Monday, March 27, 2017


image from


“Man is a messenger who forgot the message.”
--Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Balloon me to
the stars--a man

but as I turned
to him,
his face inflated,

and ballooned
past me.

Above it
a comic book
balloon hovered,

the balloon 
in your heart valve
is bursting.

I knew it was a lie.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q44

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blackthorne--Scene 61

image from maplesprings,com


Cinemagenic Sixty-One


Good words are worth much, and
cost little.”--George Herbert.

1(sound cue) snare & bass drums, from rapid to
slow beats as the riders disappear.
2(medium wide shot) Buck with his big hands on 
his hips, Johnny with his strong arms folded.
3(sound cue) piano & harmonica.
4(medium close-up) Buck: There it is.
He pulled his flat black hat low over his angry eyes.
5(two shot) the Eagle remained stoic staring after
the intruders. Buck strolled over to the burlap grub
sack, and sliced off four more thick strips of bacon.
6(tight close up) His thin sharp skinning knife slicing
off the lovely fatty meat.
7(sound cue) Cheewa whining.
8(two shot) Buck & the black dog: Here, big fella, you
might as well have a treat--as he held out a slice.
9(close-up) Cheewa’s soft mouth as he accepted meat.
10(sound cue) dog munching.
11(widen two shot) Buck returned to the campfire. He
flipped out the old burned bacon, much to the canine’s
delight. Buck added wood to the fire, & squatted beside
it. He dropped the fresh bacon into the blackened fry pan.
12(sound cue) bacon sizzling.
13(tighten two-shot) Johnny appeared at the fire, and he 
squat down midst the blue cooking smoke, his arms still
folded. They had a quiet moment. Johnny picked up a
twig & began drawing glyphs in the dirt.
14(close-up) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder, speaking
softly: You know, we could have ended this right here.
Buck: Maybe so.
15(sound cue) harmonica & cello.
16(close-up) the Eagle: I was plenty pissed off. I think
we could have taken them
17(voice-over) Buck: The price was too high.
18(close-up) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder: Were you
afraid of them--or was your fear for my safety?
19(close-up) Buck, his eyes softening: Both.
20(two-shot) angle on Johnny, as he snorted: Tell me,
will you actually do as you said? Will you play nice
with with that fat cinche hefe?
Buck: You tell me--what would have happened if we
had killed the Bronsons?”
21(close up) Johnny, grinning slyly: They would be
dead, & their trouble with them. We would have 
burned their bodies, then maybe got drunk.
22(close-up) Buck: I like your conclusions, fierce one--
but what about the wranglers? We would have had 
to kill all five of them--a terrible cost.
23(two-shot) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder: A price
I would have paid.  None of them were innocent.
24(close-up) Buck: It is a sad thing--peace is harder
than war. What we do must have consequences. I
don’t think I could build my rancho upon those burned  
bodies. I came home to build a new life. So, if it is at
all possible, I have to wage an ugly peace. Bronson
is ten kinds of asshole. Today went to him. We will
have to see about tomorrow.
25(two-shot) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder: God damn,
my Buck, this is tough steak to swallow.
26(close up) Buck: We both know this is not over--it is
just the beginning.
27(medium close up) the Eagle forced a tight-lipped smile,
and nodded yes.
28(sound cue) Indian seed rattle over blues guitar slide. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

River Lore

image from

River Lore

“A good river is nature’s life work in a song.”
--Mark Helprin

It is fascinating
to hike up into the glaciers
& visit the deep alpine lakes
that constitute watery wombs
for the divers icy creeks,
born to sprint downhill
toward their erotic
rendezvous with a river.

They say
that even the mightiest
of rivers--the Columbia,
                     Yangtze &
just single-mindedly flows
from its source to the sea,
and that regardless
of its strength,
it cannot return
to that source
as easily as we can
to our own--and yet

in my view, a river
ever recycling,
ever reinventing itself,
does not think of tomorrow
or dote upon its yesterdays;
for it flows only in the Now,
rushing headlong toward the sea
in order to embrace saline & change.

If it has its own version of a soul,
some metaphysical consciousness,
it remembers its past journey
as it peers into the clouds
and prepares itself
for winged transport
back to another beginning,
a new journey,
a new Now.  


I always feel sad
while in the midst
of a desert trek, 
and I come upon
a phantom rivers’ dry bed imprint
sculpted into the hot sand.
Where did it go?
Why did it leave?
When will it return?

In America’s Southwest,
during rain torrents,
there often are river demons whelped--
flash floods--born as innocent
as black butterflies, sharing
a short life, but adopting the guise
of water-borne behemoth,
eager to wreak havoc
and drown old people
in their classic Cadillacs.

“I have great wealth, yet I am poor--
because I am a river to my people”
--Anthony Quinn 


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thespis Ate Here

image from

Thespis Ate Here

Is it possible disdain should die while she has
such meet food to feed it on as Benedick?”
--William Shakespeare

Sense memories often collide with recall as the
tattered pages of the past reassert themselves.
In the mid-70’s, when I was actually paid to be an 
actor, I was on a Bus & Truck Tour sent out by the 
Seattle Rep, performing in a classic comedy, SEVEN 
KEYS TO BALDPATE, originally done by Jack Benny
in 1935.

We were on the road for six weeks, performing in four
Western states. One of the stops was in Winnemucca,
Nevada, setting up the show in the Richard Nixon Civic
Auditorium. This is a high desert town, famous for its
colorful cluster of casinos & cathouses.

Actors only get Mondays off, and during one about eight
of the cast visited a local Cajun restaurant. Oddly it was
set up with long lines of white-washed picnic tables. It
was family dining, with no menu. You paid a flat rate &
they brought you whatever they were serving that day.
It was “all you could eat”. As a vibrant group of mostly
young & always hungry Thespians, we were delighted.

There were four servers, and they started off with tall
chilled pitchers of wine, juices, & soft drinks. Then 
came a cavalcade of salads--classic green, caesar, 
fruit and pasta. Ten minutes later they bought out huge 
hot platters of meat--beef steaks, chicken, & pork roast,
accompanied by steaming pots of vegetables--green
beans cooked with bacon, broccoli dripping in tangy
cheese, & asparagus spears seasoned with Cajun
spices. In addition there were several kinds of potato
& rice dishes. We devoured the food as if we had just 
broken a fast. When we were stuffed, they cleared the 
tables and brought forth the rich desserts--cakes, pies 
and puddings.

Two years ago I revisited the spot where that restaurant
had been. It had changed to a Mexican establishment, so
we ate there anyway. As I munched my enchiladas, my
mind buzzed with the particulars of that fabulous feast
from forty years before.

Meals from the past must
remain there since memories

have no calories.

Glenn Buttkus

Thursday, March 16, 2017


image from


“There are no facts, only interpretations.”
--Friedrich Nietzche.

Camp alone on the high desert,
near midnight, when coyotes voice
your frustrations, your anguish;
while staring hypnotically
at the molten shades of flame
within your fire--

tracing the swarms of live sparks
that launch skyward above
the popping & snapping
of burning mesquite.

Hold your gaze at the trajectory’s apex,
where the sparks drop back to ground--
then further up into stratospheric ebony,
that ant’s nest of stars that choke the sky,
dancing like Navajo silver jewelry
around the blood moon.

The cosmic conundrum congeals
behind your eyes, beyond your
visual cortex, as you ponder 
on how anyone can grasp 
infinite universes expanding--
a never-ending metaphysical drama?

Are we but dust mite microbes
in a macroverse residing
within a viscus dew drop
on an illusory Joshua Tree?
Are we co-creators of AllThatIs,
or simply window dressing
created by hordes of gods,
unseen, faceless, genderless,
beyond comprehension?

Then rejoice, for at those moments of projection
& introspection, when quantum insights have to
be distilled & rendered down to coherent thought-
bites, we are simply too awed by our infinitesimal,
yet colossal, essence, fully encased within the 
meaty manifestation of our spiritual entity,
to really give much damn credence to the
present neo-fascist alternative facts barrage
that pelts us like corrosive acid rain in a foul
continuous Trumpian turd-storm.

People survived
concentration camps, so we

will survive the Trump.  

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub MTB

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


image from


“When you’re a star, they let you do anything
you want.”--Donald J. Trump.

Michael Moore made a movie
about it, dripping with satire--
but I heard that Trumpland
will be for real;

when the building of the Wall is stalled
due to lack of funding, the POTUS
in 2018 will erect his dream park in Florida,
and of course it will be huuugggee;

bigger & more fun than Dollywood,
brighter than Bollywood,
darker than any of Disney’s lands,
dwarfing Disney World
and the Universal theme parks,
sprawling out like a sinister Kraken.

The Main Street will be called MyWall
Street, where every building, every business
will proudly display the Trump brand.
There will be a gargantuan casino
called Putin’s Palace, and the Russian
decor will be all original & imported.
Putin, himself, will have an executive 
penthouse atop it, and will make several
personal appearances.

There will be ten golf courses,
and 25 cocktail lounges where
ex-Hooter’s blonds will serve
Trump vodka,
Trump Steaks, 
Trump kosher dogs,
& Trump Emperor cheese burgers.

There will be Fashion stores
selling Trump suits.
Trump wigs, ties, & socks--
& Ivanka ladies apparel.

There will be an Armed services
Playland where you can ride in 
real tanks & shoot real guns
while the kiddies can ride on
rockets, humvies & fighter planes
on the military merry-go-rounds.

There will be 50 Trump gift shops
where his fan base can purchase
I don’t have small anythings,
I have a good brain.
Make America great again,
Grab them by the pussy ,
I’ll tell you at the time.
Mexicans are rapists,
Muslims are terrorists,
That makes me smart
ball caps, underwear, & sweatshirts.

To enter the Fun House,
you will walk through Trump’s
huge clown face;
inside after being vetted
one can buy KKK gear
& David Duke books.

There will be Republican elephant rides
shooting galleries with Hispanic, Islamic,
& Democratic targets, Obama & Hillary
Halloween masks, a Trump Tower ride
that will have a rotating VIP restaurant
atop it.  

Billionaires get in for free,
the rest of us will pay
500 bucks per day. 
I suspect ten thousand of his
followers will show up during 
the first week, & he will tweet
it was ten million.

The theme park Trump dreamed of,
that taxpayers paid for,
will go bankrupt after six months,
and mysterious fires will consume 
it all and Trump will sue for the insurance.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, March 13, 2017


image from


“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s
inexorable imperative.”--H.G. Wells.

into the Yukon,
the northern-most 

in every
burrow & cave,

crag & evergreen

is stabbing
into the icy
heart of winter--

and all
the spawn
of gestation

to blossom
and be


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub