Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Blackthorne--Scene 82




painting by Jim Clements


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic Eighty-Two

Riposte

“Fencing is a game of living chess.”
--V.E. Schwab

1(two-shot) this dialogue will have the standard
reciprocal shot cuts, over the shoulder of the 
character being spoken to (unless there is a 
close-up, which will be designated.)
Buck, over Salina’s shoulder: Uh-huh...but what
is important to me is what do you think.
2(close-up) Salina: I think...that I used to find him
interesting. I think he’s changed a lot in the last
year.
Buck: Something turned him mean?
Salina: No, he always had that dark side to him.
Lately, there are shadows on his face all the time.
Finally I see him for who he really is.
3(sound cue) piano & harmonica over the low hum
of shoppers and street noise.
Buck: So you’ve changed, but not him?
Salina: Something like that.
4(close-up) Salina: I haven’t been with him for over
six months.
5(close-up) Buck: Why tell me?
6(two-shot) Salina: Because you wanted to know.
Buck: You seem pretty sure of your self.
Salina: Don’t be silly; life is too short.
Buck: Well, in that case Miss Wallace, may I call
you Salina?
Salina: I would...if I were you.
Buck fingered the sharp edge of the new axe, watching
7(close-up) Salina
her green eyes and full mouth.
Buck, after a moment: Out at my place, someone has 
been looking after our family graveyard in my absence.
Would you happen to know anything about that?
Salina: What will you be doing on Saturday night?
Buck: Oh, I don’t know--probably just ride into town
with Johnny and spend some time at Mateo’s.
Salina: There’s going to be a dance at the Grange 
Hall.
8(sound cue) banjo & fiddle under the crowd.
Buck: Is there?
Salina: Are you a dancing man, Mister Buck?
Buck: Every twice in a while. Please call me Rod.
Salina: OK, Rod--why don’t you take me to the 
dance? It might be fun.
Buck: I don’t know...you’re awfully damn shy.
Salina: Seven o’clock in front of the store.
Buck: Can I bring my dog?
Salina, chuckling: Bring your dog and ride a black
buffalo--I don’t care.
Buck: Alright--seven o’clock then, in front of the 
store. (after an awkward moment, while they both
smiled in silence). Still, you never answered my 
question.
Salina: Why ask me about your family plot?
Buck: Because the first time I met you, it seemed
like you knew something about it.
9(sound cue) violins & flute.
10(medium close-up) Salina, nodding her head
slowly: It’s no secret--Dad and I watched over it
while you were gone.
11(close-up) Buck, his eyes misty: Thank-you.
Salina: For what?
Buck: For caring enough to do that.
Salina: Shucks, it’s just what decent folks do.
Buck: I guess I’m just not used to being around
decent folks.
Salina: Well, big boy, now you’ve got your chance.
They both laughed. Dad and I both cared a lot
about your father. He was like a shaggy pet bear
with gravel in his voice. I was a teenager when he
got killed. He was kind,and he used to play with
the children in town.
Buck: Play with them?
Salina: Yes--he became very child-like before he died.
Buck: Everyone loves a drunken bear.
12(cut to a medium three-shot) Wallace appeared
suddenly: Your grub is sacked up. What kind of
lumber did you want?
Salina: Dad--Rod is taking me to the dance Saturday.
Wallace, smiling: Uh--Rod, that’ s great. After today
that should tickle the shit out of Thor Bronson.
Buck: You don’t approve?
13(close-up) Wallace, out from beneath his bushy 
eyebrows: Hell, it don’t matter a deuce what I want.
She’ll do whatever she pleases anyway--and
I wouldn’t have it any other way. 
They all laughed.
So what do you need--joists, planks, shingles?
Buck: Yes, all of that, tramping out the back 
door after Henry Wallace.
14(medium close-up) Salina followed them with
her jade eyes.
15(sound cue) clarinet & cello over the crowd hum.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Submarine Races




image from coverbrowser.com


The Submarine Races

“See me--Feel me--Touch me--Heal me.”
--the Who lyrics.

Tommy was blind and deaf,
yet he became a pinball wizard,
said the Who.
Dogs and cats like to be petted,
chickens too.

As a teenager, hormones raging, heading
to a local passion pit for the
submarine races, I could hardly wait
to touch my date; what was called petting.

Only rarely, ten cars across, radios blaring,
windows all steamed up, did intercourse
ever make an appearance. Coitus
was the impossible dream, the unclimbed
mountain. So you kissed and swapped spit
until your lips were bruised, unsnapped
a bra, unzipped some zippers, co-masterbated,
and possibly on prom night, scored fellatio.

Kids today hook-up, whatever that involves
I remember when holding hands was a big deal--
but I must say that all that teasing and foreplay
caused a raging case of blue balls--
a malady from the 50’s.

The 60’s led us to
What’s your sign? Let’s fuck!,
the incredible no-bra look, communes,
topless barber shops, free love,
and the best decade of rock and roll ever.
“Heal me”, indeed.

For septuagenarians,
there is still actual touch,
deeper, more meaningful love,
and wisdom--
that’s the rumor.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Enter: Stage Left




image from hobbydb.com


Enter: Stage Left

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time
that is given to us.”--Gandolf 
LORD OF THE RINGS

My world is a movie
that can encompass all genres.
Since it is my world, like Bukowski,
I am the hero of my own shit.

Yet Life, as the studio, provides
its own directors, and its own writers.
I submit that the Panavision lens
that I perceive through is completely
cinematic, but most of the time
I don’t write the script ( though I do
come with sides and inserts at the ready).

I am catapulted into pre-set, pre-written
scenes, and it is my job to improvise
my part; and pad it if I can get away with it.
In my mind I have a lead part, but never 
the Star. As an actor I accept the need to be
a reactor. I take pride in being the primary
cinematographer. I decide when to track,
or dolly, cut to close-up or panoramic wide
shot.

For the decade that I was actually
a professional actor, my two worlds became
siamese twins, joined at the heart. I was
allowed to conjure up diverse personalities
that in a normal lifetime, one could not play 
them all--cowards, villains, priests and pimps,
cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians,
politicians and pedophiles, jesters and kings,
winners and losers, professors and poets,
and once I played Shakespeare’s brother.

Film work was rare, so I spent more time
doing live theater, but I always stood outside
myself, like I was in a movie that was all about
an actor being in a play.

Poetry has always buoyed me up when Life
worked too hard to cast me as
Everyman in some industrial documentary.
As a poet, I’m free to cast myself in any
guise, with any point of view...like Kerouac,
I can be an “outlaw of the sensorium”, like
Richard Burton I can be a “prince of players”,
like Trump, I’m a Gemini born on Flag Day,
like Jason Robards, I can pretend to be
a poet, and be one at the same time.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Mornings




image from pinterest.com


Mornings

“There was never a night or a problem that could
defeat sunrise or hope.”--Bernard Williams.

Rising before the sun
to feed the collies
and move the big tractor
out by the west corn field;
the rowed up cobs flashing
golden in my phone’s light.
My son will mount the Deere
after his second cup of coffee.
I can smell it on the chilled breeze.
The sun rose red as calf’s blood,
smearing the cloudless horizon
beyond our huge barn. Its early
rays turned the dirty white Buick
into raspberry jam. I was feeding
the chickens when frying bacon
beckoned to me across the yard;
my sweet wife was up. I headed
for the warmth of the kitchen
to fuel up before another eventful
twelve hour day; something a city dweller
could never understand.

***********************************************

Blaring sirens and horns bleating 
and delivery trucks banging, plus
being in the flight path for the airport--
these are my damn alarm clocks,
as I stir bleary-eyed in dirty sheets
staring at my digital clock; 6:30am.
I could smell the coffee brewing thanks
to a digital timer. I would have to face
my asshole foreman at the factory
and beg for this afternoon off. My son
makes another appearance in court--
this time for drug possession and
an expired driver’s license. I won’t be
able to make his bail because I have
nothing left to mortgage or sell. My ex-wife
could care less--she’s on vacation in Italy.
I’ll stop by Little Vic’s after court. Beer
is always your friend. If barfly Molly is
on her stool, maybe I’ll get lucky. It’s
days like this that I actually miss my Dad’s
farm--even though I couldn’t wait to leave
it at 18--drawn to the lure and excitement
of the big city.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, November 5, 2018

Hubris




image from pinterest.com


Hubris

“We can never be gods, after all--but we can 
become less than human with frightening ease.”
--N.K. Jemisin.

From Sputnik                 to the Space Station,
               for over sixty years
we’ve been putting junk
               in outer space.

Some floats
back to earth.
Some floats
out into nebulas 
unknown.

Angels flap angry wings,
and gods wink,
then winch
at man’s
arrogance.

Should we pay attention?



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse poets Pub

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Blackthorne--Scene 81




painting by Harvey Dunn.


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic Eighty-One

Salina

Love must be learned, then learned again and
again--there is no end to it.”
--Katherine Anne Porter

1(low angle two shot) Buck headed for the General
Store. A lot of people were in the street.
2(medium close up) Johnny: Try and stay out of
trouble, Boss. I’m trotting off to Mateo’s. He
appreciates me.
3(medium wide shot) Buck waved consent without
turning back. I’ll join you later.
4(sound cue) piano and banjo over the sound of his
heavy boots rumbling across thin boards.
5(cut to medium close up) Two crow cronies huddled
on top of the store’s false front, watching the crowd.
6(low drone medium wide shot) pans over the black
birds, revealing the street below. Buck picks his way 
around three men, and enters the store.
7(cut to store’s interior) Buck opens the door and steps
inside, closing it behind him.
8(sound cue) jingle of bells on the door over the low
hum of the customers.
9(reverse shot) Buck’s back to the camera. There were
a dozen people inside, standing around, looking at
new plows, firearms, and bolts of polka dot material.
10(wide two-shot) Wallace was there, his fluffy white 
hair a rooster tail in back, helping a young woman,
folding up a denim shirt, wrapping it in brown paper,
binding it with green fuzzy twine.
Buck: Morning, Henry.
Wallace, looking over his glasses: Hey, young Mr.
Buck--what do you need on this busy day?
The young woman with an old weathered face and
a blue frayed cotton bonnet, paid for the shirt and
moved on.
Buck: Provisions, tools, lumber and paint.
Wallace: Your same basic chuck?
11(sound cue) bells on the door over harmonica.
Buck: Uh-huh...but a lot more bacon this time. Damn,
we do like your bacon
Wallace: A fella out on the flats raises pigs; that
would be a hell of a life, raising pigs.
Buck: Rather him than me. Have you got a good axe?
Wallace: Over there in the corner, by Salina. Go pick
one out. The lumber’s out back.
Buck: I’m going to need some barbed wire too.
12(two-shot) Over Buck’s shoulder; Wallace stared at 
Buck for a moment, the hint of alarm on his face:
Sure, sure--I think we have everything you need. Let
me get started on your grub, and I’ll be back with
you in two shakes.
13(sound cue) violins and piano; sweet chords.
14(medium wide shot) Buck strolled past the farmers
and ranchers over to Salina. She was helping an older
woman understand how to operate a new kind of butter
churn. She looked up at him and smiled.
15(two-shot) over Salina’s shoulder, Buck: Your Pop
says that there are some axes over here.
16(close-up) Salina, her eyes sparkling, her tresses
pulled back into a bun. Yes, Mr. Buck, they’re right
behind me, in the corner, mixed in with the shovels.
17(two-shot)
Old woman: Thanks for showing me this
new fangled thing; like to have one. Maybe in a few
months I’ll be back and buy one.
Salina: You’re very welcome, Mrs. Robertson. Maybe
by then it might be on sale.
Woman: That would be peachy. You have a fine day,
Salina--and good day to you Mr. Buck.
18(wide shot) the woman made her exit, and Buck
touched the brim of his black hat. He had been
rummaging around in the garden tools, and had
picked out a sturdy double-bladed axe. He held it
out at arm’s length, feeling its heft.
19(two-shot) Salina turned toward him: Today is
Thursday.
Buck: All day they tell me.
Salina: It’ll be Saturday before you know it.
Buck: Uh-huh.
Salina: You know, he might kill you.
Buck: Who, your boyfriend Thor?
Salina: He’s fast; nobody faster around here.
Buck: That’s what I hear.
Salina: Did he pick a fight with you?
Buck: Uh-huh.
Salina: Folks in these parts think I’m his girl.
20(sound cue) six-string blues slide over seed rattle



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Turds on the Tide




image from cnn.com


Turds on the Tide

“One of the key problems today is that politics
is such a mess, good people don’t go into
government.”--Donald J. Trump.

Once upon a morning dreary,
after checking out the Breaking News,
I broke out in a terrible fury
upon hearing the President’s views.

Another day, another shiny distraction.

Eleven murdered in a synagogue,
a bloody week of magma hate;
bullets, bombs and mayhem
as our very own Idiot in Chief

prances, squawks, and be-bops
at his endless vitriolic pep rallies
like the hideous evil demagogue
that he will always be.

He is proud not being
a politician,
yet is clueless about being
a mensch,
a human being,
a President.

Another day of 8 1/2 lies.

It’s only one week until Mid-Term elections,
but I fear the fix is in, and yet again
the popular vote not be enough to defeat
the Republican dishonest hokum
that is already in motion--
                       Gerrymandering,
                        Voter suppression,
                        Russian propaganda
smeared across social media,
lipstick on a cobra.

Our citizens emotions are pole-axed,
struck down, fatigued, misdirected, wondering
if it is true that every vote counts,
then why does Lady Democracy
suffer from a fascist flesh-eating disease,
wherein large chunks of her beautiful body
are being chewed off and spit out?
Where are the demon slayers
when we really need them?
Have they been bought off as well? 
                      
I find it difficult to navigate my canoe
in a sea of shit. It is all I can do
to keep it from capsizing.

If a pit viper
becomes President, we should
cut off its ugly head.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub