Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blackthorne--Scene Thirty-Seven

image borrowed from


Cinemagenic Thirty-Seven


“You may know where to touch her, but that does not mean
you know how. Take time to learn what she truly desires.”
--Stephan Labossiere.

1(tight two-shot) The Indian reached out slowly with his free
hand, touching her softly on the nose.
2(close-up) the mare’s eyes were wild, scared & angry.
3(medium two-shot) the mare flinched.
He soothed & praised her, touching & stroking her knotted neck.
--What a black beauty you are, beautiful black & so sleek; small
but powerful.
All the while he was inching the bridle closer to her bobbing head.
4(sound cue) Spanish guitar chords, slow strumming.
5(tight two-shot) Slowly, ever so slowly, he began to slip the bridle on.
--Good horse, sweet girl, that’s it, Johnny loves you. You like me, don’t
you? Like the smell of me & how I look at you, Concetta. I will just
put this nice bridle over your pretty head, OK? 
6(medium two-shot) The coal-black horse eyed the man, but did not
move away. She pranced some, & closed her teeth to the plain bar bit.
He gently touched her cheek. She opened her mouth to nip flesh &
closed it on cold steel.
7(sound cue) horse hooves rapping, with shrill complaints high up
in her throat.
8(medium close-up) She rolled her eyes, flattened her ears, squirm-
jumped & quivered. 
9(two-shot) Johnny spit the cigar stub out, & pulled her head down as
she made short staccato moans. 
--I will not hurt you, little one. When I am on your back, I will be your
lover man.--talking in a soft monotone.
10(medium close-up) He smoothly buckled the throat latch, tossed one
rein over her neck, & let the other one hang loose.
11(medium wide-shot) Cautiously the mare moved the grounded rein
around in the white dust, as the Indian turned his back on her & sauntered
to the rails. 
12(sound cue) Indian seed rattle & banjo chords,
13(medium close-up) Near the railings in a corner of the corral there was
a battered split-rail sawhorse, & on one side of it there were two colorful
but faded blankets--one was Nez Pierce, frayed, thin & sun-bleached,
the other was Mexican vaquero, covered with Aztec symbols. A dusty
yellow lariat & a thin well-worn busting saddle rested next to them. 
14(cut to traveling steadi-cam shot) panning the excited faces of
the crowd, old & young wranglers, their battered hats pulled down
low over their eyes--some were crippled & some were dude-ish
boardwalk porch punchers. 
15(as the camera pans smoothly) we notice the bright white lettering
on the tallest reddest barn, BRONSON AUCTIONS. 
16(halfway around, cut to a crane shot outside the corral) pan-circling
the flannel & levi shirted backs, some in chaps, all in old boots.
We see Johnny Eagle with his hands on his hips, talking & chuckling,
his back still to the mare.
17(sound cue) piano, & banjo with harmonica slowly huffing.
18(medium close-up, angle on) a brash but nervous young cowboy; 
peach fuzz on his ruddy cheeks, curly red hair poking out of his hat:
--I got four-bits says she’ll toss your red ass in the dirt!
19(close-up) Johnny sporting a wide toothy smile:
--Keep your money, kid--buy me a drink after the dance. Hey, would
you like to warm her up for me?
20(two-shot) the young cowboy holding his hands up:
--Christ no, Johnny. I like my cojones right where they are!
21(medium wide shot) More laughter erupted--Johnny always kept
men laughing, unless he was mean-drunk & then he was liable to
use one of his sharp knives. 
22(medium close-up) a white-bearded prospector in a tattered hat:
--How do you think you’ll do with her?
23(sound cue) clarinet squawk & drum roll.
24(two-shot) angle over the old man’s shoulder:
--Better than you, grandfather--as Johnny swept up the Mexican
blanket in a smart swirl, snapping up dust like a matador. 
25(tight two-shot) he turned back toward the waiting dance partner:
--Do you see the blanket, horse?--walking closer to the mare.
--Smell it, young lady, see, it smells like your sister & brother--& 
what a nice blanket it is, huh? Pretty & bright & harmless. Would it
not look lovely on your back? Sure, sure it would. 
26(medium wide shot) the Indian stood still alongside the horse. She
fidgeted, rolling the bar in her panting mouth, leaving metallic tastes.
27(sound cue) Tack metal & leather harmonizing over a guitar chord.
28(tight two-shot) He placed the blanket on her back in one deft
movement; she shivered. The blanket moved but stayed in place.
29(medium close-up) Johnny--the blanket will be fine, you’ll get used
to it. The saddle is next, then me. We will leap for joy, eh?
30(sound cue) Castanets, guitar, & harmonica. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets OLN

Would you like to hear me read this Cinemagenic poem to you?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Quartet of Eights

borrowed from

Quartet of Eights

“I prefer a quartet--it makes everyone
work harder.”--Adrian Belew.


Worlds within worlds reflect
the overlapping dimensions we inhabit.
Realities most fail to even detect--
worlds within worlds reflect
homeostasis, universes to inspect;
conjuring dreams of riding a comet.
Worlds within worlds reflect
the overlapping dimensions we inhabit.


Rusting steel girders still span
over America’s many mighty rivers,
flexing under the heavy burden
as frantic commute traffic flows.

Flexing under the heavy burden
as frantic commute traffic flows
over America’s many mighty rivers
rusting steel girders still span.


A dozen street artists linked their joy
and painted Russian faces from Tolstoy.
Art from spray cans--no sign of a bucket,
men in fur hats, a peasant girl in a bonnet.
Soot-covered workers in a hellish factory,
several revolutionary soldiers celebrating victory.
Painted on the walls of a Tacoma parking garage,
until removed secondary to a city council barrage.


There is something gorgeous to be said
about particular unshackled poetry that emerges
from its den of cortical chrysalis
& sprouts huge wet wings,
luminescent rainbows of every hue,
translucent gossamer feathers strongly rooted,
as wild words transform into shape-shifting
heartfelt imaginative inexorable boundless poetics.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Poetics

would you like too hear me read these 8-line poems to you?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Buford's Blues

image found over at

Buford’s Blues

“I find in my poetry & prose the rhythms & imagery
& mystery of the blues.”--Maya Angelou.

Buford Brown bopped his way downtown backwards,
                       finding first the finite, then the festive finish;
            just being an old black man that was too boisterous,
                                                                too brave,
                                                         too belligerent,
                                                     too much the brawny blues man;
            whining, yowling, yodeling, yelling & yelping--
            whether for a white audience 
            wild for his weathered soulfulness,
                                    or divers faces burnished black
                                    while busking for bucks on Beale Street,
he would strum, stutter, sing & strut,
his lyrics sonorous,
his message singular-- dangling his diaphanous damnations
                       of all the dangerous delusions
               he felt were afoot, while
                    fingering falsehoods  &
                    fighting injustice--his accent thick, twanging
              three strings at once, his tongue tangled with terrible regrets;
         his voice stentorian while revealing
the verdigris pallor on his visitor’s brass vibes;
                    freaked out furtive tones
         frantically mourning freedom’s frailty,
                                                democracy’s diminishment,
                                                         demonstrator’s demise,
                                                 the dirge of constabulary’s demons,
                                                         & the death of hope;
condemning the KKK cowards that could kill a king,
                        rather than allowing freedom to ring--
                   & of course you could bet your balls there was
              banal ballads about bad women, bright booze
        in brown bottles, nagging bitches, fist banging
& luscious love bruises.

They caught him one manic midnight
while pissing powerfully on the tagged wall
of the juicy juke joint he was working,
          used aluminum baseball bats on him,
                                   broke both of his legs, &
                                   busted his fingers, but in his case
          tragedy led to lionization & living legend
as the multitudes of white fans showered him
with learned love, deep devotion,
sacks of silver FDR dimes, & bountiful baskets
of beautiful devil’s food doughnuts,
bought all his albums while brandishing
Buford Brown Rules
on their collective chests, kept him fit, fed & fiddling
until his funeral at 97,
& then they proudly erected & set up
a seven foot statue of him in Seattle
in a hilltop park near Puget Sound. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted proudly over at dVerse Poets MTB/FFA

Would you like to hear me read this poem to you? 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Brother, Can You Spare A Rhyme?

myself & brothers in boot camp, 1967.

Brother, Can You Spare A Rhyme?

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound
to the starless midnight of racism & war that the bright daybreak
of peace & brotherhood cannot be a reality.”--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brothers can be,     usually are,      biological,
                     part of an actual family unit,        someone
                 to compete with during our childhood,
            over parental affection, first loves, 
food, grades, space, girls, teams, & fast cars.

Not everybody has one; 
some have a dozen.           They do not always get along,
                                  as it is with all siblings.
                        There seems to be specific problems
                                  associated with the birthing pecking order--
oldest, middle, & youngest.                 It is an individual personal 
              dynamic that simply defies generalization. 

From the Greek Republic
through the naked brilliant essence of Socialism,
to the stirring rhetorical seeds of Democracy,
                                                 has been the touchstone,
                                                                 the heart,
                                                                 the foundation.
                                                                 the talking point
                                                 that has been much touted,
                                       infinitely discussed & always strived for.

In my life
many wonderful brothers
have appeared                         midst various alliances, schools, sports,
                                         the Navy, vocations, education,
                               and the holy pursuits of poetry, philosophy, & the Arts.

             As our work-life concludes, we glance about & count
      the brothers that are still in our sphere,
for some only portrayed brothers for a finite period,
            under specific circumstances,
            within set parameters,                 & then they went their own way
                       forging new alliances within other relationships.

Brother, much too often,
can be an overused insincere term,
dropped from lips casually,
without really being earned,
             like the hackneyed use of the word
             Love,                it can be as false,
                                                     as hollow,
                                                     as empty
                                                     as chestnut husks, or
                                                     as discarded cocoons.

If we are fortunate late in life,
estrangement with actual brothers
can be mended, healed, re-bonded,
as the foibles of youth
& the raging libidos ebb.

Now that my own brother & I are both retired,
               we are finding it easier to accept & accommodate to
                            each other’s eccentricities, suddenly able to
                                 regain respect & loyalty for each other,
                        as we share the retrospective historical overview
                 of our family’s tragedies & successes;
just hug each other
& be ever so grateful that
we are still firmly bonded
during the third act of our lives. 

I used to believe that there was no more room in my life for any new
brothers to appear,
              to endear,
              to revere,               but alas, I tell you through the fabulous
                                   fellowship of Poetry, fresh brothers continue to
                          materialize from all over the globe, as mere cyber-friends
                 have eclipsed simple communication & their heartfelt sharing 
has pierced the veneer of my misplaced resolve, enriching my stasis
                 with unforeseen intense brotherhood--that has actually expanded
          my mind,
          my heart, & my world view.           Miraculously, through the vital venue
                                                         of Poetics, this masculine intimacy
                                                   flourishes, & my individual pack of brothers
                                              continues to swell its ranks--
& on those good days when events dovetail, minds merge, & spirits soar,
I even feel the stirrings of my old idealism, & I am beginning to believe that
the weeping woes of this planet can be reduced by the sheer volume of
hopefulness as millions of poets proliferate within every society, nation, race,
border, group & heart. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear me read this poem to you?

Sunday, April 12, 2015


painting by daria petrilli 


“Perhaps home is not a place, but simply
an irrevocable condition.”-- James Baldwin.

Deep within each of us, where saltwater resides,
there are hidden reefs & caverns

where microscopic prehistoric fish, or their spawn,
or their shadows, or their essence

swim blindly in the total darkness,
wriggling freely between organs, struggling

toward the light that cascades through
membranes & viscus-covered trap doors;

misunderstood, mislabeled as cells, corpuscles & viruses,
they remain both sentinel & home guard,

ever ready to pounce upon intruders
& tear them to pieces with their feral fangs.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at Magpie Tales MAG 265

Would you like to hear me read this poem to you?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Blackthorne--Scene Thirty-Six

image borrowed from


Cinemagenic Thirty-Six


“Thou & I are too wise to woo peacefully.”--William Shakespeare:
Much Ado About Nothing.

1(two-shot) Johnny Eagle stood as a red-brown statue in the yellow
sawdust of the small corral. The black mustang pawed the air with
one of her shapely legs, danced a bit, whinnied deep in her throat
as she began to circle the Indian, who turned smoothly to face her.
2(medium close-up) Johnny: Hey, sweet lady in black, you want to
go for a little ride?
3(two-shot) The ebony mare reared up on her hind legs, then kicked
out hard with her legs as she settled to ground.
4(close-up) Johnny: Yes, hell, yes--she likes me: white teeth flashing
in a big smile.
5(three-shot) Some of the men who were gathered around the corral laughed.
6(sound cue) snare drum & Indian branch flute.
7(medium close-up) the fat foreman: Damn it, breed, let’s get to breaking
this bitch! You’re paid by the horse, not the hour.
8(Close-up) Johnny, his eyes still on the horse:
Hang onto your fancy pants, boss--Johnny knows best.
9(sound cue) an explosion of derisive laughter from the rail riders.
10(cut to medium close up) blood crept into the foreman’s face & neck.
11(two-shot) the Indian loosened the loop at the end of his lariat, & began
to swing it over his head.
12(sound cue) hypnotic soft whirling of the rope over Indian seed rattle.
13(medium wide-shot) the midnight-black mare bolted just as Johnny
tossed the loop, but he was a practiced hand at this & had led the throw.
The horse ran right into the loop.
14(hold the shot, slide into slow motion) the rope slides over the mare’s
head, tightening immediately as the horse bucked & thrashed wildly.
15(close-up) the Indian quickly secured the end of the busting line around
the center post.
16(medium  wide shot) the horse stopped struggling, just stood breathing
hard, quivering its withers, pulling against the rope.
17(sound cue) overlapping bystander voices:
--That’s it, you got her!
--Ride the bitch, Pard!
--She’s all yours now!
18(cut to medium close up) a tall thin cowboy: Watch her, Johnny! She’s 
small but snakebite mean--she stomped the shit out of Bob Sears last
week; that’s why they sent for you. 
19(close-up) Johnny, struggling to hang on to the rope:
--Oh, I’ll bust her cherry for sure, gents--then tie a red
ribbon in her tail.
20(sound cue) more robust laughter over guitar chords.
21(medium close-up) the frowning fat foreman, his arms
folded, his expression dyspeptic.
22(sound cue) guitar, harmonica, & clarinet.
23(cut to single shot of ) Johnny Eagle, middle-aged, gray
streaks in his long raven tresses, his face deeply lined with
life, with the body of a young man--heavily muscled, hard,
hairless smooth as red soap stone. His colorful vest was
decorated with porcupine quills & snake scales, his pants
were gray elk hide, worn shiny at the knees. A large eagle
talon hung on a silver chain around his neck. He pushed back
his short-brimmed hat, the strap hugging his tan throat. He 
wore a thick leather belt with knife scabbards on each hip--the
big knife on his left side was Bowie-wide, a foot-long &
lethal, 3-fingers thick--the one on his right side was a
throwing knife with a buckhorn handle & a tapered well-
balanced blade.
24(close-up) his big hands unbuckling the thick black belt,
its Navajo silver buckle gleaming with turquoise, & let it
drop gently into the sawdust. 
25(sound cue) galloping horse hooves off in the distance,
over a hawk’s scree, over a trumpet riff.
26(medium close-up) Johnny: Easy, little one, stay calm, girl--
your wild days are almost over.
He reached inside his vest, then stuffed a cigar stub in his mouth,
struck a stick match on his incisors, lit the stoogie & puffed on it.
He picked up a latigo breaking bridle & slung it over his shoulder.
--Hey, Conchita, Johnny is going to ride you now.
27(two-shot) the Indian took a fresh grip on the taunt busting rope,
as the mare shuffled, whinnied & jerked at it. He pulled his way to
her, hand over hand, saying: Easy there, little lady--that’s it--stay
calm--Johnny won’t hurt you--eessee, eeaassssyy...
28(medium wide-shot) the watchers grew silent as the bold Indian
stood at arm’s length from the skittery soot mustang.
29(sound cue) piano, harmonica, & flute.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN

Would you like to hear the author read this Cinemagenic poem to you?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Republican Shame

image borrowed from

Republican Shame

“Huge sums for war, tax breaks for the rich, while wanting deep 
cuts to programs working people need--that is the Republican
budget plan.” --Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Dearest Republican Senators:

How do you pull it off? 
Targeting the rednecked, ill-educated, low-income
                     John Bircher, KKK, racist, & sexist citizens, 
                             who consistently support you at their own peril,
                     somehow you have wrested away control of the majority in 
             the U.S. Senate, continued to sugar-coat & spin the 
vast majority of facts that confront you, & have led the most 
shameful attack of a sitting President 
             in the entire history of our country.

You deny responsibility masterfully, 
as hard data is revealed concerning 
your misdeeds; facts like--

When Bill Clinton left office in 2001,
                America had a 230 billion dollar surplus.
                              After two terms, when George W. Bush left office
                        in 2009, this country was left with a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit. 
                  Continuing to point the blame at the Democrats,
          the Republicans, who had taken us into wars in Iraq
& Afghanistan, running up the cost to trillions of dollars,
          now, it seems, that in order to deal with this deficit,            
                    they want to slash Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security
                                education & nutritional programs.

Nobody who works a 40-hour week,              should be living  below
                      the poverty line. In the last two years,
                      the 14 wealthiest Americans earned
                      a 157 billion dollar increase in their net worth,
                                         which exceeds the combined income 
                                         of the lowest 40% of our population.
              In addition another study revealed that
              the top 1%  earn more income than the bottom 50%;
              can you spell inequity?

Most of our highways & bridges
are in  terrible shape, crumbling, unsafe, ignored;
We spend more money on our military budget,        something like six
                     trillion dollars, more than 90% spent by all the other
              countries in the world combined, sending the cream
         of our youth to spill their blood in the Middle East.
Why in God’s name can’t we spend 1 trillion dollars
        on rebuilding America’s infrastructure, creating safer
        transportation & new jobs?

And what about our soaring costs for a college education,
creating student indebtedness that will take             decades to repay?
        While 25% of all large corporations in this country
                    pay no federal income tax at all, & another       
                                   50% receive huge Republican-created tax breaks.
                    Middle class youth cannot afford college.
         It is essential that corporations need to pay their fair share,
so that we can reduce educational costs
to the realm of affordable.

Even though I realize
that my complaints will go unheeded,
       my data will be discredited,
       my concerns will not be addressed, 
       my children & grandchildren’s future is in jeopardy, &
       my efforts to get your attention are fruitless, still
I feel better uttering these shameful facts,
rather than watching the disintegration
of democracy mutely, dispassionately, 
just enabling You to have your way with
this country without a fuss.

I remain ashamed of your greed, deceit, & apathy,
as I gird my loins for the 2016 presidential election.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?