Finding I can’t keep up with what I write and posting. Can’t post quick enough, or I write too much too fast. Have time to gather what thoughts I have after this busy, busy day. I do find I’m overthinking more than I possibly ever have, and I wonder why, why am I doing that. No answer, so I breathe deep, deeper again, think about my wine novel, or wine novel idea, and writing, and teaching, and there I go. There I go into a thought cyclone and wondering which something I’ll pick. 49 minutes to self in the conference room, teaching myself to be singular. Writing out things I want done tonight, by tonight’s end. There, done. Well, I wrote them in my head, anyway. Seriously I did. Empty the backpack which I didn’t do yesterday or the day before as I hoped I would. Post some past paragraphs to blog, clean home office, grade papers… oh my god those papers, frightening me. The stack now more of a skyscraper, just gets bigger and bigger, yes intimidating me and I have no idea how to attack it. Why do I let this happen literally every semester? Why am I still teaching in this orthodox, institutional sense? How come I’m not yet independent with my lectures and thoughts on journaling, writing, essay writing, Sylvia Plath and Jack Kerouac, poetry? Enough with that, that line of thinking if you could even call that thinking. I don’t. I won’t.
Rubbing eyes again, picking up coffee cup to see how much I have left from the dose I took from Sonic. Not enough, really…. Or maybe too much. The book taking shape in my head, about the tasting room and teaching, where I am and— feel like I’ve written this before. Fuck, I know I have. Mom always urges singularity in my writing. One thing. Then I stress the same in class to students. Then, what do you know I actuate none of what I advocate. I should just write about wine. That’s it. Haven’t written about a singular offering in a while. Hard to keep up with that, too. Am I a writer or not? Tonight I’m doubting myself. Department Chair asking me how I’m doing and do I still have a house living in Coffey Park even though I’ve told her twice that I still do, then I start talking and talking and re-living the whole thing. Need a glass of wine. No bullshit, I’m going to meet with students briefly, then go get a glass of wine somewhere, and write about it.
Can’t post quick enough, I began this post. But maybe I will if it’s just about wine. If I write everything about wine and post it here, edit minimally…. I want a Cab. Whatever Cab they have at Whole Foods in Coddingtown, in that beer room or tap room. Will people look at me funny if I order wine in a tap room? Who cares. I’m a wine writer. It’s my job. Or, it is now. Gathering thoughts, trying my best to organize then and be centered, approaching 40, breathe deep, again deeper. There. I’m there. I think. Jesus Christ I hope I am this time.
Used to many times go to the Fountaingrove Hilton and have a glass of wine before heading home. Just sip an SB, or Pinot, sometimes Cab, and do a little writing in the lobby area, or that entrance walkway to the bar and restaurant. One year ago, today. All of it happened. The night of the 9th Mom, Dad, and I fled to Katie’s house in Sonoma to get away from approaching fires only to have to leave the next day. Don’t want to talk about it, only wine. Wine. Old friend observing class so no early dismiss. Good. Need to stay in character. Looking for ideas in one of the old journals I have with me. Notes on wine, more wine, more notes and flavor suggestions from Pinot, to a Rhône blend, to a couple Chardonnays.
This should be interesting.
Did first hold right before five. After that, push-ups and planks. Some sit-ups. Not really counting, just wanting to keep motion continuous. Set stop watch, not a countdown. Just keep the motion motioned, what I’m telling self. 05:12.
Conscious of the noise and mood of the morning. Everything I do on this hardwood or just wood floor make a sound, loud thin and audible. Like an airy crack, or crackle. Wife leaves for her workout offsite. I start coffee. Vowing tomorrow morning with the day off I’ll go to gym at 4-something. Not only enhance the shape I’m in, but start a new way, new story. Yes another promise, more so though a plan than remark avowing anything.
Can already feel the little I’ve done. In legs from hold, abdomen from pushups just a moment ago tallying 100, and arms from planks and pushups. Time for coffee.
