Tag Archives: blog


30 Apr

View story at Medium.com

Santa Rosa Junior College is…

9 Apr


9 Apr

I can only. Right now, as the day gets closer to its end.  Me about to go upstairs to bed before my wife texts me and tells me to do just that.  I smirk a bit, finally on the Road I’ve been meant to be on.  Studying, in class, undergrad and grad, all those memories and scenes returning… the one spoken word piece I wrote in retaliation to what a poetry “professor” remarked about one of my pieces.  I smile, slightly, not giving too much to air, but I’m collected and assembled in this character.  Who Mike Madigan is, right now, on this floor.  I’m in an umbrage of understanding.

Reviewing my progress.  Guess you could call it a self-assessment, I guess, I don’t know though.  Is it?  Honestly, I don’t care.  I’ve come to a place and point in my story where I don’t over-invest in what I have little or no control over.  OR, even total control.  I’m not concerned with control as much as I am composition.  Not wanting bed, only more time to meditate, collect, think about next day, what I’ll say in class, and how I’ll amass my notes and say something of “value”.

This feels funny.  Not sure if it’s confidence or some bravado that I’ve always wished I’d possessed and now for some reason in this late stage of my life I do—  How.  Why.  Don’t ask those questions, I tell myself.  Consolidate… reiterate, mediate, paginate and promulgate.  You see something at a certain point in your story.  You’re not sure what it is exactly, meaning you don’t have a particular moniker or classification, but you’re magnetized by it.  And you lead, while you follow… following your own lead to that prize and premise, seductive mise.  More understanding, lesson, collection.  The answers catapult themselves to me in eagerly healing hives.


2 Apr

This writer’s chemistry and ideological geography, peerless for Day 1 of week.  Drawing my time as I see it needing to be drawn and laid before me.  Do the same.  Do the same for you and what you want.  Write what you want over and over… cover a page of your journal with one singular aim.  Start with that.  Newborn week, newborn ideas, possibilities, dreams and visions and embodiment of YOU, reader.  Travel, grow, if not physically then through thought.  All is plausible, possible, likely with your thoughts.  With new thoughts, on a new day, in a new week.  

from an essay

28 Mar

…There was purpose to us being there, my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and beyond-grade classes, but it was for fun and learning to be helixes, coupled, right there with each other.  Here, you have deadlines, in college.  There’s pressure, and you can feel it and hear it in hearing nothing, now in Week 11 of the semester.  I always used to get monster books, manuscripts thin but rich in monstrous and beastly content.  Vampires, swamp things and blobs, Frankenstein and his like-associates and characters, and whatever else I could find that I could read when home, at night before bed.  My boy, a tireless kindergartner with research urges, chases books with animals and other lands, plants and natural amazements like volcanoes, storms, oceans and mountains, other countries and desserts.  He, although having fun in his library check-ins, shows a pursuit of something.  He’s far past where I was at his stage, age.  Huh, he’s past where I am now, in this sitting looking out at Emeritus and at that tree, the stoplight, the little circular table or wooden ottoman (on where a book, one of my journals, my main one, and some late submissions from students, folded in half, rest), more trees, telephone wires.  He actuates more scholastic aptitude and practice than his college-teaching, somewhat of an essayist, daddy.

What Course

26 Mar

img_2618Back from break, and we re-center where we’re centered.  In the classroom, exchanging ideas and thoughts and our perspectives on literature, craft, ideas themselves.  Today we start with ourselves… everyone in the classroom, around us.  Ask them a question, tell them something about yourself and ask them something about their story.  The way community is established in a classroom is to have understandings compile IN the classroom, yes, but FOR the room and all occupying it.

With only a few weeks left, we write.  We read, react.  What we’ve been doing till now, but with more fervor.  With more precision and more direction.  More of our Self into what we write, what we read, into this very room.  Don’t dismiss the idea of the Room, and what it holds, what you contribute to it, how the story stroll toward us and around us, right here.  Back from our time off, we begin defining our composition, our character, the composition and coherence about our characters.  This is actuated by speaking with each other in the perpetuation of ideas exchange, but as well through writing.  Writing for ourselves, seeking and accruing knowledge at our own order and volition.  Center yourself in your own thoughts, then share that with the person next to you, then the other side, then to your 12, 6.  Keep the idea expansiveness ever-expanded.

As a student, you’re a teacher.  You’re your best teacher, you’re an educator of educators in this room.  We only stop if we let ourselves.  Composition of character… right here in the room.  Yes, we’re here for some grade or to satisfy some departmental or institutional requirement, but more staunchly for our stories, our character growth and telling.  After a break, I so often hear students express annoyance with the break’s conclusion, that they have to be back on campus, back in class, back in the act, in their matriculated role.  One, you don’t have to do anything or be anywhere you don’t order.  And, 2, why not seek to end the term with unusually bizarre strength and zeal… why not test yourself?  Why not mold and assemble more ideas?  Returning from break, why not see what you see?  You’ll find new peace in this new approach, if it’s inaugural for you.

Fashion your ideas from fervor.  From an elevated and renewed momentum, coming back from Spring Break.  Even before we start the next and final book for the semester, let us just dive into our own postulations and creations, our own not-at-all idle ideations.  Outside, new weather and new sky, a new consideration of everything around us, outside and in this room.  Let’s propagate and multiply in our thoughts, in what we learn from each other, from the stories and intersections, new thoughts and thoughts you may have had just earlier today.  Exhibit bravado coupled with certain shyness, offer grace, curiosity, playfulness.  Today, we write.  Today we learn, and right now we are here, coming back from break.  And then….


Speak to all around you.



21 Mar

Tell the day what to do. You have so much control over what happens in the next five minutes, and for the day’s remainder, it’s comical.  More than having goals, have a love of Self— what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.  Don’t excessively deliberate or forecast, measure, none of that.  Just leap, jump… do what you need to for the main character in your story to be where he/she need be.

I catch myself overthinking, and I laugh a little, right in front of everyone in this coffee shop.  Feel a little embarrassed, but then relieved.  Why….  I’m controlling the day and all emotions in its borders.