A new collection of poems from a true West Coast surrealist. Expect to see pantoums, a cento or two, and appearances by Billie Holiday, Lana Turner, Elton John, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In TANGLED HOLOGRAM, his seventh collection, poet James Cushing continues his explorations into the territories where dream and reality rub up against each other, where Sappho parties with Beyonce, where Lana Turner wears super-tight white shorts, and "You wake up juicy and radiant, / believing in your green, sporadic self" (Our Path Through the Garden).
“In this marvelous new collection of poems, James Cushing not only sings the body electric; he sings the art form electric. Always engaging and inventive, energetic, even startling, the poems in TANGLED HOLOGRAM are the work of a poet at the top of his game—a poet who admits with a wink that he ‘italicize[s] [his] nasturtiums so they look more important,’ and more importantly, allows that his ‘deepest voice has opened like a sunburst’ here. Antic, off-beat, but always also profound, the poems in this book speak about who we are now: people shaken to the core by our contemporary lives. He connects ‘every letter with its mate,/resulting in a set of new words that mean what we became.’ Yes! Oracle, sage, master craftsman, Cushing delivers, and ‘the audience is suddenly many years younger than they were when they first sat down.’ These poems will make you young again. They’ll bring moments of uncensurable delight to “our flimsy, windy lives.” —Gail Wronsky, author of Under the Capsized Boat We Fly
James Cushing retired in 2020 after thirty-five years teaching literature and creative writing in San Luis Obispo, CA, where he served as the community's poet laureate in 2008-2010. Cushing's poems have appeared widely and his collections include THE LENGTH OF AN AFTERNOON, UNDERCURRENT BLUES, PINOCCHIO'S REVOLUTION, THE MAGICIANS' UNION, and SOLACE, all from Cahuenga Press in Los Angeles. He lives in Hollywood with poet-painter Celeste Goyer, with whom he frequently collaborates; his daughter is the New York based poet Iris Cushing.