Didn’t post thousand words from last night before class. Will today from whatever coffee spot I can find in the Sunset. Sight 1 for day is that, coffee and composition in the City. Second, hit a few doors with the reps. Then, a poem while walking whatever avenue we’re on. One of the views yesterday from 28th and something, I just looked out at the ocean like I saw something or someone in it. The air’s olfactory makeup told me to keep walking and keep watching. Feeling some goal or aim, some aspiration or creative desire sprint from San Francisco, for me. And if it weren’t for Sonic I wouldn’t even be there having these observations and reflections.
05:31. Waking this early, a badge of sorts. Hear son move around in his bed, and if he wakes early and breaks this sitting, I don’t mind. It’s part of the story. Part of the story but the whole of who I am– writing daddy getting in whatever time I can to write. At work at my desk between little addresses of some spreadsheet, or organizing, or prepping for some meeting. The subject is me. The story, each page, and I never need be sorry.
The workout, over. Me on couch in qualified dark, fan light overhead on my dim setting so I can have some isolator writer mood in here. I keep forgetting it’s harvest right now, and so many of my vino people are out there, right now, pulling clusters from rows and into bins, into a gondola pulled by tractor, a driver up early and away from his family, doing what he needs to them feed.
05:36. I feel like one of them, right now. One of the early. One of the characters they defies law, the expected, that doesn’t sleep in. They can’t. Their minds won’t let them. Mine won’t let me. At all. This morning I’m alive with Sonic and supersonic thoughts of speaking, words, fearlessly sharing ideas from one city to next on work, business, writing everything down and so many say that and never do and if they did, my god, it would not only help what they do but wildly and poetically shape their business and their place and placement in it.
Could go back to bed even if a writer wanted to. Hell, even if my body and functioning orders em to. My thinking’s of a beatific defiance this morning, and only accepting sentences. As a workplace, Sonic tells you to be more of you, it challenges me and how the wine industry never could– Telling me to not only keep doing what I’m doing, but intensify. AMPLIFY. Diversify. Play with form as you do in poetry, poet. And more. More.
05:41. I ask myself where the time went and nowhere, nowhere. It’s still very much presented and around me, present. Gifting me with this couch and all the musing I need for a day in the city. Will I wake as early tomorrow, or early as I have written… I have to. I know how I’ll feel if I don’t. I know my mood if I won’t. Set alarm, every movement today for tomorrow’s early steps and words, lines, however many miles I run on tread or however many reps I finish. Not waking early, and I’m citing hours like this, is in no way literary. Writers don’t sleep in. We can’t sleep, for the most part. We deplore rest, and idleness. Just laying in bed and scrolling, sitting on couch watching a show, or just hanging like a coat from some hook, some executed prisoner from a tight meanly knotted and enclosing circle.
05:47. I love this. I do. I don’t have to think about what to write. It’s right in front of me, blatantly. No sun or suggestion of it through the glass door to right. This is true morning to me. When the sun steps and straight lay stands communicating with the world, its day. It’s started. The day is off and you better find a way to catch it as right now you’re surely not ahead if you haven’t been up. I’m here, knowing I’m ahead of the day. Time again, my topic. Twelve hours from now, I could very well be in traffic. On 101 somewhere. San Rafael, the Novato narrows, Petaluma. Somewhere. I have twelve hours to do something to my story… I do it. Start the timer. 12 hours. Get to work and collect in writing for a bit, then attack tasks. Reps get in before ten, so we head out early. Quick, this Friday. My writing will equal, rival, buzz by pacing.
Son definitely awake. 05:52. I could get a stet in day, again. Teeth and shower, dress, pack, take stuff out of bag as to bring laptop for written lunch and be lighter while hiking the SF streets. Keep the motion motioned. To halt is to fall. And I can’t. Not this close to 40.
