Thursday, March 31, 2016

Blackthorne: Review--Scenes 11-20


Cinemagenics 11-20

Review--Part II

“Thanks for the very positive response to this review of my
saga, a poetic screenplay series. When a project spreads
out over several years, it requires special scrutiny; just saying.”

Eleven: Elegy--Buck is recalling his mother’s funeral as he stands in
his family cemetery staring at the three headstones--his mother,
Sarah Elizabeth Buck, in the middle--his father, William Tyler Buck, 
on the right--& his little brother, Jackson Issac Buck, on the left. He
noticed that someone had put flowers in fruit jars in front of each of
them. He talked quietly with his departed ones, announcing that he
had come back for good this time. Then, arms open wide, he announ-
ced to the air, “Hey, all you sons of bitches--I’m home.”

Twelve: Provisions--Detailed introduction to Wallace’s General Store,
with the aged storekeeper bustling about filling that morning’s orders.
Buck entered & gave him a grocery & provisions list. Wallace said he
would get to it in an hour, or so, offering him biscuits & gravy while he
waited. Buck said that what he needed was a stiff drink & a woman.
Wallace sent him across the street to Bronson’s CHINA DOLL saloon.

Thirteen: Gates of Gomorrah--Buck carefully crossed the wide street,
booming with mid-morning traffic, as a bright red & yellow stagecoach
rolled by with BRONSON STAGE LINES stenciled on the doors. He
entered the saloon, followed by Cheewa, his dog. There is a description
of the large ornate saloon. A bearded guard said, “Hey, get that fucking
mutt out of here!” Buck complied, but he flashed an angry look at the
guard as he made his way to the bar.

Fourteen: Bartering--Buck notice three saloon angels at a table as he
passed by. He gets to the bar & orders a short beer. They all preen for
him as h sips it. A plump redhead with a pretty face, Millie, approaches
him. They move to a table, where he buys her a “breakfast drink”. She
informs him that she will take the ride for five bucks, “You get me & a
bottle.” They head upstairs & no one takes any notice. On the sound-
track we hear a coronet playing the Deguello.

Fifteen: Prelude--Millie’s room is tidy & clean. She has two teddy bears
on the bed, that she puts in a basket. Buck opens the red curtain & slides
up the tall window. He unbuckles his wide gun belt, & places it on a chair,
where it coils up like a serpent. She is now naked, pretending to want
his attentions. His mind wanders, thinking about a white buckskin teepee
by a gurgling creek, & a young raven-haired maiden’s laughter.

Sixteen: Cathouse--Daydreaming about a Comanche maiden, his eyes clear
& he focuses on Millie, with her Rubenesque charms, but beauty & grace
were replaced with bloat & bovinity. Buck asked her if she had ever made love
outside, “with a butterfly on your butt?” She talks about her farm girl youth,
followed by a “classy” sex scene, as we hear their coital bliss, but the camera
pans slowly around the room. Cut to a white bull bison standing on a ridge
above town, who bellows. Buck looks up as if he heard it, then stands in the
open window. He sees a cat on the roof. He said, “Cats are not very good to
eat, even if you’re hungry.”.

Seventeen: Samaritan--Suddenly the room shakes as something hits the wall
in the adjoining room. Millie said, “Not that bastard again.” Buck, wearing only
his breechclout rushes into the hallway. He hears screams coming from the
room. He kicks the door open. A gambler is choking a blond whore, with his
belt around her neck. Buck intervenes, & the man pulls a small hide-out
pistol. It discharges as Buck slaps it out of his hand. Buck is slapping the
gambler around, when the coward pulls a knife. Buck disarms him, then picks
him up onto his shoulders, spins around, & tosses the man out through the
closed window, out onto the roof, where he rolls across it, & falls off the edge.

Eighteen: Pursuit--Buck returns to Millie’s room & buckles on his gun belt, &
strides down the staircase, barefoot & bellicose. He charges through the
saloon, knocking some chairs over before he gains the door--no one attempted
to stop him. Reaching the street, he looked both directions--but no gambler.
Some people were noticing his near-nakedness. Then he saw a cloud of dust
rising out of the alley, with Cheewa barking & running circles in front of it. He
moved to the alley, finding it empty except for splintered wood & broken glass.
A small crowd had gathered. “Anyone happen to see where that son of bitch
made off to?” No one replied, so he walked back up to the saloon entrance.

