Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cowboy Up



image borrowed from bing


Cowboy Up

“Fear is the parent of cruelty.”
--James A. Froude

Those vivid dreams of rats, spiders, and pit vipers,
rooms full of them, a phobic event, a fear carnival,
squirming with pain, paralysis, rabies, and death,
with no spot to step safely, yet this driving need
to walk through them, running the gauntlet 
like a defrocked priest, 
an imprisoned dictator,
a criminal, a pedophile, 
with the clubs, bats and pipes pounding
your arms over your head,
your knees buckling, knowing
you cannot fall,
you must persevere,
you must survive,

to make it to the Mall
where you can accidently disrespect
a ten year old banger who will whip out
a Glock from under his hoodie
and pop several caps in your ass

so that you can linger nearly comatose
in the hallways of some ER because
worse gunshot and knife wounds
usurp your place in line, where
the mournful screams of the innocent
conjure up the madhouses of history,

rife with mouth clamps, ear plugs, and
shock therapy that will send surges
of evil electricity through your extremities,
snapping your limbs into a dervish
of spasmodic jerks, complete loss
of colon control, needing cases of 
adult diapers, their plastic edges poking
out of your drooping pants now
crackling in steaming shart, 

inviting the inevitable insidious infarct,
the satanic stroke that will disconnect
the neural net from your left side,
so that you will drag that inert foot
and flap that dead arm, becoming
an Igor struggling to drag pounds
of bloody chains across filthy dungeon floors,
the metallic screech fueling the aneurism 
that shorts out your speech circuits, as
language lurches out of reach, and you
further degenerate into an unrecognizable
animalistic grunting defecating drooling husk,
a beautiful soul held absolute prisoner
in a shell-shocked mass of carrion flesh,

a tempting host for conniving carcinogens
that will invade what is left of your healthy cells,
burning them char-black with cancer, eating
you from the inside out, their countless blackened
sharp teeth chewing your guts into pulled pork,

before letting devilish diabetes bring its fiendish 
delights to the body wake, first bursting the blood vessels
in your retina, filling the vitreous with red pulp, 
the garrulous gift of blindness as another challenge,
setting up the scene for the series of amputations,
toes, feet, lower legs--fingers, hands, forearms,
all riddled with neuropathy and decaying rot,

to finally arrive looking like the Kafkian cockroach,
on your back, limbless, blind, mute, with edema
pressing against the weakening walls of your heart,
at the Big Transition, the slimy sill of death’s door,
only to be held back for days, as you are taunted,
ridiculed, cajoled, and invited to saunter through
the viscus veil in order to re-learn the truth
about eternity.

Glenn Buttkus

October 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets-Poetics

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

9 comments:

Brian Miller said...

dang...this was like falling down the stairs and hitting every step...one fear piled on another on another down the slippery slope...getting shot at the mall is pretty easy too...ha....seriously...stark man....and vicious.....

Brian Miller said...

really like that quote as well...and hoping i dont end up animalistic grunting and defecating on myself...

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

jjjjjjjeeeeeezzzzzz! Glann this one whole great big dark place....the thing I like is the dreamlike (well..nighmareish) quality... because in our dreams, this is the place our fears and phobias manifest themselves...ad this was one hell of a (brilliant) bad dream.....hats of to you sir for the pure intensity!

ordinarylifelessordinary said...

Like being assaulted by a dictionary of fear filled words and mental images... and I guess that is exactly how you would want it to be read! An epic poem.

henry clemmons said...

Okay, a few mentions of fear here :) Hammered the point home and gonna make me sleep with the lights on tonight. Excellente job.

anotherwanderingsoul said...

i made the mistake of turning the lights off and listening to it.
whoa.
scary stuff! great work

flipside records said...

I love your first stanza, Glenn.

Claudia said...

oh my goodness..


to finally arrive looking like the Kafkian cockroach,
on your back, limbless, blind, mute, with edema
pressing against the weakening walls of your heart... i read this as a teenager and it scared me terribly...i think though he expressed the human fear of being meaningless really well with it

manicddaily said...

Yeowwch! And I thought just growing old was bad enough! This is chockfull of terrors, and almost mocks fearfulness itself - the worst case scenario! So there's almost a kind of lightness about it, despite all the scariness. That part so cool. k.