Saturday, November 17, 2012


image by terry s. amstutz, aka moibus faith


“There are always two people in
every picture: the photographer
and the viewer.”--Ansel Adams

We do cherish our own filter on the world,
trusting it to
alert, cajole, tantalize, tease
and amaze us--

and we certainly deepen our relationship
with our personal perceptions when we
voraciously snap images of chosen portions
of our immediate environment,

passionately prowling
abandoned buildings, alleys, under bridges,
through barbed wire and peek holes
in steel fencing,

finding sweet nostalgia and insight within
the decay, the broken backs of equipment,
the bent corrugated rows on metal walls,
twisted latches, locks, and door handles,
the discarded pieces of clothing,
overcoats, sweaters, pants, underwear, hats,
the molding magazines, 
their pages stuck together,
the torn shards of newspapers,
incomplete headlines dangling,
the single boots,
laces shredded and tongues agape,
the stiff lost gloves,
the ends of the fingers missing,
the solitary feathers
dropped from urban wings,
the crushed cigarette packages,
tiny particles of tobacco still laughing,
the used condoms,
sexual balloons burst by rats,
the broken glass,
piles of leaded colorful beads,
and everywhere the powerful patina
clinging like rusty lichen to every kind of metal,
sparkling with delicious decorative oxidation;

but often even more striking
is the street art, that garish graffiti
that blossoms on the city’s epidermis
of naked brick, box car sides,
the concrete bellies of bridges,
dumpsters, call boxes, phone poles
and abandoned vehicles,

providing us with both the “Neuve Art”
and the vitality of a vocabulary lesson
as fucktard, twatwaffle, assclown, & fuckwit
are added to our arsenal of street speak;

allowing some of us to share the glories
of natural visual geometry and living history
as we gleefully continue our search
for honesty within squalor,
for truth within abandonment,
and for liberty within egress.

Glenn Buttkus

November 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets

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


Claudia said...

solitary feathers dropped from urban wings..this is great..such a vivid picture of the urban landscape with all it's grit and different shades of grey and bursting color..nicely done sir.
(on a side note.. i have the ok from terry to use the pics i posted at dVerse.. if you use another, you should ask him if it's ok)

Brian Miller said... do well to capture the essence of the city...i much like the street art...the vivid heiroglyphs of the inhabitants....really strong clos as well....the honesty, the truth and liberty

George Polley said...

There is a whole library crammed together here in this fine, chaotic poem that captured me as I read it. Wonderfully done, Glenn.

Laurie Kolp said...

I've always been amazed at street art... until it gets ugly with too much profamity. Great capture, appeasing to the sense.

Natasha Head said...

I am constantly snapping random images in an attempt to get a different vibe from my environment...more than one poem has been prompted...but at the end of the matter the filter...I have to look with my own eyes...LOVED this tour was a trip!

Anonymous said...

all those bits and pieces adding up. Well-expressed. k.

Bodhirose said... and full with life...your capture.

Anna Montgomery said...

This is a very insightful, artistic, and intriguing approach to the prompt. Patina and oxidation were particularly appealing images to me but the whole thing has a pronouncedly sensual diction. Well, barring the urban profanity which does have a music of its own just one I never want to dance to :). Marvelous!

henry clemmons said...

Our points of view are so unigue to each of us. I like the angle you took from the angle of the picture on the city.

marousia said...

Vivid writing! Really enjoyed this

Beth Winter said...

No matter where you go, there is art to be found. My favorite line: solitary feathers dropped from urban wings. This is rich and wonderful.

Mama Zen said...

This is so marvelously vivid!