Thursday, November 29, 2012


image borrowed from bing


“There is no God, and we are his prophets.”
--Cormac McCarthy

first thing, carefully
across the depression, he swung
out into the dust.

he rose,
smelled them,
put them back,
left the bed,

walked over,
opened the doors,
closed them again,

went around the sink,
ran his finger down
along the seam
of the tub;

a bloody towel,
bloodstained washcloth,
bloody handprints
the shower curtain.

at first light,
making notes in his head,
could still see the bloodstains
where Moss
had been shot,

bits of glass in the gutter,
window glass
from curbside automobiles,
some windows shot out,
pocks in the brickwork,
teardrop smears on the steps.

sun was coming up,
two bulletholes in the door,
he went in;

faint smell of rot.
a parlor, an old woman
sat slumped, shot
through the forehead,
newspaper in her lap,
cotton robe black
with dried blood.

You could not help
but notice.

Glenn Buttkus

November 2012

This Erasure Poem was taken from a page of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
by Cormac McCarthy

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

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


Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, wow Glenn... this is so vivid and intense... amazing it was born from erasing.

Brian Miller said...

dude... a poem well worthy of mccarthy....sparse, grit....the seam of the could not help but kidding...smiles. A+

Claudia said...

you could not help but good glenn..really well done

Anna Montgomery said...

Wow, you use what's erased to create a real sense of horror and the randomness of violence. I haven't read or seen this but did read The Road. Gritty and intense, great work!

Beachanny said...

I haven't read the book but you certainly captured McCarthy here. Loved what you did. Well extracted!

Mary said...

Glenn, I really had not read your poetry for a while until recently again, but let me tell you I am impressed. You really worked the words well.....I cansee the scene painfully well.

George Polley said...


kkkkaty said...

great have a knack for this..

Wyeth Bailey said...

Oh, from a brutal novel, you carve out a jagged slice even more brutal. Well done.

Natasha Head said...

LOVE it! But you aimed high off the get go...fantastic way to white out the deliver the whole...couldn't help but notice... ;)

manicddaily said...

I love McCarthy and you've distilled him further. k.

AJ Walker said...

You never disappoint, loved reading this gripping poem. Well done!

Sabio Lantz said...

Hmmm, never heard of this fellow, so I looked him up. Thanx for the intro. Being a lazy literary son-of-a-bitch, I know I won't read any of his novels, but I noticed on "Rotten Tomatoes" that "No Country for Old Men" got a great review. I will have to watch it -- put it in the NetFlix queue.

Great erasure! "I could not help but notice." :-)

Marina Sofia said...

Captures the spirit of the author really well. Crime fiction too.

Kim Nelson said...

FABULOUS! You give us a work that rivals the original... and in this case that is quite an achievement. One of the best responses to Anna's prompt I've read today. Great work, Glenn!

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