The library.  Part of

IMG_6716-0me of course wanted to just fly there as soon as I touched down on campus, just before 4:30, but I needed the quiet of this adjunct hole.  Yes that’s ironic I guess in someway, me resisting the romantic temptation of the library, of course being surrounded by books and students and me feeling more like a scholar and student, but I needed the quiet, time with my words and inner reverberations.  Sipping my sparkling lime water, poison of choice of later in this Summer Term…  Still feel remarkable to write freely, having spent the entire day on those articles.  And the idea of starting a new blog.. no, I thought, “Work with what you have.” A new blog is nowhere to be found in my budget.  And I know right now I should be writing a MOCK SOMM piece.. maybe I will in a minute before preparing for class, but I just wanted to be free, liberated in the characters I punch to page.  And I have it, but I need music– still feel like I feel the caffeine from earlier, or is it the result of the shower, or this water, or just my muffling of the articles, the squelching of their stressing me, my vanquishing of them, and any other thought stressing the writer.  Music cued, and very much aligned with my mood; chilled, echoing, like I’m in some hotel lobby writing, sipping some wine or a glass of sparkling.. sparkling wine, I intend.  And I write on knowing I’m going to have another amazing class this evening. It can only be that way, and only for me, and my story, my Adjunct War– one covert and planned and inthemoment; my own beat and feeling in this shared office, but I share with no one else now; no other adjunct appears to be as desperate as I taking this 6PM 100 section.  But I have not a morsel or even grain of regret.  Not now or ever.  Going to blog the class, write what I’ll say IMG_6718beforehand, starting my types at 5, luminously, and with peculiar voracity.  Now I have to catch up with the words I would have type if I hadn’t checked my goddamn email, on that goddamn phone– so I write for this goddamn blog and I wonder what I would be writing if I were in a hotel right now, and where, let’s say Florida; have always wanted to go, stay in a hotel by the beach, on a relatively elevated floor, and just stare out at the ocean and note singular words and thoughts, sensations of the oceanic grip: soft, salt, heavy air, warmth, hug, breathe, sip, pages blown by this new atmosphere, left, I flip them back right.  I crawl to concentrate, mind going everywhere, but I need be linear in this sitting, and I walk away with what?:  Even more direness to my sittings.  And I’m thinking of wide dissemination, Self-publishing on a level that has never been seen or even thought of; my words, my inscrutable stationing in this moment, imagining what else there is, and how, and when.  The ‘when’ feels like the most essential and awaited portion of my equation, the one I’ve been trying to solve, well.. officially, since I graduated SSU in mid ’01.  Over 14 years ago, and I’m still with my protractor, numbers and measurements and trying over and over to make the solutions seamless.  No.  Not yet.

IMG_67174:49.. taking out the book, readying myself for lecture writing and some direction for tonight’s class.  “And that’s it!” I think to myself, “Direction!” Take the word apart, bit by bit and idea by idea, connected word by connected word.  What does direction do to a character…  Good question, what direction do I have and what is it, or lack of ‘it’, doing to me?  Perceptive stall, so I get nowhere with my thoughts and trying to solve.. was never good at Math, obviously, or even slightly fluent.  I actually have dreams, not so much nightmares.. just unpleasant and angst-angled dreams, of being in a math class, studying or not studying and having a test coming up, one that I didn’t take or maybe did and almost sure I bombed, and worried about my final grade in the class.  But I’m relaxed now.  And like that, like an unexpected storm, or earthquake–the big ONE, the one everyone’s been brought up fearing as a Californian–it hits, slams, pulls and shakes and pushes me to a new idea, but I can’t act too quick I don’t think: a stage play.  Short, maybe 10-15 pages.. but what would that do, I think.  I’m everywhere, this has to be caffeine.. but I finished that mocha well over 2 hours ago.  The water?  Something in the water.. ha ha…..  I don’t know, but I feel something now, just to write and with no constriction and just freely like the novel.  So then yeah… no stage play.  A novel, the Massamen novel, go back to it, tomorrow, after your run that you have planned for the mother-in-law hour (4:45AM or so).  If I run early, and quick, I may get back in time for 500 words, 300 at the very least.  Which I’d take, happily.  Little Kerouac this morning woke just after 6, giving the beat father very much a run as I was in quite the sleep from my late night of writing, prior.  And with still no coffee in the Autumn Walk base, it was challenging for me to keep with his rile, his speed and unpredictable attention and passion shifts.  I stood, however, for his challenge and raced nature.  And now I start to slow… if there was still a caffeine touch in my circulation, somewhere, I assure its departure, now.  May have enough time for a coffee run, across the street to that place.. what is it called, “My Friend Joe’s” or something odd..?  The adjunct always looking at the clock, Time his ever-foe but what can he do but own the moment– and in doing so I vote no, no against the caffeine craving and dependency.  I won’t let it slow me a second time today.

(6/18/15)

Jinrikisha

A little late for my personal clock-in target, 9AM, time now shouting outtime 9:10. Have to take care into car wash, write short piece and blog entire day. Haven’t even looked at the papers.. but I have an idea of how to grade through them quickly.. not noting it here, but it will be quick. On my last cup for morning and possibly day. Have to either call or visit SSU for ID for internal lecturing app.. should do that now before I forget. Early to bed to-night as to even earlier rise, earlier than I normally do. Cinnamon bagel ready, little snack before car wash and the adjunct/writer/dad/hoper takes on the day. So tired of wondering and trying — why not just decide ‘life will be this way’. Good idea, I think to Self listening to this jazz, here in kitchen nook, no couch this morning as I want to be fully attentive to everything blog everything and capture everything.. I don’t care about the formality of punctuation or any mechanics I preach in the classroom.. such a beautiful type of hypocrisy.
And on another note… yes, should call SSU now before I forget….. On hold, of course. So I type, I won’t let this steal any of my morning. And — never mind, thought they were coming on the line but no. Would love to be back on the campus, get deeper into the adjunct role and game. I can’t watch anymore of these interviews with adjuncts nor go to any more of those blogs, just embitters me and if not then annoys me. I’m making it all work for me. And Mom again said last night, forget about Mendo, and I’m starting to this the– There, have someone on the line. May have to go down there, fill out some paperwork, I’m guessing, which is a pain yes but what I need to do.
After this call, I’ll go to the carwash.. so much for the writer/blogger/dad/dreamer/coffee-addict to do. On campus, I’ll try to do a bit of writing, maybe the short piece for day. Time 9:26, and I wait still on line.. hasn’t been that long, but you know me I hate waiting… and resolved, kind of, can’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone, so I’ll do an external application and see where it goes. As an adjunct you can only do so much but when all you want is to be brought back onto a campus and you’re given the goddamn runaround it’s delightfully angering. So I carry on with my day. I’ll do that bloody app later. She was in no rush to send me that inconclusive email so why should I rush to complete an app which is in no way guaranteed to get me ANYTHING?! See? Frustrating, that’s all.
There, have a login.. username and password and all the necessary tech shitsense. Now, back to jazz, back to coffee and enjoying my morning. Can’t thank Mom enough for her short fiction counsel.. Dad, too. They’ve always been of the sway that short pieces, stories and sketches and vignettes be my true way. So I follow in stride and with a glowing willingness. Goddamnit!! Coffee done. So now the writer has to go, to the car was, then when home.. FICTION! Maybe even grading a paper or two.. or not!

