Thursday, October 31, 2013

Les Fauves

image borrowed from bing

Les Fauves

“Poetry is man’s rebellion against
being what he is.”--James Branch Cabell


Poetry is chameleon.
It can survive even the most
absurd of parameters by
blossoming in concrete,
or being written without the letter “E”,
soaring in a vacuum, being thrust
from inner to outer space, blasting
free, racing unharnessed, mixing meter,
metaphor, moments, & machinations,
only stopping as stanzas
to gasp for more breath.


the amazon-green blades of grass
nearly concealed the treasure
of those aero petals, the amaranth hearts,
the lurid amethyst stamen with their fetching
fuchsia spots and bright apricot stems,
sporting stripes of arylide alternating with ash,
as squads of insects paraded over them waving
their Bangladesh-green & barn-red banners.




The Jersey Jambon could not get his metamorsel
to unsnap, so he had to use his flangial 
shoe-spoon as a limp lever, pressing hard
until it twanged & thwacked his pelvic forethumb
ten times ten, finally forcing him to unbuckle
the headband off his left ankle, and tie it
to his third tongue. 


Finally is stood finished, sparkling
with fresh red paint in the middle
of his father’s garage, with its
air mattress wings, using coat-hanger
struts to hold them up, attached
with red & green duct tape to its
soap box derby fuselage, 

TITAN ONE proudly stenciled
on both sides of its plywood pallet tail,
its propeller made from yellow spliced
canoe oars, handleless frying pans
mounted between broomsticks
for front wheels, skateboards for
rear wheels, a blue plastic beach chair
in the cockpit, red scarves for seat belts,
three golf clubs for stick controls,
with hand-painted instruments on
a styrofoam dashboard, and a Saran-
Wrap windshield stretched over rulers.

He & his pals pushed the plane
outside for its test flight. The sky
was electric blue & the white cliffs
awaited, but oddly, nobody
wanted to play pilot. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blackthorne: Scene Twelve

image borrowed from bing


Cinemagenic Twelve


“Human brutes, like other beasts, find snares & poison in
the provision of life, and are allured by their appetite of
destruction.”--Jonathan Swift

1(sound cue) cello and harmonica duet.
2(medium wide-shot) the false front of Wallace’s General Store.
3(dolly in to the large front window on the left) where the bright
calico dresses & cattlemen’s denim shirts hung starched on
several mannequins sent all the way from Chicago.
4(medium shot) a storekeeper appears; short, silver-haired, stoop-
shouldered, wearing a clean white shirt, a red bow tie &
a black vest, adjusting one of the new dresses.
5(cut to reverse medium shot) inside, behind the storekeeper,
him partially in stark silhouette as the morning sun rays
shaft through the glass. 
6(sound cue) banjo & clarinet.
7(panning shot) away from the storekeeper as we see that the
establishment is well-stocked with frontier merchandise, high 
shelves against the walls, stick candy, boiled eggs in tall jars on the
counter, the black & gold keys on a brass cash register gleaming,
barrels & tables neatly stacked with tempting new goods.
8(medium close-up) several sun ray shafts with dust dancing in
them, with a large white long-haired cat lying on some folded
blankets, its blue eyes blinking, its tail twitching. 
9(sound cue) six-string guitar slide fading into the storekeeper
whistling a popular tune.
10(cut to a medium shot) traveling back to the inside of the store
window, where people are beginning to stir outside--wagons,
riders, pedestrians, kids kicking cans. Through the dusty glass
Buck rides into the frame, dismounts in front of the store, ties
off, & heads toward the front door.
11(sound cue) heavy boots on wooden steps, then crossing
the puncheon boardwalk.
12(medium shot) Buck entering the front door, his tall frame
filling the doorway. 
13(sound cue) small bells on a string jingling.
14(medium shot) the storekeeper glancing up from behind a
table where he was sorting bolts of cloth.
15(2-shot) Wallace: what can I get for you, big horse?
16Buck: I need a few supplies.
17Wallace: You have a list?
18Buck: Sure do--handing the storekeeper a folded-up
cattleman’s journal cover with the list written in pencil
on the back of it.
19(medium close-up) Wallace putting on some half-eye
glasses, then reading the list of wanted provisions.
20(2-shot) Wallace: Yeah, I think we can find these things for you
--but do you have a few minutes?
21Buck, his brows knitted, his mouth a tight line.
22Wallace: I’m always kind of busy in here first thing in the morning,
and we’re packing up some orders for other customers right now.
23(sound cue) piano fading into a dog whining.
24(medium close-up) Buck’s black dog with its face at the window.
25(voice-over) Buck: there you are.
26(2-shot) Wallace: will that be alright?
27Buck: no problem, just pack it in a sack and toss it over my saddle;
mine’s the roan out front.
28Wallace: can you find something to do until then, we got some 
coffee & biscuits in the back.
29Buck: no thanks, Pard, had some vittles at first light--but you 
might throw my old dog a bone if you like; just don’t get too close
to him--he can be a mite touchy.
30Buck hands the storekeeper several silver dollars: will that
cover it?
31Wallace: more than likely; pick up your change when you
return. You know anybody in our fair metropolis?
32(sound cue) saloon piano.
33Buck: not any more--but I’m drier than a tumbleweed & I do
need a woman.
34(Close-up) Wallace: a wry smile curling under his large white
mustache--there’s two saloons in town, mister, both have what
you need. If you like Mex whores, there’s Pedro’s Cantina at the
end of the street, but most of the real sluts work over in Bronson’s
place across the street.
35(sound cue) a sweet harp plucking.
36(2-shot) Are they all pigs?
37Wallace: I’ve never seen a woman yet, who sells her ass, that
wasn’t. Does it matter?
38Buck: not today. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets #OLN

