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.

Novel Spacious

And the end of the day.  Opened what I believe to be the last of the 2012 wines I made.  This one, the ‘New Dad Cuvée’.  Can’t tell you how amazing it tastes, notably after today’s tempo and day-sort, all the prepping when I wasn’t that prepped which I should have been, after the run this morning, and now at the desk in my home office.  MY ebb’s a bit low, but now too trench-tuned.  Hear son coughing upstairs and I feel like I shouldn’t be writing, and if I am it should be something interplanetary, sending us all somewhere— overseas, to a new, bigger house on some enormous farm plot of our own.  But no I’m here conflicted about how I feel about this ’12 ‘NDC’.  And if I should have another glass.  Why not.  Of course I should.  But wait a second… why wine [Jackie coughs twice, and again…  Wife goes upstairs to him, insisting I stay down here], why do I need wine in my everyday’s day, progression, time and pulses all?

What this moment to me instructs is to embrace who I am, and what I want.  I’m sure someone reading this is eager to bow-and-arrow at me the ‘selfish’ tag.  And they can do just that.  Everyone in wine’s world and whirl is.  Popping a small tall thin can of Perrier sparkling water.  Need some hydration, the writer feels.  Downstairs in dark while washer and dry upstair go and throw, to too much fro.  So I try to collect down here, and I’m taken and pushed, bullied by the thought of ‘Why didn’t I hit 13.1 this morning?’  Yeah, WHY didn’t I?  Honestly, I don’t think I stretched enough.  And right now, my body so much it feels, in the right hip, the right knee, still both fucking ankles (inside, which has never itself noted before).  The run was good, I guess, but I can’t help jot it as a failure, a matriculation only to be a dropout.  Why?  Ugh… a mood sinks, Me stops.  It’s end of day, and I’ve been up since.. huh, when…  6?  Before?  Shit, now I’m one of those dads, it’s all starting to blur.  I’m losing my fucking youth and I’m going madder than the rabbit and that giggling jerk at the tea table.  “Calme-toi, mon ami!” I self-order, only wanting the night to get better.  Don’t hear anything from Jack upstairs but I’m that kind of dad, the one who worries, the one who loves his babies more than anything and even when they’re not technically ‘babies’, he’ll them so still see.  And when they’re all grown, no longer kids, it won’t matter— they’ll be his always-kids.  I’m not a ‘New Dad’, and I’m not an expert dad.  Just a dad, a daddy, a papa.  Washing machine, dryer, upstairs with their roars and rotations, jumbles and jangles, distracting and centering me.  Pulled in directions all.  But, chapter closed.  That bottle that was opened, now corked, in hangared.  The once-New Dad centers in his type-stomps.

(8/29/16)

Committed to finishing at least four tracks

tonight, poems and prose to be read.  Jack and I now watch some carton before bed.  Only now do I get a chance for prose.  Yesterday running the half, going to winery to work event that was even more physically taxing than the race, then home.  Now sitting.  And no session today till now.  Today, whole, with family.  Which we needed, which little Keroauc most specifically requested.  So I posted the class.  Now, everything I write will be sold– blog writing like this is what is temporarily rendered “disposable story”.  I may sell it later, but immediately this and other leaps like are merely entries, diarism from the penning cavalier…  My attitude becomes freer and more separatist wing flap than anything before, sipping my Claret and thinking about the day with family, how amazing it felt not to have to be a fucking adjunct tonight– not having to be somewhere cuz they said ninjas to– and then they’ll say, “You agreed to the assignment.” Yes, I agreed, not wanted.  Were there so many other elections to caress?  And like you plate so many more pedagogical aperitifs for the writer.  Don’t care what they think anyway so it’s not worth writing.  You’ll say I’m being negative but no this fearless curvature quips the yay-sayer’s beckon.

9:27M–  both babies asleep, I think.  Emma no longer in her bassinet and img_5719Jackie cuddling with Ms. Alice, temperament settled for evening, and how much a rich stretch it is to finally write.  Wanted to go for a covert run today, at some point, but did little exercises in pool, and will do push-ups throughout night.  Vacation on the mind but writing about it the whole time, what writing fathers think about, or me anyway, while babies sleep.–  Wife just texted me from Upstairs, “Sure is quiet…” We’re both afraid to go in and check on Ms. Austen, afraid we’ll wake the gorgeous little Victorian from her rest and have to do it ALL over again.  Hear movement upstairs, think Alice leaving Jack’s quarters.  And then what…  She comes downstairs.  But to tell me that Jack wants me for a minute to talk before bed, and I think “OH here we go.” I know just how this goes, I go up and we talk then get a little silly, telling jokes and throwing stuffed animals at each other, then Alice comes up to tell us ‘stop it!’, or ‘BEHAVE’, something like that.  So I go up and talk to him, Alice comes in to supervise and calm him down in prep for sleep, I go in and check on little Ms. Austen two or three times to makes sure all’s well in her little pack-and-play thing, whatever it’s called.  And the night is off, at my desk with a nightcap, glass of the ’13 Taylor I took home last night.  Have runner’s guilt, isn’t that funny?  I ran 13.1 miles yesterday and I feel like a pig gelatinous right now for not running.  Pushups, only solvent.

