Third Wednesday contributor Buff Whitman-Bradley’s new book, At the Driveway Guitar Sale: Poems on Aging, Memory, Mortality, is available from Main Street Rag Publishing Company. A few of the poems in the book were originally published in Third Wednesday. He podcasts at thirdactpoems.podbean.com
At the Driveway Guitar Sale can be puchased from Main Street Rag.
I’ve read this author in many publications over the years, and listened to his own gently cadenced readings on his podcast, and I love his poetry. Wit, imagination, a perfect ear, and an effortless touch (not to mention knee-slapping punchlines) mark all of Whitman-Bradley’s work, and the poems in this book are no different. The poet is forgivingly and unforgivingly self-aware, somehow finding all the poetry in life’s least poetic moments. ~Roger Stoll, essayist and poet
For all of us, even though we may continue to climb stairs and eat our vegetables, the ever-expanding past continues to nip at our heels. Buff Whitman-Bradley reminds us in these poems that we are not alone, that we participate in a common project with its pitfalls and distractions. He calls attention to the gifts and graces that accompany a seasoned perspective, and that there is a special liveliness and wise humor that comes with age that is both balm and elixir. ~Gary Crounse
With his signature grace and economy, Buff Whitman-Bradley tackles the unimaginable; the body’s elemental breakdown and the proverbial leap into the unknown which awaits us all. Never settling for abstraction or platitude, these poems are as rugged and beautiful as the California landscapes humming in the background. And though he may have given up on his plan ‘to be an ancient Chinese poet’, something of their wild humor and gem-like clarity shines on every page. ~Seth Jani, Publisher and Editor of Seven CirclePress, Author of Night Fable
A Zen master of my acquaintance
Once said that when he died
He wished to leave no trace.
All the backpackers I know
Say the same
About their sojourns in the wild.
No messes, no unfinished business.
It’s a good idea to tidy up
Before all of our little departures
And our impending Big One –
Douse the coals, strew the ashes,
Bag any food scraps,
Bits of paper, foil and cardboard,
Erase all footprints,
Be forthright, apologize, forgive –
So that what remains of us in memory
Is not a squalid little campsite
Full of trash and debris
And tangled disputes
That will cause great consternation
To those left behind,
But is instead
An expanse of mountain grasses
Beside a high cold tarn
Where ones who loved us
Might like to pass a little time,
Pitch a tent,
Build a fire.