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

The 300

image borrowed from bing

The 300

“Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
that here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie.”

Mighty Xerxes of Persia marched into Greece one day
in 350 B.C., thinking to conquer, and to slay,
but the City States soldier’s battle cry
was “No quarter--preserve liberty or die!”;
the Greeks stood fast, “defeat”  they refused to even say.

Leonidus with his 300 Spartans blocked the way
in the pass at Thermopylae, & were able to slay
Persians by the hundreds, refusing to comply,
shouting “Freedom will prevail!”.

Again & again the Spartans ruled the fray,
until betrayal & a hidden path made them prey.
Persians surrounded them thanks to a spy
as thousands of arrows filled the sky;
their voices were loud as they perished on the clay,
shouting “Freedom will prevail!”.

Glenn Buttkus

October 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets FFA
I chose to write the 16th century English Rondeau.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Re * flec * tion

painting by pablo picasso

Re * flec * tion

“There are two ways of spreading light--
to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
--Edith Wharton.

Our first mirrors were polished obsidian,
then polished copper or bronze, but
it wasn’t until after the death of Christ
that we began to refine the quality
of our reflections, when metal-coated
glass mirrors, backed with mercury,
began to show up in Lebanon--and of course
the Romans took them home immediately.
The more modern silver backed mirrors
were developed in Germany in 1835, where
they learned to apply the reflective coatings
onto the back of the glass.

In the cities we are virtually surrounded by
reflective glass, so whether walking or driving
we habitually, often surreptitiously, glance
at our image in motion.

“It is the city of mirrors, 
the city of mirages;
at once solid & liquid,
at once air & stone.”
--Erica Jong

Ever watch a parakeet being fascinated
by the “pretty girl” in the glass,
or a dalmatian sitting patiently by the hour
staring into a wall mirror, waiting
for the spots to move?

I have a four-way folding mirror 
in my bathroom, and I love to fold it 
so that I can view both profiles, 
or the back of my head.

We all aspire to be magicians who can
manipulate the smoke & position the mirrors,
trying hard not to fall into any of them--
we all know what happened to Alice
and Timothy Leary, and certainly we all have
faced those funhouse image mornings when
our distorted features looked like Dali paintings.

“Life is for each man a solitary cell whose
walls are mirrors.”--Eugene O’Neill.

Sometimes in my daydreams I am that guy
with mirrors pasted to the tops of his shoes
standing very near the young women in their
billowing Summer dresses.

Has it ever occurred to you 
that several of your mirrors have seen 
you naked many more times
than your lover or spouse? 
How many possible paramours have you 
passed up after you realized
they wore mirrors on their foreheads, 
reflecting back to you 
who you thought you were?

I have always been fascinated 
by those abstract paintings depicting 
someone holding a mirror up to a mirror, 
and the reflected repeated images
line up, bouncing back & forth, 
each time diminishing in size 
until it becomes microscopic.