But holding off a bit, as I’ve been noosed by other pulls from the day, one a picture Alice took of little Kerouac and I walking but Spring Lake, just gone in our moment, not saying a word, looking at the water and the weeds around us, thinking and looking for the next scene ingredient to address in some conversation, some wholeness about our characters—  My little Artist is much more sagacious than anything I was, am, or ever will be.  Not sure if that’s pathetic that my son’s more adept at so much more than his English Professor and Writer fahter but I’m sharing what I observe, and what I observe I’m not qualified to comment on.  He’s a stratosphere, and ionosphere, a mesosphere of manuscript potential, as is his little Victorian sister.  Getting distracted by my ideas which happens when you sip any kind of wine in concert with exhaustion, be it half-marathon-caused or not.  And now, wine gone.  Last sip.  I’m learning that the academic institutional clasps that everyone so much wants to be a part of simply abhor me.  That’s why I have no takes doubled from calling in tonight.  Calling in, and what are they going to do?  The ‘They’?  I can teach, I will teach, I don’t need some building, some department, some curriculum or joke course “outline”?  So funny how they promote and ‘profess’ freedom yet they have these bloody outlines for us.  Where’s the freedom in that?  “Oh, but —— is one of the most prestigious [or sought-after, or high-ranked, or what the fuck ever] community colleges in the country…” Yeah, so I need them?  How does that rattle my written rile?  I’ll be more brave, borderline bumptious with my efforts.  No one will do a thing, certainly not in the academic world— they’re too convicted and concerned with being academics.  Why not writers?—  Think I heard something upstairs.  Emma?  Jack?  The writing father again interrupted by his concern and love for the babies.  What was that noise?  Should get up and go check but I’m too into my words and this moment, at the desk with this empty wine glass I more than plan on filling for one more elixir’d transaction.  Feel like Kerouac, yes my son but also my lit hero, here at this wooden surface typing on these keys thinking about tomorrow but how can I even entertain a tomorrow when today hasn’t closed.  Too many writer’s act in ripples of absolution when in comes to time.  Why not just be in-moment, mold it, act within and around and about it?  Not saying I’m right I’m just offering how I’m writing right now in this home office with an empty glass— oh the most begged and predictable symbol of anyone examining one’s own or another’s perspective.  ‘Is the glass half-empty or half-full?’ As if they’re so smart when they pose such.  No pose from me.   See the glass as something I need fill immediately—

day’s 3 pages

Pass

In being a creative, doubting yourself is death.  Plath said in one of her thousands of journal entries that “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” So, no doubting Self.  Ever.  This is more than some cheesy manifesto or declaration for me.  Another of my favorite authors, as many or probably all of you know, is Jack Kerouac.  One of the first bombs of urgency that he projects at us comes in the inaugural chapters, “The only people for me are the mad ones…” Mad people don’t ever doubt themselves, they just do what they do, and with mad beauty, mad effulgence and placement.  Today is Friday, but not for me, as I work tomorrow.  I’m working today at the winery but I only feel a push, a creative shove that will keep me creating and walking around the vineyard blocks staying motivated, decided.  And what have I decided?  To create, teach creatively, share what I’ve learned creatively.  Frankly, doubting yourself is death to any forward.  I’m not hoping to be a motivational anything.  Certainly not “speaker”, or … anything.  I’m just sharing what I learn.  THAT, is my pedagogy.  Positivity is not optional.  The creative act is contingent upon a dominant positive and yay-saying disposition that visible in all creative work.

My 3 pages today, sharing what I learn as I learn it.  Just now, as I walked in, I saw a cluster of grapes going through veraison, just the beginning stages, very beginning steps toward ripeness.  In my head I thought, “I need to get inside, clock in!” But what I did, just stop, enjoy that moment and focus on and enjoy the varying shades of green, deep purple and light purple, that purplish-pink, light red.  I took a couple breaths for me.  Yes, I’ve written about breathing before, but those breaths just outside this building (house, actually), made me feel strong, confident, dousing doubt in weight more mightier than itself.  It was like those burning stars Kerouac talked about in that part of ‘Road’.  Burning, Roman candles, wanting everything right then and there.  The feeling followed me in here— and I sit here a creatively animalistic mammoth of this new teaching mode.

Another lesson from this morning:  Graduating.  The act of graduating is not just in school or academic contexts.  You move from one page to another, one geography to next, moving upward hopefully and not in an exhaustive lateral.  Two students of mine, past ones from just this last Spring, are currently at their school of transfer, UC Santa Cruz.  They’re excited, you can tell, eager to start the new Newness before them.  I know what that feels like and I want it again and again, again, and I can get that, I tell myself.  No doubt, I can get that.  The next step is teaching myself to teach more creatively and go as far outside the conventional box as your mind will let you.  And this mind will let me do whatever I want.  It’s my biggest ally, supporter, like a wandering cheerleader entangling and untangling my anxieties and insecurities.  At this new age of 37, in fact, it’s quite eager to hunt down and kill the self-doubt if it ever steps into sight or some subtle tangibility.  It’s more than an enemy to my 37 mind, it’s a bouldering threat.  But we’re not afraid.  And, if you feel something coming, some doubt or challenge, or collision, get in front of it.  You’ll love how you feel afterward.

I know, “You said you weren’t going to try to be some motivational anything…” I’m not.  And if I sound that way I apologize.  I’m advocating a complete absence—no, VOID, a total VOID—of fear.  Fear and doubt work concertedly, often.  If not all the time.  You feel a fear of something, then you doubt yourself letting the fear trample your ardor.  Or, the doubt morphs into a ravenous fear.  Just stand up to it, all of it.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You fall down, you lose once or twice, or a dozen times, but you again step and step, move forward.  Again, please understand:  THIS IS JUST SOMETHING I’VE LEARNED.  I’M NOT A SPEAKER ON THIS SUBJECT.  But I can share.  I’m a sharer.  Maybe an over-sharer, yes, but I’m intrepid to the point of not caring, just putting my thoughts out there knowing my inner-pushes and motivations are to help someone that feels self-doubt.

Plath and Kerouac both had their doubts and troubles, demons and challenges, blocks and bumbles.  But they created.  They brought themselves out of their nay-saying maelstroms and wrote, put books together, added to their stories with unbridled withstanding.  I learn ever time I read ‘Road’, or ‘Bell Jar’ or some other Plath work.  This is a dance, with me and literature, my story and paginated steps back and forth and teaching myself that I can teach myself and learn with more vocality than I did when in college.  I will graduate.  Soon.  Be in my travels, sharing more positive pulses and peregrinations with anyone who’ll listen.

If this were a Pass/Fail course, I wouldn’t even see the word ‘Fail’.  What is that, anyway?  Who invented that bloody word?  Like those grapes outside I come into maturity, finally, at age 37.  I’m not old, but I’m definitely into life, deep enough into the story where I can’t and won’t and don’t see failure.  At all.  I’m like the cluster outside that’s standing in the way of aggressive sun rays, saying “You don’t hurt me, you can’t burn me, you only add to me…” Or something like that…  Lost my train of thought, enjoying a couple breaths at this desk and staring out at the vineyard.  Oh yeah.. the Pass/Fail thing… yeah, who’s to say what’s a failure?  You have all the time in the world to get what you want.  Yes, tomorrow’s not promised, I get all that.  But I don’t think like that.  The urgency is here with me, and that’s enough.

Enjoying the steady, slow, accommodating beginning to my day, with the outside vines, inside this house with my coffee, no ringing phone, my projects for the day cued up.  The day teaches me something else, even more crucial in value than the breathing outside next to my car:  ACKNOWLEDGE YOU’RE ALIVE.  ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU CAN GET OUT OF YOUR CAR, BY A VINEYARD, AND BREATHE.  Yes.  Like I’ve said and written on my blog I don’t know how many times— ‘You know how many people in America would kill for a view like this from their desk?’ True, so I need to slow down.  I offer you do the same.  Just try it.  Move a little slower.  Don’t worry, the self-doubt and fear won’t catch you.  If anything, I’ve just recently found, this makes you more impenetrable as a person, as a writer and creator.  This day has also taught me that you can’t create when you’re negative, or in a mood or funk.  Last night, a disagreement with someone only weighed on my thinking, and I tried to write but only paginated word-sewage.  I hated what I wrote.  In fact, I deleted the whole piece, close to 500 words and I never do that.  Enjoy the steady, smile, be positive, and enjoy your writing fly and you away with it.

Goals…  I am in no way an authority to talk about goal attainment.  Goals, I only just the other week developed a methodology which makes goal satisfaction more seamlessly embraceable.  So I won’t even write about my “methods”, if they’re even “methods”, but I will say play with your own methods… see what works for you.  Goals are great.  They’re there to touch, to enjoy when you reach them.  In fact, if you have some goal obtainment practice you want to share with me, believe me I’m all ears, eyes, senses and thinking.  You teach me, you share with me, I’d be timelessly indebted!

‘On The Road’ taught me to just go.  Don’t think, just go.  Do.  Overthought is writer-death I always share with students.  And it is. It’s goal-death as well.  Just bloody try.  You won’t fail.  In fact, what others so hastily tag as failure is really character assembly, and addition to Personhood and thought fortitude.  Sal and Dean had destinations but more importantly they had a penchant for the journey, the travel, the Road.  They were high on ‘The Road’.  The Road was the pursuit, not some city.  As with writing and being a creative, we do have our deadlines and projects, the manuscript and tangible we rush to complete, but it’s the process and practice that keeps us positive, keeps us mentally live and more immune to self-doubt and fear, those horrible pessimism anchors that love submission.  Reminds me of this George Bernard Shaw quote for some reason, where he says, “You see things and say, WHY? But I dream things that never were and say, WHY NOT?” Just get up and go, right?  No meditation or measurement, just act, just create, just run, just write, just live.  Overthought in many realities is the offspring of self-doubt.  So, no thank you.

Happiness is the path…  I remember a friend in college, undergrad, fellow English major always used to say this.  Think it was a quote from Buddha, I think.  But, I’ve always remembered it, sometimes say it to self while driving Dry Creek Road to work.  I’ll get out there and walk, let the day and the vineyards teach me more.  I have more to learn if I’m to forward as a strong creative.  When out there, I’ll take pictures of what the vineyards tell me.  I’ll let the atmosphere and stage’s character instruct me.  I have no reason to doubt the self if the vineyard’s promulgating me, supporting my curiosities and scholastic rhythms.  I know graduation’s near.  Where am I transferring?  The world.  The whole planet.  Writing in spots you wouldn’t think to write… a bus stop in Zurich, a field in Norway, a café in Egypt.  Travel isn’t a goal just to be a goal and to travel, just to tell people something trite like ‘oh I travel a lot for work’.  Annoying when people say that, like they’re so burdened by the flights and the hotels when they know so many would love to experience what they are.  I’m on a tangent, I feel…  I’m just motivated for graduation, to my next campus, passing to next stage— out there.

After my walk in the vineyard with a co-worker, taking dozens of stills of clusters and the canes, the rows and soil, irrigation lines, I’m not just ‘moving’ upward, it’s become a sprint.  And, I just realized, maybe this goes beyond instructional and matriculated containment, maybe it’s life, the life of a writer and style of life (not necessarily ‘lifestyle’) of a truer than true writer.  Thinking and brainstorming on a separate sheet of paper from the Composition Book and I know that my first travel is close, that assurance and coated affirmation, coated in assurance from what I see around me in the vineyard and this very office, that what I want is right there.  To live madly, having any self-doubt so far at my 6 that it dissipates, halts in any memory or semblance of existence.  The walk was the topper, icing on cake, cherry atop, whatever cliché you insist be inserted.  It’s there, here, now, with me.  Like visual music and poetry.  We can all have what we want, all of it, I’m just now learning.

You know who, or what, or more so who is the motivational speaker today?  This vineyard.  That one across the street from us.  All the patches and stretches and blocks I saw driving to work.  It’s more than motivating, or “inspirational” for me.  It’s the Road, it’s the Roman candle, it’s a story that doesn’t stop.  Happiness with exponents with exponents.  Today’s been like that day in the semester where you know graduation is near and you want to conclude the term stronger than you have the others.  You’re strong.  The feeling is a cosmic intoxicant.  you can’t get enough and you wouldn’t if you could.  In fact, the thought of it leaving you or getting your fill frightens you, but emboldens you.  You’re going to pass to the next campus and stage in your self-education and edification in ways that you’ll yourself want to study, repeat and repeat repeatedly.  You’ve acknowledged that you’re alive, your life is being written, by you—  Before you say anything, I’m not in motivational mode.  Not at all.  I’m in assurance mode, or affirmation morphology, speaking to myself and sharing what I’ve learned and what I’m realizing about myself and what I’m capable of, with you.

Creativity is life.  My life.  If you write or draw, take pictures, make music, make wine from the grapes out there, or express yourself with and/or through anything, then you’re lively with an alive liveliness for which you should compliment yourself.  Keep creating.  you’re far from that doubt, now.  “Huh,” I just thought to myself, I may have a goal strategy now.  And if not a rock-solid strategy then certainly a thought of one.  That’s a start, right?  I’m passed what was, forgetting it completely no, but moving past.  It’s part of the writer’s past, which is essential otherwise I’d have no present nor future.  We creatives ramble, which is precisely what I’m doing right now, a consequence of condensed inspiration, the atmospheric nudges from vineyards, views of vineyards.  Always coming back to those grapes, the canopies, the leaves and extending canes.  There’s life out there, self-life, self-education, my newest self sense.

I am, I am, I think…

Two poems to type. Won’t tonight. Feeling lazy and tired from morning run. 8.5 miles, surprised self— Didn’t expect to go that far. At desk with nightcap, felt like being naughty and I was opening this ’12 Lancaster Estate Cab. Running out of wine and I was in a wine mood, so what’s a writer to do? More and more ideas flooding my form today in the tasting room as I sold the winery’s wines, thinking of how I could and should be selling my own writings like mad. I mean that is the goal, right? Stray $10 bill on desk, under cord from laptop to phone— wonder where it’s from then I remember, tip from some guy from Nebraska, from today. Tempted to take my wine outside, that Summer temp’ with nearly scribed breeze pattern. Starting pile of poems to type— one I wrote today, saying “Door open, come sip/with a scribbler”. I started with poetry, need come more back to it, its rebellion to form, and within such standing situate in its own form. The Cabernet I’m tilting into my talking now telling the writer to keep with verse, don’t budge, just keep going. I’ll be on stage soon, reading. That’s what I want. And the blog, keep with the freeness of prose, like poets in their throws. Both poems, saying something about a moment, and strike back at time for being what it is— something that ages us and steals moments. My verses and lines are meant to immortalize moments. My moments. Make them OUR moments.
I can see tonight is meditative. Coffee already made for morning, sitting in the tumbler urging me to set alarm for 4 or something and wake early like Sylvia and finish two or three, maybe even four, pieces. Permanently returning to poetry, and if this is a “lifestyle blog”, then it’s the stylized life of a poet, with his constant playfulness with form and verse, rime and meter, setting his own style in his sensibility and structure. Before I go upstairs, need one new poem written, just typed so I don’t have to type it later and put myself in a position of procrastinating like I am now. I remember writing poetry in that intermediate algebra class (no caps, intentional), my first moments of practicing zen, but unintentionally, some sort of meditation to escape that classroom— seems like lightyears ago, and here I am, finally coming together into some sort or code of coherent character, returning to poetry but being more mathematical about it, or at least I will be, that I ever have been with anything else. My “style” is dependent upon a return to studenthood, learning and re-learning about what’s around the writer. Two babies, a wife, a winery, wine— and here at the desk: son’s blankie, one of my belts, phone and Happiness Project journal, stemless plastic glass of Cab, the Garmin, that $10 bill, a pen and some random business card from a grower…
Don’t have time for readings right now, or going to any readings so I’ll broadcast the poems from here, my house. And if this doesn’t “work”, meaning change my reality as a writer and heighten exposure, then I don’t know what will. Just as people who can sing LOVE showing their voice to any crowd or small group that will listen, so will be me with my verses and meters—

Clutter enclosing around me, why what.
In the regulatory stuck, clock nothing but a short story cut.
Quaking poems and verses in my structure, so complicated,
one of the candidates but I never wanted to be nominated.

