I’m only sleeping

Back from Idaho. I read this this morning: Attention! Master Jizo asked Hogen, “Where have you come from?” “I pilgrimage aimlessly,” replied Hogen. “What is the matter of your pilgrimage?” asked Jizo. “I don’t know,” replied Hogen. “Not knowing is the most intimate,” remarked Jizo. At that, Hogen experienced great enlightenment. Not trying to be…

By BuddyCushman 11/14/2022 0

Spenser turns 30

Off to Idaho. I just had the funniest vision, with every book I was picking up and seeing with considering eyes – Can I bring this one? Is this the right one? Is there enough room for this one? Each of these books wildly waving its arms and hands at me – “Me, me, bring…

By BuddyCushman 11/08/2022 1

the golden wind

I arrived through Zoom in Colorado Springs yesterday afternoon – Mountain time – to sit with a few folks gathered to consider this Zen Koan: Blue Cliff Record, Case 27 : Yunmen’s Golden Wind A monk asked Yunmen, “When the tree withers and the leaves fall, what’s happening?” Yunmen replied, “It’s revealing the golden wind.” I don’t…

By BuddyCushman 11/07/2022 1

once upon a times

From the LA Zoom writing group 45-minute rave-on yesterday: Once upon a time it was Halloween. Just not yet. Jessica Wheeler – ‘Jessie’ to her three besties – loved Halloween more than anything else in the world – more than her parents (sorry Mom and Dad), more than Trader Joe’s mint chip ice cream (crazy…

By BuddyCushman 11/03/2022 0

tricks are for kids

Recently I’ve found myself in two serious traffic jams, and have barely noticed. I was aware of time passing, and of little forward progress. Like driving from there to here, and dawdling along the way. Here’s another word – frolicking. This doesn’t feel like teaching an old dog new tricks. No. It’s like whispering to…

By BuddyCushman 11/02/2022 0

run, Buddy, run

Last week I shared in this space the poem “Summer Found Me”, from the new poetry collection, “my startled heart.” The first stanza of that poem ends with this line – “Me all silent, stupefied, blown out with thinking.” Often writers are encouraged to “Write what you know”, and sometimes I do that and there’s…

By BuddyCushman 10/31/2022 0

gifts

Gifts I’ve been lost in the idea and reality of gifts lately. And the way gifts linger – on and on and on. When I stand above the brushy canyon, next to the grove of eucalyptus trees, and I both hear and see the afternoon breeze blowing through the branches and leaves, it’s so clear…

By BuddyCushman 10/28/2022 2

summer found me

From “my startled heart”: Summer found me sitting on a log,  ruffled by the afternoon westerlies,  at the edge of a eucalyptus forest,  the trees speaking among themselves, in braille,  rubbing shoulders.  Me all silent,  stupefied,  blown out with thinking. Some lullabye from far over there, beyond  and through the stripping bark. Something nearly remembered, …

By BuddyCushman 10/27/2022 0

treasure

Recently, someone asked me this question – “Where did you come from.” It’s only been four or five days since being asked that question, but it has become something very like a Zen Koan story for me. Of course there are these answers: I came from a divorce in Portland, Oregon. I came from the…

By BuddyCushman 10/26/2022 0

shining a light

I woke at 2:20 last night, a dream running away. I swear I could hear it giggling – “Haha, can’t catch me.” I lay there very awake until after 3:30 before falling asleep a little while before the phone’s wake-up call. Two more dreams had come during that short sleep, and I could remember every…

By BuddyCushman 10/25/2022 0

the dance floor

Recliner with coffee time earlier, and the thought floated into my head – being tangled up. The very cool idea of being tangled up in something. Inseparable. Something sweet. Something surprising. Something which – being tangled up in and with – adds to this life. Makes it bigger. A little while later I had a…

By BuddyCushman 10/21/2022 0

it only takes a minute, girl

Lately – and by lately I mean the last couple of weeks or maybe couple of months – while moving through my morning routines – and feel free to call them rituals – which pass in this order: a kind of praying, meditation, two coffees and a bunch of books, writing my three ‘Morning Pages’,…

By BuddyCushman 10/19/2022 0

dangling along

My new book of poetry – “my startled heart” – arrived Saturday. It’s already available on Amazon, though ones directly from me will be signed and with a special, cool bonus. It’s very exciting. I’m excited. Here’s a piece of the poem “dangling” from the book: It was just three weeks ago  I remembered.  I…

By BuddyCushman 10/18/2022 0

hey, kid

On an early walk Saturday morning I passed a record store I pass six mornings a week, and for the first time in all the months I’ve strolled by I saw a sign painted on the store’s side wall. The sign was this – ‘You must be mistaken.’ Let me say my heart leapt up…

By BuddyCushman 10/17/2022 0

places

Last night – after reading at the open mic; after the long walk back to my car; after driving up and over the peninsula; after the Trader Joe’s shopping; after the drive along the harbor back to where I call home – I was awash in what I called out loud “Off.” I’m off. I’m…

By BuddyCushman 10/14/2022 0

my dragon eyes

What follows is from a Wednesday morning Zoom LA writing group. Brakeless, in-the-moment, see-what-spills-out-of- the-pen writing. A smidge long, maybe you can scrounge up eight minutes —– My friend Junior Beebop’s favorite food is scrambled eggs with lots of ketchup. He loves Ring Dings too. Who doesn’t? Me and Junior have been friends for seven…

By BuddyCushman 10/13/2022 2

so orange

Monday night I was jotting down a few things on the “Tuesday To Do” list. These aren’t hard and fast things, mostly, the Blog is and sitting is and often the timed writing is. Not ‘goals’ so much as it will be good to begin and finish these things. Some sense of moving ahead with…

By BuddyCushman 10/12/2022 0

my settled mind

It’s before 9:30 this Monday morning, so nearly five hours of thoughts, images, goofy ideas, visuals, memories, yearnings, songs I love, the chatter of crows, daydreams, and the longing to quiet it all down – all that’s accumulated and more, including what can find its way into the Blog today, and a couple of times…

By BuddyCushman 10/10/2022 2

too late?

I wrote this poem yesterday (Thursday) morning and shared/spoke it at the open mic last night. Driving home in the dark it felt worthy to claim a space in the Blog today: Too Late Sometimes I tell myself, it’s too late. I’m too old.  It’s too late to start a rock band.  It’s too late…

By BuddyCushman 10/07/2022 3

an on-the-spot story

From today’s two-and-a-half hour Los Angeles Zoom writing group: “……. “Another thing I did in those 12 years was to take a correspondents course from this private institute in the Haight in San Francisco, it was a course to help you become a private detective. Including hooking you up with someone you’d apprentice with and…

By BuddyCushman 10/05/2022 0

the funny farm

My writing in the Morning Pages earlier may have reflected the loosest my mind has ever been. Ever. I could read it, and it would make perfect sense. Anyone else would place a call to the cats in their white coast, with their butterfly nets. Come quickly.

By BuddyCushman 10/04/2022 0

back along the Mystic River

Two words come to me when I think about the ongoing weekday posts here in the Blog — weary and spacious. There are days I feel I’ve said enough here. More than a year and a half, posting every weekday, often with the sense of no readership. Doing it because I said I’d do it.…

By BuddyCushman 10/03/2022 0

kisses

While writing in my Morning Pages earlier, this thought, couched as a question, blew into my mind – “Are there kisses left?” Then it camped out. I sat there, paused, wondering – are there any kisses left in my life? Not sister, daughter-in-law, best friends formality kinds of kisses. No – the real, real kisses…

By BuddyCushman 09/30/2022 0

maps and stuff

The phrase “windows being thrown open” showed up in my Morning Pages earlier today. I really like that phrase. It offers experiential responses. I can visualize windows being thrown open. I can hear windows being thrown open. I can feel windows being thrown open. And I get to dance off in wonder of what’s out…

By BuddyCushman 09/28/2022 4

all that remains

Then there was last night in the meditation meeting, after the meditation when people were speaking, and I considered speaking to fill a silence, when this thought came to me – I have one foot out the door, so why speak? Not five seconds later I realized that wasn’t it. In fact, I know I…

By BuddyCushman 09/27/2022 0

we believe

You know the signs in front of many peoples’ houses, at least here on the west coast since I can’t say for sure about way over there back east, the signs that say — “In this house we believe science is real.” It was there on a sign in front of the house in which…

By BuddyCushman 09/26/2022 0

from here

From here – Beauty chases poetry. I chase poetry. Beauty chases me. What a lovely end to this week’s worth of weekday posts. ******* Like a butterfly in the Saturday summer air, I chased after a ghost down the beach.  I was that flitty. I was that colorful. Like my winged cousin, trusting the easy…

By BuddyCushman 09/23/2022 0

I’m not saying

If I actually have goals today, they are to wade into the Pacific Ocean just at low tide, 1:45, me and my boogie board. To give everything in the realm of ‘story’ to “DeLoreal Beach”. Magical finger keyboard taps. And to talk less.

By BuddyCushman 09/21/2022 0

after the pier

Last Thursday afternoon, maybe late morning, the idea came to me about a Blog post which would combine the affectionate name for liquor stores in Massachusetts with the serious issue of mental illness – though not especially presented in a serious manner. I typed it up, exchanged a few words, and left it all ready…

By BuddyCushman 09/20/2022 4

packie run

The other day, in a conversation with some people, I mentioned the words “package store,” which is Massachusetts talk for liquor store. Plural – Packies. After the event I walked up to a guy I’d seen smile when I said “package store” and asked if he was from Boston, making a connection obvious to me.…

By BuddyCushman 09/19/2022 0

comments

I rarely get comments on posts found here in this Blog. I don’t mind. The Blog doesn’t mind. This not getting comments covers pretty much all the writerly territory. Straight every-day, this is what I did today pieces. What my pal Gavin helped me understand as ‘esoteric’, those pieces which show up now and again.…

By BuddyCushman 09/15/2022 2

nothing to it

Following is a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” – from the chapter “Sounds”: “I did not read books the first summer. I hoed beans. Nay, I often did better than this. There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work, whether of the head…

By BuddyCushman 09/12/2022 0

raining

I came in a little while ago from my morning walk. There were some rain drops along the way. I cannot remember the last time it rained in San Diego. They say it will rain more heavily, and become windier, as the morning progresses, the outer reaches of a hurricane spinning off the coast of…

By BuddyCushman 09/09/2022 3

liquid life

Water and me – not two. I get that. There’s water and there’s me – this me of me, this Buddy Cushman, this Milky Dent, this “Here” – and we – water and me – are not separate. We’ve never been separate. I’ve come to understand that. I was in the Pacific Wednesday afternoon, yup,…

By BuddyCushman 09/08/2022 0

tangy

Someone presented me with a jar of mustard. They said, “This is your jar of mustard, and yours alone.” I thought I heard the word “divorce.” Hearing mustard. Tasting loss. Swimming out into emptiness, which is just the water in front of Tower 4. Always was. Someone turned the light on. Someone turned the light…

By BuddyCushman 09/02/2022 0

my name

If my name falls up from the hat, I may get to share in Ocean Beach tonight, not two hundred yards from the Pacific. Miles, the emcee, encourages applause and I’ll hear some when walking up to the riser and the standing open mic. “Thanks Template,” I always say, and something like, “Hey”, to people…

By BuddyCushman 09/01/2022 0

the books picked me

It’s 8:26 in the a.m. and already face-up on my bed are three books I hope to read some of today, including a (just grabbed from the little library at Granada and Cedar) beat-up, likely thoroughly loved copy of Walter Moseley’s “Devil in a Blue Dress”, which the fact is I’ve read maybe 23 times…

By BuddyCushman 08/31/2022 0

chasing white light

I woke up. It was 3 a.m. I was thirsty. I could not remember my name. Young girls’ voices, kids bolted out from a sacred sleep-over, God’s name for pajama party, jangled the downstairs door. Tricksters, voices fading, laughing, off down the road, sounds carried back on a summer’s cool morning breeze, perhaps on my…

By BuddyCushman 08/29/2022 0

what’s in it for me?

I’m thinking about the poetry thing – being a poet, channeling poetry – and how it connects with this sort of fun question which popped into my head in the recliner real early in the morning: What’s in it for me? I don’t remember in what context, if any, that question showed up, but it…

By BuddyCushman 08/26/2022 0