Nineteen: Treachery--People cursed him as he made his way to the stairs,
which he ascended two at a time; but the bully guard was on the first landing
holding a shotgun on him. The blond whore “victim” stood behind him,
screeching obscenities. The guard accused him of assaulting one of their
best customers. The prostitute hollered that Buck might have killed, “My
Paully”. Then she attacked him, pummeling him with harmless fists. He did
not defend himself, just kept watching the guard. Finally he tired of her tirade
& punched her in the face, while drawing his Colt .41 with the other hand.
We hear two pistol shots & a shotgun blast as the camera shows us the
whore passing out. 

Twenty: Self-Defense--The prostitute was out cold, & Buck had shot the
guard in the hand. Holstering the Thunderer, he tried to push past the
guard, but the obstinate bully jumped him. Buck punched him to his
knees, where he said through bloody lips, “You’d better finish it, Buff--
you’re a dead man already.’’  Buck smacked him over the head with
the heavy Colt barrel--but the tough guard still wanted to fight, so 
Buck obliged him, beating him senseless. Standing up he faced down
a younger guard & twenty men at the foot of the stairs. The guard
lowered his weapon, & Buck climbed the rest of the way upstairs.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mountain Mythos

image by grayson schaffer.

Mountain Mythos

It’s not the mountain that we conquer
but ourselves.”--Edmund Hillary.

In 218 BC, one of the most famous mountain crossings
       in history, was done by Hannibal, who at 29 years old,
             became a general, fighting against the Romans. He led
                      his Carthaginians, made up mostly of Africans and
             Iberians, which included dozens of war elephants, clear
        across three passes in the Alps, using two autumn months
to do it, descending into the Po Valley before marching on Rome.

In 73 AD, after Spartacus escaped from a Ludi in Capua,
leading 200 gladiators in flight--they made their encampment
on Mt. Vesuvius. Their ranks swelled quickly. Soon, a Roman
cohort, lead by Praetor Glaber, bivouacked at the base of the
the mountain. Spartacus. & his men, repelled down a steep cliff
that was not observed, outflanked them, & won the first battle of
the Third Servile War.

In Japan, on Honshu Island,               Mt. Fuji has always been an iconic
representation for that part of             Asia. It was once home to a fire god,
& a Shinto goddess of Wisdom,         her temple was supposed to be on the
summit. In addition, the Mt.                was the home of the Luminous Maiden,
                 who was reputed to have led an emperor to his doom.

                                                            My neighbor, Mt. Rainier, was first dis-
                                                      covered by the Meso-Indian tribe from the
                                              Nertal Islands in 200 AD. Geologists tell us that 
                                Mt. Rainier was formed by a super massive geo-thermal 
                        event in 150 AD. One of the native myths claimed that the Mt.
             is honeycombed with hundreds of man-made tunnels that lead down
to the center of the earth where a sacred tribe of demi-gods reside.
                         The Indians called the mountain Talol, then
                         Tahoma. In 1792, explorer George Vancouver 
                          renamed it Rainier, after an Admiral friend of
                          his. It has 25 glaciers, & has 2 million visitors
                          a year.

Mt. Everest, more than 29,000 feet in height, is the world’s
tallest mountain--& it is very dangerous. Hundreds of people
have perished on its unforgiving slopes. They officially started
trying to climb it in 1921, but of course the Sherpas had been
climbing it for centuries, just for the hell of it. From then through
the 30’s & 40’s, they had dozens of failed attempts, but it was
finally crested in 1953 by Edmund Hillary, who was
knighted for it. I read where for only $1,800 dollars,
anyone can hook up with a tourist climbing group.
I think I’d rather go to Tahiti.

Man has a need to 
climb every mountain just
because they are there.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Pub

Smile; you will note George Vancouver named Mt. Rainier in 1792, not "1972" as I just stated.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rains of Rancor

image from

Rains of Rancor

“If you re not already dead, learn to forgive--rancor
is unbearably heavy; die light.”--John Paul Sartre.

The calendar tells me it’s Spring,
so I suppose it has to be;
flowers blossom, which does please me--

but in my yard, sun’s not shining;
just lots of rain, weather’s disdain--
making me want to be flying

to Tropics; with my bones warming
the calendar tells me it’s Spring.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub MTB

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ascension of Larks

image borrowed from

Ascension of Larks

“The unseen essential awaits your enlightened heart’s
ascension to love.”--Bryant McGill

With Spring, beyond its fecundity, comes wings
of every conceivable variety; fluttering

on beauteous artful flights of Monarch butterflies,
      or humming drolly on wedges of dirt-brown munching moths, 
                 or flapping madly on descents of gnarly bats spinning
                         out of dark caverns, or an audacious glimpse of a majestic
               airie of bald eagles, or a clever cast of hungry peregrines
      dropping down like feathered missiles from the electric
azure ether to snatch rodents, or a bedazzling bevy  
of snow-white doves perching in the pink
blossoms of the tulip tree in our backyard,
or that gobbling gaggle of wild turkeys hav-
ing a squawk-off with an exotic muster of
albino peacocks on a ranch near the beach
above Hilo, or a frightened covey of quail
scurrying out of the tall grass along a dense forest trail, or a quacking
        brace of green-headed mallards flying dangerously low over some
                     concealed blinds ready to give buckshot greetings, or a
                           curt kettle of red-tailed hawks floating on thermals like
                                  bellicose kites on their daily rabbit raids, or a noisy
                                           colony of gray Pacific gulls at the beach fighting
                                                     a malicious murder of crows for scraps of
                                                     stale Wonder bread that we had tossed into
                                                     kelp-kissed negative ionic breezes, or amidst
a raucous riot of tropical colors spread out
over San Francisco Bay as frantic flocks
of conures glide masterfully around the
top of the Coit tower--              all flapping toward the crescendo, 
                                                 the epilogue,
                                                 as wondrous wedges, 
                                                 garrulous gaggles,
                                                 sensuous skeins,
                                                 flitting flushes,
                                                 skimming scolds,
                                                 scintillating sieges, &
                                                 wily wisps
of divers birds create a sky ballet to the angelic orchestrations provided by the 
restless winds, while swirling & twisting into living abstract ciphers, performing
elaborate murmurations that never cease to enthrall & entertain.

Glenn Buttkus

Monday, March 21, 2016


image from


When the busker
with a cello

played with such
emotional intensity
                                     my hard shell,
                                     my anger,
                                     my sarcasm,
                                     my suspicions,
                                     my fears & sadness
all but melted.
                          Who needs a harp when
                          a cello finds the notes that
                          flood my face with tears?

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q-5

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Blackthorne--Review 1

image from


Cinemagenics 1-10

Review: Part I

“Many of you friends & loyal readers of this epic poetic series
have come along mid-plot, & struggle to keep the characters
straight, & wonder about the story. So for the next few OLN,
I will do a brief review of the events posted over several years.”

One:  Monarch--Introduction of a vast buffalo herd that is surging
across some railroad tracks, stretched out to both horizons, as a
speeding train has difficulty stopping, killing dozens of animals
before it halts, with a huge albino bull buffalo overlooking the

Two: The Long Death--Opening on buffalo hunters slaughtering part
of a herd. Cut to thirty foot high piles of buffalo bones & skulls bleaching
in the cruel sun. Cut to an encampment where the hunters have skinned
the pelts & staked them out to dry. Cut to a railroad siding where thousands
of hides & pelts are sold, stored in box cars, & shipped east. Cut to the
great albino bull galloping through the middle of the hunters, stomping
pelts & breaking stakes. Cut to the bull on a hilltop, looking down on the
town of Blackthorne, shimmering blue below. 

Three: Pas Peregrinus--Detailed description of the town of Blackthorne,
with three loafers lounging midday on the porch of the China Doll
Saloon. One of them stares off to the east, out into the heat haze, &
announces, “Rider coming.”

Four: Arrival--The idlers watch as a lone rider comes into town. The stranger
is heavily armed, & is dressed in dirty buckskins with both Mexican &
Indian attire; a buffalo hunter, who is riding a tall roan stallion, & is
accompanied by a large black wolf-like dog. The newcomer reins up in front
of Wallace’s General Store, reading a sign, OUT TO LUNCH.

Five: Inquisition--The stranger dismounts, notices the three men at the Saloon,
then walks his stallion & dog over to them, wrap-reining at the hitch in front of
them. He has a .55-120 Sharps buffalo rifle in a scabbard, & is wearing a Colt
.41 Thunderer on his right hip, & a sawed off shotgun on his left. He inquires,
Is the old Buck ranch still deserted?”

Six: Conversation--The porch riders tell him that as far as they know the old
Buck place has been deserted for 15 years, ever since Bill Buck died. They
tell him that the “big man” in town is Cash Bronson, who owns the saloon,
the hotel, & a stage & freight line, & runs the largest cattle & horse ranch
in the territory, the Triple B. He would love to buy the Buck place, but it
seems the new owner has been an absentee for years. The stranger
thanks them, mounts up & lopes off west out of town.

Seven: Homecoming--The stranger rode several miles out of town, & then
up into the foothills, up to the abandoned Buck ranch--riding through a
broken hinge gate, under a bullet-riddled sign on the overhead pillar that

Eight: Remembrance--The stranger stops in front of a ramshackle two-
story ranch house, recalling his childhood, romping with his collie, loving
his mother, Sarah, & father, William. Cut to when Roddy was 8 years old,
during the traumatic birth of his younger brother, when Bear Woman, their
hired domestic, acted as midwife.

Nine: Eulogy--A funeral at the Buck family cemetery. Sarah had died in
childbirth, & Bear Woman held the newborn, Jack, feeding him goat’s
milk from a bottle. Cut to a year later at the breakfast table, with Bear
Woman cooking bacon, eggs, & pancakes. Little Jack called her,
“Ma-Ma”, & big Bill Buck, lost in a whiskey haze, stormed out of the
kitchen, followed by a distraught 9 year old Roddy.

Ten: Departure--Young Rod Buck, at 17 years old, packed up & was
leaving behind the pain & sadness, the drunkenness of his father, the
disintegration of the ranch--anxious to light out. He would ride west
to become a buffalo hunter. He told Bear Woman that he had to leave,
“before I go crazy, or hurt the old man.”  She wanted him to stay. Jack,
now 9 years old promises to come & join Rod in a couple years. She
said to Rod, as he left, “May you find good medicine out in the bloody
sea of grass.” be continued.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Hand Jibes

painting by Nicolas De Largilliere.

Hand Jibes

“People say I have the most beautiful hands,”
--Donald J. Trump

There is a cave deep in the Sahara
where 10,000 years ago primitive men
traced their hands on the wall--
                interspersed with tiny hand prints, even
                smaller than an infant’s hands, where
                upon investigation, those prints turned
                out to be the forefeet of the desert monitor
                lizard, conjuring mystery & wonder.

Makes me think about dolphins,
         who have large brains, with intelligence
                     and intellectual capacity close to our own,
                               but possessing no hands, so they do not
                                         have the ability to either build or destroy
                               things--they just pass through their
                      environment without changing it. Our opposable
          thumbs give us the opportunity to create
and utilize tools, whereby the planet is forever altered.

When studying anatomy for Art,
it is the hands that are the most
difficult to draw or sculpt. I loved
the sensitivity used in the movie
BEN HUR, where only the hands
of Jesus were photographed handing
a cup of water to Judah as he was
marched in chains to the Roman galleys.

Hands as metaphors & indicators dominate so much of our
communicative phrasing, from hand-me-down genetics
                   to surrendering with our hands up,
                   to a round of audience applause,
                   to points of laterality,
                   to rotating indicators on time pieces,
                   to our individualistic patterns of cursive,
                   to creating meals from scratch,
                   to cards held by players,
                   to using fists for defense or assault,
                   to grasping & shaking as a greeting,
                   to asking for a pledge to wed,
                   to a deftness & expertise in performing tasks,
                   to being a specific kind of laborer,
                   to being close by for support,
                   to cajole or force another’s action,
                   to achieve overwhelmingly,
                   to flail in the air out of hopelessness,
                   to wring & twitch out of desperation, or
                   to pray & supplicate. 

Without hands we would
have no art, skyscrapers or
machines; quite the quandary.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, March 14, 2016

Raven Moon

image from

Raven Moon

“I’ve never seen a full moon in the sky, that if it didn’t
take my breath away, it at least displaced it for a moment.”
--Colin Farrell.

The moon is 400 billion years old, been worshipped as a god,
been used as a compass, been a boon to farmers, & has been
blamed for murder, mayhem, & madness. Those who ever doubt
its power clearly have never stood staring at it in a desert night sky,
or on a mountain top while wolves, coyotes & dogs howled, high 
tides rose & fell, & the Roman goddess Luna raced across the 
horizon in her glowing silver chariot. 

I once stood outside at midnight during a Supermoon, when it was
within 90% of its closest orbit to earth, 8% larger & 17% brighter than
usual. I swear to you I sprouted fur on my ears, had to suppress a 
howl, & wanted to elongate my canine teeth.

There are those who believe that fertility is enhanced during a harvest
moon--which probably is untrue, but any excuse for increased procreation
is welcomed.  In the early 19th Century, astronomers believed they could
see cities on the moon through their telescopes, peopled by Lunarians.
In 1946, there were folks who believed the Nazis had bases on the dark
side of the lunar surface, & further that Hitler had fled there, not to South
America, to live out his life in luxury in an underground bunker. Then there
are those lunatics who still believe that Apollo 11 never actually landed on
the moon, that it was all a political hoax, revealed clearly by O.J. Simpson
& James Brolin in the movie CAPRICORN ONE. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin 
once became so exasperated with a heckler that he punched him in the
face. Aldrin was never prosecuted for the assault. 

A full moon stirs the
blood, tugging at the sea in-
side our salty husk. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub