After a second day

in the tasting room, and about to fly into another new week, post-xmas and right before the new year, I realize that I need to start with whatever resolutions I have planned for myself.  And now.  Sooner than soon.  And not write them.  I’m distracted and have felt anxious all day in an odd way, so I open a beer and end this session when the beer’s gone and away.  No more of this bloody jitter.  I keep thinking of a book and all my future books and how I want them to be read, seen or studied and telling stories vs. writing random and so-much-in-the-moment poems, and I’m lost and lost, and so lost—  but the goal is still very much the same, my own winery, especially after today with Andy and Tony tasting the ’12 Cuvée and Tony saying he’s never tasted a “homemade wine” so impressive, and Andy (cellar worker, seasonal TR) saying it motivates him further to make his own wine come vintage next.

Stepped upstairs to check on Jackie, then back down, remembering earlier my daughter with eyes open, taking everything in, her fascination with light and simple objects that we all other wise reject or walk past, the symbols in her blanket, tells me to focus on one form.. prose.  Poetry, will be put on a certain rest, or hiatus, sabbatical.  I want to focus on my paragraphs and storytelling voice.  Yes, I’ll write a poem here and there but I want to continue with my stories; the adjunct, the father, the runner, winemaker, thinker and dreamer.. what Mike Massamen does when he wakes up and he so much wishes he were that person that could wake at some heinously early hour, like 4 or 5, and just start with his pages.. hitting the golden mark of 3, before 7AM.

My old friend Dav in town, from MO.  Not able to meet with him at the Kenwood Gastropub, having to stay here in home and grade the Fall ’15 submissions, submit grade, and prep for next term.  I can already see the ripples from the first day, that 7:30 English 5 section, the students will walk out not knowing what to think, knowing this will surely be the most encompassing and exciting English class they’ve ever taken, and WILL ever take.  Education needs to be about desire, more focus on what the students want, and that’s why I have to refuse lunch with Dav, as I need remain in my teaching vocality…  And you know, I should just write the first lecture.  Tonight.  Or, enough for 15 minutes.. a word for the day, a question, thoughts on Critical Thinking, and why we should just focus on the thinking and transference of those thoughts to paper, not so much in that sterile and medicinal word “critical”.  And, isn’t any thought worth writing of a certain ‘critical’ nature?  And what does the institution mean by CRITICAL?  Like, critical condition?  Being critical of something?  I’ll urge appetite for self-developed thought, seeking your own answers, deciding for Self.. true Personhood.


NaNoWriMo, near neb

“I’m giving my notice tomorrow, a 90 day heads-up.”

Now this I didn’t expect.  She’s quitting?  Obviously to either go somewhere else or start her own thing but I doubt she has the capital for that as she just bought the Sonoma house and hasn’t much settle, and was just last night talking about some remodeling notions, ‘what is this’ I ask myself and how concerned should I or shouldn’t I be.  “What brought this to the table?  Did something happen?”

“Nothing happened?  It’s just time.”

“And money?”

“What about it?”

“Do you have enough?  Are you going to work for someone else or……..”

“I’m doing it, starting the label, I have to.”

NaNoWriMo Thanks

…or at least MARKET it.  This is the caffeine talking, maybe I shouldn’t’ve ordered a 4-shotter.  But I did and here I am.  The winery tomorrow should also prove quite fruitful.. taking a picture of this setup, me at the counter, coffee and computer, thoughts and wishes, the liste.. everything, this time, now, 12:47 and how that could be a novel to itself.. deciding that I will have everything I want.. well, I do, I just have to sell it.  Funny this new obsession with selling, I never considered myself a salesperson, nor have I ever even slightly enjoyed the concept of selling or being a seller, but infused with the appropriate creative acts selling actually becomes not selling at all, but more a sharing of passion for something.

Looking left now out the back patio, to the fall leaves that haven’t yet met the ground, I dream of a vacation home somewhere.  Not adding that to liste but I’m just daydreaming…

NaNoWriMo, drop drop drop…..

I refuse to speak their language, communicate in orthodox institution talk.  When I’m there I’m not there, from here on.  After being up most of the night with a staccato-ing airy granulated bark of a cough, I’m in moods of indignation, but focus, clearer and just removing that world from mine, starting over, and deciding that next semester I’m taking no classes.  Anywhere.  I’m done.

…wine’s and how it’s for everyone and you can only read further into the Sonoma Country scroll.  And yes, what I wrote is mostly Sonoma-centric.  Not to omit Napa, but I do.

My new language, un langage plus beuatiful.  Week 16 in their world will be Week 1 in my new character’s life, a writer– of wine, travel, Literature, life, work, entrepreneurship, running (have to get back to..), French…

…just what they don’t want us thinking, and that’s all I’ll say.  I see so many of us complaining about the driving and the waiting and the sections we get not being what we want.  And why?  And there, no more on that.  I’m speaking my new language.  Consider this my divorce from them, from it, those huts and cells where they stick us. 

And when I get to campus I decided to redefine the terms of the divorce with academia but on my terms.  Not ever using the ‘a’ word that they have as part of my job title.  No more.  I walk around campus going to the library for a coffee and I can tell the oncampus population is thin today, many having already left.  And while climbing the odd SRJC library stairs to the little shop where my Sumatra awaits I think I may be writing more a memoir than a novel..

…but I listen to some Bobby Hutcherson here in the shared office and reveled in forgetting where I was, am.  Oh yeah I’m on campus, I thought, but I’m a writer not an ‘a’ and living like I intended to this morning with that article I posted to a social media site.

Writing more ideas in the new journal Mom and Dad bought me, poems and poetry and poems to sell on the side in addition to the articles.. reminding myself that next semester there will be no semester and this is all I have and will always have.  But I won’t be the broke writer, never, not, no.. blogging and taking pictures, even putting together photojournals with some added creative copy– 

NaNoWriMo, a hundred mots of

…not much over 500 words, collecting pieces to submit and opinions on wine and wine life and travel, and then I see it, my truest of true truths in the pocket of aspiration: travel.  Moving.  That constant Newness I shared while talking about On The Road, that forever sequencing stream of stimuli that gives the character more of a story and more growth, breadth, believability as an Artist.

My next article, on living in wine country and realizing what the magnet truly is, what pulls people here and makes it difficult to detach, what makes them believe it’s more for them that where they live.  I’ve even heard New Yorkers, the most proud of state people that I’ve ever studied and met, say phrases to the shape of “Okay that’s it, we’re moving.”…

NaNoWriMo, more

…laptop next to bed in case I woke at some ungodly early hour, then I could write.  But no.  My body insisted I get the sleep.

Hear a train, THE train, passing outside.  Travel.. travel, I think to myself sipping more of the Ale than the mocha.  Everywhere now screams Autumn; from the vineyards and their leaves to the way the wind pushes the leaves from trees and vineyards from one side of the street to the other.  In Napa today it was especially encouraging for the writer, this adjunct who today does nothing associated with his bloody adjunct role.  Solano re-scheduled to evaluate me after I learned the delightful secretary or clerk who always finds a way to infuse some commentary rude when we speak failed to put my 11/5 observation on the dean’s calendar.  12/3 he’s supposed to drop by.  Twelve days before the semester’s to end.  Such a bloody joke, I swear…

Behind in the progress I have set for this wine-wound novel I’m writing– no surprise, adjunct in the adjunct world for nearly ten years has always flirted with wine’s industry, even taking jobs but being let go from a few of them, only now seeing an entrepreneurial approach, selling wines by writing and blogging about them.  Obvious, yes, but I have to try.  And now, to be honest, I am in the mood for wine.  But I’m going to sip a bit more of this mocha so it’s not a total money disposal–  And on such note, spent just under $12 yesterday, all day.  More than tripled that today, but oh well, it’s another day off for the adjunct.

Essays.. I start writing politically charged responses and opinions, mainly geared and shifted toward the reaction of politicians on both sides concerning the Syrian refugees.  Ted Cruz, one of the presidential hopefuls for the Republican trough–‘hopeful’ very much being an intentional word in more than a dozen ways–decries any empathy or concern for these exhausted and frightened peoples from the cataclysmically parceled country.  And then, you have President Obama and many democrats who appear to not exercise enough caution, adhering to those American principles of the promised land and ‘people come here to escape danger, find freedom, establish themselves’.  No other time in America, that I can remember, has a middle-ground on a national security/immigration matter been more necessitated.  If we knee-jerk, react with too much dismissal, and distrust, then we’re viewed as cruel.  But then, if we blindly open the doors and have no system, or even a moderately practical system in place, we put danger in our place, potentially harming our country.

I begin another essay, 502 words, on Donald Trump, and what a laugh he is, more than he’s ever been.  He’s a celebrity, for what.  Money.  And now he’s a potential political figure, the leader of the country that embodies and boasts freedom like no other?  This same stooge suggesting we give all Muslims in the country IDs, much like the Jewish population during Hitler’s short-lived Reich.

My desk soon becomes littered with printed pages, pieces I fancy submitting but not before realizing I’m better off publishing it myself.

The mocha’s disgusting.  Could use a beer.

Fine.  But I’m not wasting the Ginger Ale.

from NaNoWriMo project (no edits)

…And Monday will see the most enveloping and impassioned talks ever from me.  The students won’t know what hit them.  I’ll even get into some rubric discussion, how I’m evaluating their work and general presence in the class.  Just honestly, I’ll do so, not to bring negative attention to any one student although I’m sure some will feel that way, and what they’ll feel is only sharp and harsh self-awareness.

I’m quite proud of my progress, I must say with today, this morning, how I felt waking up and only writing all those sketches on a couple humble cups of coffee and this microscopic mocha.  I come across some older writing, just roaming around this laptop, some writings I did in the parking lot of the Kenwood Market, before going to work at the winery.  Seems like forever ago, and when I read how visibly unhappy, I’d say miserable really, I was there I feel shame, and a very presented form of shame, like a fault or flaw in my character.  Life is far too short to ever feel like that, I now meditate and wildly realize.

ITEM – No fear. Just live.

Yes.  From all days and onward.  This morning, I’ve been more alive and more accepting of a challenge, something I didn’t want to do, than I ever have, or that I can remember.  I’m a writer, a “professional” writer as they’ve been introducing me at the office, which I’m not sure I like.  I just write.  That’s it.  When you call me a “professional” writer that insinuates a job title, some clinical coat that isn’t anywhere needed or instrumental in producing more convincing writing.

I look around the shop, people with their coffees on laptops, studying and talking when they should be studying.. I become infatuated with the role of a student, their priorities and deadlines, their studies and growth and notebooks out on their tables when they sit, their raised hands.. am I becoming more a “professor”?  Did this writing assignment do this?  Should I get a PhD?  “Not that thought again!” I say to myself.  Maybe later, maybe.. I don’t need one now.  All I need is time to read and write, react to what I ready.  Study my focus authors like Plath and Kerouac, Hemingway and Faulkner, Thompson…  To be frank, I can’t remember the last time I sat for this long and wrote. I know that’s pitiful, being a “professional” writer, but I now see this, and the benefits unexpected of the growers assignment.  Making severe headway with my writing life, my teaching life, with prose and poem and narrative and my wined story.  Feel like I should dart to downtown and find the first sparkling producer I can to celebrate, taste and toast with somebody, but je ne peux pas.  I haven’t even risen to use the restroom.. I apologize for going on about this but this is truly remarkable to me.  In this same chair, writing, for close to FIVE hours.  And I could push it to six if I wanted to, but I should be going. 

To the next song.

NaNoWriMo excerpt (no edits)

…12 & Mission, I run into a guy who used to work at the Starbucks closer to the condo, he now studying engineering, “It’s been almost a year,” he tells me since he’d worked there.  I concede I hadn’t noticed, he saying “oh, that’s okay,” I release him back to his studies.

Later, around 3:30, a tasting schedule in Kenwood, a producer I haven’t visited in some time.  And I can’t look forward to it, still stressed and tired from the growers writings.  Producing content for others, while much much better than some square job putting on an apron or nametag, it is writing, using my day’s word count or taking from it for someone else.  And my mood returns, that one with the fangs, the same nearly that flies from me when addressing the adjunct thing.  I won’t let that happen to my writing, ever.  So.. I make myself look forward to the tasting.. bringing a camera, sure to taste Chards and Pinots which appears to me much of me, lately with wine, but who nows what else’ll happen.  The day is free and not scheduled, and I think of the outside conditions, a blend of Spring and Fall, shunning and very much pushing to side Summer, any Winter hint.  Temperament and poetic movements in the what I can’t see.  But in here, the people sipping their coffee, the coffee kid to my right, either packing to leave or getting something from his bag.. latter.  An older man next to him, either interviewing two people or talking to a parent of a student with the child there.. don’t know.  My hearing’s occupied by jazz, and I don’t want to hear, to be frank.  A girl in front of me, with earphones in smiling at her phone, more intent than I am it seems with this entry.  I try to think of something to write, take this writing and sitting in some new direction as I have free time that so many others today don’t, like the waitress that took my table, earlier at a brunch for self in Windsor, where I read and noted in my Composition Book everything I saw, the young family with a little boy that reminded me of Mr. Joyce, I then thought of me as a father, and where I’d take my son on a day off like this, maybe to the beach or the forest as Dad used to.  My coffee, the small I ordered, getting cold.. still have to finish the poem I began earlier, and write that 500 word piece on poetics, aesthetics in poems (especially those penned for performance).

My mind goes in several places as it always does but I stop it, I don’t let it, I stop it, forcefully.  And focus on a river of reaction, just thoughts that accost me, no order and no reason, I just write to write and maybe that’s the truest form of writing.  Maybe that’s poetic.  I don’t know.  Not today–  Look at clock, like I’m in one of my adjunct sprints, 1:13.  Habit, I know.  Have to leave at 2 to get car washes, tires checked, then home to shower quick before tasting, driving across Santa Rosa two times, just like an adjunct.  Always in the car.  I’m tired before I start and feel a creeping competitive compulsion in me that I’ve never felt before– wanting to be the best or at least hardest working writer in the world, as well as lecturer.  Not professor, or instructor, or teacher.  Not even sure I like the tag “lecturer”.  Maybe I am just a writer, after all.  I post again to my wild wine blog, and get a couple responses, that some don’t think my approach to wine is serious enough.  Well… not sure I should care.  Not sure I should respond.  Should I just let it go?  What do I want?  WHAT does this “writer” want?

I blame my mood and lack of attention on the semester, the “Them”, all of it that traps us and wants us to chase sections.  I’m staying in my current page, effort, not fleeing to poetry but remaining in my meditative wine walk.  Through vineyards as I did the other day.  Only thinking of my wine, the wine I’d make, and how I’d write about everything from the cleaning of barrels to letting them dry, to filling them with a small lot of SB, or Merlot.  Just everything wine, and the odd voices I’d give them, or rather translate them into.  Everything in my yearning is wine-woven, that’s obvious.  And it’s a shame, the teaching at community college, how it–  Well, I’ll keep a class or two.  More than likely just one, I’m thinking.  Even the paperload with two classes is dumbing, stunning.  With the winery today I’ll note everything, probably even stay for a glass, of Pinot or Chard I don’t know but this day off will see no me-with-papers, grading.  OR, writing any “copy” for clients.  Today is me and my exploration–

“Hey, so you still writing?” the coffee kid, Carl he reminds me, asks.

“Yeah, yeah I am,” I say, taking my earphones out, wishing he’d go back to his book, and Engineering text I saw looking over once.

“Oh that’s cool, which classes are you teaching?”

“Two sections of 1A.” I don’t even want to bother getting into the whole Mendo and Solano topics, not today, not on my day off.  Not when I’m in my own song with these paragraphs that I love as they have no direction, they just let me enjoy a freedom that people like my neighbor don’t wade in, ever.

“Cool.. yeah I transferred to Sonoma State and am almost done.  It’s crazy, you know, went so fast.”

“Yeah.. no, I understand.”

“Well sorry to bug you, I just wanted to say hey one more time, I gotta leave, have to meet my buddies for a strategy thing,” he looks back at his bags.

I find this interesting for some reason, ‘a strategy thing’, for some one his age, early twenties.  Strategy for what?  “Strategy for what?”

“We started an IT business, well kind of, we see what’s wrong with peoples’ computers and other equipment and try to fix it.  We might get an office in Rohnert Park, we’re growing hella fast.”

I feel a large jawset of envy dig into my skin and brain and dreams and everything on my liste.  “Really?” I say.  He goes on to elaborating on the growth of his venture when I don’t want him to and don’t want to anymore hear how I haven’t done any of this at my age, fucking 36, how he in his early or early mid-20s is well on his entrepreneurial way.  “Why not me?!” I think, but then listen to see how he did it, or some clue from this rushing studying optimistic darting kid. 

But he says nothing helpful, before I can find exactly where he is in his speech he continues “…and that’s about it…So anyway, man, I’ll let you go.” And he leaves.  But I’m motivated.  No more of this adjunct shit…

Break from NaNo’ effort. 

I’m basically caught up, absent today’s pages.  Jackie not going down for nap, Alice getting ready for her shower, baby shower specifically, and I’m going to be up late tonight you can bet with the growers project.  I hope to wake early tomorrow, at farmer’s hour, 5AM.  Send email to Sean at the office, then more to NaNo book.  I’m actually quite proud I haven’t fallen too far behind, if you should know.

Gather more poems.. failed with the release date of Ocular Total.  But I’ll return to the book this evening.  Hoping to work till 12AM, then go to bed.  Writing the way vineyard crews work during harvest.  And I have no intention of slowing or stopping, till the semester’s done and I’m in my office.

Bringing “Fall 2015” Comp Book with me, pen, write thoughts, and headphones so I can listen to interviews, if I can– no, leave the phones here, just scribble thoughts on sustainable farming and bits of the talks you remember.. each interview and personality, so different and distinct.  Of course making me think but also provokes a strong introspective energy now about me.  Rather than just sit down here and scroll through my phone, I making myself stay busy, writing and brainstorming for mmc and vvv, and this blog.  The novel, all of it.  Why do I have to sleep? I think.  Why can’t I be up all hours working, getting closer to where I want to be?

Think Jackie may finally be asleep, finally.  Alice turns off the hairdryer, and I hear nothing.  No steps, no odd sounds from this laptop, nothing.  No wind, no drizzle, no passing cars on Barnes (other side of tracks behind houses across street).  Nothing.  So now I pause.  Now I collect.

Now I meditate a bit.

NaNoWriMo (no edits)

…on giant corduroy beanbag on the first floor will Joyce upstairs naps.  I should be working on my growers assignment, deadline tomorrow at first morrow, but I’m deciding to write freely, play with wine illuminations and deconstructions, words and rhymes and poetic flyings of reacting to wine– “palate peril… song’d stretch..” among others, just writing like I did with those poems if you could call them that.  And I think, gather poems and wine sketches and odd writings, outside the blog, and bind them, sell them, have and be my own merchandise.  That would fill these income gaps, being paid once a month as an adjunct, then the microchecks from the winery.  Enjoying my day in words, opening the Comp Book to a blank page, just noting and writing, scribbling and drawing or doodling around the words like that one student from English 5, Fall ’13 at the Petaluma Campus.  Never forgot that, how she made the journal her own and noted how she felt aught.

Week 13.  So what.  I’m done, as I said, done done–  Not getting overzealous in my attitude I hope, but I’m lazy now, sinking into this bag, looking outside and the sky tries to rain but doesn’t, then the patch over the fence outside, the thinning gray with a small lenticular black arm is pulled, exposing blue.  Sunny, that Fall day where the air becomes even more savory than it was just ten minutes back. 

I hear James wake, upstairs, but he doesn’t come downstairs as he usually does.  He talks to something imaginary, possibly the stuffed animals I put in their for them, and some provided by Jim.  I go close to the stairs so there’s more shot to ear but not too close to alert him to my proximity.  I write in the Comp, “converted, conversation…