Wonder what it’s like to be him, my friend Ed Pierce, or ‘EP’ as I’ve always known him. Met him as an undergrad, at SSU, first semester I got there and in that Lit Analysis class with Professor Coleman. I was at the time only writing poetry and he insisted on writing fiction, short stories and eventually longer fiction (also took Sherril’s Fiction class and Personal Essay section with him). He’s a fabulous narrator, though he hates 1st person, and I’ve never understood why. Probably as he’s thinking, like he once said in college, “that’s such a poet thing to do.” We’d joke about it all the time. But he’s there, in New York. And I’m here, struggling with adjunct’d entanglements and stresses and trying to get to the Road, trying and trying.. but today I live as I wish.. writing and relaxing and watching writer-type movies (one of which I have to look for today, “Stranger Than Fiction” with Will Farrell), and just whatever I want.. ‘want’, want to run, 5 miles, around Fountaingrove, but later, later in the day right before I pick up the little Artist from his mini-university. Embracing my now will get me to where Ed is, where he sits in that apartment overlooking Manhattan streets, after he gets his morning latte or whatever it is, can’t remember but he’s been drinking them, the same thing, since college, and maybe (now that I think about it) that’s part of what got him there, to NYC, that odd 3rd person consistency, writing habit, and whatever else..
Struggling to reach a thousand before the carwash. Had a thought this morning while walking J into school, that I should write a piece about someone working at a carwash, how the cars keep coming and how everything is always soaked and slow and uncomfortable, he watched the vehicles pile and thin, pile and thin, thicken and dissipate.. he just watches and washes.. idea IDEA! This morning.. mornings are more and more important in this writer’s life and I have to use them as fully as I can and continue with this short fiction and maybe even short nonfict’, giving readers a standalone snapshot insight into me and my writing/adjunct Life, if they care.. I know my son will, I know he will, once he’s old enough to read this prose.. if only he could see me now, hunched over this keyboard, typing and listening to jazz, overcaffeinated and dedicated to my ART, and keeping him in mind.. he’ll read this one day, he will! And he’ll know I was, and am, serious about these words, about the expansive meditation that I paginate and disseminate.

Disgruntled Diarist

Rain, still swinging at my sphere.  Me, sipping a cast of interesting wines tonight.  Cab, a curious cuvée, and another ’09 Pinot.  But, after 3 tours, I’m almost too tired to type.  Which is disgusting, especially after I write it, see that I just that confessed.  How could I be too tired to write?  Maybe I should just walk away from the keyboard.  Just enjoy my wine.  Can’t hear the rain anymore.  Maybe it’s breaking so I can think more clearly.  The other blog, building as its own brand.  So, again, it gets another extension on its life.  Not going to kill it, ever.  Can’t let mySelf.  And I shouldn’t.  Going to show EVERYONE that I can build my own business, built simply from writing, wine journalism.  IF you could call it “journalism.”

Feel like not that much happened today, aside from work, the AV Cab, ’05, I tasted, eventually took home.  I’ll finish that song from yesterday.  Yes…  First, a couple notes on the ’05, for the other blog, solicit some reaction from readers, then finish my song.  Start another.  I want music back in my day.  Everyday.  And I want that stage.  The travel.  More writing from that travel.  Diaries, diarist fiction.  Kelly’ll be with me.  Can see her now.  She’s painting, listening to rain, a handful of her favorite songs.  Relaxed.  She’s not worried tonight.  Nothing to worry about.  She has time, she has Art.  She has herself.  She has me.

Thinking, for a reason I can’t pin, about Chicago.  Have no idea why.  Another city to add to my list.  Soon, I’m hoping, I can just be road-attached, like Kerouac.  Just write about everything.  In poem, entry.  Now, in this fluttering think stream, I fly to visions of my wine.  MY wine.  Can’t be patient.  How will I ever be a winemaker when I’m this shape of writer?  A mess.  I need another chug of that cuvée.  [3/31/12]

 

4/1/12.  No jokes from me today.  Not in the mood.  And, frankly, I can’t afford to joke.  Early in AV, but not scheduled till 10.  Drove up here to write on road’s side.  A Literary Lunch in the car, if you’d be kind.  But, I don’t like where I’m presently pulled over, presently.  Going to drive a little more, on 128 towards Jimtown, and see if I find a little docking bay for my filthy XA.  Better find one quick, as gas fades, warning signal fiercely in flash.

8:56am.  Parked right in front of Alexander Valley Vineyards.  Hope they don’t mind.  If anyone questions, I’ll just say I’m a writer/blogger out on assignment.  Won’t tell them I’m also a spoken-word Artist, songwriter.  That might make them suspicious.  4shots in my mocha, typing like I’m not just on fire, but made of fire.  On both of my sides, vineyards, happy to see this AM’s sunny symphonically stroked notes.  As am I, from newing sun.  But I wonder if some of the vines still want more, if they’re greedy.  Also wonder if this is what Kerouac felt when on the road, if he saw anything like this.  Should I get out and take some pictures?  No, the writing’s enough, Kelly would say.  Intense light greens, gentle yellows, making tourists stop to snap stills.  Bud break, about to take stage.

Keeping mySelf to 300 words, typed in this pullover Lit Lunch.  Why?  Want more song, more ink on paper.  What will I do with it?  Eventually type it.  Print, perform.  Last night’s wines, still in mind, especially that ’05 that just lacked vigor.  Feel sorry for the bottle.  But my expectations were too high, so it didn’t have a chance either way.  Feel like this is something of which wine consumers need be more mindful.  Just noticed I’m already over 300.  How that happened?  Caffeine.  And I know where this page is going, so it won’t be sent to some stack, some box in my Room’s closet.  Glad to have escaped from that habit.  And the entries to come from touring with my writings, songs, poems, will only build in their richness, appreciate like AV Cabernets.  Looking at these vines, I think of a writer before writing a novel, not knowing what she’s going to write.  She knows she has to write something; To eat, pay bills, be mobile, buy birthday gifts.  But she has no idea what to write.  She has to start writing.  But what?  She sips wine, but it only slows her.  She needs focus, an angry drive.  She puts the Chardonnay back in the fridge.  She looks at her current journal, then its predecessor.  No electricity, no connection, nothing salable.  She hated that she HAD to write something, something to sell.  She wanted to want to write another novel.

 

Book due.  I don’t know what to do.  So, I’ll just be the writer with a blank page.  And soon, a blank account.  Haven’t heard from my agent in over a week.  Think he hates me.  Don’t want to give him another expected female-honed thematic sheet stack.  That’s not writing, I don’t think anymore.  But I’m under contract, he’ll say, remind me like I don’t know.  Should I go for a walk?  What would that do?  I wouldn’t have to look at this page anymore.  Done.  Walking.  In a minute.

 

This isn’t Kelly.  It’s another character.  Successfully artistic, under pressure.  She doesn’t like how her efforts are made mechanical, turned into merchandise, sellable items.  She’s disgusted, truly.  But just as she doesn’t know what to write for her survival, I don’t know how to write her, or if I even should, for mine.  To pen & paper…

11:26pm.  At home.  Tired.  2 tours.  Finished last of Pinot.  Taking car in, morrow.  No sleeping in, on day off.  Something wrong with that.  Hate both blogs, and I hate my self for looking to see if a “post” was “liked” by some idiot I don’t even know.  What happened to actual pages?  Only 3 minutes left for self, tonight.  At least I finished the spoken word song, finally.  Wrote a sonnet, for stage.  Need to start touring, traveling.  Especially after talking to my last tour, how they went to Italy, Switzerland, how the wines were different, entrancing in their dimensions.  Want the road.  Air.  Water, even rough seas.  My writing needs oddity, illusionary mundaneness.

Track 3 — Angularly Tenacious

2/25/2012, a day attempting to just spew words, whirl them into some pastry-like writes.  Literary page bites.  Wanted 3 completed standalone’s, but the clock me caught.  Tomorrow, behind bottles.  But I’m not sipping.  Had only two Racer 5’s tonight, more than an hour apart from each other, and didn’t agree with the ripples they left.  Interesting development with my character, one loving wine but hastily growing further from its consumption.  Will only make me a more cunning, predator-like penman.  Especially as a poet, with the spoken word.

2/26/2012.  My frustrations with wine’s industry, driven to beneficially focusing climax.  It’s not anger, nor emotion.  But logical frustration, provoked grievances.  Winery ownership, management, continuously and purposely underpaying employees, prospective employees.  But their raises, profit sharings, bonuses are always seen, surely.  Not even “surely.” It’s known.  But I’m moving on.  They, those governing monsters, don’t deserve my sentences.  And frankly, they won’t like the result if my writing targets them, any of them.  I’m Literary, not one hoping for acceptance or any approval from this “industry.” An artist extremist, only concerned with the project’s process.  But wine, always on my thought roster, in my priority pot.  Speaking of which, today at Kaz, I “revisited” [as guests will always say when they want to re-taste a wine] the 2007 Nebbiolo.  Nice features, nose end of its palate song.  Can’t believe how much it’s changed from the last time I sipped, which was before Jack was born.  Can’t believe how much he’s changed, Sir Jack, in just 11 days of life.  Have to capture all his moments with page, whether released or not.

