Thursday, January 29, 2015

Trium Liberorum



image borrowed from abstract.desktopnex


Trium Liberorum

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed with new blood
from time to time.”--Thomas Jefferson.



image by buttkus

Burly bolts
finally pull through
eroded & neglected
fire-damaged bricks; abandoned, surely
forgotten. 

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


image by buttkus

Alone on
a side track, the tall
locomotive was obliged
to remain still; arrogant, proudly
posing there. 

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


image by buttkus

It can be
very difficult to
capture a train inside your
vehicle, without a camera;
believe me. 


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read these Maude Cinquains to you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hirsute Hurrahs



image of/by buttkus


Hirsute Hurrahs

“I am undaunted in my quest to amuse myself
by constantly changing my hair.”--Hillary Clinton

There does seem to be something
                             religiously/spiritually/fashionably significant
                                         to being hirsute, with long hair & beard, as
                             are the Hassidic Jews, Islamic leaders, Quakers, Amish,
Mennonites, Chinese philosophers, & old hippies--
            even to some extant this resonates with me, myself, as I prepare
                            for an audition in a historical play; MRS. PACKARD, 
            with long gray locks over my ears, hanging down in my face
that is now covered with a salt-&-pepper slightly-trimmed beard;
being prepared to style my ample growth
into a full beard, 
          mutton chops, 
          drooping mustache, 
          van dyke, or long
          thick sideburns--whatever the character calls for; 
               because it is far easier to trim long hair & a beard,
                              but much more difficult to grow them out during 
                                             the rehearsal period--I abhor fake beards & wigs.

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

In 1968
at the Biltmore Theater in NYC,
          a Broadway show opened called
                   HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical;
     its songs became anthems for the war protesters,
     its profanity, irreverence for the American flag, nudity,
     sexuality & depiction of drug use
changed the scope of musical plays forever
                     to the infectious strains of Age of Aquarius. 

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

Mighty Samson tore
a lion to pieces with his bare 
hands, they say;

slew a thousand
Philistines with the jawbone of an ass,
tore the city

gate completely off in Gaza before punishing
the entire population,

but he was
no match for the cunning Delilah, who
was paid 11,000

pieces of gold
by the angry Philistines to find Samson’s
weakness; which she

dutifully did, cutting
off his seven long locks, rendering him
defenseless, robbing him

of his God-
given extraordinary strength. They captured him &
made him a

slave after blinding
him; but they failed to notice that
after a year

his hair grew
longer, & as they lashed him to 
temple pillars

he asked God
for the strength to exact his revenge,
which he was

granted--pulling down
the central pillars, killing thousands along with
himself. No one

seems to know
or remember, or care whatever happened to
the lovely Delilah. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Pub Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this Hair Poem to you?


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hybrid



image borrowed from sadanduseless.com


Hybrid

“Naked cells, lacking self-respect, do not seem to have any
sense of self, & can divide into monstrous hybrid progeny.”
--Lewis Thomas.

No one completely
recalls their many fevered dreams, 
because what rises

to actual consciousness are just divers colorful random fragments, like
rogue strands of DNA--standing naked in line at Starbuck’s--being attacked
by three knife-wielding muggers & only having a red silk scarf to protect
yourself with--encountering a silverback grizzly in the aisle of Ace Hardware
while holding a yellow watering can--driving in a dead-stop traffic jam in a
typhoon in a vehicle that has no body, sitting on an orange bucket wearing
hand cuffs, steering with your knees--being chased by a pair of white tigers
& barely able to move in super slow-motion--being on some kind of
date with Scarlett Johansson, her wearing a see-through blouse, somehow
knowing you will wake up before you score with her--walking alone on the
desert & stumbling into a huge nest of rattlesnakes, stopping as several of
the larger ones slither over your bare feet--being tied with clothesline, bound
up in a cellar, the rope slathered with peanut butter, with rats chewing on
the knots--spiders the size of lap dogs crawling on the walls of your bathroom
--being at a holiday family gathering in a house you’ve never seen before, with
several of your dearly departed showing up, as if death was not a deterrent to
genuine love--riding a black Harley motorcycle at more than a hundred miles
per hour & realizing you have no brakes--driving a rental truck on the coast
highway with its hairpin turns in a lightning storm, as the truck slides out of
control, breaking through the wooden guard rail, & plunging a thousand feet
toward the angry sea--hooking a 220 pound bass in a strange pond, then
wrapping your legs around a stump to keep from being pulled into the brackish
water--arriving at a familiar theater, not being acknowledged by anyone, not
knowing what the play is, not knowing where the dressing room is, or what 
your part is, or what your lines are, as you can hear the audience laughing
at a play in progress--climbing the sheer rock face of the Devil’s Tower, free-
style & not feeling fear or vertigo--snowshoeing in the back country when you
hear the unmistakable roar of an avalanche, snapping trees, coming for you.

A million scenarios, absurd litanies, a lexicon of illogical tableaus & irregular
plots, a crazy quilt of emotions, adventures, fears, joys, heartbreaks, pinnacles,
near-death & after death experiences, conquests, failures, being lost, pain
& pleasure;

where you are 
the Star of your own
magnificently successful movie,

where
your fantasies
are satiated and
your nightmares blossom black,
like shadow roses
in your
secret garden.


Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB

Today Brian Miller wants us to take a classic poetic form & "make it your own".
My hybrid form is a Haibun, starting with a Collum Lune, followed by a prose
paragraph, followed by another Collum Lune, capped with a stanza of my
own imagining. 

Would you like to hear the author read this Hybrid Poem to you?


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jesuit Clappers



photograph by Totomai Martinez


Jesuit Clappers

“Do not ask for whom the bell tolls--it tolls for thee.
--Ernest Hemingway.

I’ll never forget
              the weekend I spent in the 
                             town of Hilongus, on the southern
                                         end of Leyte, in the Philippines, facing
                             west toward the Camotas Sea,
               not far from where the Battle of Leyte Gulf,
perhaps the largest naval battle in history,
was fought in WWII.

I was fascinated with Hilongus,
because even in this day & age
                       it remains more of a large village, with
                       a spirited population of 50,000, more than
                       half of which seemed to be children, as
                                   the 38,000 Catholics enjoyed being fruitful. There are
                       no skyscrapers,
                       no shopping malls,
                       no big banks,
                       no big city amenities.

I happened to be there on the weekend
just before Christmas when they held 
their Annual Town Fiesta, lots
               of fire works wheels, fire crackers,
               parades, street vendors, & music everywhere;
                          with a lot of drinking, gambling, & cockfighting going on.

I came specifically to visit
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church,
a grand tourist attraction,
& an important symbol of civic pride. 
             They adore sharing the legend of Mama Mary, 
             whose apparition, they say, once stood holding
             a flaming sword to protect the church from the ravages
             of the pirates of Mindanao.

Actually, I am a church bell tower fanatic,
                 & the great octagonal church bell tower there,
                                constructed by the secular patron
                                 Don Leonardo Celis-Diaz, is now
                  re-plastered with Portland cement.      It stands alone,
                  separate from the other structures in the complex.

At three stories high, it is reputed
             to be the tallest bell tower ever built
                      by the Spaniards. The tower belfry sports
                                    eight narrow arches, some with doors
                                                    on them, as ivy & sapling trees sprout
                                     from the centuries old cracks.
                      The tall cross atop the tower dome,
             is but an outline of a crucifix,
its holy center open to the sky. 

The beautiful church itself was
completely rebuilt. Its huge front door
used to double as a gate to a bastioned 
Spanish fortification.               Behind the church, some of the 
                        old fort’s walls, & part of an ancient convent         is extant,
                        & it is now converted to a tourist’s Devotion Garden--

reminding me of the first time I visited the Alamo
                        in downtown San Antonio, surprised that it has
                        been converted into a book store & gift shop, finding
               myself much happier visiting the crumbling movie set
         constructed for the John Wayne movie, THE ALAMO,
located on a movie ranch outside Bracketville, TX., which
just somehow seemed more authentic,
                                     more interesting,
                                     more complete,
                                     more historical. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Miller Time



image from https://etsy.com 


Miller Time

“Science never solves a problem without
creating ten more.”--George Bernard Shaw

A Miller’s Dozen



Harold lies smiling
because he was included
in the holidays.

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


Revealed partially between
the bars, the mighty courtyard
shined verdant. 

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


How far must we
journey to escape
the terrible thirst?

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


Granted, castles may crumble,
but their bones
laugh at time.

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


The several gables sported
new glass, becoming
cumulus mirrors. 

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


A driftwood throne, perhaps
for forgotten kings
or wayward princes.

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


Small town water towers
have become scarce
as covered bridges. 
************************************


Logging trucks can become
yard art, left
to the elements.

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


Clever pipelines can
masquerade as actual bridges
over oblivious water.

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


Where is the child
that belongs to 
this abandoned shoe?

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


The alligators still lurk
beneath our streets,
making their plans. 

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


Passementerie adorning
classic wrought iron always
requires an image capture. 



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB

Kudos to brother poet, Brian Miller who created the Ten Word Form.

All images accompanying the poems by Glenn Buttkus.

Would you like to hear the author read these poetic gems to you?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Call Me Blackthorne



image from deskridge.deviant art.


Call Me Blackthorne

“The secret of my influence has always been
that it remained secret.”--Salvador Dali.

If, 47 years ago,        something took a whole year to create,
                   emerging at around 100,000 words,
                   but nobody seemed interested in it--
so no one read it in it’s entirety, 
                         & now for decades
                         it has sat patiently on
                         dusty shelves in my many domiciles,
              it’s brilliance unappreciated,
              it’s uniqueness unshared,
              it’s characters unknown,
              it’s literary heart hardening,
              it’s hidden emotions unfelt,
would it not fully inhabit the realm of a Secret?

It all started on the California desert,
when I was stationed at NAS Miramar.         The base theater only charged 
                                   a quarter, & they changed the movie
                              every day, so at that time
                    they screened a hell of a lot
          of Spaghetti Westerns; there 
were hundreds of them in the late 60’s,
          & like many others I became fascinated
                     by their dreamlike artifice, taking a Hollywood
                               staple, a cinematic classic genre, & burlesquing it,
where all the gunshots sounded tinny
& phony, kind of like                    the silly sound of fake pistols firing
                     on those Kellogg’s Sugar Pops
                     1950’s TV commercials, when
                                                    they put those kiddy Western stars
                      on the boxes, you remember, like
Guy Madison, Andy Devine, Gene Autry, William Boyd, & Roy Rogers--
                      reminding me about how excited we Western
                                                    freaks all became in the late 50’s
                      when the Adult Western Shows 
took over all the channels, ruled the airwaves for a long time, when
James Arness, Clint Walker, James Garner, Richard Boone, Dale Robertson
& Ward Bond                              began to take plots “seriously”.

The Westerns filmed in Italy & Spain
                                                                were like a reinvention of the genre,
where the horse tails were all too long,
the stage coaches were all too small,
& the same 20 voice over actors             seemed to do the lip synching 
                        on all the movies, lots of heightened absurd
                        violence, grittier sex, incredible musical scores,
blatant do-overs of every classic Japanese Samurai movie ever made;

& there I was, ready to write my first novel, 
                         deciding to use the Spaghetti West
                                  as a springboard, using graphic violence & sex,
                                               well researched weaponry,
                                                            & existential components.

When I first returned to college in 1969,
I showed the manuscript to several
of my college English professors,
the younger guys who wrote paperback quickie novels
in the summer, often using a Nom de Plume--
                 & to a man, they were flabbergasted, blown away.
                 “It’s like Vonnegut or Bukowski wrote a Western, just
                               completely outrageous, violating every principle
                               or parameter of the genre. The Western Writers
                               of America would have had apoplexy if they read it.”

I decided to consider their vitriolic 
protests & criticisms as high praise,            for I had succeeded in writing
                               something that was both authentic
                               & unconventional; fuck them.

                   I returned to it every few years
                          to reacquaint myself with its mystique. 
                   As a film buff, cinephile, actor, teacher, & poet,
over the years I have begun
to feel braver & more innovative,         so much so that I even
                   created a new poetic form--Cinemagenic.

The nearly forgotten manuscript 
began first to whisper                    & then call out to me
                       each time I passed it on its shelf:
Hey, Slick, here’s your chance
to begin to share some of me, 
& to finally make that movie of yours,
the one in your head as you wrote me.         “Damn, why not,” I thought.

A joyous virile exciting process
began to emerge, where upon
I would use a tiny bit of the manuscript
with each poem, & break it up into episodes,
                           into pages of a screenplay, & yet
                   something leagues beyond a mere screenplay,
a volatile verbalization of every nuance of the production,
my movie,
my poem,
my Frankenstein,       A Movie of the Mind.           So I began
                                   the labor of love, transforming my manuscript
into poetic filmmaking,
31 episodes to date,
with hundreds more to come;
but like a coy maiden, 
I shall not give up all my secrets at once, no,
just a little tease at a time,
keeping them hungry for more. 
                                                                                

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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