I think of life that way,
and life between lives,
where God, or Dagwood Bumstead,
or Cosmo Kramer holds 
in His trillion hands 
multiple infinite mirrors, 
filling our skies 
with reflected images
of extinct galaxies, 
and our mortal hearts
with delicious dreams
of a Continuum. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on Poetry Jam

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Blackthorne--Scene Eleven

image borrowed from bing


Cinemagenic Eleven


“Each in his narrow cell forever laid, the rude
forefathers of the hamlet sleep.”--Thomas Gray

1(medium wide shot) the present; the Buck Family cemetery,
with Rod Buck standing near three gravestones.
2(sound cue) banjo & harmonica.
3(wide shot) the small burial plots girded by a freshly white-
washed picket fence, a tall ancient oak beside it, shading
the departed, Buck standing inside, the gate left open.
4(sound cue) Indian snake rattle.
5(medium close-up) a thick diamond back rattler squirming out
between pickets on the far side of the markers.
6(sound cue) a dog’s deep growl.
7(hold the medium close-up) as the black dog leaps into the frame,
clamping its jaws on the tail of the big snake.
8(sound cue) dog growling, snake hissing fading to flute.
9(cut to medium wide shot) as the dog whipped the snake up
into the air, jerking it back & forth, & then with a powerful dip
of its bear-like head, it snapped the snake like a bullwhip.
10(close-up) the rattlesnake’s head torn off.
11(sound cue) snare drum raps.
12(medium close-up) Buck laughing: good boy, Cheewa--disrespect
that damn snake--just don’t eat its head.
13(cut to separate medium close-up) the dog chewing on the fat
rattlesnake’s body; pieces of snakeskin hanging, white meat revealed.
14(sound cue) piano & clarinet & accordion.
15(cut to medium shot) Buck kneeling in front of three headstones, staring
at the one in the middle, marked as Sarah Elizabeth Buck.
16(close-up) a fruit jar filled with wildflowers, sporting a few day’s wilt, at
the stone’s base.
17(cut to medium wide-shot) fruit jars of flowers in front of all three head-
stones--William Tyler Buck on the right, Jackson Issac Buck on the left.
18(sound cue) a crow’s cawing.
19(medium close-up) a raven perched atop a rooster weather vane
at the peak of the barn roof.
20(cut to separate medium close-up) Buck removing his black hat.
21(extreme close-up) the rattlesnake head band.
22(medium wide-shot) Buck folding his legs beneath him, Indian-
23(close-up) his big knuckled hand resting on the top of his
mother’s headstone.
24(cut to close-up) Buck’s face, with oak leaf shadows on his
whiskered cheeks, a breeze ruffling his mane; hello Ma,
little Jack...Pa.
25(insert sepia-toned photograph) Sarah holding young Roddy
on her lap, William with one of his arms around her shoulders,
the other stiffly behind his back.
26Buck: I came back; told you I would.
27(sound cue) guitar & violin.
28Buck: I’m tired of fighting blowsand & bedding down on buffalo
bones. Seen a lot of country, bet your ass I have, trapping in
French Canada, prospecting in the Yukon, ranching with the
vaqueros in old Mexico, standing in the surf-fishing in the Pacific
29(sound cues)
bear trap snap for Quebec,
rushing water over rocks for Yukon,
Spanish guitar for Mexico,
sea gull’s cry for the ocean.
30(cut to medium wide-shot on a crane) slowly pulling back from
the tiny cemetery.
31(narration voice-over) Buck: crossed this wide country as many
times as a man’s got fingers. had enough, seen enough; don’t
think I will leave again. 
32( crane wide shot) pulling back to reveal the ranch sprawled out
behind the cemetery.
33(cut to close-up) swarm of orange-yellow-black butterflies rising
up from the flowers.
34(sound cue) harp chords.
35(return to crane shot) tracking back a bit faster.
36Buck: VO--this horse is gettin’ too old to slap leather with the kids, 
just bone-weary, used up; need a sanctuary, a fortress.
37(cut to medium close-up) Buck’s face: odd, ain’t it, how comfortable
I am palavering with stones & lumps of dirt; maybe, in spirit, you’re all
still down there in that old house, or in here (his hand touching his
chest). I guess you’ll still be alive to me as long as I can remember you.
38(sound cue) a hawk’s whistle.
39(close-up) Buck’s eyes glancing skyward.
40(cut to medium close-up) Buck: and I have a long memory.
41(sound cue) buffalo herd hooves.
42(medium wide-shot) Buck rises slowly, stands tall, puts on his hat,
then spreads his arms wide.
43Buck: hey, you sons of bitches--I’m home. 

