself that would benefit readers, somehow.

3:32.  Student life.  I’m a student here, as I am everywhere.  There never a non-learning place.  Every scene instructs.  Not sure I’m providing or depriving audience, writing this.  Work all around me, people working on what they work on, telling something to someone, educating and educating themselves whilst doing so, and me learning about what I do, here at this desk at which I everyday sit.  Back from lunch two minutes early but now I reach a point in the day where time is a self-voiding send.  So… look at clock, then at phone with its black screen, pen between forearms on desk.  ‘Nother sip of coffee, or get more coffee?  Don’t know.  Don’t think, I tell myself.  Just move.  Thinking, becoming a bit of a foe, one formidable and crippling.

This office, Sonic, with all its sounds and quick movements and people writing notes to themselves and others and logging what someone says to reference in the future, notes on transactions and occurrences in their departments…  Mom was right, everything I need is right here.  As I’ve said in class but never myself appreciated adequately—Magic in the Meta.  I won’t lie… this place fascinates me.  On multiplying and befuddling levels.  Transfixed in my fixations on and in everything from the voices I hear, to my own desk.  From the conversations between people in the meeting room behind me when I can hear them, to the laughs that are distant, on the other side of the floor, in some distant department.

I pity my past self, honestly.  Working in a tasting room, or going from campus to campus to campus—a freeway falcon—as an adjunct, or even further back working at the store, or before that in the insurance office.  I’m not even “home” here I’m just me… how I wish be seen, a writer.

4:12.  Called, no answer for phone screening.  Now I close day, prep for tomorrow which I actually already did so now it’s just a countdown to my running life.  Wondering about ten miles.  If that’s even smart to do on a treadmill.  Maybe just do an hour, then an hour tomorrow, then longer one Sunday, then back to a shorter run on Monday.  Again, more thought than needed.  Just write, just run, do both, live madly… bottom from the bottomless, or bottomless from the bottom.  Can’t remember what Jack said.  I’m beatifically introspective at this desk, hearing everything, everyone celebrate their weekend, what they’re going to do, what wine they’re going to drink.

Me, to run.

from a journal

My “every penny project” updated.  Got to work early and came to this nook in new break room where I stationed the other day but laptop refused to cooperate.  Today, it’s loving me.  Jazz in left ear.  Right ear free ‘case someone calls to me.  Coffee in tumbler.  Writing the Now with more ferocity after this morning’s 4am thousand.  Five dollars of quarters in pocket, for literary lunch, coffee somewhere.  Thought this morning while typing that frantic thousand, yes before going backing into a climate of odd dream portraits and dialogues, that if I want to get to my There I need fiercely adopt different practices.

Grades due January 4th.  Good.  As I haven’t touched grading, really at all.  Next semester on mind, for thought and shaping those thoughts and visions of me in class and what I want….. yesterday while on 2nd and 3rd the wine shop in my thinking, that I don’t think it’s for me.  I just want to write about the wines I sip, not have to take inventory and have it all fall on me.  Why would I do that to myself.  The idea is fun, and it’s enjoyable to think about, but the reality isn’t paralleling the vision, I know.  I’ve been at too many wineries and too many tasting rooms to know that.

Now, where I am.  What brought me here.  Enthusiasm in my key pushing, from this word to the next.  Singularity.  Not just the strength of it, but the sense and fluidity, the encouragement from singular ideas.  Hence, every penny.  Every penny contributes to a dollar and the dollars will fund what I need.  Which isn’t much as a writer.  Soon I’ll need a new laptop.  That much I know and knowing my Now confirms that.  Coffee right but I don’t want to stop in these thoughts…. This, me in this seat.  A couple people walking in but not at any overwhelming or districting dividend. 

Me.  Here.  At a tech company, I guess you could call it.  What brought me here was the wine industry, I guess.  The vineyards, the business models and all the mistakes I saw being made.  And now, in this Now, I’m distant from it all.  Not stopping.  Letting nothing enervate me, today.  Nothing.  Even the fact I have to use the restroom but I’m not getting up.  Today, just days before the new year.  1/1/19 just six days from this sitting and this coffee sip if you count today.  What I want—  A trip.  More focus on Sal and Dean, on Hemingway in that café, on Didion and what she felt after he died.  Sylvia…. Everything I’ve read and everything I’ve taught.  Singular thoughts, singular words… shocking self from this breath to next.  Benison in realization of what I have, where I am here at Sonic and being in the city, walking where Kerouac more than likely did.  OR at least blocks away, merely.

Need more coffee.  Need more to read.  More jazz.  I put the other phone in ear right.  Now one of my five senses is completely kept in jazz, in music, in the randomness of the notes.  08:33.  Plenty of time to write.  Not getting up from this seat till 8:52, I self decreed and ordered.  Order for the day is singularity, lone words and observations and notes, assuaging any self-doubt or stall.  Everything a writer and thinker needs is where they are, what they’ve lived.  Human Experience, experiences random and unexpected.  From one frame to next, one street in the Richmond where I’ll be to the other, those streets that connect the Avenues, the music of the cars that pass and the Muni busses, the smells of the restaurants, the voices of people talking as they step out of their homes saying hi to neighbors asking how their Christmas was.  Everything about it is like this Coltrane track.

A studio somewhere in the city, somewhere.  Where I can write, record, invite over other writers and poets, thinkers, people of words and thought, were we can sip wine and talk, not think about money or work or any obligations or schedules.  God’s hour still with me, like I’m on that couch laying down thumbing thoughts into my phone.  Wish I would have stayed awake, but no sense in grieving senselessly over what a poet didn’t do.  I’m in my nook, with if I wanted 15 minutes left to self.  This morning, confirming.  I’m confirmed in the singularity of vision, shedding complication like complications need be shed for preservation of health’s sake.

Just remembered, need new vehicle for drive to SF.  Yesterday in Marin, Novato specifically, my van wouldn’t start.  Had to be jumped.  So I have new ship this day, hopefully.  Today in SF needs to be more than fruitful, for what I do here for Sonic but as well for me as a person trying to touch their There.  The travel, tasting wines in Austrian castles.  The philosophy or thought shape of Now compiles while remember the van yesterday not starting, thinking of this morning at 4am how I actually composed myself enough to compose.  I’m seeing the day in front of me but don’t want to look too long as I want to preserve the surprise of it all.  The drive and the stop at the Novato gas station, the five dollars of quarters I have in pocket that I tell self need be spent on coffee, find a spot for composition, for writing San Francisco….  I’m there for work, but there for work.  I’m in a postmodern and reconstructive and deconstructive dilemma.  One I love.  One I don’t want halted.  One I wish forever and in every day wrapped around me.

Everything I need, already held.  We wish for so much but don’t take the less than minute to inventory and celebrate what we already see daily.  Fascinating and frustrating.  The house I walked up in Berkeley to meet a Philosophy professor, how I never in several years would have seen that happening, especially years ago.  Time nets itself around my cognitive code, garnishing morality and ethical etching.

12/27/18

Kerouac has

all interpretation and meditations leaning toward more. More exploration, more scenes, more looking around and acknowledging Now. Nothing behind, all ahead and in front of me asking to be experienced. What am I doing here, accepting any order, any regulatory, any institution. More, on that Road, the music, lights, cars, families traveling in winter or whenever. Sitting on unfamiliar boards, me…

No nap, today, fought against pull and push to do so. Thanksgiving over, wife out shopping at one of those shopping special eve whatever’s. Me, home. Wine. Just finished glass of Claret. The night passed with such cruel progression. Indifference. Babies asleep upstairs. What movie do I watch, my dilemma. My life’s trouble. Think of how fortunate I am with my family and to have such family, to be sitting where I am, here on this we seek to shed, new one one the way… Day of giving thanks, I need to show more giving of thanks, being thankful.

Tonight, I do intend exploring more wine. No aim to wake at 4am or 4:10 like this day. No. I may actually just sleep in. I will. What do I mean, “may”? May have to punch out. Take the night as it approaches me, describe and translate it, or in such order reversed… then wake tomorrow with more thought. More story. More ME. Tired now, forgetting I’ve been up since 4-something. Think 4:10. Has it been that long? Yes. It has. Me, that writer. Now. Time to Self and I sip wine and be here, writing. A writer.

Does the writer want apple pie or Chardonnay? Both sound like they sound, their own precise appeal and connection. I’m not torn between both but urge to be curved by both, somehow. 9:08. Feel like bed but I won’t. I can’t. But more, I refuse. Why can’t I be a human, just have dessert or drink wine. Is it that complicated? Are my thoughts the hinderance, the block and or impediment? I think it may be just that. Not in any kind of a writing swoop, and I can’t figure anything of it out. How does pine figure. What type a figure be me, I, this writer.

I feel like I’m not doing a thing, while doing too much. A mess. Should have taken a nap.