Thursday, July 31, 2014

Primordial Paradelle

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Primordial Paradelle

“The primordial sea indefatigably repeats the same words,
& casts up the same astonished beings on the same seashore.”
--Albert Camus.

Have you ever spent the night in the forest alone?
          Have you ever spent the night in the forest alone?
The noises from the darkness can be frightful.
          The noises from the darkness can be frightful.
The night noises from the forest, alone in the darkness
          can have you be the frightful.

Staring into the flames of your campfire,
          Staring into the flames of your campfire,
You thump the blade of your skinning knife.
           You thump the blade of your skinning knife.
You thump, staring into the blade of your campfire,
            skinning the flames of your knife.

Finally, unable to sleep; restless and angry,
            Finally, unable to sleep; restless & angry,
You & your knife leap into the shadows.
            You & your knife leap into the shadows.
Angry & restless, unable to leap into sleep--
            finally you, the knife, & your shadows.

The darkness can be angry, & finally frightful.
You have spent the night alone, staring 
into the forest. The shadows, the noises 
leap into your campfire flames; restless, unable 
to sleep, you thump your knife blade--
ever the skinning knife.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Timothy Leary Is Dead

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Timothy Leary is Dead

“Think for yourselves, & always question authority.”
--Timothy Leary. 

It was 1968,
           San Diego, CA.       I was in the Navy, struggling
                                      to keep myself from being shipped
to Viet Nam.

Timothy Francis Leary was
coming to town;            a one night “Lecture Performance”
at a local theater. I felt that I had go to see him,
                                     this man that a few months later
President Nixon would call, The most dangerous man in America.

a Harvard Psychologist & Professor,
                 used hallucinogenic drugs
                 like Lycergic Acid Diethylamide,
                       peyote/mescaline &
                       psilocylin mushrooms,
                 claiming that they all had therapeutic potentials
for incredible breakthroughs in Psychiatry.

“Turn on, tune in, & drop out.”
were the tagline on the posters downtown.
Leary, I thought could walk the walk,
having spent time behind bars in 29 different jails
as testament to his principles.

I had done my research on non-drug induced
                        states of consciousness;    meditation,
                                                                   religious ecstasy,
                                                                   dreams &
                                                                   out-of-body experiences;
that to have a psychedelic experience, one needed
to understand that it was not the drug
                       that produced the transcendent event--
                       it merely was the key
that unlocked & opened the mind; freeing
                       the central nervous system
                                                       of its ordinary patterns.

Sure, when I arrived at the Theater,
                   I was offered those LSD sugar cubes,
                                         the dried magic mushrooms
                                         & the green chunks of peyote--
but I passed on all of them.

The place was packed, & the overwhelming
stench of unwashed hippy bodies
& marijuana smoke nearly choked me, spiced up
                    by two Buddhist monks in yellow robes
                    swinging their incense burners, while
three sitar players set the mood.

Leary entered to cheers,
walked regally to center stage
all dressed in Nehru-white,
and plopped down into the Lotus position,
                     which he maintained for two hours.
                     Ram Dass sat on his right, while
                     Allen Ginsberg sat on his left.

Between musical interludes, he spoke wonderfully
about metaphysical postulates, 
          scientific principles,
          Fascist politics & Life.             When at last he stood up,
                                      I leaped to my feet,
                                      fascinated, intrigued, entranced,
                                      ready to go AWOL,
                                      ready to drop out,
                                      ready to become a disciple.

But he turned & strolled off stage with his entourage 
not noticing me or my enthusiasm,
                                      my voice lost
                     in the middle of that great stoned throbbing throng.

He walked off stage into
the welcoming arms
of the the San Diego PD--
                & I had to reconstruct & reconfigure
                my soaring synapsis’ before
returning to NAS Miramar. 


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Blackthorne--a 55

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Blackthorne--a 55

“From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents;
from 18 to 35 she needs good looks;
from 35 to 55 she needs a good personality;
& after 55 she needs a lot of cash.”--Sophie Tucker.

Sheriff Hop
seems to be
a badass;

Deputy Marcus
appears to be
a prick;

Barber Barnes
is gut-shot--we
hope he’ll survive;

Rod Buck
is staring into the barrels
of his own weapons,
hands on his hips,
eyes defiant;

Storekeeper Wallace
is speaking up for Buck--

& we have yet
to meet his daughter.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted on over at dVerse Poets OLN

Thursday, July 24, 2014


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Why do you speak to me of stones? It is
only the arch that matters to me.”--Kublai Khan.

Castles will surely crumble, but their stony bones laugh
at Time’s attacks.


Twilight comes to Tacoma, where rich men’s yachts
are foreground for museums.


Union Station, once a terminus, now just
a federal hogan.


The window was an old skeleton, wearing new glass
as cloud mirror.


I found a pipeline being a bridge over oblivious waters.


An old Dodge logging truck can become sculpture,
left to the elements.


Water towers have just become hen’s-tooth scare
as covered bridges.


He was a forgotten king pretending to be
a young wayward prince.


A solitary shoe becomes a clue about a careless
missing child.


Some statues seem to be screaming silently:
seen but never heard.


You must realize that all silver clouds do not have
Rolls Royce on their undersides. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Concerto For Time Bandits

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Concerto For Time Bandits

“Old Time--his factory is a secret place, his work
is noiseless, & his hands are mute.”--Charles Dickens.

TIME: A non-spatial continuum in which events occur in
apparently irreversible succession from the past through
the present to the future.

The White Rabbit dashes about the Queen’s maze
                             staring at his large pocket watch:
                  I’m late, I’m late
                  for a very important date--
but like a gerbil spinning on his exercise wheel,
                             he went nowhere fast,           in a conflict
                             with inertia, caught forever
                             within the thorny parameters of the Now;
a prisoner,
a victim,                painfully aware that victory does not
                             always go to the swift--
just ask Tom Tortoise. 

Each of us squats comfortably
                              on our very own section of this planet,
                                                 trying valiantly to understand
                                                 latitude, & all those damned
Time Zones.          I reside in the Northwest, my wife is visiting
family in Texas, & as I write this she is two hours ahead of me,
                              while my oldest daughter in Maryland exists
three hours ahead--& so it goes traveling East  
                              ripping through zone after zone
traveling in an unbroken circle
                              until you bump into the butt of your own shadow,
arriving right back where you started; while some bush pilot
                              in Alaska struggles an hour behind me.
            When I traveled to Australia from California,
            dipping deep into the upside down reality of the Southern
            Hemisphere, speeding 8000 miles in 18 hours, I arrived
in Sydney the day before I left, & hey, when I returned, I arrived
            in LA 2 hours before I departed. 

Sometimes I find it to be fun to stop by a Clock Shop,
& stand in the actual moment
completely surrounded by thousands
of clicking, clanking, squeaking, whirring & twitching
springs & wheels housed in hundreds of time pieces--
                each a microcosm unto itself, a mechanical
miniature universe, inhabited by
                a vast population of dust mites, & while
our imagination has been focused so microscopically,
                 we take the opportunity to peer even further
                 within to a sub-atomic world
                 where a grain of sand
would appear to loom as large as Ayers Rock,
                 where Time stands still--

and that doesn’t even scratch the surface
                 of attempting to master or understand 
even while dropping into a whirlpool or worm hole,
                  folding back the edges of dimensional reality,
                  rocketing unimaginable distances
                                  while violating the laws of physics,
without even considering the metaphysical postulates
that beyond the Veil, Time does not,
                                           can not exist--
where Past, Present, & Future cohabit a linear continuum,
       the mysteries
                       of Life all
                                  become beautiful
                                                          pods of clarity.

So, what the hell time is it, you ask?
Well, you are standing in the pivotal center of it,
& it is later than you think,
& earlier than you would like it to be. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Yes, Alice, Poets Do Have Balls

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Yes, Alice, Poets Do Have Balls

“A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men
to want to take it off you.”--Francoise Sagan.

Brian came
           as bad boy Banksy, wearing
                              Ray Ban silver goggles, paint-smeared gloves
           with no fingers, with his mohawk
                                                 moussed straight up, with
                                                 red tips like cock Chanticleer;
he had three 10 foot wide canvasses
                               already painted like the sides of buildings,
& he was busy with his paint cans
                                               creating graffiti art
                                               that had Israeli fighter jets
dueling with Hamas rocket launchers,
                    while Obama & other heads of state
                    stood by wrapped in their country’s flags.

Claudia came as Zenobia,
                    the rebel Queen of Tadmor,
                                    paramour to Simon, the son of Barrabas,
                     tall & tanned, shirtless, & on her arm;
her gilded crown was offset
                                    by a large ruby in her navel, accenting
                                    her tight & toned tummy. She held court
over in a corner in front of her easel,
               where she painted watercolor caricatures
                                    of the guests. 

Bjorn came as hero Gideon Sunback, who
                        invented the modern prototype
for the zipper, wearing
                        a very tall felt top hat &
                        a  very tight red leather jump suit
that was covered with 100 multi-colored zippers, whose
              heads tinkled like fairy tunes
                                    as he pranced around giving
out those delicious Marabou Swedish chocolate bars. 

Glenn came as a Thracian gladiator,
           with a wide leather belt barely encasing his bulk,
his bulging waist trussed but still ample, his hairy
            chest properly salted with age, with leather wrist
                                    straps laced up with cat gut,
carrying a small shield on his left shoulder,
                                       & a short rubber-tipped Roman
gladius on his right hip, working
                  the room, saying to everyone--
                  “Hi, I am Spartacus, how you doin’ ?”

Gay sat on plush red & yellow cushions playing her guitar,
                            warbling Joni Mitchell,
                                          Joan Baez &
                                          Carol King tunes, dressed
like a hippy goddess in a bright tie-dyed khafkan 
                             & a long earthen brown flowing skirt,
with fresh flowers in her hair; with a small crowd
                             of admirers gathered at her bare feet. 

Victoria came as Florence Nightgale, with
             the crimson red cross
                             on her starched white nurse’s cap,
perfectly matching the red of 
                             the short velvet cape she wore;
sitting demurely at a red card table,
signing & giving away copies of
                              WINTER HAS PAST &
                              THE SIN OF HIS FATHER.

Laurie was in a beach outfit, wearing
           a wide brimmed straw hat, with
           a golden ribbon as its hat band,
over-sized pink sunglasses,
                         sequined lip gloss, with
a well-worn Texas A&M tank top
                         over her green bikini top
& the shortest shorts one could imagine; sitting
              on a blue couch
                         hob-knobbing with everyone
                         who strolled by; talking all about
how she was fixin’ to publish a new book real soon.

Shanyn was there too, dressed up like Annie Oakley,
                           carrying her Red Ryder air rifle, feeding
her Shetland Palomino pony,
                            carrots & oats out of a chrome bucket, offering
free rides to everyone’s kids, her own laugh
                so infectious, the place erupted with the delectable
bubbly laughter of dozens of children. 

Yeah, I think everyone made an appearance.
          Joe was there dressed up like Jim Bridger, letting
everyone play with his black powder muzzle-loader.
          Mary had her three canine companions,
                                 Basil &
all on jeweled leashes, & they were wagging their butts
as they kiss-licked all the newcomers at the door.
          Tony was in a kilt, wearing a ten gallon cowboy hat.

                         Man, when would this boisterous reverie
ever end?         It has been going on for three days
now--it will probably last
                         362 more days.
                         That’s the rumor,
& I’m sticking to it. 

Glenn Buttkus

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Quartet Quandary

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Quartet  Quandary 

“There are issues of trust, deep trust, in the way the members
of a string quartet learn to interact with one another.”
--Yo-Yo Ma.

“My life has been a dance that has walked a song 
that was spoken”--Maya Angelou

There can be, 
there is poetry in the naked motion
            of sports heroes,
                body builders & dancers;
where gluts flex boldly over
                                    undulating thighs,
                                                     bulging calves
                                                                  & expressive feet;
where Abs stand in rigid rows
                                    like militiamen on parade,
where deltoids partner with 18” biceps,
                                     with triceps as wing men;
where hands stroke their lovers,
                      sculpt faces from granite,
                                paint giant flowers that resemble
                                vaginal vessels of loveliness. 

“If you are a dreamer, come in, sit by my fire, for we have
flax-golden tales to spin.”--Shel Silverstein.

I tell you we must dream about Peace even
               while we wield the weapons of War,
               follow orders,
               take innocent lives;
while we witness others among us
               waving Confederate flags,
                            calling our President
                                             a mongrel nigger monkey,
or standing with oaken billy clubs
                            & preventing black Americans
                                             from voting;
while we suffer the staggering ignorance of
elitist bullies who
         dearly love to keep their boots
                                         on the beautiful necks
                                                                   of white doves;
for Peace is achievable, but it has to be fought for--
     Liberty has never been a mere entitlement;
                        it is reward for our sacrifices.

“The word was born in the blood, grew up in the dark body,
beating, & took flight through the lips & mouth.”
--Pablo Neruda.

And what is the Word--
                          Love, Larceny, Lunacy--
                          Bastard, Brotherhood, Buttock--
                          Equality, Elephant, Evergreen--
                          Hindu, Hate, Horny--
                          Rose, Rhyme, Rigor-mortis--
                          Ferrari, Fellacio, Fire--
                          Cheetah, Callous, Conflict--
                          Breast, Bathroom, or Buick?
And how is the Word communicated best,
               through speech, epithet, prose, or poetry?
And the answer is YES,
               each word a gift, the birth
               of a child, where you are cast as
                                                                Parent, & Pariah
in equal measure.         Yes not No, the sonorous sound of your voice
                               with the breathy hum of your inner harmony.

" A man can get by for 70 years without a piece of ass, but
he will die in a week without a bowel movement.”
--Charles Bukowski.

My grandfather often used to tell me,
                         “ The day will come, my boy, when you would
rather take a good crap than have
                           a terrific piece of ass.”
Though I am not aboard that boat
               yet, I can attest to the fact
               that Cascara Sagrada
can be a gentle friend when life’s conflicts
                                             lead to a bewildering state
                                             of constipation.
We are certainly not fooling our colons,
                for it is keenly aware of when
                                             we are full of shit. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets

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