Feel like I could perform now, have another glass of the this LE CS and rime all night, until I have to have some coffee to stay awake, somehow make it to class and barely have adequate vigor to lecture and share what I have to about Esther.
Starting to feel the morning run, that 8.5 catching Mike. But I don’t let myself stall or stop or pause or slow. Not even for a second. Don’t think I’m going to finish this entry, much I want to. Should let myself be lazy, just sit in front of the TV and watch something trashy, like BRAVO reality TV or something that low. So what do I do? Would love to read some Plath, or Kerouac, or Hem… need to make time for one of them. I skim through Plath’s entries, or one of them, but I’m too tired and angularized by the Cabernet to give her respectful read. SO, I put her down. 37 as an age so far has not been able to mute or muffle or even slightly slow my growl and relentless rile.
Everything is poetry. Even the past writings from years ago intended to be prose, I’ll soon revisit and recapture them and conform them my poetic placements and cosmos. What I find in this, this day and night and day, this 10th of the 7th month, is gift; a telling of reason and rationale, leaning to one side and that side is of art, voice and truth. Me here next to Plath— no, I know I should wait for morrow. SO maybe I will, for once.
Next day, around 4:42, the whole day with family and me calling in my class tonight, just wanting to stay home and organize myself, have a beer on the patio. Need to collect, consolidate, build this poetry base I’ve started— By tonight, I’ll have seven isolated performance pieces.. some more scribbles in journal—

Interrupted then but back now, 10:12, with coffee already for morrow made and a Lagunitas ‘Lucky 13’ at right. The positive atmospheric pulses around me envelpo with such ardent angles I can’t stop with my coursings.
Don’t think I’ll type any poems tonight, as I’m too tired, too guilted by calling in this night’s meeting (even though I need to, for…), and I just feel like typing on this couch in my office— the couch that was in the living room’s now in the bottledaux office. Alice’s grandmother’s couch now situates in the other room, and I couldn’t be happier— thought earlier about just living the life I want to as a writer, writing and releasing and not caring, like so many of the artists I “follow” and admire. Another sip of this ale, look at phone but don’t pick it up, can feel the Road getting closer, and all boxes just eroding. Imagine that, them imagining me on the Road, thinking “Oh fuck Mike Madigan and his blogger shit—“ And that’s fine. I appreciate their thoughts, honestly. And even more honestly, I need to be more furtive with my passage and projects. Just go from scene to scene while hush-hush-ed-ly doing what I’m doing with the aux operation. And with NO negative accumulation. Only positive. My babies (Whom I just checked on upstairs, seeing both of them sleep, thinking to myself how lucky I am and even thought I don’t believe in any one god I know that something else has given me a tumult of terrificness with those two wees) will have a happy father, one who comes home from HIS office and tells stories. That’s it. That simple. And when he returns home from being on the Road, he’ll talk about the food he ate, the paths he ran, the coffee he drank, show them pictures and talk about the people he talked to in small villages overlooking some river way down in some narrowly vortex’d valley.
Everyone I know or even distantly know is traveling. And I’m sick of it. Old friend from the old neighborhood, someone I love and respect, posting footage of a lightening storm in Nebraska. I can only concede my jealously and imagine what I would be writing if witnessing that, standing under that cover sipping some coffee at an hour I shouldn’t be and just challenging those lights and flashes to prompt me. Older I get the more impatient I get but yet the more fearless I form with my lack of formality and fortitude, thinking I’m to be held under by anything or any whatever but in the past it’s been me that’s held ME under and back and far from the fortune— WHAT THE FUCK. Now I realize this? At 37?
10:38— bed has to be soon and close, nearing like a lecturer— Alice goes upstairs and me to soon follow, saying “Stay off my couch..” jokingly, she knowing how happy I am to have those cushions in my home office. Nearly tempted to call in sick tomorrow but I can’t, I need to see those vines outside “my” office window and get further ahead on the copy projects I have— and oh shit, have a blog entry due soon. So much for the writer to do, should I hit that fucking coffee now, do an all-nighter? Of course not, but it’s in my head, and for a reason I’m sure, but I’m not sure what or who’s the reasoner, not sure it’s me as I’m not that reasonable now, after this night’s capping.
Nearly done with the day, night, sitting. Another sip— toasting to myself to Dad and how at 70-whatever he can still move shit better than I can— still mobile and insightful, acute and astute, precise and meditative in a way I wish I could be for my babies.
Tomorrow morning, with that coffee I tonight brewed, I become a fiery A.M. Hunter S. Thompson— not caring, but too much caring a cosmic narrative blaring, telling the story of a fed-up adjunct and wine loving runner-writer-father. Expansive introspect, commence—
Sipping with Self, a sordid scribbler.

