In the Lunch Line

I feel like I need to cram everything in these days. To say I’m suggestable to new experience is a big ole’ understatement. I’m 71. My mind still works. There are brain cells not yet atrophied. I don’t say I’m “still open” for new information. It is a thirsting, a hunger for teach me what…

By BuddyCushman 02/17/2020 1

The Keyboard Called

And this fell out: I had two houses in the spring and summer of 1965. I had two lives. My daughter Jessie, she’s 12, her thing is ice cream. Yes, of course, there are snakes and lizards and scavenging down boysenberry from the low bushes at the edge of the Everett woods, and peanut butter…

By BuddyCushman 02/14/2020 5

Friendly Reminder to Myself

2/10 – Life is interesting. Questions we get to ask ourselves. Okay, I know, it never makes sense to talk about “we” when what I know is “me”. Own my own, and talk what I know about, and anyway, no one really likes it when they hear someone else speaking for them. So, forgot how…

By BuddyCushman 02/10/2020 10

I Wanted to Write You a Letter

I would like to begin writing letters again. Because it’s right. It’s proper. It’s a perfect use of physical and emotional energy. And spiritual energy as well, for sure. Not letters to everyone, or, for that matter, many at all. Writing letters to the very few who matter most to me. For me. Yes. I…

By BuddyCushman 01/29/2020 2

January Journal Juice

1/3/20 – Sitting here in the basement, surfing the net, wasted time. I must wake tomorrow with a great purpose to move forward as a writer/author. Weigh-in today 152, down two pounds from last week, better, not as much as I thought as I have done well to live with a close-to-Keto diet the last…

By BuddyCushman 01/28/2020 0

Sassafras

I was outside, a little while earlier, whizzing. There was a small space of clearing over and down in the southeast sky, and I found myself – standing out there in the pre-dawn dark – praying for more time, time in which to act with greater enthusiasm and all the devotion I can muster on…

By BuddyCushman 01/28/2020 2

Occasionally with Jessica

From this morning’s ‘Morning Pages’: Isn’t it interesting, okay, I’m over there at the computer messing around, seemingly delaying coming over here – this side of the Cushman table – to get going on these ‘Pages’. Like it is some kind of task, a burdon, versus what it always is, everyday, nearly nine years now,…

By BuddyCushman 01/26/2020 0

Please Allow me

Please bear with me as I, like Walt Whitman, sing my body electric. I’m 71, I turned the dial to begin my 72nd year on this planetary journey while visiting my son Cameron and his wife and kids in Florida. I traveled and adventured with my wife, a dazzling respite from the wet Portland cold,…

By BuddyCushman 01/23/2020 6

This Old Notebook

There’s the notebook I had in Texas, obviously, with the “Long’s Fish Camp” sticker on the cover. I’ve written the word “Stories” on the back cover. I saw it sitting open on a pile of ‘Morning Pages’ notebooks, I don’t know why I went over to look at it, and I saw it was different…

By BuddyCushman 01/11/2020 0

Get in the Car

  I do not usually use this space – it might just be sacred space – for hawking my own wares. That’s not what Couch Surfing at 70 is about. But today I’m gonna. I was shipped this morning the first, fresh copies of my just-published book – “Get in the Car”. It is a…

By BuddyCushman 01/02/2020 2

Let’s Party Like It’s 2020

I’m showing up here, this first day of the New Year – this New Decade – to out myself as to intention. My intention going forward, call it primary, numero uno, coming after gushing love for my wife, my kids and family, and the unending wish to stick it to the man and in so…

By BuddyCushman 01/01/2020 3

Guerilla Time

One of the joys of college – back between 1969 and 1974 when I was finishing the final two years for my Bachelor’s at Salem State – was participating in guerilla theater. I’d swung way over to the far left, in terms of personal, political, and cultural outlook re: the world and how it operated,…

By BuddyCushman 12/22/2019 0

Rave on – Type on

From “Timed Practice Writings” These are Red Sox truths – Well, I’ll get to the Sox as I embark here on another 17:45 minutes of screed under the auspices of “Timed Writing”, an exercise I have created for myself with the phone clock rolling back from just under eighteen, some days with a topic in…

By BuddyCushman 12/19/2019 0

The Basement of Christmas Present

It is Wednesday, a week before Christmas – here in the States – and I have not finished shopping nor completely entered into the Christmas spirit. And time flies. It is early down here in the basement this morning, the basement home to my parents’ kitchen table upon which I write, home to my computer,…

By BuddyCushman 12/18/2019 3

Whispers in the Dark

(From yesterday) I was going to be really early – now I’m just on time. My own books of poetry whispered as I moved through the dark living room, called me once more to the recliner and just a few moments of pride. Poetry is reporting. Language – I’ve been considering lately, more likely deciding…

By BuddyCushman 12/12/2019 4

Before Breakfast

  Yes, the prediction is for the rains to come, they always do here in Decembers, we’ve escaped periodically with sunlight like yesterday which actually had a spring-ish feel, felt that way on a walk through the beaver-damned-up swampland at Errol Heights, the site of much nature enjoying and poetry-inspiring walking last spring. Oh, a…

By BuddyCushman 12/10/2019 2

Delete to Lean, and Learn What Happens

From the “Morning Pages”: Wow, I just noticed, after some first-thing editing, I have cut more than 2000 words from the first collection of included stories (for the under-construction book) through deletion of whole stories and maybe nearly as much by a word or words or whole sentences here and there through my repeated editings…

By BuddyCushman 11/26/2019 2

Dust and Posts

I’d like to say I’ve been hard at work this last week, excusing my absence from this page. But ‘hard at work” and “Buddy Cushman” in the same sentence are pretty much a – what do you call it? – oh yeah, oxymoron. At least these days. Suffice it to say I have been periodically…

By BuddyCushman 10/31/2019 1

Morning Conversation

You have to look between the rain. Between the rain? Right. Look at those places between the rain. That’s where you celebrate. Celebrate? Right, in those places between the rain you celebrate – maybe you dance, maybe you bow nine times, maybe you write a letter to the editor of whatever it is you read…

By BuddyCushman 10/19/2019 8

It Makes Me Sweat

“I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I…

By BuddyCushman 10/16/2019 3

Cheap Thrills

  Mostly what I buy these days are books and Trader Joe’s salted Almond Butter. I’m capitalizing because it’s a real thing. The books I buy come unexpected. It works like this. I’ll be reading a book or an on-line magazine article or essay by someone I like and another book will be mentioned and…

By BuddyCushman 10/14/2019 0

Bookends

Sometimes, out of the clear blue, one or the other of my knees will scream out in pain. It’s only for a moment. Then that knee goes back to doing what knees do. Knee-ing, I guess. Almost every morning, when I bow nine times to the cushion on which I have sat in meditation, my…

By BuddyCushman 10/11/2019 5

The Breitenbush Chronicles – #3

There is a guy — very tall, thick and big — who showed up yesterday. Here at Breitenbush. I think we first saw him at lunch. He was wearing an incredibly loud bathrobe, a whitish and black geometric-design thing, nearly floor length, made with a very light, thin material. Now, there are always people in…

By BuddyCushman 10/09/2019 3

The Breitenbush Chronicles – #1

Well, we’ve arrived, deep in the Oregon woods, a spiritual retreat as advertised — my wife’s favorite place. It’s pouring down rain out there. I had to remove my shoes before entering the silent library in the main lodge, so you already know what I think. I’m at a place where they tell you to…

By BuddyCushman 10/07/2019 5

To Tell Stories

  There’s too much dawn, I realize when I walked out into the backyard to capture in my eye the familiar constellations I had witnessed an hour earlier when I was back there praying. Before meditation, before cough syrup, before coffee. Way before the writing books. I’m hung up on this idea of “Need”. I…

By BuddyCushman 10/05/2019 4

At Sitka Sedge

  From September 20: It is looking like suddenly through fumbling around entirely haphazardly over and through the net I have found a blank ‘Word” doc I can actually use on this laptop which I am only borrowing. Whether I can save it someplace to which I will have access later, well, that’s a donkey…

By BuddyCushman 10/04/2019 0

Father and Son Excursion

From our journey to the Oregon coast – September 18. Well here, Wednesday afternoon, sunshine unexpectedly streaming in through the memorized windows, egg-shell blue sky flooding the heavenly horizon. This on a day predicted wild and menacing with storms off the Pacific. Early in our journey there was to be sure fear and real loathing…

By BuddyCushman 09/29/2019 4

Dance to the Music

Note: This piece was written one week ago, at Tierra Del Mar on the Oregon coast, in a cottage shared with my son Spenser. Someone asked me what it’s like to be 70. Is that a question? Is this a multiple choice test? In seventh grade a few of my more devilish classmates stuffed me…

By BuddyCushman 09/27/2019 4

Billy MacDonald

I graduated from Cape Cod Community College in the spring of 1969 and transferred up to Salem State. My high school classmate Ricky Fleming was in the same circumstance, and we found an apartment together in Marblehead. I hitchhiked back and forth to and from the college. Maybe a couple of months after I’d started…

By BuddyCushman 09/25/2019 12

From a Deck at the Coast

I’m sitting out here in/under the abundant sun and the idea comes to me that I don’t have anything to say. Seriously. I have thoughts, I have opinions, I suppose like everyone. But in terms of trying to say something which has value and is worthy of asking for peoples’ time? Nah, not so much.…

By BuddyCushman 09/22/2019 2

Forecasts

It wouldn’t take long to clear off the ping pong table for use today and possibly tomorrow as well. I had the thought upstairs, a short while ago, to delay the trip to the coast for a day, seriously consider a Wednesday morning departure after looking at the forecast on my phone. It’s up for…

By BuddyCushman 09/16/2019 1

Note to Self

  I’ve been reading a book on the writing of short stories. A ‘How To’ book. And in the reading absorbed The need – I have a need – to sit at the keyboard, my keyboard with paint splatters all over it, with the intention to tell a story, hopefully a story which will draw…

By BuddyCushman 09/12/2019 1

Morning Pages Pouring

Friday, Aug 30: “It’s what I thought the first time I read that blog back when you started it …that you should have your own news outlet it and really be hammering away @ that aspect of your creative essence! There seems more than the painting something REALLY DEEP AND PROFOUNDLY POWER FILLED SCREAMING TO…

By BuddyCushman 09/03/2019 1

Seventh Morning, San Diego

Back here this morning at the in-laws, some 13 miles out into San Diego County, the sounds of the early morning – the dawning music – so very different from our last five mornings at the beach. Upon first awakening, and noticing stars out and up from the back slider, so as to indicate no…

By BuddyCushman 08/29/2019 0

Sixth Morning, San Diego

Today is my sister Nancy’s birthday. She’s still younger than me. She is there, celebrating her life anniversary, back in our hometown of Wareham, Massachusetts – hard by the salt water known as Buzzards Bay. Nancy refrained from coming back to our hometown for many of the years of her life, thought it was lacking…

By BuddyCushman 08/28/2019 1

Fifth Morning, San Diego

Well, first this feels like a tangel this forest – Wow, start again, start over, try to match each word I am considering with what I am copying down here. In this morning’s Morning Pages, where now filling three pages is feeling like something near an extraordinary challenge. Sitting here in the, at the dining…

By BuddyCushman 08/27/2019 0

Fourth Morning, San Diego

This is how I want to live – exactly like this. Is that the best way to say it? Perhaps, this is what feels like the perfect life, as it is experienced in the moment – moment after moment. These last two days, pieces, parts, and times of the days. It’s all only one man’s…

By BuddyCushman 08/26/2019 2

Third Morning, San Diego

I can always tell when it’s 6:30 in the morning in Ocean Beach, California. That is when the first airplane passes overhead. Like, real close overhead. San Diego’s Lindbergh Airport is only a mile or so away, as the seagull flies, and is unique as an airport in that it offers only one runway. Just…

By BuddyCushman 08/25/2019 1

Second Morning, San Diego

I keep jumping up from the curvy cushioned chair in which I am sitting and reading and drinking coffee in hope of seeing the flocks of loudly chattering wild parrots which fly and roost and chatter in this up-the-hill neighborhood of Ocean Beach in San Diego, California. But I never do – see them –…

By BuddyCushman 08/24/2019 0

First Morning, San Diego

I’m writing with a pen lifted from the Mark Spencer Hotel in downtown Portland. I’m writing on an oblong table in a large breezeway room at the in-laws in San Diego – out in the County, some 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean and the edge of the continent. I’m writing this down in a…

By BuddyCushman 08/23/2019 0

A Week of Stories

I spent the last week with my wife Susan in San Diego – specifically two days with her parents out in the County, and five glorious days in San Diego’s Ocean Beach. Our first morning, at Ann and Bill’s, awake before all others, I performed my usual morning routines and rituals which end with writing…

By BuddyCushman 08/22/2019 0

Strolling for Joy

I walked out the back door this morning, right around 7:00, with the daily intentions to empty the coffee filter, check on our tiny vegetable beds, and open and walk through the garage studio. Pretty much every morning, after meditation and coffee and reading in the recliner, I do these things. Like today. We have…

By BuddyCushman 08/13/2019 0

Inspired to Keep On

  From The Morning Pages: Late to the party this morning, got hung up reading a bunch of my old Blog posts. I, for the most part, dig them, there is a voice – my voice – and there is both a gentleness and a fairly clear sense of loathing and doom. Again, the idea…

By BuddyCushman 08/08/2019 1

The Value of Me

I have a painting – this one, oil, which is now framed and under glass – and I painted it with a palette knife on a piece of 15 x 11 watercolor paper. The painting slightly influenced, in my mind while I was making it, by the work of Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell, primarily…

By BuddyCushman 07/28/2019 3

Saucer, Krasner, and Mrs. Maisel

I have one distinct memory of the 1950’s. I was walking on my street – High Street in Wareham, Massachusetts – knocking on doors of houses and encouraging anyone who answered my knock to vote for Dwight Eisenhower for re-election to the Presidency. This would have made it sometime in the fall of 1955, and…

By BuddyCushman 07/23/2019 7

New People

I was out on a walk late yesterday afternoon and twice along the way I smelled honeysuckle. A surprise and a gift – twice. Later, before nine, I was in the basement involved with an eighteen-minute timed-writing session. Channeling words and sentences. One sentence formed in the expression of hope I begin a new oil…

By BuddyCushman 07/13/2019 5

On the Orleans Rotary

“Some day I’ll fall back into the pattern of the world. I’ll still be free On the Orleans rotary.” From “Some Day”, ‘The Automatic Poems’   That’s poem number one in the Cape Cod “Summer Daze, Deserted Winter” section of my newest book of poetry, the first stanza. It’s a hopeful poem, I think, and…

By BuddyCushman 07/09/2019 6

Atomic Monkey

I’d like to talk about my poem “Atomic Monkey”, and in doing so, talk about my whole life. When I got sober I use to go to these meetings where people trying to get alcohol and drugs out of their lives would gather and talk about how that was going. Sometimes a whole group of…

By BuddyCushman 06/13/2019 5

Walking in the Rain

I was the victim of a scam this week. I say “I”, but my wife Susan played a role in the victimization as well. Also a victim. This afternoon I texted my friend Gavin in Oakland and asked if he had any time to talk. That I needed to talk. He got back to me…

By BuddyCushman 06/08/2019 9

Tuesday

This is Tuesday and I have decided to fast today. It’s 1:25 in the afternoon and so good so far. I am also home alone today, always a treat. It’s 1:27 in the afternoon and I’m all alone here. I was aware of both facts last night, – fasting and alone-ness – meaning I knew…

By BuddyCushman 05/14/2019 0

Lesson

After I was about three and a half months sober I’d saved enough money to haul my sorry self off my sister’s couch and move into an apartment of my own – actually less than half a mile away, also on a third floor, above the family who owned the house and lived on the…

By BuddyCushman 04/30/2019 6

We Give, We Get

For many years I made an annual donation to The Jimmy Fund – the Massachusetts Children’s Cancer research and treatment fund. The Boston Red Sox have been affiliated with The Jimmy Fund for about forever, and one year my donation was large enough that I was afforded a lunch in the Fenway Park press room…

By BuddyCushman 04/28/2019 1