Thursday, October 11, 2018

Tightrope Tales





image from USA Today


Tightrope Tales

“Jim Crow walks us on a tightrope from birth.”
--Rosa Parks.

We are players on our own stage, and stars.
Tightrope walkers are not always afraid;
rather they are comfortable on high.

It was 1974 when Philippe Petit
walked on a tightrope between Twin Towers;
others have completed walks over Niagara 
Falls--such feats seem so unbelievable
as to be impossible, yet they are real.

Within our mundane lives, we find our own ropes
to walk, our own mountains to scale, because
we all need some madness in the daily
mix, some hot spice, or else we’ll never break
the chains, and be actually free--so listen
to the wise sages, and your own heart as well.



Glenn Buttkus

Iambic Pentameter

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub MTB

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Name Game




image from art.co.uk


The Name Game

“Experience is simply the name we give our
mistakes.”--Oscar Wilde.

I have many names. They were\are me, and they
are not me. I had to grow into them, try them on
for size, tweak them--before discarding some. The
first name I answered to was Butch--a badass baby
nickname; all boy, all bulldozer. What’s left of my 
family still call me that.

In 1943, my mother was 15 and pregnant, and was 
forced to get an abortion. Continuing her rebellion,
at 16, she was pregnant with me. She dated a lot
of servicemen during the war. She managed to 
convince a soldier she was dating that I was his
spawn. Arnold Bryden was his name. They got
married before he shipped out. He named me
Arnold, after himself, with Glenn, after his brother,
as my middle name.

I was Arnold Glenn Bryden. Arnold is Germanic/
Englsh, from Arnuff--eagle ruler. Glenn is 
Irish/Scottish/Gaelic, from Gleann, meaning 
“valley”. Bryden is English for “near the valley”.

But old Arnie was a womanizer and wife beater,
who shot himself in the foot to get out of the 
Army. She divorced him after five years, and
I had a younger sister. She remarried within a 
few months to a sailor in 1949. His name was
Wayne Stilwell.

I became (Butch) Arnold Glenn Bryden-Stilwell.
Stilwell is an Anglo-Saxon name after a region
in Surrey. In kindergarten, I wanted to be called
Butch, but nicknames didn’t count. I would not
answer to Arnold, but I liked the sound of Glenn.

But old Wayne was an unstable bipolar alcoholic
with pedophilloic tendencies. My Mum divorced
him in 1952, adding a little brother to the brood.
In 1953, she married a dashing handsome bad
boy, Arthur Buttkus. He drove a 1950 Mercury
coupe just like James Dean. He rode a Harley,
wore leather jackets and engineer boots just
like Marlon Brando. But he made a good living
as a machinist, and turned out to be a keeper.

Buttkus is German, from Bootenmacher--boot 
maker. Old Art was not a saint, but he did adopt
we three kids. My name was changed legally to
Glenn A. Buttkus. I never did find out who my
real father was, or what his name was. I did 
find out from a DNA test that I am 68% Italian/
Greek.

“My name is Alexis Zorba. I have other names...
if you are interested.”



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, October 8, 2018

Being Yucked




Image from pinterest.com


Being Yucked

“Fools believe religious and political lies,
spewed by sociopaths, lies that tether us
forever to poverty and mediocrity--yuck!”
--Bobby Miller.

Trump is taking
a victory lap--
yuck.

Kavanaugh is sworn in
and pissed off--
Yucky.

Now Trump can rule
without fear of prosecution--
yuckoo.

Lady Liberty is bleeding
at the eyes--
yuckabuck.

Lady Justice 
has been molested--
yuckacrap.


It’s hard
to give a yuck.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Blackthorne--Scene 80




image from petticoats&pistols.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic Eighty

Philosophy

“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if
they be not altered for the better by design.”
--Francis Bacon.

1(overhead drone shot) the crowd beginning to 
break up, spreading out like spider legs. Buck
walking in the lead, with Johnny catching up;
riders and wagons moving on the street.
2(sound cue) dogs barking, crowd noise, wagon
wheels creaking over saloon piano.
3(medium wide shot) Buck stopped abreast of
the barber shop. The tall front windows had been
boarded up.
4(cut to medium close up) an orange tabby tom was
lying under the boardwalk eating a rattlesnake. The
head had been chewed off, The cat peeled a long 
strip of white meat out of the sequined skin.
5(sound cue) the cat purring and chewing.
6(two-shot) the Eagle arrived alongside him, and said:
Today you came to talk, and yet you would have 
fought. The choice you made--was it wisdom or fear?
Buck, over Johnny’s shoulder: Yes. After a small 
pause: Did you know the barber?
7(close-up) Johnny: I never used him, but I’m told that
he is a good man.
8(medium close-up) Buck: He gives a good shave.
9(two-shot) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder: He was set
up here before Bronson took over.
Buck nodded.
Johnny: I would say that you used up a bucket full
of luck on that day. Let’s hope Bronson considers
your peace offers. He pays for a lot of guns.
Buck: I’m not counting on it.
Johnny: I need to start carrying my rifle.
10(sound cue) banjo and harmonica.
11(medium wide shot) Buck slowly starting walking
toward the General Store across the street. Then he
stopped, put his hands on his hips, and with his chin 
he pointed back to the auction corrals, to the crowd
that Joe Hop was dispersing.
12(medium close-up) Buck: If I had killed him,
you know that would not be the end of anything--
some other crazed son of a bitch would just take
his place.
13(two shot) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder: A man
must kill a rattlesnake that is trying to bite him, even
though he knows another snake will take its place
14(close up) Buck: But that is what the bastards
want! Thor wants somebody to gut shoot him.
Paulie wants somebody to fist-fuck him, and then
slice his ears off. Bronson wants absolute control.
I don’t want to play by their rules!
15(medium close up) Johnny: You confuse me,
boss. You say you are tired of the fighting--but
today you would have fought. I could almost smell
the gunpowder, and see the ground drenched with
blood--and we both know that one day they will not
let you walk away.
16(two-shot) angle on Buck: I am bone tired of not
having a choice. Today I would have killed out of
reflex.
Johnny: You have killed many men, right?
Buck: None that didn’t deserve it, and no back
shooting.
17(close up) Johnny: Then why do you hurt inside?
Why do you parley with trouble? Life is what she is--
that’s all. You fuck her, she fucks you. There are 
tears and smiles and seasons and sometimes even
children. Who are you to stand in the middle of the
street and ask why?
18(medium wide shot) People begin filing past the 
two men. Buck continued to stare toward the corrals
at the Bronsons; the Eagle continued to watch Buck.
19(sound cue) harmonica.
20(medium close up) Buck: I would like, just for once,
to have the option to say no.
21(close up) Johnny: Join the fucking band. It’s just
that most times there are no real choices--tell a tree
NO that is falling on you.
  


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Proboscis Prime




image from freeart.com


Proboscis Prime

“To recognize bullshit, nose is better than ear.”
--Toba Beta.

For me,               the titan of snuggle smells
       has always been connected
               to food and taste.

My mother baked bread weekly.
On Baking Day,
we three kids would rush
home from school,
and as we opened the door
the essence of freshly baked bread
would waft into our drooling faces.

When Dad arrived home from work,
she would place a steaming loaf
of bread, fresh out of the oven,
onto a colorful dish towel
in the middle of the table;
surrounded by butter, honey and jams.

She allowed us
to tear off huge hot hunks
and slather it with goodies.
The five of us would devour
that first loaf of the week,
and dinner came late that night.

I loved her chili too,
which she would let simmer for hours
while she sprinkled chili pepper
into it. She served it out of
the big cooking pot, and we
would add cut onions 
and shredded cheese.

Simmering meat tops the list,
steaks, roasts or ribs,
cooked on the deck
or grilled in the oven.
The biggest thrill of all
was Saturday mornings
when Mom would fry up
a couple of pounds of bacon,
and a big pile of French Toast
that had been soaked
in eggs, milk, and vanilla.

A myriad of favorite meals
inhabit my recall--
childish choices that colored
my tastes for a lifetime.
To this day, I have never found
anyone who could make
potato salad like
my mother’s.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, October 1, 2018

Shitstorm




image from fineartamerica.com


Shitstorm

“Life is a shitstorm, in which art is our
only umbrella.”--Mario Vargas Llosa.

Unlike some more tolerant folks, I abhor crowds.
I always have. If you want to be witness to my
stress triggers, put me in a long line, or send me
out Christmas shopping. In crowds I feel like a
white lab rodent in an overcrowded nest. The
transfer of anxiety and angst from one to another
is like feeling a vicious jolt from a cop’s taser.

Yet, that face to face, butt to butt carnival is 
actually preferable to me compared to a mile
long dead stop traffic jam. The stresses are
amplified by being completely impersonal,
hidden by bumper to bumper angry scowls,
masked within their mundane cookie-cutter
malicious machines; no exit, no escape, no
wiggle room--all stop and clamped down.

This ill ease, for me, is an urban disease that
no one in its grip is immune to. Some utilize
indifference, malaise, daydreaming or techno-
distractions as their counterpoint, but after
ample exposure, they become leaden-eyed
and android clones. Somehow, my anger has
vaccinated me, leaving me uninfected, and my
poet’s eyes miss nothing.

Pigeons wing over
the throbbing masses, blithely
picking their targets.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Welcoming




painting from fineartamerica.com


The Welcoming

“Only cops and vampires have to have an
invitation to enter.”--Christopher Moore.

I was traveling through the Midwest
last year--a road trip to visit
cousins who have a dairy farm
near Fort Dodge, Iowa.

On the way there,
I was tooling down U.S. Route 69,
listening to “Hot Country K97”,
when I swung over the Des Moines River,
drove south on Central Avenue
into the heart of Fort Dodge,
stopping at the old Wahkonsa Hotel.
They’ve got a great bar there
and I needed a beer badly.

I sat on a stool at the bar,
and sipped at the cold brew.
A heavy set man in a dirty down vest,
a red plaid shirt and a John Deere ball cap,
sat down next to me. He spoke softly.

Hey, stranger--you just traveling through?
Yup. I’ve got some cousins on a farm nearby.
Did you know that Gene Ford, the major league
pitcher, came from right here?
Sorry, I don’t really follow sports that much.
Tell me, are you a nigger lover?
Shocked, I stammered...I’m from Seattle--and we
tend to be pretty liberal there.
Around here, we’ve kept the darkie population down
to 5%--and the beaners too, 5%.
Uh-huh--so what do you do for a living?
I’m a long haul truck driver, a flatbed carrier, hauling
drywall all over the country.
Yeah--I hear that the gypsum mills here are huge.
Mostly we’re all loyal Republicans in these parts.
President Trump is like a God to us. For the first
time since the 50’s, we can be proud
to be Americans.
Do you think that he is doing a good job as President?
Damn rights--he’s our kind of guy. We’re still unhappy
about those eight years we suffered under that 
nigger monkey raghead Obama.
Ah, please, before you continue, know that I am
a Democrat, and we do not see eye to eye on
politics or your world view.
World view? Shit, I figured as much. I can spot
a Commie Liberal a country mile off.
Looking around, I said--Sounds like I may not
be very welcome here.
You catch on fast, numb-nuts.
Several other men began to gather behind me.
I could see a Nazi tattoo on the neck of one.
We’re not unfriendly--so finish your beer and
then get your leftist ass the fuck out of here!

I abandoned what was left of my beer--
their laughter and cat-calls ushered
me out the door. Christ, this was not
the town I had visited a decade before.
Something wicked had past through 
before me.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub