Monday, March 27, 2017

Messenger


image from freeakingnews.com


Messenger

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

Balloon me to
the stars--a man
muttered,

but as I turned
to him,
his face inflated,

detached,
and ballooned
past me.

Above it
a comic book
balloon hovered,

saying--
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


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic Sixty-One

Cost

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 npr.org


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,
                     Amazon,
                     Ganges,
                     Nile,
                     Colorado,
                     Yangtze &
                     Mississippi,
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 

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thespis Ate Here


image from godecookery.com


Thespis Ate Here

Is it possible disdain should die while she has
such meet food to feed it on as Benedick?”
--William Shakespeare
MUCH  ADO ABOUT NOTHING

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

Perspective


image from internationalabstractartists.blogspot.com


Perspective

“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

Trumpland


image from coming-cinema.com


Trumpland

“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

Inexorable


image from pinstake.com


Inexorable

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

Deep
into the Yukon,
within
the northern-most 
forests,

in every
snow-choked
canyon,
burrow & cave,

beneath
crag & evergreen
spires,

Spring
is stabbing
into the icy
heart of winter--

and all
the spawn
of gestation
ready

themselves,
eager
to blossom
and be

born.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Blackthorne--Scene Sixty.


image from wildwings.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic Sixty

Closure

“Closure is bullshit.”--James Ellroy.

1(sound cue)  piano & violin.
2(medium close-up) Buck: Oh yes, I assure you that
we do have some unfinished business.
3(medium wide-shot) behind Buck & the Eagle. 
Bronson & the three wranglers were now mounted, 
but Thor still stood next to his mount, the raw anger 
evident in his brows & forehead.
4(crane three-shot) Thor, Buck, & Johnny--all were
standing like pugnacious ramrods.
5(sound cue) French horn & jazz brushing.
6(two-shot) Bronson leaning in toward Thor: Come 
on, brother. Plant that skinny butt of yours in saddle 
leather.
7(medium close-up) Thor: Cash, I really don’t like 
this raggedy-assed pair of trouble-makers.
8(two-shot) Buck & the Eagle reciprocating the 
negativity.
9(close-up) Bronson : Hell, you don’t like anybody. 
Come on, shake a boot.
10(medium close-up) Thor stiffly stepped up onto his 
black, his eyes like coal: I’ll be seeing you, Mr. Buck.
You two are a couple of lucky assholes today.
11(sound cue) saxophone & tambourine.
12(two-shot) Buck, over Thor’s shoulder, through a 
smirk: I think the lady french-kissed us all.
13(two-shot) Bronson spun his Palomino around, 
flashing a stern look at his brother; I said, let’s ride.
14(medium wide-shot) Thor responded by rowelling 
his black mount into an immediate full gallop.
15(close-up) Bronson spiked his silver spurs into the 
golden sides of his stallion
16(sound cue) fast guitar strumming.
17(overhead crane medium wide-shot) The old 
wrangler started off next--the two ropes looped around 
Chatawa’s neck were double-lashed to his saddle-horn. 
The dappled stud strained & struggled against the lead. 
The other two pokes took up the rear, riding off without 
looking back.
18(stationary medium wide shot) 200 yards beyond 
the camp as we see the Bronsons galloping hard 
toward the lens--with Thor barely in the lead.
19(sound cue) pounding horse’s hooves over a 
clarinet.
20(hold the stationary shot) as Thor & Cash fill up 
the frame with their gallop-then ride over the top of it
21(overhead drone shot) tracking with the strung-out
five riders.
22(medium close-up) Cheewa chasing after the two 
drag riders barking & nipping at their horses hooves.
23(reverse two shot) Buck and Johnny, backs to the 
camera, standing and watching as the bellicose 
bunch were far enough away that they traveled on 
silent hooves, the steeds being swallowed up by a 
rust-gray dust cloud. 
24(sound cue) Indian seed rattle & blues guitar riff.
25( jump-cut to) a pair of prairie dogs, craning their
necks watching the wranglers depart.
26(sound cue) big angry dog barking over branch 
flute.


  Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dreaming Large


image borrowed from sodahead.com


Dreaming Large

“My dream got bigger & bigger--and the box
got bigger than the message--than the Gospel.”
--Jim Bakker.

As a younger more gregarious man, I
     dreamed of putting together an Artist’s
         Colony, where fellowship, love, & creativity
     could flourish & co-mingle--but not in
an old warehouse firetrap like in the
urban artist clusters I had seen,
No, mine would be out in Puget
Sound on one of the smaller
islands, sprawling over a 100
acres, rife with wonderful forest
trails, walking distance to the
sparkling inland sea. The artist’s homes would
                       include dome houses, domiciles
                   built underground with sod & moss
               roves, mountain man log cabins, and
             ambitious tree houses with spider web
           catwalks connecting them, each with its
   own studio for sculptors, painters, musicians
actors, dancers, & writers.

My house would be on a high bluff overlooking
the colony, with a clear view over the top of the
pungent conifers of a lighthouse nearby, that
would be festooned with red & white stripes.
It would be 20,000 square feet,
    all on one level, with 15’ cathedral
        ceilings, several tall stained glass picture
                      windows with their brightly colored
                      depictions of orca pods, Roosevelt
                      elk, bald eagles, seahawks & gulls.
                       black bear, timber wolves, forests 
                       and beaches.

My wife and I would have a palatial bed chamber,
with separate bathrooms connected to a spa, 
cavernous walk-in closets, a canopy bed with
red & black velvet curtains, a tall functional fire
place, two red leather love seats, with no TV’s.

The monstrous kitchen    would have several kinds
of ovens, a plethora of     hanging brass pots and
pans, and a dinette          table for immediate 
family that adjoins            a huge King Arthur style
dining hall, complete        with several hand-carved
oak sideboards and a       humungous carved redwood
dining table that could      seat 30 guests. On the blond
paneled walls would         hang the Buttkus family crest,
sent from a German         castle, dozens of authentic
samurai & European        cavalry ornamental swords
& spears, interspersed     with weapons of the American
Old West, from buffalo      rifles to carbines.

Of course, there will be
a library laden with books,
movies, and music, adjoined
to a home theater with a
20 feet screen & Dolby
surround sound, that could
seat 50 people, with a glass
cabinet by the door that displays
real Oscars, Emmys, & SAG awards.

The roof of my rambling home would be fashioned like
a tall ship, with railings. thick masts, red & black sails
and large flags. Rising majestically out of the center of
the roof would be my personal circular Tower of Silence,
an apartment perched a hundred feet above the trees,
fitted with an elevator, the old fashioned kind taken from
a pioneer building in Seattle, with flashing lights atop it
to alert planes at night & a cell tower to power all the Wi-
Fi wonders below. This is my retreat,
                                         my office,
                                         my eagle’s nest,
                                         my den in the clouds,
                                         my writer’s space.
                                         my meditation space,
                                         my home for Muses,
                                         my cradle of creativity.

What good is great wealth--
if you don’t share with friends and
loving family?


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub



Monday, March 6, 2017

Go Deep


image from ralphiesportal.me


Go Deep

“In a forest, there is a quality of air emanating from
old trees that wonderfully changes & renews a
weary spirit.”--Robert Louis Stevenson.

In California, I hear, shinrin-oku has
    become a fad, replacing yoga & TM; one
            can sign up for week-long health adventures
    booked with certified “forest therapists” as
guides, for a mere thousand dollars.

The stats are out there; it seems that
87% of our time is spent indoors,
6% is spent in enclosed vehicles;
leaving only 7% for being outdoors.
It seems that forest-bathing can
reduce stress hormones and boost
our immune system.

I used to be a hiker, but I never did it as an athletic
pursuit. The deeper into the forest I traveled, the
slower I walked, breathing pure oxygen right at the
source, from the majestic canopy of trees towering
above me, feeling relaxation moving up from my
strolling ankles, listening carefully to the sibilant
silence--punctuated by wandering wind & birdsong,
stooping gently to touch bark, moss, mushrooms
and wildflowers--hearing a chorus of trees bending
& rubbing together, waltzing in the soft breeze, then
lying on a verdant mat of clover & sweet grass, closing
my eyes, only aware of the shimmering hum of thick
leaves, and the angelic stirring of bird & insect wings
massaging the air into a lullaby.

There is no mystery to this--when my soul becomes 
too dark & my heart too heavy, I just spend a day
burrowed deep into the fellowship of forest--and it
becomes a time of realignment, centering, and
essential reconnection to All That Is. For a time,
when I emerge, I am a better person, refreshed,
refueled & ready to return to my urban immersion.

No one is immune
to stress, so just walk into

forest for succor.


Glenn Buttkus

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Three Amigos


image from floridapolitics.com


Three Amigos 

“It’s true, I am the Ernest Hemingway of 140
characters.”--Donald J. Trump.

It is a modern tragedy that so many people seem to
be bored with History. History departments are all
but shrinking. Yet, I believe that when history is 
studied diligently, it reveals answers & solutions for
most of our present problems. Rejection of, or apathy
toward its lessons always will/does lead to folly, then
repetition of past mistakes & inevitable chaos.

Today, we are immersed in one of the most unique,
frightening, volatile and dangerous periods in this 
proud country’s 250 year history. Yes, we did survive
the regimes of Richard Nixon & George W. Bush, but
just barely. We still sport our deep scars.

It is essential, in my view, to pay closer attention to the
words of all dictators, demagogues, & dastardly author-
itarians--who seem to rise up first as Populists and
Patriots before they get us in their grip, then gleefully
unleash insane, nearly unimaginable horrors.

                Adolf Hitler

“The great masses of the people will more easily fall
victims to a big lie than to a small one.”
“Strength lies not in defense, but in attack.”
“How fortunate for governments that the people they
administer do not think.”
“Success is the sole earthly judge of right & wrong.”
“The victor is never asked if he told the truth.”
“Who dares to say that I’m not under the special
protection of God?”
“As a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be
cheated, but I have a duty to be a fighter for truth.”
“Great liars are also great magicians.”
“Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity 
& cowardice.”
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough,
it will always be believed.”
“All propaganda has to be popular and has to
accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least
intelligent whom it seeks to reach.”

                   Benito Mussolini

“Let us have a dagger between our teeth, a bomb
in our hands, & an infinite scorn in our hearts,”
“The key to the Fascist Doctrine is its conception of
the State. The State has to be absolute--individuals
& groups are relative.”
“I do not believe in perpetual peace. War is to a real
man what maternity is to a woman.”
“The Liberal State is but a mask, behind which is no
face--it’s a scaffolding, behind which there is no building.”
“Democracy is beautiful in theory, but in actual practice
it is a fallacy.”
“The truth is that most men are tired of liberty.”
“All must be within the State, nothing outside the State.
and nothing standing against the State.”

                     Donald J. Trump

“As for ISIS, I would bomb the shit out of them.”
“When you’re famous, you can get away with anything.”
“John McCain is not a hero. I don’t like losers.”
“I know more abut ISIS than the generals know.”
“I have a good brain”
“Actually I have a good hairline.”
“You just grab them by the pussy.”
“It’s a funny thing, but I get along much better with the
middle class and poor people than with rich people.”
“It’s always good to be underestimated.”
“Believe me, I will enforce the law, but at the same time
I will be considerate & compassionate to everyone.”
“No one has more respect for women than I do.”
“When someone challenges me, I fight back--and I can
be brutal, be tough.”
“We all know that politics today is a disgrace. The truth 
is that good people don’t go into government.”
“If you let people just pour into your country, soon you 
don’t have a country.”
“If you need Viagra, you must be with the wrong woman.” 

Sometimes people think
they need change so badly that
they don’t choose wisely.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub MTB