Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Hanna



image by Khadija Saye.


Hanna

Growing up in modern Ghana, I remember a small 
portrait of my great grandmother, Hanna, on the
mantle of our ornate fireplace. She was married at
12 and had 10 children by the time she was 25.
She was one of ten wives. Women had no real rights 
then, at the end of the19th century; but she was 
rebellious, and had an independent soul. She tired of 
the arrogance and cruelty of her husband, and she 
refused to have more children. She was raped
regularly, and was forced to have 3 more kids.

She was taken to court, and found guilty of being
disloyal to her husband. She was publicly stoned
for her insolence. She was blinded from head
trauma, and was left with blurry object perception.
The bright sun still hurt her eyes, so she dealt with
her photophobia by fashioning a rawhide strap,
fitted with three equal squares of lamb’s wool--one 
stationary for her nose, and the other two could be
moved off her eyes while inside.

For three generations now, my family owns a large
prosperous cocao farm, with huge orchards. We 
provide seed pods for some of the world’s best
chocolate. Oddly, Ghana never enslaved its own
population. They bought and imported slaves for
cheap labor.

In our family, my mother, and her sister-wife, were
the first women to graduate high school. I have
been fortunate enough to graduate from college.
We’re well off enough to vacation annually down
south along the Gold Coast.

My great grandfather had ten wives. My father
three. My husband only has me, and he’s damn 
lucky to have me. Looking at great granny’s
portrait at my parents, I wonder what she would
think about modern Ghana; where we’ve kept
AIDs down to a minimum, and now we are dealing
with the world-wide Corona virus pandemic. We
have managed to only have 18,000 cases of Covid-
19, and only 118 deaths. Every day we hear and
see how terrible it is in America, and we pray for
them every night.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at Visual Verse Anthology

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Blackthorne Episode 118



image from pulpwesterncovers.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic 118

Interruptus

“First, let me finish--then interrupt.”
--Brian Spellman.

1(sound cue) snare drum and French horns.
2(medium wide shot) Someone’s bullet ricocheted
off a tall brass spittoon and broke off a section of
the huge crystal chandelier in the middle of the
ceiling
3(sound cue) Voice over, Fuck you! a gunman
yelled.
4(close-up) A Spencer .50 caliber slug tore through
the table in front of Buck’s face, and a wood sliver
stuck in his chin, splitting the skin. He plucked out
the splinter.
5(sound cue) Voice-over, Buck: You missed my
eye, asshole!
Blood dripped off his chin.
6(medium wide shot) One of the men to Buck’s left
popped up and fired his shotgun. 
7(close-up) Buckshot tore up a floor divet next to
his boot heel.
8(cut to medium one-shot) Buck stood up, took aim
and retaliated with an angry pair of his own shotgun
shells. The hired gun did not duck in time, and Buck’s
bullets tore off his face and pulverized his head.
9(medium one shot) The big Indian swore as a fire-hot
Spencer slug grazed his ankle. He bobbed up with his
smoking Winchester, joining Buck. Buck fired twice, and
the Indian fired three times, his lever action a blur. 
10(sound cue) the thunderous report of their weapons
intertwined over strident piano chords.
11(cut to medium wide shot) One of the crack shots with
the Spencers upstairs didn’t duck fast enough, and a
.30-.30 slug hit him in the hand, and the shotgun blast
hit him in the shoulder. His buffalo rifle spun to the floor,
and he went down on top of it, lying flat, shivering,
gripping his mangled arm with his good one.
12(sound cue) Voice over: Hold your goddamn fire
Buck! Someone’s voice blasted into the saloon from
the street outside. It was Sheriff Joe Hop.
13(two-shot) The gunfire stopped. Buck and
the Indian swung their hot barrels around to
cover the front door. Buck rammed four more 
shells into his shotgun.
14(sound cue) Voice over: Are you in there,Thor?
was the inquiry from the darkness. It was Cash
Bronson.
15(close up) Buck’s face.
16(sound cue) Voice over: What the hell was Cash
Bronson doing here?
Joe Hop: Hold your fire, we’re coming in.
17(sound cue) guitar blues chord and harmonica.
18(medium wide shot) The Sheriff stepped through 
the double doors brandishing his own scattergun.
Bronson walked in close behind him, his hands on
his hips, his Smith & Wesson holstered. Deputy
Billy, tall and lean, followed Bronson in. his Colt
in his hand.
19(medium close up) Cash surveyed the damage to
the room with a slow sweep of his eyes. Shaking his
head, he whistled low.
20(sound cue) Voice over: Is that you, Cash? called out
Paul Bronson from behind a door.
21(Medium close-up) Bronson: Yeah, Paulie, it’s me.
You can come out now. Get your butt down here.
22(wide shot) From the relative refuge behind 
turned over tables, like prairie dogs after a stampede,
heads popped into view. Buck’s shotgun was still
smoking. The Sheriff took a step toward him. The
Indian still had his carbine leveled at the three
newcomers.
23(three-shot) Not so fast, the Indian said.
Sheriff: Tell your amigo to lower his piece.
4(sound cue) piano.
Buck nodded. The Indian lowered his .30-.30.
and the deputy clicked back to safety with his
pistol.
5(cut to crane wide shot) Paul Bronson
appeared at the top of the stairs. He was holding
hands with the fiery-haired harlot that he liked to
batter. She stood there with wide eyes, and a hand
over her mouth.


Glenn Buttkus

Open Li
Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Salty Nipples



image from pinterest.com


Salty Nipples

She is water, powerful enough to drown you, soft 
enough to cleanse you, deep enough to heal you.
--Adrian Michael.

When I think of mermaids and selkies,
I get caught up with the romantic tales;

that female top half with green eyes,
beautiful faces,
wonderful long tresses,
and magnificent breasts.

After many lonely months at sea,
many a sailor dreamed of these
gorgeous girls with gills.

Some of these aquatic sirens
could assume human form,
for procreation and predatory
tendencies.

We’ve all read the shimmering legends
of merfolk living in the lost city of Atlantis.
Mermen are less mentioned,
but they are supposed to be the offspring
of a human male and a mermaid,
like Triton and Aquaman.

Sadly, there is an empirical side to me
that nullifies the fetching folklore,
I mean, yes, originally we all came
from the sea, but we adapted very slowly
from amphibian to mammal,
from gills to lungs,
from evaginations to invaginations.

For a creature to have the capacity,
the will to change to human form
with a snap of their fins, transports
them into the realm of fantasy.

Besides, it just pisses me off
that if a man falls in love
with a sexy mermaid, his reward
was his own drowning.
I liked it better when the woman
who fell in love with the Merman
in THE SHAPE OF WATER,
was given gills, so that she
could frolic and copulate
forever in the deep.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub

Monday, June 22, 2020

Daddy, Can You Hear Me?



image from warposters.com


Daddy, Can You Hear Me?

“We cannot invade America. There would be a rifle
behind every blade of grass.”
--Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

As a poet, I have mentioned divers aspects of my
life. I am comfortable with my past laid naked, an
open book, personal fodder for  poetic musings.

On paper, legally, I was not a bastard. My mother
was married when I was born. After my mother’s
early death at 39, it was revealed that her first
husband was not my real father. After two more
marriages, I piled up three stepfathers. My real
father remained anonymous for 75 years, like
a bottomless pit in my chest. 

On my birthday a year ago, after submitting my
DNA as a lark to Ancestory.com, I was contacted
by a woman who claimed to be related. We met,
and compared our life stories; and shazam, the
aching mystery of who was my father was solved.

There were five sons in her Pellegrino family. My
Father had to be one of her four uncles. The eldest,
Frank, turned out to be my Dad. As a soldier, he met
my mother while passing through Spokane in 1943.
He survived the war, and ironically lived less than 30
miles from me for five decades, until his death in the
90’s. I am 68% Italian, and I now have a new family.
I proudly have a portrait of my father in his paratrooper
uniform hanging over my desk.

My Dad was a war
hero, spending June ’44
fighting in Europe.


Glenn Buttkus

Haibun

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub

Thursday, June 18, 2020

351 Cleveland



image from motortrend.com


351 Cleveland

“They say you only go around once, but in a 
muscle car, you go around two or three times.”
--Tim Allen.

The first time that I
glanced out the kitchen window
and saw the raspberry
dawn’s rays dancing on its long
hood and down its raked fastback,

I was stunned by my
1973 Mustang, muscled
black on black, resting buff on
raised-letter radials and chrome
magnums, its polished sleekness

stretched skin-tight over
thick channeled Detroit steel.
On city streets and
fast lanes on the freeway, I
had to always rein it in.

I loved the glimpses
I would catch as it glided
across the cold face of
glass buildings. It was Pantara-
bred pumped iron. In traffic

it sliced like a shark
midst schools of lesser vehicles.
At twilight I would
drop down through the darkness of
tall trees in my raven cruiser,

scattering fat gravel,
with deep notched treads, embracing
the golden stardust
that winked deep
into is ebon wax.


Glenn Buttkus

Imagist poetry

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub MTB