(7/11/16)

Convenient Collage 

Getting restless, and agitated waiting for something to happen in this office.. going for a walk, to tasting room, to pour and sell and gather mental material.

7:15PM.  And ready for a long night of writing and organization, consolidation and work at home.  To wine, relaxing, readying Self for a run in the morning.  Currently in conference room, sitting at the upper part of the ’T’ formation of the tables, quieter than death in this hall.  Or at least this floor.  Or this part of the floor.  I’m in my own universe now, at this time on the clock which tries to assault me with 7:17PM but I respond back, “I have till 7:40 to write, devil!” And I relax, basking in confidence that no industry drone can reach with its pseudo-authority or title.  I’m beyond empowered in this room, as it’s MY room, all these books and old computers, MINE.  The SRJC English department, its mailroom and copy machine, old chairs and this outdated ’T’ formation of tables, this author’s…  All of it.  And I just took pictures to show you and remind myself of the power I feel right now.  But, my vision and envisage pans to wine, the vineyard, and how in love I am with vineyards…

I want tonight’s wine to say something, to be both a wine and producer I’ve either never had or have only once had.  I’m dying for an inspiring Pinot, one with an instructional quality that I can only write to.  After today, being in the office for as long as I was (which I was very happy to do, the winery giving me the esteemed opportunity, frankly, to be the resident writer.. was just tired today), I need a wine that raises my mood even further than it is now.  I swear to you, this solitude is like caffeine, my favorite kind of coffee, like a 4-shot mocha on a cold morning, like the ones I would order before the 7:30AM English 5 last semester.  Right now, I only hear some bent, AC I’m guessing although I don’t feel any air slithering and wrapping around my immediacy—  I hear the clock just ahead of me, over the doorframe that sets the border for conference and mail/copy room.  This is a warping of the day, where as hours ago I was perturbed, waiting for something, something to happen and something, some story, some occurrence, to just pummel me and make me write.  But nothing.  And that’s my problem.  I waited…  “Fucking idiot,” I say to myself, rolling eyes, then refocusing on that file cabinet.  What’s in there?  Only thing I’ve ever needed from it was a change-of-grade form.  But what else is in there?  Certainly nothing they’d not want seen.  But my imagination goes everywhere— What if they know that’s what I and those like me, adjuncts in my position and with my pugilistic edge, would think.  What if all the secrets of some secret full-timer society are in those sliding rectangular 1980s-looking holders?  What if it’s all in there?

The clock taps my right eye again, “7:28.” it says.  Should start my edits—  Though I don’t want to.  I don’t want to be some cannibal editor of my own work.  So I’ll do a light read, lightly reading and reading with light intensity, not too intently.

I need a beer.

And a Pinot when home.

Needing something to happen.  Again.

(6/28/16)

me:  6/21/16.  Tuesday.

I can just feel today over my head, ready to take a shit.  Not sure why, I mean nothing bad’s happened yet today, it’s just a feeling.  The ‘Check Coolant’ light came on in that fucking Passat, there was a line at Hopper (no surprise, and that’s my fault, as I keep going there knowing it’s going to be a shit-show).  So a mood me befalls.  I have to pull myself out of it, I know.  I’m too old for this.  This stress, this worry about money, dealing with the Passat.  Money would solve everything, I tell myself, but I know that’s not entirely true.

Tonight’s class:

“I will not take ‘but’ for an answer.” -Langston Hughes

1 – Reading:  Identity

2 – Writing:  Identity

3 – College:  Identity

4 – Freewrites

5 – Reading from Short Prose Reader

6 – Argument vs. Story, can you have both?

7 – Technology, balance (‘I Think, Therefore IM’)

8 – Short Reaction Approaches… quotes, explanation, thoughts, personal experience…..

Should be ready for tonight’s meeting.  Only Night 2, so I’m not too worried.  Woke this morning at 6:20-something.  Way too late.  Woke before, at 3-something, as Jackie fell out of bed in his sleep, poor bloke.  I of course shot upstairs to check on him, put him back in bed, J saying “Thank you, Daddy, I love you.” Almost started tearing.  No, I did.  Went downstairs, remember looking at the clock and thinking, “I should just stay up, write…” But I didn’t, and I’m glad I didn’t ‘cause today’s going to be a long one, and only the first of these T/TH stretches.

Teaching… everything comes back to teaching, a lesson, self-education, some accrual of knowledge.

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writer with 2 computers, in the office …

Tiring.  Another coffee.  Soon lunch, where I’ll work more for tonight’s class.  Again, not that much to prep for.  My head’s in more places than I can manage…  But I have the weapon of breathing, and awareness that there’s only so much I can do, right now or at any time.

2:40.  Hotter than kettle fury outside.  Jumping back and forth between projects here…  Yawning, sipping water, may have to switch to coffee.  The day so far has been kinder than I thought it would.  Maybe that was just my usual pessimism, earlier, don’t know.

***

10:17PM—  Home, tired, but wanting to do nothing but write.  Hearing my wife speak about how volatile it is at her school, and how certain teachers are saying the climate at their institution is changing… and people wonder why I won’t pursue a career in education, try for the full-time/tenure track scam.  Never.  I’m happy going after what I see for Self, like my sister on the Road, being invited to offer counsel and opinion within my purview of passion.  So much on my desk again, the atmosphere of this home office reminds me to consolidate, to simplify, minimize, and don’t stop writing the expressions of a writing and tirelessly working father.  I’m home, I shouldn’t be stressed, and I’m not, this writer’s tireless, and I will free myself and my wife, my family of supervisory grip.  Our family trade, operation, in the creative, publishing, media and everything else telling a story, is our only concern.  The only “supervisors” will be us, true Autonomy.  Need another glass of my ’12 Merlot to celebrate, rejoice, elevate further in this story and

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at lunch

subsistence in what I self-sustain, growing and reaching for the sun as the vines do.  Pictures at lunch, walking in that Dry Creek heat, then retreating back to the office much I didn’t want to.  Shouldn’t say that— not that I DIDN’T want to, just that I needed time to walk, stretch, breath, meditate, collect, introspect… but I had to work.  Fine, they recognize me as a writer and professor which is much more than the other dimwitted wineries have.  Kenwood, only seeing me as something to barely be seen, just a number and fucking clock-puncher.  Russian River spot, so spun and suffocated in their own silver-spoon-ed-ness that they often times, or most of the time, wouldn’t even be there.  One of them would act like an owner, but then go off on some business trip to sell wine, or so we were told, then come back to office for a couple hours before skid-addling off to who-knows-where.  Like I once wrote, the wine industry is so desperate to be taken seriously.  I finally do take it more seriously, because of Dutcher—  Or rather, it’s Dutcher I take seriously.  The industry still has quite a bit of selling to do before I even lean at a buy.

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that hill, those trees, those vines …

Today, rather kind, I must say, after an incredible meeting with my 100.  So please forgive the way I started this entry.  I was seismic this morning, an irritable fault just eager to quake.  But I’m home now, saw both babies, now I’m composed, about to adimpleate my Govino with more vino, become truly nonpareil.  This is a poet’s night, with the air conditioner adulating (relaxing the writer, complimenting me after my endless day), wife in other room watching her “trashy shows”, she specified.  The words I collect, like that student tonight showing me all the quotes she writes into a notebook.  I need to be more singularized.  Why don’t I?  What am I doing.  No more, even if I want.  If I get an idea for a new project, blend it into this log, or blog, or log.  Hate the word ‘blog’ again.  But I’m a blogger.

The wine now syncopated, jazzlike in its perambulation— perfect palate suddenly contrasting earlier impression.  Think I angered it.  Why did I do that.

Looking again at the lecture, or more so plan, for today.  Freewriting.  Writing freely.  Writing for freedom… Acquiring freedom as a result of writing.  Not just some precursor to an essay, like they want to impress upon or just flat-out teach students.  There’s more to freewriting.  You’ll be liberated.  I, will be liberated.  And in Italy with my sister, or maybe meeting her somewhere else on the Road.  A writer and winemaker, intersecting in sakes of devoted doctrine.  Wine, literature, thought, history, aggrandizement—  Soon.  Then I’ll really be free, no ‘buts’…

After run, I find myself

snacking.  A lot.  Hungry for everything from Wheat Thins and peanut butter to small Ritzimg_3971 Bites with cheese inside.  I feel superhuman after the run.  Not so thrilled about the per-mile, but I did what I set Self to do, 1hr or 7 miles.  I chose 7 which turned out to be more my real aim than anything.  And I see more alignment with running and writing, that they’re so metaphoric and for each other.  I know I was thinking about something, a few things on the run, about teaching and not having a planned route, about communicating with other bloggers and networking more— about throwing twenty things away tonight, inventorying each fucking thing I toss in the trash.

Have a Sauv Blanc from Dutcher in the fridge, but I want to wait a bit.  I see bottledaux turning into more a fitness lifestyle blog than anything.  I think…  Know this was one of my dozens of stretched conceptions on the 7-miler.

Emma upstairs asleep.  Alice off to get little Kerouac and his friend, Addy.  Or is it spelled ‘Addie’.  Can never remember.  I’ve surprised myself in a few ways today— 1, with going to campus even after being discouraged by Starbucks filling up after seeing Emma & Alice there, and not having a single goddamn spot to work.  Then, going to campus and crafting a rough syllabus which I could actually start a semester with if I wanted to (if I didn’t do a single thing more till the 20th, which won’t be the case.. I’ll be warrior-like with how prepped I am), finishing a 500-word article for my Medium blog, and… something else.  OH, I was thinking how I did all this with NO nap.  Yes, I went back to sleep after the 4AM jaunt, then woke again to help with Emma’s feeding, then back to sleep again for about an hour, maybe a bit less.  But my two main aims today, or three, of the 4AM writing, an hour run, and the Medium article, all quelled.

But then suddenly I’m tired.  Can’t nap, at this time of day obviously.  So what does the writer do?  Remember another thought— re-read the 4AM entry, expand on it, test its consistency and linearity with how the day went.  ‘Happiness’, the apex objective.  Realizing this I wake again, second and third wind.

(6/8/16)

Forgot I set Alarm

For 4AM.  So here I am, just over enemy border, in enemy hour.  For only the third time, that I can remember, and the first time after setting alarm for the cruelest of writing hours.  Nearly went back to sleep, but body, more mind, wouldn’t let me.  This session seems more quiet than the others.  Nothing moving, nothing sounding.  Even that ticking is scared to allow its inherent and maker-given movement, functioning.  Won’t lie, typing on phone.  Don’t want to disturb a thing– and, bloody bloody hell, have to use restroom again.  Again, as I did soon as the alarm pulled me from the oddest dream.  First, I’m having to pee so much from all the water I drank last night rather than that cider Deb gave me, as I hoped for an early sitting, or session, as I’m still laying…  Forgot where I was going with that–  oh, that dream…  Remember pulling up to a house with some guys (don’t know who), where we were met by a car that pulled up, armed men exiting.  Then, writer wakes.  Odd, all I can say.
So now again I tussle with the idea of going at that coffee.  Do I?  Sure just what you want to read about, right?  Writer debating if he should have coffee or not.  If I were a reader I’d be like “Fuck, just go fucking drink the coffee or SHUT UP.” Thinking I may go back to sleep in a bit, but not before the bathroom visit, then come back to pillows, and not let self go to sleep–  what the hell’s going on with the writer in this new 4AM battle?  Doesn’t matter.  The same thing.  Today has to be different somehow, and seamlessly different.  Visually and obviously different.  How, though–  or maybe that’s not the best approach or approaching mindset.  Do what I always do, work with what I have always had, just do everything with more force and passion, ardent action, than I ever have.  Yes, that.  Much needs to change, and the change with how I teach is the first step–  start blog for Summer session, then email those students, introducing yourself– write syllabus–  Plan first meeting down to the minute.  Quote, word of day, questions, writing prompts (shorter writing times, then have them expand on free writes later, at their warrant)…  Now, thinking about teaching, my lessons and lectures, I’m much more awake.  Don’t want to leave couch, stop my writing, just want to stay here, forget the bathroom and all that water I drank, my vessel’s functioning.  Pen-to-paper, stress that as I always have just more accented in direness, tone.  Huh, bet I’d wake with surprising speed and elevation if I just started scribbling, now.  But that would entail movement, not only breaking this forward of mine, but as well waking someone in the house.  The fridge runs, light, it too is intimidated by the 4AM volume and numerical.
Allergies causing me to sniffle.. “Shut up!” I whisper to myself, imagining how my mood would nosedive if one of them woke up, and father role initiated now.  Ugh, writer quicker, about anything.  About being a student, all the students from this past term, especially the 5-ers, with their filled Comp Books and questions so early in the morning, that last reading from their journals, how one student r cited a poem or prose piece about being too damaged to go on, something to that mood or perspective and and other student (one I’ve written about before, ‘N’) telling her “You’re never too damaged.” I need to be stronger in my instruction, so now I start.  Notes for morrow, or today, when on campus in cell–
You have one minute to write your life-story…  Better get started… (Then of course I start the timer, hold up a watch or this phone, actually I’ll hold up the Garmin…)
Then, introduce myself, and what the next class, Composition, is all about.
Then, their past with reading and writing, English classes…  Then a poem or song.
I check the clock, as I became lost in my storming above…  4:34.  Would love some sleep.  Or coffee.  Or allergy pill.  Or bathroom visit.  Or to just listen to that refrigerator, the metallic and airy soft hum of its run.  A fellow writer once called this 4AM war a fool’s errand.  Starting to be aligned with such thought.  This is just defiance of time.  No masterpiece being created.  No profoundness precipitating.  But, so’s to be forecasted from a fool, oui?  Forgot I left one of the kitchen lights, better light, preferable atmosphere– or should I turn that one off and use the light directly above me, the one connected to and part of the fan, the one I can adjust as I want– no, just looked up and saw it already on, low to that ambient mood level.  Must have been on for over a day, damn me.  Time to give it a rest.  Not sure I know how to change those bulbs.  Metaphor?  No, statement, fool…
Okay, bathroom break, but not before again ingesting this hour’s grip on me.  The still ness and stark silence to everything.  But I can’t over indulge.  Need sensibility and energy about me, as I’m set to launch into a run from J’s school, after dropping him off, running up the street and along Summerfield as I used to, and into the Park.  Hoping for ten miles– shit, charge the Garmin!  Better not forget to do that on Summer Day 1.  So, bathroom then rest (‘nother lap around that thought).  Need to go at everything tomorrow like a ravenous fanged mammal, hunting, beyond simply hungry.  And from a writer or entrepreneur’s point, more than anything I’ve attempted before.  I want to shock myself today, or as Pac said, I want to shiver,” looking back on what I’ve done in just a day.  Huh, well if that’s your attitude then you should go hit that coffee, Mikey.
Used washroom, now back to pillows.  I’m actually under the sheet down here, ready for some sleep.  Just hope I don’t find myself at that house with those assassin-like characters.  What the hell was I doing there?
Notice my stomach, agitated and hungry.  Should I eat something?  Coffee?  No… SLEEP. Don’t be more a fool.  Sleep.. Deal with it, you need sleep.
I want to write–
I don’t care, go to sleep.  Stop acting like a toddler.
So I do throw up my hands, put down phone, put down head into pillow.  Just before 5.  And 4AM suffering another total loss at the hands of a foolish but driven writer.
Another bathroom break?  Goddamn water…
Realized–  aim of 4AM war or one of its sessions isn’t to to stay up and keep writing till the kids are up, but to have a standalone piece before 5, go back to sleep and start day then.  To use the quiet, to have everything I want.  From now on, 1000 words before 5.  Always the objective against this staunch aggressor.
(6/8/15)