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Spring ’18

17 Jan


17 Jan

Day 1 is not Day 1.

That’s a perspective.

Change it.

Spring Into

17 Jan

First day of term.  Spring.  New year.  And I’m burning up in this new sweater.  Either way I’m with more energy probably than I need, ready for class and generation of new ideas, words back and forth with new people.  Why not be ablaze, today?  Or any day.  With friends of mine having loved ones fall ill, there is no time.  Some say, no time like the present.  No.  There is just no time.  So on this first day I’m in character… MY character, MY story, taking me to MY. Road.  People around me making copies and going back and forth from building to building, not sure where they are and asking others where to go.  Former student asking me where this one hall is, forgot the name.  Ashamed, told him I didn’t know but I thought it was behind the library, a math building.  All those other majors, and I know that sounds derogatory, are tucked in the old building behind the library.  I’m escaping, writing in my usual spot.  Department admin off to make more copies and I’m more ready than I’ve ever been on the first day.

Then I realize that every day is a first day, or at at least a new day with a new canvas, a new something, where you can use what you have in some different way.  The paralipsis is everywhere around me… Go, Mikey, GO.  I will, I am.  This new semester, can forget this, what I am right now and what I feel.. electrical storm in my creative ebb of ebbs.  We need to start this semester with wild vigor, start writing immediately.  And if not actually writing, then moving.  Doing something.  For us.  We are here for our stories and sharing our stories with the people around us is not only a kind act, but a furthering gesture.  Getting you closer to where you see yourself, and helping all around you as well.

Books at my right, only two of the required’s for term.  Emma by Austen, The Year Of Magical Thinking by Didion.  What will students have to say about these texts, the ideas I offer.  Like a film or novel, just at the inception… asking yourself, “What will happen?” We need to know but we also don’t want to know, or at least right away.  Little over two hours till I’m on stage, on front of the class, where I have to do my job but it has never really felt like a job.  Of course, you have those terms that are a bit of a challenge, but perspective… I always stress perspective with classes.  As that is what punctuates mood and vision, the progression of the story, YOUR bloody story.

This semester is a semester of semesters for us.  This new year, fires behind us.  Strength, forward, creative and defiance of any nay-say.  You know what you want… then start now.  Before we’ve even really started.  Teachers all around me, a bit frantic but with the same propulsion and smiley zeal as me.  Let’s all do this.  Let’s all only continue with daunting yes’s.  You reach a point in your story where the nay and anything that doesn’t elevate just becomes inadmissible.  Be there.  I promise you, that’s where the gems are.

First day of term.  The first day isn’t a first day, but a new chapter and page set.  What do you want?  What can you do for YOU?  I used to ask students what I could do for them, but I can do very little beyond generating ideas, and I only help, at that.  Self is where the paragraphs start.  Why have I not seen this in other terms, in the past, the way I’m seeing so now?  What does it matter.  I’m here.  Now.  With you all.  Let’s create not only a community in here, but a tireless yay-saying tell.  Of course, there will be challenges and some days where we’re not as fiery as others, but that’s life.  And life, is more than merely short.  It’s predicated on time, and time is curt, cruel. We fight back against time with time, how we use it and what we create for ourselves in its monstrous palm.

Don’t let there be a creative pause.  Just keep writing.  Don’t delete anything.  Re-write, sure… but never delete.  You wrote something for a reason.  You did something because in the moment you thought it warranted and necessitated, somehow.  Don’t pause, but propel.  Block the negative tremors from your immediacy.  You need be the tsunami of positivity and your own expanse of poetry.  I don’t necessarily find such thinking magical, but I do see it as something worth entertaining.  What’s the worst that could happen.  You make mistakes, maybe even mammoth ones?  So what.  You want to make mistakes.  Mistakes are invitations, often unintentional gifts from you to YOU.  In this new semester, gift yourself with perspective, and a bright understanding that you will make mistakes.

In a lighter light, thank goodness for coffee.  This room I’m in has suddenly fallen to a bit of a chill. Wonder if the AC is on, accidentally, or something.  I sip, and feel evermore ready for the first class.  Only abetting my creative positivism, this morning, since I woke and since getting out of shower and looking at notebook, what I last night jotted about notes and note taking… to always be doing so. More than tireless.  More than fanatical and fervent.  Then, what?  I don’t know.  I don’t have a word, or category for it.  I go blank.  I’m not blocked, just blank.  For a second.  Then another sip and I’m off.

Day 1.  What will life be in Week 18, or whatever the last week is?  We partially demand that now, through our actuations.  On this first day, establish your character.  Be present with all new ideas and words, pieces and practices.  Keep your mind, and the pen, YOU, motioned.  Tell yourself, “GO.” And keep going.  Defy pauses, and stay far from self-doubt’s audits.


2018, Day 7

7 Jan

IMG_0466Listening to jazz, after a vineyard walk in this seductive, ghostly fog, I’m inspired to write but as well to restrain self, not let self just fly at the page.  Sometimes, you have to let the impetus simmer, stew.  Meditate, appreciate.  Yes, there is always time to work, but you will also benefit from letting the motivation cook.  Don’t move so fast, and when you do deem it right to move, then move with your artful and careless swiftness.

Someone once offer the idea to me, and in somewhat an instructional and condescending octave, that “less is better”.  My first proneness was to dismiss it.  But, now seeing, thinking after my walk, while out there in the phantasmic veil, I see his reasoning.  That he was, is, right.  Not in all cases, but enough to have my attention and enough for us all to try.

2018…. OUR year.  This semester approaching, all conventions will be shed.  We will all tell our stories, learn from our own narratives and those of those around us.  There’s always something to see, newly… in some new direction, visual pulse, reflectively.  Like Austen with her letters, I’m writing to the morning, to this breath, the moment itself.  The stage pushing me, daring me, daring US.  Our year.  One of elevation, no self-doubt… more music and poetry, expression… combatting time and how quick it passes us with how we use it.  Defeating time with time itself.  Write your musings.  The shorter, less words, the more healing, beneficial and optimal.


2 Jan


Don’t overthink.


29 Dec

If you’re alive and living and observing, you’re writing.

You can put to page, later.


27 Dec

Could go back to sleep but why, I asked myself, then I could feel my frustrations foment, ferment, forward from my core. Busy day yesterday getting resettled in home and no writing being laid to page, its place, where it and I need be. So again, why sleep. Back at winery today, work, and I wonder how many people I’ll see. Don’t have any particular hope, for many or few. What I am hoping for is time for the day to teach me and me trap those sagacious bites.

Hating what I’m writing, but as I suggested just before the semester closed, delete nothing. Keep moving. Don’t think… my story, the writing/working/teaching/whatever-else father on the couch after little Ms. Austen evicted me from sheets. I’m seeing only pictures of the vineyard, not so much wine as I do those rows, the canes on the ground and hearing the birds singing from one area of trees across a little valley to another group. And me in the middle, just recording, agape. A writer… at a winery. But I want to be more than that, today. “What do you want to be?” Maybe the day can, or will, answer that for me. ‘Cause right now I have no response.

Stay on the page…. hear myself in the classroom, advising students in their last days of composing an essay. And those papers… when will I get to those? Tomorrow, hopefully. Need always ‘wake early like this. How many times I’ve said that… my life would be different I’m sure if I had actually risen every time I said I would. Made coffee last night. On the little docking station of the keurig. Too into what I’m writing to go get it. And I think I hear Jack waking. Please just give me ten more minutes! I type faster and about everything around me… boxes and little plastic parts that latch to air vents to direct the heart or cool one way or the other. Shouldn’t the painters have reattached them? Now I am just taking up the page– page robbery. But I’m not. The morning, this cruelly early hour tells me to always relay and reiterate my reality as this writing daddy.

No shirt, cold, even with the heat. Probably the coziest most comfortable blanket I’ve ever owned around my leg and torso, keeping me somewhat composed temperature-wise but chest and shoulders a bit shiver. Heat off, and I get more uneased. Write through it, remember? Today is more than one of those ‘trap everything’ days, and more than just writing down some silly or obscure, strangely and obscurely poetic babble about wines I taste. I will capture my Now. In all its specificity, boring or intriguing, entertaining or educational. Right now, up as early as I am, there’s too much opportunity to get ahead of the day, time itself. I’m ahead of it. Now. Battle the clock by refusing to stop. Learning from this, yes, I guess, but more so enlivened, uniquely. So quiet in this house I think I can hear the cars driving up and down San Miguel, blocks away. This house, now, my studio, my creative box where I think galaxies outside any “box”. I’m educated by this sound void, the no-light sight of it principally, the cold slithering over my upper immediacy.

I’m learning that waking early not only solves and propels a day, notably for a writer hoping to be more disciplined and sell his work, but for Personhood, general enrichment and spiritual assembly. I nearly never use that word, or any form of it, denotatively or connotatively. That’s my realization, though.  And it is ‘spiritual’. There is a specific recomposition of my character’s composition in this sitting, in me forcing myself to wake, stay awake, sent my functioning what it wants. I’m forwarding. New discipline. The morning taught me, then I instructed myself.

Someone’s awake upstairs, and this collection could cut, interrupted at any minute. Keep going. No stopping. No pausing. Nothing that blocks or pauses me, and certainly not stops. So many hours left in my chapter– this day, this installation. I will write in the vineyard, no matter how cold… blow apart the regularity and pattern of just going to the office as I always do. Going over in my head things I have to do after that but why… see yourself where you want to see yourself then take yourself there. You deserve what you want, as that’s a need. Need to be there and take yourself to that There, without excess meditation, deliberation.

Someone’s up… think Jack. Or wife. Someone. But you can’t stop, don’t listen, just write. Finish that book, finish that other book (shorter one), and SELL. You don’t have to wait… What would you be waiting for, anyway? No answer ’cause there isn’t one. Typing on my phone like some high school or JC student but for different sakes. Sales. More than that but that is part of the aim… managing myself as were somewhat managed at the winery, me “training” to be a manager, learning as I progress to manage my paginated acts here, or try. The morning gives me a break in the lesson, meditative collection, but I don’t want one.

Heater about to come on again, I look at the time… 06:12. Whoa, I think. Time’s fighting back. Adorable. Well…. time to intensify my assault. Hit the day from more than just multiple approaches, or angles. Multiply my manuscripts… creative efforts. Delete nothing. NOTHING. Be as one manager said the other day, “bold and unapologetic”. Yes… you know, hearing those words from him, I knew he was speaking to me on more than one note, for more than one purpose, in a way he didn’t even fractionally intend. I’m intrepid this morning. We all are, if we just make ourselves GET UP. You have much later in life to rest, to have real reasoning behind NOT getting out of bed. Why am I just now seeing this, 2 days and 5 months before turning 39. Makes me sick, makes me motivated, a bit angry– hungrier. I will be There, soon. We all will. We have to show everyone around us how horribly we want it and that no one deserves it more than we do.