Buddy Cushman Art

engaging stories of hope and joy


Leave a comment

Rap-sody in the Rain

I was on the phone with my main man Provincetown Keith the other afternoon. He was in a van with his squeeze Sally, tooling down US 287 west out of Lawton, Oklahoma with a destination somewhere around greater Amarillo, TX in mind. Keith is one of my three spiritual advisers (which include him, head East Bay drug czar Gavin O. in Oakland, CA, and my wife Susan, currentlyLawton upstairs doing something healthy and useful.) I’d called Keith because I was in need of spiritual advice.

I was out on a walk and it had begun raining — well, here in Portland, perhaps I should more accurately say it had resumed raining — anyway, water was oozing down from the sky and I was attempting to protect my non-waterproof smart phone by holding it up somewhere between the collar of my raincoat and the brim of my Red Sox baseball cap, my right arm curled up and around in some Dali-like abstraction of human anatomy, and still keep the microphone end of the phone pointed toward me because I was in need of spiritual counseling, I was in need of comfort — comfort from my own anguished thoughts and — what I was about to admit — escalating resentments.

So I laid it out for Keith, after perfunctory “what’s ups?” and “good to hear your voice Bro’s”, I’ve published a new book, it’s my second book of poetry, it’s my fourth overall, and I’ve sold just three copies (not counting the eBooks my wife and I both ordered on differing electrical devices) and what do you have to do, how much begging will be enough, and yes, okay, I did quote from Rilke the question of whether or not I would die if I didn’t write, which feels strongly like an affirmative for me so, yeah, the writing’s the thing, and also asked, as a devilish advocate, if you write a book or write anything for that matter and no one reads it, like what’s the point? And Keith, and he’s good at this, interrupted repeatedly through his laughter saying “Dude, you’ve got your own answer”, and me firing back then why don’t I just write, say, the greatest book of poetry ever written and then run out to the backyard and set the mother on fire, and Keith said “Come one man, please, seriously?” and I said I know resentments are bad, but still, and Keith said “Ah, there….there in the ‘but still’….there’s the disease.”

It should be reported here that Keith and I met way back in the fall of 2007, just when the Red Sox were ramping up their second World Series run, at early morning meetings in Provincetown out at the tip of old Cape Cod where a whole bunch of people — who’d gotten up early to do so — spilled their guts about pain and struggle and joy and release and, yup, resentments and even feeling free at last, and pretty early on we — Keith and me — figured out we were spiritual buddies, and over these last 10 or so years we’ve taken turns at the spiritual nourishment thing depending on who needed it the most on that particular telephone call — and a sad fact is that we have not laid eyes on the person of each other since the summer of 2008, being only phone advocates of abundance and joy…..

Then I nicked the wrong thing on the side of the phone or they passed through a cell phone dead zone or a chuckling God farted or something because the phone went dead and I trudged home in the rain and they, I presume, kept motorvating west, and when I arrived home I texted Keith and said okay, I got it, that feeling of self-pity is leaving me, I get it, and the next day, maybe two days later, he messaged me and said as soon as he and Sally landed somewhere they felt like hunkering down for awhile — so as to have an address — he was gonna order both my poetry books on line and he was so proud of me and I was like a hero and other cool spiritual nourishment and comfort statements.

Meaning mostly I was comforted in the not selling any books thing because, like the men (Rilke and Keith) said, I wrote the damn things. And how cool is that.

Then, 20 minutes ago, I read a quote from Samuel Johnson in the preface to Mary Karr’s “The Art of Memoir” which said this —  “No man but a blockhead ever wrote for any cause but money.”

Which may necessitate another call to somewhere in the southwest.

Some day

I’ll fall back

Into the pattern of the world.

I’ll still be free

On the Orleans rotary.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Poems and Love Letters – Volume 1

I’ve stopped watching the news. About four da037 coffee cupys ago. No news websites on-line, no TV news, none on the phone. I’ve stopped for two reasons — nearly all the news is bad these days, truly bad. And nearly everyone having a problem with that bad news is out to lunch, shockingly clueless, like, as in wicked duh. La La Land.

And speaking of which, in my still too often typically contempt prior to investigation mode of assessment, I had vowed never to watch the movie La La Land, figuring ahead of time it was gonna be some sappy dancy singy slop of a film, a dull time-waster, so was a little discomforted to hear it was to be the visual menu  of the night back in early December when my wife and I were visiting her parents in San Diego. In fact, what happened was my in-laws gave up on it pretty darn quick, so Susan and I went into another room with a smaller TV and watched the rest of it, then a couple of weeks later watched it in HD on our slightly larger TV back in Oregon, and now it ranks somewhere in my top 10 of all-time greatest movies.

Have you see it? Have you seen this scene?  www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrgXegJiTq4

“A bit of madness is key.”

This is from William Carlos William’s “Spring and All” “In the composition, the artist does exactly what every eye must do with life, fix the particular with the universality of his own personality — Taught by the largeness of his imagination to feel every form which he sees moving in himself, he must prove the truth of this by expression.”

Speaking of San Diego, these lines are from my poem “San Diego Say So”:

“Blossoming blooms and magic burst from every day,

permission for joy.

The way they run Hodad’s in OB.

One for all, Share the wealth,

here’s looking out for you.

These pier dreams

I’ll wish them to life when I find a way.”

I miss my boys — Gavin in Oakland, Keith in Oklahoma, Billy in Tortuguerro.  I miss

San Diego.