Glenn Buttkus

October 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN119

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Saturday, October 19, 2013


image borrowed from bing


“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your
bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair.”
--Kahlil Gibran

Somewhere far away
but perhaps not too far,
lies the magic

land of Mobbsia,
where the children completely rule.
It is a

marvelous dominion where
all the pussycats can fly
and their magnificant

purring fills the
night with sweet feline lullabies.
Everybodything flies there;

horses, bicycles, milkcows,
red wagons, piglets, puppies, frogs,
turtles, jackrabbits too,

but no thing
needs to actually sprout wings,
they/it just leaps

into the honied 
sky & experiences free-flight,
soon soaring over

cottages, gardens, forests,
hills, ponds, & each other.
Sometimes the sky

becomes as busy
as a freeway, as children
zip around on

high, arms out,
scarves fluttering, their joyous screams
& laughter trailing

after. Gosh, there
are two suns, one the
color of strawberries,

the other of
orange juice, and three moons
that all chase

each other across
rainbow-kissed horizons, their backsides
bare, but on

their opposite sides
you will find faces there--
sometimes dogs, sometimes

cats, even pigs 
make guest star appearances. In
Mobbsia it is

always Playtime; monkey-
bar gymnastics, dodge ball, skateboarding,
ping pong, scootering, 

& gang-tag--
always playing very hard, serious
stuff, because each

child understood that
play was essential preparation for
their inevitable departure,

after maturation and
graduation into mysterious adolescence and
other large mysteries. 

Glenn Buttkus

October 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Got Rhythm

image borrowed from bing

I Got Rhythm

“Life is like dancing, learning those new steps,--even
though some may get angry when the rhythm changes.”
--Miguel Angel Ruiz

Time, man, time,
that gnarly old bitch, 
that angry old bastard;

keep it, beat it,
bend it over the kitchen table
& sodomize the slut.

Hey, you never run out of it;
it is artesian, infinite, perpetually in motion, 
regenerative, & perhaps it is a lie, 
an illusion.

What a pisser that now, finally, as I pay myself
to spend time doing those things I enjoy,
still its laughter is chilling--with its big butt
occupying the catbird perch, sending flocks
of raven ravages to peck at my body,
my mind, my sight, my dreams;

just dig the deviance as those gut-wrenching
rituals of my morning preparation for the
100,000 Slave Days are now fully replaced
by the golden silver-maned rituals of Leisure;

regardless, there is some part of me that fully 
understands, yes,  I can still stride like a tiger, 
but there are dark forces out there who continue 
to stalk,
to hunt me, 
and one day, 
one possibly pleasant day 
in the dead of winter, they will slay me, 
strip off my flesh, then flatten what’s left of it 
into somebody’s living room throw rug, 
my stuffed head intact, jaws open,
teeth bared, given glass eyes & then forced
to be intimate with a vacuum cleaner--

so before that fateful day, I will hoard bundles
of goose quills & Mason jars of my own blood,
& late at night, safely locked up in my sanctuary,
listening to the predators milling around outside,
I will dip those quills deeply into the red juice
of my essence, & write in my leather-bound 
notebooks those unspeakable things, 

the bloody poetics
of love, lost and regained,
of mortality, lost & ready to refresh,
of death, sucking face with skulls,
of poisonous frogs devouring spiders,
of monkeys with white whiskers 
still dancing at the end of their chains,
still holding out the rusty cup,
still begging & praying & planning,
still defiant, making arthritic fists,
still in lesson & learning,
still ready to extend kindness where needed,

remaining a pugilistic lover 
with a punch like a mule’s kick, 
satiating my radiant spirit with the iridescence
& consistency necessary for the continuing
sustenance of the True Self;

oh yeah, dudes, my skin bags are already packed
with my wisdom, karmic debt, & several itineraries,
because it is clear to me that the dreaded dirt nap,
or the fierce flames of cremation 
are not the end game, they are
just temporary way stations 
dotted along the continuing
saga of soul journey.

Glenn Buttkus

October 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets FFA

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