Thursday, February 16, 2017

Goddess Descending

expressionist painting by Kurina Llergo Salto.

Goddess Descending

“Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one
consult concerning this great goddess?”
--Ludwig van Beethoven.

It was the late summer of ’68.
  I was getting out of the Navy, even
       though the war in Viet Nam was still
           raging on. A week before my discharge, I was
       enjoying a halcyon late afternoon high
  up along the Angeles Crest, leaning hard
against a red-barked jack pine,
like the ones you see on Bonanza,
    partially napping while peering out over a gray-blue
                           noxious smog cloud that mantled the 
                           cites below, slowly turning golden red
                           from California sunshine, beginning to
                      look like napalm, like the zealous
                 spark in Charlie’s eyes as he rushed
               over our deadly concertina wire while
             we barely slept, hugging our rifles and
          whispering our mother’s names.

I was lulled into floating
in some kind of honied
mist, propelled by warm currents, paddling in deep
                                     champagne, bubbles rising
                                     like schools of wishes, when
I first saw her, dropping
down in sensual descent
directly in front of me, her eyes closed, her long blond
                                     tresses floating provocatively, 
                                     reaching back up the surface,
with some kind of pink chiffon Grecian dress swirling
and billowing around her
like a randy parachute, her ample breasts partially
                                      exposed, her long naked legs
                                      undulating slowly.

She was a dream girl,
               a mermaid,
               a silkie,
               an apparition, but somehow emanating a
               tragic sadness, appearing joyous, lusty, 
               but with a tinge, a vibe of suicide.
                                  I awoke with a start and a snort,
                            as if I had not been breathing, and
              found two red & black Monarchs fluttering,
         perhaps mating, on my face. Taking a
      moment to regain my bearings, her
features seemed etched into the
      scarred chambers of my soul, her
          presence was palpable. I witnessed her
                opening her eyes in my mind, and
                             they were violet-green. She cupped
                             her breasts in front of my lips,
brushing her nipples across my mouth
as gentle as dove’s wings

Who the hell was she--a portent,
                                     a herald.
                                     a warning,
                                     a messenger, or
                                     a succubus,
                                     a demon,
                                     an angel or
                                     spirit guide?

I got to my feet & shook off her wondrous hold on
me, grabbing her sweetly but firmly in my trembling
hands before flinging & releasing her out into the
cerulean-blue sky that framed the Sierras.  As I
headed down to my SS Impala awaiting me, I felt
stronger, lighter, enriched--even

Golden goddess poised
in a daydream, touching me;

my heart fortified.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


image from


“Most people who appear heartless are just
protecting themselves from more pain.”
--Sonya Parker.

Homeless ain’t what it used to be.
     too many families now--he thought, 
              lying on a bench in a tiny urban park,
     staring up at lighted windows in many
apartments; his brown paper sack 
wrapped around a tall bottle of
Thunderbird beside him.

Alcohol had ravaged his body,
destroying the vigor of yesterday,
attacking his weakened heart and
several other organs.

He tried not to blame her, but there was no
disputing that she had shredded his heart
more than a decade before. She lived in that
corner apartment on the third floor in the old
Chestnut Arms right across the street. He lie
there, his breath a ragged, fetid, malodorous
rasp beneath the brittle bones in his chest, 
almost alive, but closer to being just a dried out
husk barely covering the rot within.

He was with Sadie now, who always 
found a way for them to get wine--in
a crowded dangerous homeless camp
under the 410 freeway. She knew where
he was this Valentine’s Eve--below Kate’s
                window, hoping to get a glimpse
                of the brave woman who had once
                loved him, booze & all. Their son
                had died at three, and so did their
marriage. He had crawled inside a bellicose
battalion of brown bottles, She divorced him
& moved on to a new life. She had three kids
now, had married a carpenter.

Christ, a carpenter, He always chuckled when
he thought about it. He used to be a car sales-
man when he still had a life. His old patter, con,
smile & personality kept him out of trouble for
several years--but one dark morning he realized
all that had abandoned him too. Joy became a
dream bitch, not real, like all those young women
he saw on the streets. He became a thief,
                                                        a thug,
                                                        a mugger &
                                                        a felon.
There was this man he had robbed for thirty bucks
several years ago, who had been seriously injured.
His street name became Mac the Knife. He tried not
to think about it. He knew he wouldn’t last another
year--which released him from worry.

Broken hearts, like can-
cer, have their own agenda;
never a good time.


 Glenn Buttkus

posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, February 13, 2017

Espiritu Santo

image from

Espiritu Santo

“Without the spirit of God, we are nothing--
ships without wind--useless.”
--C.H. Spurgeon.

I was
raised in Seattle--
was gone
for a decade;
I found only

No one
had a ghost
of a chance
to buy
and I found
chasing ghosts--
friends & family
had died or

moved away.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q26

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Blackthorne--Scene Fifty-Eight

image from


Cinemagenic Fifty-Eight


“What is called resignation is really confirmed
desperation.”--Henry David Thoreau

1(sound cue) blues guitar slide.
2(close-up) Bronson smiling--showing his teeth.
3(medium crane wide shot) above & behind the 
three horses in the corral. Buck is walking toward 
them. Bronson is dismounting from his palomino in 
the background. Johnny is moving now, falling in 
behind Buck.
4(reverse crane shot) above & behind the men.
Buck stopped at the pole gate, fiddling with the lariat.
5(sound cue) piano & banjo.
6(medium close-up) Buck, his face rife with stressed
7(close-up) the face of the stallion--Chatawa.
8(two-shot) Johnny catches up with Buck. They both 
stand for a moment with their arms over the fresh 
poles.The men, all walking their mounts close up 
behind them.
9(close-up) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder:
A sad fucking day.
10(sound cue) Indian branch flute.
11(close-up) Buck, over Johnny’s shoulder:
Today, we choose life. There will be another day when
we will have to speak with our guns.
12(sound cue) Voice-over, Bronson: Come on, fellas. 
Let’s get this transaction over with.
13(two-shot) Buck & the Eagle exchange a look.
14(close-up) Johnny: Let me do this, my Buck. Keep 
your rope. Chatawa is still wearing the one I gave him.
15(close-up) Buck dropping the coiled lariat over a 
fence pole--the sun made it shine golden yellow.
16(sound cue) French horn & harmonica.
17(two-shot) angle on Johnny as he climbed over the 
make-shift pole gate, landing in the dust on the inside.
18(medium close-up)  Chatawa raised his gorgeous
19(medium wide shot) the stallion trotted half the 
distance to Johnny. The rails filled up with Bronson & 
his men.
20(three-shot) Bronson & two of his wranglers.
21(tighten to a two-shot) a cowpoke to Bronson:
Damn my soul--that is one beautiful hunk of
22(medium close-up) Bronson: A solid observation, 
young Chet. We’ve been chasing this phantom for
several months--and now, here he is.
23(medium wide-shot) Johnny bent down & plucked
up a fat handful of bunch grass & held it out in front
of him.
24(medium close-up) Johnny: Apologies, Chatawa,
our courtship was very brief, & there will be no love-
making. I will not be the one to ride you first. You 
have to leave with these men.
25(sound cue) saxophone & snare drum brushing.
26(overhead crane shot) Johnny begins to move 
toward the great spotted stallion,
27(reverse shot) behind the Eagle as he gets nearer
to the Appaloosa, The stud stood very still, keeping 
his eyes on the men at the rails. He raised one hoof 
several times.
28(sound cue) the two mares nickering.
29(two-shot) Johnny stopped right in front of him, 
offering up the sweet dewy prairie greens. Chatawa 
accepted the grass & munched it down. While gently 
petting his neck, Johnny bent down & swooped up 
the loose end of the rope.  
30(close-up) Buck’s face, his eyes moist.
31(overhead crane wide-shot) Johnny led the stallion
toward the gate.
32(sound cue) guitar strumming.
33(wise-shot) behind Johnny, seeing the wranglers
sliding out the fresh-cut poles of the gate.
34(medium close-up) Johnny, over Buck’s shoulder:
How do you like that, boss? He’s gentle as a mule,
after he tried to stomp the crap out of us yesterday.
35(medium wide shot) Johnny handed the rope to
the young wrangler.
36(sound cue) snare drum baps & coronet blast.
37(medium wide shot hold) Chatawa erupted into a
gallop, dragging the cowpoke off his feet. Men jumped

out of the way in five directions. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


image from


“Just smile & look pretty, baby.”--Paul Wesley.

I was shaken by the news--Pence cast the tie-breaking
VP vote, leaving a sour taste in my teeth--more proof
that the Trumpian authoritarian regime will call all the
shots, using every sort of dirty Kamikaze tactics 
straight-up, in our faces, despite our anger and other
stirred emotions.

My wife & I are teachers. We feel that Devos is nothing
more than hair of the dog, another arrogant ignorant
billionaire wanting to drive Education on the rocks. Less
than three weeks into Trumpville and my soul is already
hammered, my heart is in dangerous cardiac--twist.

To all those other-directed patriotic voters who have now
put Benito Baloney into power, I say you have certainly
named your poison. The vessel of Liberty s heroically 
fighting against this dark storm, with many more than
three sheets to the wind, valiantly trying not to have a
rendezvous on the rocks.

There can be no real
tonic for poor judgement, just

regrets and last call. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

King or Clown

painting by Ally Saunders.

King or Clown

“The most terrifying thing is to accept
oneself completely.”--C.G. Jung.

As a child, without language,
     we soon discover the seeds of 
           our personality--then as we are
                  propelled along our educational
            journey, we begin to find ourself
      strongly attracted to certain things--
art,                                      creative writing.
  music,                                  puzzles &
      dance,                           games,
         sports,                      movies,
            mechanics,        theater,
                poetry,        literature,
                this attraction turns to
             interest, & soon we start to
      measure our skills, talents & dreams.

We fortunate folks,                      
it seemed to us, embraced
being extroverts, Type A’s,
& we found that we could
devour our studies like
ravenous carnivores--just as
we ran afoul of peer pressure,
candor & competition and were
able to excel in divers area, only
to then hear the accusations of
egocentric conceit, arrogance,
impatience & unreasonable anger,
              just as we grow accustomed to our
              parents, teachers & mentors always
              measuring & rating our achievements,
              pressuring us to focus on grades,
                                                       communication,                                                                                                                                          writing skills,
                                                       physical prowess,
                                                       and beauty.

A quick stroll through my home provides  
amble glimpses of my achievements--
               things in frames like
               college degrees,
               certificates & awards,
               posters from plays, films
               & recitals I have been in--
               photographs of me with
               celebrities, in costume from
               plays, & holding an open mic
               at poetry readings/performances,
               as well as photographs I’ve taken,
               & a copy of my own page in IMDb.

My wife easily tires of my self adoration & my
heightened self-esteem. She is fond of reminding
me of the less attractive side of my personality,
and that living with me provides more than a
healthy challenge for any human being. I find
myself thanking her for keeping me on an even

keel, & for completing me.                                              

Glenn Buttkus

Monday, January 30, 2017

Dawn of Darkness

image borrowed from

Dawn of Darkness

“The day of battle dawned pink as the fresh-
bitten thigh of a maiden.”--Roger Zelazny.

Day 8 
has dawned
on the Trumpian era.

Muslims are
being murdered
while at prayer
in Quebec.

Trump’s immigrant ban
has transformed all the
world’s airports
into sloth-pits.

No one 
was consulted
or directed,

Chaos reigns supreme
as Benito Baloney

plays at President. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q25