Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Red Door



image borrowed from bing


Red Door

The blazing orb dove into the ocean
like a huge fiery California waterbird,
drenching the white caps on the cruel waves
that rolled merciless against miles
of white Malibu beach,

as summer dusk settled sonorous
on Santa Monica, but the teen age girls
squealing on the ferris wheel at POP
did not hear the soft footsteps in the deep sand,
did not see a solitary figure strolling
the emptiness beneath the pier,
merely a shadow within a shadow
watching the crimson and orange surf
hammer the earth, then slide back
and pound it again, leaving dirty foam bubbles
that fizzed and popped near his brogans. 

The gathering twilight approached him
as he stared out at a convoy of Naval vessels
gliding deliberately toward the horizon like gray phantoms
bristling with their precious cargo of cannon fodder.

He had escaped, had served, had seen
the mystic side of that huge expanse of flat water,
understood having mortars for breakfast,
before swishing the hungry jungle flies
from the dozen severed heads stuck firmly
on bamboo stakes, dead eyes searching
for America with their testicles crammed
in their midwestern mouthes,
lips sewn up crudely with green vines,

compounding the bright coral covering his cortex,
an inner reef that grew in his head 
like a cancerous tumor, blockading even
the Mary Jane craft that churned through
the blood canals, its denizens of demons
working hard at licking the pink pulp
off the backside of his eyeballs

as he continuously sought more fuel
to feed the cold furnace 
his heart had become, pouring
chemicals into the void, sticking
his head deep into the darkness,
chasing the black-hooded monks
who had no faces as they
wandered in the fibrous fog
captured by the impenetrable canopy
of horrid memories 
and nauseous nightmares,

because the mother fucking purple scars
of war do not fade easily,
and shrapnel does not dissolve
from hippie spittle showers,

and nothing seemed to ease
the terrible ache in his chest,
not tanned teen torsos
nor soft California nights,
not the medicine from Mexico
nor mind bending mushrooms,

but his mother’s voice chimed
clearly within the sea gulls cries,
helping him to realize
he had to come down,
had to get a grip, 
had to return to the world,

which probably brought him to this beach,
to peer through the barnacle-laden stanchions
at the old Hotel Casa del Mar, its rod iron
balconies swarming with heroin ghosts,

yet somehow not even 
Edmond O’Brien as Chuck Dederich
or Alex Cord as Zanky Albo,
or the VA counselors,
or his mother
could convince him 
that now was the time
to join the congregation
of the Church of Synanon. 

Glenn Buttkus

September 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN63

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

4 comments:

Claudia said...

now you had me look up the Church of Synanon...interesting story and glad he didn't join...ha...nice story telling sir

Brian Miller said...

sorry i am so late brother....working regular hours sucks...haha...really nice story telling in this...i feel his story, esp that ache in his chest...i am glad his mothers words brought him back down...all too real tale man...

James Rainsford said...

Great imagery in this. I enjoyed your reading too.

kickoutthejams said...

Thats is so good Glenn, nice and dark. As James said, some great imagery.