Monday, May 13, 2013

Dust Be My Destiny

poster borrowed from bing

Dust Be My Destiny

“Tempt not a desperate man.”--William Shakespeare

When I consider 
my life-long love affair 
with movies, and 

my frenetic decade of pursuing a presence within them,
I tend to tromp upon objectivity
and too often am very tempted to regard
my mere eyelash of a career as an actor,

as pivotally more substantial than it was,
my talent as Herculean,
my bad luck as baleful,
my blink-and-you-missed it movie moments
as pure apex, as achievements, 

whiling away my retirement in vivid daydreams,
imagining that there never was more than
six degrees of separation between me
and artistic cinematic success--
playing the game, getting from

Matt Damon to Lauren Bacall

Damon in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN with Harve Presnell.
Presnell in PAINT YOUR WAGON with Lee Marvin.
Marvin in THE COMANCHEROS with John Wayne.
The Duke was in BLOOD ALLEY with Lauren Bacall.

Tim Blake Nelson to Glenn Buttkus

Nelson in THE ASTRONAUT FARMER with Billy Bob Thornton.
Thornton in PRIMARY COLORS with Rob Reiner.
Reiner in BULLETS OVER BROADWAY with Jack Warden.
Warden in NIGHT AND THE CITY with Eli Wallach.
Wallach in CINDERELLA LIBERTY with Glenn Buttkus.

Tony Shalboub to Humphrey Bogart

Shalboub in MEN IN BLACK with Tommy Lee Jones.
Jones in THE BETSY with Laurence Olivier.
Olivier in SPARTACUS with Peter Ustinov.
Ustinov in WE’RE NO ANGELS with Humphrey Bogart. 

Tina Fey to Glenn Buttkus

Fey in DATE NIGHT with Steve Carell.
Carell in HOPE SPRINGS with Tommy Lee Jones.
Jones IN THE ELECTRIC MIST with Ned Beatty.
Beatty in THE DEADLY TOWER with Kurt Russell.
Russell in THE LONGEST DRIVE with Glenn Buttkus.

Ted Dawson to Charles Laughton.

Dawson in DAD with Jack Lemmon.
Lemmon in GRUMPY OLD MEN with Burgess Meredith.
Meredith in ADVISE AND CONSENT with Charles Laughton.

Warren Oates to Glenn Buttkus

Oates in MAJOR DUNDEE with Charlton Heston.
Heston in THE BUCCANEER with Lorne Greene.
Greene in EARTHQUAKE with Lloyd Nolan.
Nolan in MY BOYS ARE GOOD BOYS with Glenn Buttkus.

Dolly Parton to Tuesday Weld

Parton in RHINESTONE with Sylvester Stallone.
Stallone in COP LAND with Harvey Keitel.
Keitel in THE TWO JAKES with Eli Wallach.
Wallach in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN with Steve McQueen.
McQueen in THE CINCINATTI KID with Tuesday Weld. 

Chris Rock to Glenn Buttkus

Rock in DEATH AT A FUNERAL with Peter Dinklage.
Dinklage in THE STATION AGENT with Patricia Clarkson.
Clarkson in DOGVILLE with James Caan.
Caan in CINDERELLA LIBERTY with Glenn Buttkus.

Otto Kruger to Petulia Clark

Kruger in THE LAST COMMAND with Ernest Borgnine.
Borgnine in THE WILD BUNCH with William Holden.
Holden in SABRINA with Audrey Hepburn.
Hepburn in FUNNY FACE with Fred Astaire.
Astaire in FINIAN’S RAINBOW with Petulia Clark.

Bernie Mac to Glenn Buttkus

Mac in SOUL MEN with Samuel L. Jackson.
Jackson in SUNSET LIMITED with Tommy Lee Jones.
Jones in BLOWN AWAY with Jeff Bridges.
Bridges in WINTER KILLS with Ralph Meeker.
Meeker in MY BOYS ARE GOOD BOYS with Glenn Buttkus.

I tell you if a man is desperate enough
he can visualize himself as someone significant,
even though the truth reveals him to be
first a glittering speck of dust on some
pieces of celluloid, then reduced further
to a microscopic grove-blemish
on several digital discs;

no matter--
for posterity and the imp of ego
have in fact

provided him with standing room
at the back of a low dusty shelf
over at the Internet Movie Database,

where temptations tend to be reduced
to silent whimpers, dream-drool,
and blue font. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN

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


Gretchen Leary said...

I like the part where it's almost a word association to tree...tree to nature...nature to...well you know :)

Brian Miller said...

ha dont be too hard on yourself there glenn...i am now going to be looking up all your movies and taking a gander to see what i can bit of 6 degrees...and i dunno if i was in flicks i might hold myself a bit above the dust on the shelf...smiles.

Alex Dissing said...

"I tell you if a man is desperate enough
he can visualize himself as someone significant"

Absolutely love that line.

Kim Nelson said...

We might learn more about you, Glenn, from this poem than form any other! Quite revealing!

Anonymous said...

Awesomesauce right there.

Grace said...

I see that you love movies, old an older ~ We can dream, can't we ~ Smiles ~

Claudia said...

nice...i don't watch that many movies but when i do..i'm always right in the middle and feel like i'm already a part of can see it at my fam always shakes their head...smiles

Rich Laliker said...

That is Awesome!