Sunday, May 6, 2012


painting by frank frazetta

under the low bridge
outside of Hemet on
the “Pine to Palms” highway,
on a soft desert evening,
his fill of another half gallon
of Maraka Cherry Wine,

the trio of rooks he lived with
Wonder Bread balls, 
the brochure he 
had picked up in town
him that he slept near the 
“Valley of the Mastodons”;
the emergence
of his inebriate self, and
the inevitability of
that herd of shaggy brutes,
those mammoth spirits
stentorian and lusty
deep in the warm darkness,
him to anxiously sit up again
in his dirty surplus sleeping bag,
on the dented three-cell flashlight
he kept at his side;
very little as to how some
nut-sized limbic desperado
called Almond Amygdala was
his many midnight
paleolithic panic-attacks,
tranquil Mt. San Jacinto
that was
up between him
and a million stars--
out the lava pool of headlights
streaming over San Gorgonio,
to belch noxious
volcanic fire, until
out, falling into canyon
vino veratas, before
to another cicada
mariachi band;
not to throw up, hardly
hungry, always cranky
and completely
Glenn Buttkus
May 2012

Posted over on Monday Melting 16

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


Anonymous said...

Read it last night, loved it, still want to listen to the recording. Have sick kids and will be back later for a longer comment. :)

Shawna said...

The first thing I notice is your one-word lines---they are so effective at breaking up this longer piece, making it clean and visually appealing. They also slow the reading and give it an abruptness that I love in poetry.

This is a serious run-on sentence; love it.

My favorites:

that herd of shaggy brutes,
those mammoth spirits

stentorian and lusty
deep in the warm darkness"

"nut-sized limbic desperado
called Almond Amygdala"

"paleolithic panic-attacks" (this is cracking me up)

"lava pool"

to belch noxious
volcanic fire" (I can totally picture him doing this)

"falling into canyon
vino veratas" (oh wow, love this ... dangerous side effect)

"completely amnesic" (a good thing, probably)

This was fantastic, Glenn.

Cherry Jensen said...

How droll the troll.

Mama Zen said...

Love this!

Jules said...

Certainly one way to wake from a hang over...I liked the line "before waking to another cicada mariachi band..." I also like the Wonderbread Reference. I remember that brand from my childhood. Don't think I've had a slice of store bought white bread in years...
Interesting to hear you read too.
I'm number 3 in Mr. Linky here at Monday Melting. Cheers.

Anne Katherine said...

Okay, I have a similar photo w/ my poem, but yours is better!
And I LOVE your poem. I love the repetition of the "ing" words..fits the narrator's mindset.
The "trio of rooks" made me smile, as did the "half gallon of Maraka Cherry Wine."
Very nice use of the words!

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

Again I so love I can listen and read this at the same time, it adds to the MC so much. hearing the voice and reading the action.
where my poem is at for this prompt

Fred Rutherford said...

Very, very cool. I love how the Mastodon must have instantly sparked your creative focus here, and the rest you filled in seamlessly and created quite the piece. Great write. Thanks

David Gilmour said...

Sp. MastOdon, should you care. Down in the dark finger, brain-frit with amanita storms, the headless painter traces the hoofless elk with fifty-point rack, hoping for protection on the back-track crawl through bear-chamber where ORSO the Horrible chased him down the flute-hole. Oops! There goes the torch flicker, flint n' tinder lost, brain-bust, body-spazzed, scorpion-bit, bugger the bear. Nice to see your short lines. -- David

Brian Miller said...

nice form man...i like the one word start to each stanza....they set the tone...oddly wine has similar effects on please turn down the mariachi head is pounding...smiles.

hedgewitch said...

This may be my favorite of Shawna's inspired word list poems. Almond Ammygdala! Love the Frazetta also, that's a trip back to pulp Burroughs and youth, and the feel of down and out bumhood of the narrator. Liked it a lot Glenn.

Dawn said...

My favorite:

very little as to how some
nut-sized limbic desperado
called Almond Amygdala was

his many midnight
paleolithic panic-attacks,

Your word play is masterful. Amazing poem.

Semaphore said...

A poem with the lean musculature and the handmade weaponry to address its mastodon-sized theme. Well done!

Beachanny said...

Yep this how I feel about camping. I love being in the woods, forests, mountains & plains by day but I want me some creature comfort at night. But I digress. The poem is tight and brings the conscious comparison of the land and its ghosts together with it's current shielded unnoticing inhabitants, and there is in its reference to wine both a religious symbolism and a nod to the vulnerable native peoples. Extremely well done. Loved hearing your recording too! It brought it to life.

Claudia said... vino true...we produced our own cherry wine one year, so i know very well how dangerous this can get...very cool write glenn

Shawna said...

I just posted a bonus word list; I hope you'll come write for me again:

RD said...

awesome journey to the mo(u)rning after

numerous clever one liners and I agree with Brian, the single word approach is very effective


RD said...

Charles Miller said...

This has the authentic sound of too many nights spent long ago visiting places I'd rather not remember too clearly. Your words are so tightly phrased and placed, superbly crafted. Interesting use of the Frezetta, whose work I really enjoy. Assuming one drinks to get away from sorrow and pain, is that the world one dreams of entering or getting away to? As it is, this sets up a great drama, though it seems that not much happens, except in the brain.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Love this, especially

stentorian and lusty
deep in the warm darkness,"

A fine mighty read Glenn!

Anna :o]

Anonymous said...