Diet for day… Coffee, only healthy snacks, no full meals till dinner, and then do note to lightly eat. Speaking of my beloved coffee life… I sip…
While car’s serviced at place I found on Piner. Not there, but at Epic Center, or is it Epicenter…. Either way I’m here with a 4-shot mocha and laptop seated at tallboy table, with vent above me but not blowing on me thank goodness. Need today to be a center of epic quality in my story. Guy said car wouldn’t take long to be tended to. So I expect this sitting to be interrupted which is fine. Going with flow, more or less so today. Writing daddy finding time to write after taking kids to school now that’s schedule’s changed, having Monday and Sunday off which I prefer anyway as to have time like this. Seated in unexpected place, writing, gathering and assembling self before day leaves ground.
Below this paragraph, this new thought if it’s even a coherent, autonomous thought, I type notes for the meeting today, class, reviewing essays. The workshop, but I want today to be antithetical workshop, not what they’re used to. Past couple days or so I’ve been thinking about me as a teacher or professor, how I view writing and how I read, what I hope for students to take away from every meeting, and how that translates to my new life in tech, in the tech world and working with internet, in business. Everything begins to intersect before me, musically, and like Kerouac said, “The only truth is music.” If this is musical, it must be truthful. I know it is. Before class, I’ll lock myself at some point in my home office, arranging books, looking through old notes, amplifying the professor-Me.
Last time I came here, during its normal operating hours, was with Jesse, one of my best buddies about whom I’ve written a few times. Guy who was on my roof last October hosing it down do it didn’t catch fire from all the falling embers and little flaming pieces and bits of homes around that weren’t as favored. We came here and bowled, had beers, walked around and watched people play games, talked, then had some more beer and walked back to my house. Seems like forever-forever ago, and I just think about time as I always do. Setting plan for today, trying to get ahed of time. What can I do? Nothing. More and more I’m old, older, but I don’t feel it. How do I reconcile that? Maybe I don’t have to. Maybe I am where I am, where I’m supposed to be, like my friend Tasha agree a cosmic intersection.
Hard to believe I’m writing here. Epic Center— No, it IS ‘Epicenter’. Oh well. Doesn’t matter the name. I definitely didn’t see my morning going this way, writing here, a place where I usually only visit when wife and kids are away and with Jesse to bowl and beer, and maybe play some game, something. After this, thinking a drive somewhere, write somewhere else random. OR, should I go home and arrange office. Re-take the office which has recently been overtaken by the little beats, where they leave toys and sweet little drawings for me and their mother. OR……. Do I go to that collective crush pad, watch the winemakers and fruit come in, document what I can, be more of a wine writer than I ever had, just play around and fiddle with visuals and writing ideas like I do when here with bowling ball and beer. Yes.. just go there and play with wine, and now that I’m out of the industry I can very much do that.
Looking for fruit, bins full of berries, winemakers I know, ideas for my little label. Find stress commotion, people talking about what to do with fruit, how to treat fermentation, temperatures. That place, Punchdown it’s called, is my epic of epic centers for creativity. Now with this day off, I can work. I can collect stories about wine and the wine industry and what people want from wine that work with it everyday on a production level. Just made a note in today’s lecture and lesson plan, “What are you looking for?” Writing is experience, as is reading, bringing your life to the pages of whatever novel or memoir, book you’ve picked up. Everything intersects, all elements connect. In writing in life in work with reading, everything. Like a game. A ball down an isle, knocking over pins.
Coffee. Didn’t think I would have any but a nice bloke named Art helped fix the machine. Something with the paper inside he said. Not sure what that meant and I had trouble finding his repairing ability and magic powers but am cosmically grateful for the cup I now enjoy. He had his dog with him, Murphy, a mix of pit and rot and German Shepherd or something. Cute little guy that I though a puppy but really 8 years old. Want a bigger property to have a dog for kids. Working on it.
Out in field today, again. Meant to wake early as I always do but needed more sleep, waking at 630-something then ironing some pants, into shower, getting coffee and wee treat for wife as she has day off, recovering. Me in break room. Saw co-worker who also enjoys Kerouac’s work, walking her dog as I approached front door. Asking her how her morning was and she told me great, woke at 4:45 to go to gym, workout, and here she is. The mornings, I need something from them. More hours, more time, and I have only self to cite for not waking when I want. Prophesying the next 8+ hours. Selling with team, walking around the East Bay today, I believe. Want today to be wild, more wild than any day this week. Written, written madly. Bag on table, person behind me getting napkin from some odd and stray little stack. Writer at a tech company. Love it. Love this place. What it does and what it stands for but I try to find more. Not letting self get breakfast as I did the other day, and yesterday. Yesterday having some croissant sandwich with egg, cheese, meat… felt disgusting afterward. So none of that. And none of the doughnut array a guy who next to me sits brought in this morning. Was tempted. Told him, “Maybe later.” But no. Going for a bit of a literary fasting, ration, penury for sakes of prose today.
An office, versus a tasting room. Then thinking of every job I’ve had, reflecting only now at 39, and where I’m going as I seem to in every entry… Do I want a snack? NO. Fast.. deprivation, a sort of literary and page torture training. What will it do to the psychology of this writer, how he touches the keys, how he writes… what will it do to the book, book? 08:30. 20 minutes about, to collect. People come in here for morning fixes, one man just now grabbing some dry cereal and some cold caffeine or coffee drink to pair. This place fascinates me. The video games, stacked chairs, a jungle of deliberation and fascination, like Duke and Gonzo in the casino, at the bar surrounded by lizard monsters. I look around and see business, me building my story and “brand” if that’s what you want to call it. I just want more, like everyone else. The coffee to me speaks in radiant and radically riled voice and unspoken syllable sets. Going to write everything down today. From today’s poem, poems, to notes on team, the field, sakes ideas, me-ideas, everything around me secures the affirmation of dream-actuality transformation and actualization.
In ten years, I’ll be…. Don’t want to say. By the end of the semester, well, I do want to say. Teaching on writing. Teaching independently. Independent and NEVER dependent on the JC for classes and teaching opportunities. This break room teaches me to write faster, write more, about the coffee and the coffee machine, Art and his dog Murphy, the people getting their breakfast bites, and me here writing like a beatnik having finally found his his IT, moving with supersonic insistence toward a storm of ideological adorned page-forms. Seeing something, then writing it. Living it. Odd embodiment of passion and presence, passion for what’s in front of me and present.
Feeling a but of a famine rumble. Ignoring it. Writing rethought it. If I had something to eat what would I have. Certainly nothing in the fridge. Then what. What do I want. What will I do if this ravenous inner-stomp heightens in any way. Not sure. Just keep with the words, the— TODAY. Today is the IT, the IT of it all. The coup de foudre, for me and this book. Not failed, in any pour, in any sound, in any movement or issue. Today is all any writer should be focused on. I’m here, at work, about to share ideas, about to speak to people, about to learn, about to be more me than the bloody wine industry could ever echo or hasten or hurry. I’m finding not only work here, and nuggets of knowledge, but visuals that confirm the reasoning for why I’m here now.. to work over or about an hour early and diving into pages, a book project.
So many of us fear work. I see that as a decision. I see that as a surrender. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? The answer should always be “Everything.” Try everything, experience everything, WRITE everything. That’s what succeeds in solution, answers, happiness with I think everyone quests. Everything…. “Try EVERYTHING” I started the semester with. And now I the like enact.
More coming in for snack, something to eat. The writer tempted, but I find gems in this starvation and deprivation, a re-allocation of self and functionality.
08:47. Want to be back at desk, soon. Start day. Initial tasks. Notes for field, for me in field, observations from yesterday. Coffee already going cold. I think of last night’s wine. Which one. The Rosé, of which I only had one glass, and the Barbera of which I think I had maybe 1.5. OR two. I deserved it, I reasoned, keeping the 1A class over 90 minutes which made for a 12-hour day, give or take.
Again quiet. Sip again.
Could it be the last time I say down to type was three days ago? Yes that makes sense, with all the trips I’ve been making to the city for work, no longer having that hour to type in the Sonic break room. Me, now, in the conference room in the English Department and I feel funny writing. Probably ‘cause I just had dinner again even after I said I wouldn’t, at La Texanita. Something about that place, I swear. I feel like I’m distant, away, vacation or just on some Road travel. Speaking of, ‘bout to give my last talk on Kerouac’s Road. I have more or less a plan, but not really. Not at all. More in the mood to teach than I was on Thursday, definitively. Already wine thoughts find my head and me in this chair where I’m supposed to be planning. How will I feel next semester, when I have no sections to teach? Not sure… I can see there being a bit of sullen bend, but it’s for the better, for me, family, advancing in my writings on tech and life, work, business. The office new’s given me more than I thought I’d receive in this timed life. And now, staring at my notes, trying to shed this oddity in the writing act like some old skin. Skin and sense, through consistency for which I hold no interest. What else can I “teach”, tonight. Go word by word. Be in the room with the author, Kerouac. Need to underline more… have more prepped thoughts. But then I think I’m so good in the moment I don’t need to plan or write anything out. That’s the problem! I say to myself…. Any chance you have to write you should, just as the people in the office are of the habit and forward, entrenched decision to write EVERYTHING down. Every conversation, every idea, every question, every in-the-moment musing or anything.
Bought an iced coffee in the snack shop, at the office, but left on desk. Shit, I think.. should I go get some now, in the caf’? Might keep me up a bit, tonight. So what, I think. Then I write, till 3 or something then take a nap. Yes… soon’s I’m done with this entry or revival post or whatever it’s called then I’ll go there, across the street to where I know there’s coffee. I want to approach the room with energy, the same energy I had this morning in the meeting with T, which we yesterday planned just upon my return from SF. I gently coerced her to title the meeting the “Beatnik Meeting”. Exchanging ideas wildly over coffee. We had that meeting this morning and I was all fire, all storm and storm surge, deluge and decisions, while as well learning from her words. Again, what happens when no classes at JC? Then I have all classes on blog. Easy. There. DONE.
18:30, now. Coffee, coffee. Only thing I can think of, see self sipping. Other than the eventual wine, tonight.
Wine never needs to frame complicated. Wine should never direct prolix. She’s inviting, approachable, narrative and affectionate. What’s surrounded by curved glass reads a presence, a prophetic face and storm of versifying lines.
After a day, working, wine waits, debates her approach to me, my life and day and immediate room. The room, now, connotative in resonance, assurance, a perceptive seat. I’m at a table with her, being instructed, listening,eating leftovers and coaching me on Now, this doesn’t have to be layered or codified, and sort of sophisticated set.
Haven’t touched this glass. But the visual and nearness has me. Inward recite, and known night, thrown toward a lone vinified light.
Son tells me this morning that he wants to be an author— “I want to write books when I grow up, Daddy. Like my workbook [that he was yesterday working on], I love writing.” I smiled and thought more about writing and how I write, or try, blog it all and while last night sipping the last of that Napa blend, now dead, I thought off the meta of writing, of writing about writing. Why we write, why right now instead of taking a shower or doing budgetary shit, or driving up to Healdsburg early to do whatever, or doing anything around the house like most “real men” would on their day off, I write. Think in poetic pulses, or try. Listen to the dishwasher that I just put on, and think about notes, what I tell students about writing. Or not tell, but share.
Harvest starting, or in some spots well into its due, friends of mine waking at 0400, then I wonder if I did the same what I could get done. I can’t think about it or write it anymore, what I’d write and how I’d reach 3000 or more words if I just set my alarm and did it. It’s not setting the alarm that’s the issue. That’s more than easy, it’s effortless. What if I rolled out of, from sheets and pillow and dove into prose. This morning, a mocha. 4 shots which I haven’t in some time done, and saying to self, “Amplify, amplify… teaching, writing, the classroom, tech…” What do I want, what do you want, what do you want to amplify? It’s literally that simple, as I see it. Whatever you want, attainable. You choose to subscribe to antithetical mind, if you’re not moving. “Why don’t I have what I want?” or “…what I’m after?” Draw all thoughts. Be more than AT the drawing board. BE the drawing board. Be moving. Be in constant actuation and deliberation, forward and with your creative fire.
Since I started fiddling with writing, I’ve found it to be an exploration of my own thinking, how I generate thoughts and what I want from the act of writing. Again, I could be doing anything right now, anything. I chose to come here, to the island counter, sit, sip mocha, get to page. My son telling me he wants to write, I need to write faster. When he’s in middle school, or high school at the latest, I need be touring with these words. Officially clocked into Day 3 of this challenge, or sprint. A measure for when I’m forty. Jazz in the room with me, and my thoughts go everywhere while still contained in looking at my son and high bright eager motioned expression when telling me of his book-borne ambitions. Writing, seeing the association you have with words, and what they will do for you, to you, what story you want to tell. I think. Of this. Everyday. Me, writing father, adjunct for over 12 years, finally freed from wine’s industry to extend my written and poetic identity in tech. Can’t say that’s ever been done, has it? Just have to see, where all this will take me. What knowledge I’ll pocket. Quiet house, not used tot his so early on a Sunday. Not even 0845. Will be in 1 minute. I feel rush, a rush in me to get things done, to finish a book, to put it out there— about journaling, writing everything down, blogging, seeing everything as material. Even this plastic baggie of change that I’ve collected over the past couple months. What do I do with it?
Setting budget for day, week. For the first time in a while, since leaving the wine world, I’m quite comfortable. Thank the craft. Setting up the other blog so readers won’t see adds or other garbage to the sides. I’m revolving and cartwheeling in thought and thorough thoroughness of my Personhood. The Healdsburg Square will see me today. WILL. I’ll precipitate with my written will in whatever room I write. The bakery? The grocery? Can’t stand those flies, though, at Oakville’s patio zone. Every time I try to write through them, I am shoed away, like I were the fly in their annex. Where else in HB is there to write, I think. Flying Goat, I guess. Find a spot there, though, is time arduous. So I think somewhere else, possibly. SHED? Yes. It’s indoors. And their espresso is some sexy fuel-quake love I’ve never tasted, or haven’t since Paris. And, if feeling well into my Beatnik notes, the beers on tap are all those that speak to a Madigan, one like me who writes.
Back hurts from run yesterday, the 10 miles which was a war to do. So I stretch while sitting and writing, breath in this kitchen air, look left and see crumbs from the little breakfast treat I took for the baby Beats. So much around me, so much to tell me, tell me where to whim, where and how to write. This semester, possibly and more than likely my last conventional term, I invest every cell. All tables and chairs, with this poem I just started writing, new Newness and pages, streams of collection and meditation.
Yesterday I wrote, “Enjoy and use your scene.” Mine, now, in this kitchen next to the bag of coins and my depleting mocha, the poetry journal, my wallet and the cash I was counting to my left, reminds me I’m alive, so alive and into this year, summer ending, that amplification is the only remaining route. Winemaker friend of mine, yesterday, saying how he was at a wine tasting and the wines spoke to him newly, in some different or hip way, calling them hipster wines. Didn’t ask for elaboration, but was put in assertion, asseveration in my wined story. I always come back to wine and what she says to me, what my fictive figure, Kelly, does her first week in a tasting room. This scene, room, page, more than fanciful and enjoyable. Back to poem…
Internet down. So I can’t post to blog. And that’s my thing with blogging, the love and the hate. If I can’t blog it, is it significant? Of fucking course it is. But there’s something in me that feels void and shortage, not sure why.
Since I started blogging, in ’09, I’ve always wanted to do it. But now, I will, have to, AMPLIFY. One time someone told me that I don’t know what amplification is in the tech and blogging, general sense. She was, and still is, just a chattering blank space of a person. Hoping our paths cross again when I elevate, when what I know what’s to happen, happens.
15:51— Another glass of water. Too early for beer.
Thought— Where you are and what you’re doing should ALWAYS serve as inspiration. Stop looking for it from some speaker, or on some bumpersticker, or in some show. You have enough. Open your eyes. Enjoy and use your scene.