Did a little writing today, but not much, in my little notebook.  The first scribble, a dialogue line from when I was in line at Starbucks.  Yes I had a mocha, with some petite vanilla scones.  Anyway, an older man, carrying a dark brown cane with quiet metallic wave pattern, said to the barista, quite intently, pointing, shaking his left index finger, “I want that, that morning bun.” Had to think of where I’ll be at his age, what I’ll be ordering, what I’ll be writing.  Where Boss (again, that’s Jack) will be.  The remainder of my notes entail details of the tasting Room, me setting up, listening to some Wine Bar beats, how they sent me to traveling fantasies.  “Book-selling adventures,” I wrote, specifically.  Different hotel Room styles, me writing in them at night, sipping various varietals, mostly Syrah for some reason.  Also wrote about how I, once more, found mySelf perusing graduate programs.  Stanford, USF, Berkley…  Should I go after another degree, I asked Self.  “No.  No time,” I reasoned in my notes.  When I can afford such elevated matriculation, I will go back.  I’ll write my way back there, to the student’s seat.

So cold in the tasting Room.  Made me think of walks I used to take in Sunriver, in the winter, around the golf course, the snowshoeing hike we took in ’09 on Mt. Bachelor.  Thinking of that place in Central Oregon becalms my barbaric bravado, makes me forget about my petty qualms with an even more insignificant bottle-slinging system.  Wrote the other day about writing retreats, how rewarding it would be for my projects, and just me as a Creative Human Being.  One in a place like Sunriver…  Life-re-sculpting.  Nothing electronic, technological.  No “luxuries.” Just pen, paper.  Yes, that means no little monster laptop.  Artistic Exile.

11:07pm.  And I’m calm, ending this session before some ink & page.  Frankly, I’m not in the mood for this device.  Surprised I’ve typed as much as I have.  How can a writer be Literary/Artistic if he writes solely with a device and not ever utensil, canvas?  That’d be like a winemaker claiming they “let the terroir speak” when they infuse copious chemicals, over-oak, and shift their wine’s stance conveniently for marketability.  That’s when wine stops persisting artfully, can no longer be claimed to be expressive, terroir representative–certainly not artistic, “crafted” [a word often conveniently infused in wine’s world] from any artisan winemaker.  More like a serum-slurping grape serpent, following towering string-yanking leviathans.  Sipping water, off to a retreat.  Well, I’ll write mySelf to one…  Sip, sip.

Back2Work, sipping for more scribbles [02182012]

Saturday.  Slouching.  Beyond tired, but I went to work.  Excited to be in the presence of wine’s world.  And write.  I was more than hell-bent on being a writer today, not having been on a self-assigned mission in a while.  Started in the VIP Room, then to the main bar.  Holiday weekend, all smiles, positive energy.  Characters eager to sip, learn about wine, talk about it.  Jack on my mind most of the day, coupled with genuine, very persistent, exhaustion–it was difficult to concentrate.  But I kept the little notepad close, pen ready.  Was talking with one group about Zinfandel, how its character can at time be almost palate-abusive; too loud, forceful; almost unorganized, no matter what a winemaker does.

Had another discussion about Meritage–its pronunciation, components.  “How is it pronounced?” she asked.  I told her, gently, that it’s a union, or blend, of “Merit” and “Heritage.” We then both made fun of other ways it could be annunciated.  “Thank you for not being snooty about it,” she said, smiles.  I seconds later found mySelf tasting the ’09 Rockpile, scribbling notes, logging its character’s every syllable.  “Sweet assault on senses; deep, dark, deliciously evasive; sexy siamese cat..” I wrote.  And now at home, 9:27am, I mean PM, I again sip.  First wined session in weeks.  Also reflecting on how, for once, the VIP Room didn’t frustrate me, unnerve me in anyway.  It also taught me a bit about my place with patience, with Art, Life.  Jack then came to mind, how his early arrival shows me that assignments need be done (printed, edited, for vend) early, always.  And, how Life, my Life, must embrace Art, my Art, belligerently.

I then tasted and took notes on a 2007 Petite Sirah, Dry Creek.  I’ve loved past vintages of this bottled character, but none have squeezed and enticed my focus like this one.  I called it “Yummy, Inc” in my notes.  Also denoted how it appears in glass, sits on palate, like “Yummy ink.” Can’t help but laugh a little, now at home, looking though this rushed journalism.  And it was frustratingly but energizedly frenzies today.  Pour, sprint, chat, pull from shelf…  Welcome, set glasses, pour the introductory white, move down bar, scribble character notes, capture dialogue…  All over again.

Wrote, “Reds sing more songs than whites.” Remember this stemming from a conversation I had with sippers moderately new to wine pursuit.  They disclosed that they didn’t really get reds, know how to appreciate them.  “What’s the real difference between red and white wine?” the guy asked, leaning on the bar space to the left of his girlfriend.

While one lunch, I just walk around the Wild Oak Vineyard.  That’s it.  Well, not really.  I wrote, took pictures.  A lot.  Of both.  Then, thought that I need to sometimes STOP writing.  Just live, enjoy.  Easily the most memorable lunch hour I’ve ever had at the winery.  I’ll be back on Monday, and will more than likely devote my 30 minutes with identical vein.  I again thought of Jack–his character, what he embodies as a symbol.  He’s more than a metaphor.  He’s telling me, just being there, wiggling and squealing in front of me, or in my arms, that my writing deserves Life.  Real Life; place on a page.  Little Jack orders me to follow through with the chapbook projects.  Done.  Thank you, little Sir.

One of my coworkers commented on how negative people in a tasting Room “feast on you, eat your soul.” I laughed, and agreed.  Still agree.  Wine, as I’ve written from DAY ONE, is meant to be unifying, not divisive.  How could anyone bring negativity into a place of Art?  One social, peaceful, enjoyable?  I’ll never get it.  Another thing I’ll never understand, on a separate but still similar note, is how winery management/ownership can willingly, reflexively underpay their employees.  Moronic.  This is the part of “the industry” that I’ll never stop citing, attacking.  It’s unjust.  And I don’t expect Them to change.  They won’t.  They don’t have to.  And neither do I, so don’t expect me to keep my mouth shut, or pen still.

Not really one for aerators, but I met one today that “antagonizes a wine’s intentions,” as I jotted, again hurried.  Right after my discovery, met a nice couple from LA (Louisiana), who recently relocated to my old neighborhood.  They, exemplary of the positive, friendly, civil, enthusiastic guests that all tasting Rooms/wineries welcome, especially the female character.  Direct gentle questions about wine, its origins, histories, styles.  They made me think about my wine, the project with Katie–how it’s developing, how it’ll taste after bottled for 4-6 months…  They, especially she, more than any other guests today, made me connect to my wine ambitions.  And now, with these deep red sips, think of my barrel again, as it rests up there in the production facility.  What’s it doing right now?  What’s it thinking?  How does it want to attach to palate?

Wrote a short poem in the vineyard, in between pictures.  The two not-so-little Jackrabbits I saw racing between the rows indicated that I need to write faster, more.  There is NO time to be excessively delicate.  Another sip of this Rockpile…  I’m told I need to, tonight, write solely poetry.  Compile more verses.

Back to my notes–”5:06pm. Sipping a sexy Merlot, stocking shelves.” Now, I tilt the glass, working at home.  I’m also envisioning, AGAIN, the travels from this writing.  Would love to return to a stage, read for those who’d listen; those who enjoy listening to thoughts, exchanging ideas, and I WILL be back in the classRoom again, doing just that with willing students.

This wine, Romantic like I remember wine being.  Glad I’ve waited to enjoy a glass.  Going to sip slow, respecting little Jack.  He’s still at the hospital, but still…  Tempering my tilts more than b4.  For him.  Want to be a focused penman, not a diagonal diarist.  So, sipping slow.  Enjoying.  Can’t tell you how annoyed I get when people stumble into the tasting Room just to drink more, accumulate more effect.  It’s disgusting.  I’m not THAT.  I’m a writer.  Now, of immeasurably elevated aim.  Looking through the pictures, as I always do.  They show I need log everything.  EVERYTHING, as time won’t ever slow.  And it doesn’t need to.  The wine tells me I don’t need to, either.  That I shouldn’t.  Sip more, see what else I need do, need not do.  Sip, scribble…  What I now need do.