Saturday, May 25, 2013


abstract photo by Leovi.


“Then I realized I had been murdered.
They looked for me in cafes, cemeteries
and churches--but they did not find me.
They never found me? No.
They never found me.”
--Federico Garcia Lorca

On my island, faces formed on the warm glass
of the small kitchen window, as sweet steam
from my heirloom Spanish china cup
swirled up from Carmencita black tea,
teasing the hard driving rain into fat droplets
as squads of rain men passed in wet parade
on a dull dun day just like many that Raymond Carver
would have stared into out across the white-capped
Strait of Juan de Fuca, sipping whiskey, smoking
and patiently waiting for his words to stir, releasing
poetics, letting it blossom out of the dampness--

but Carver was not there at my special window,
no, as I sipped hot castanet gulps and listened
to the flamenco falsettas, feeling those strong
classical rhythms burst out bullanguero,
thrusting untouched deep into the downpour,

and my thoughts returned to Spain,
to August 1936 near the great fountain
at Alfacar where a thin smartly attired
Garcia Lorca stood with three other men
being called communist faggots by their
Nationalist firing squad, and I wondered
if Lorca was thinking about his love affair
with Dali, or the burly sculptor Adadren
as the bastardo bullets hit his flesh,

did he boldly meet the brass in a passionate
arranque, or did the indifferent fussilade
just thud dully, like a cruel a golpe,
as the beautiful poet slipped away
from his tormenters;

making me ponder as to where his killers
had actually put his riddled husk, for
it is well known that after the death of Franco,
when they dug up Lorca’s shallow grave,
they could not find any human remains;
God, he had even escaped excavation.
So where was Lorca?

I smiled broadly then, for on that day
Lorca had appeared just for me
as a quicksilver bust in motion,
straight down the heated glass
of my many paned window,
to the fervent sad strains
of a zorongo, a liquid lullaby
in 2/4 time, as his gypsy verses
echoed in the warm corners
of my kitchen, and in the rare
Spanish corridors of my heart. 

Glenn Buttkus

May 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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


Brian Miller said...

magic how you take history...Lorcas death and being unable to find his body and turn it into a magical encounter with him appearing in your window...the echo of his verse.....very cool response g....

welshstream said...

That is a glorious piece of work and great take on the photo. Particularly enjoyed the last stanza, but the whole thing demands several rereadings to gain the full impact.

Björn said...

This was as you say a completely different and unique take on the picture. I very stark piece of history.. an the end with it's magic or maybe just question marks left. Well done.

Claudia said...

nice that you allow us a peek into the spanish corridors of your how you weave dali in as well...

Grace said...

Love the Spanish history and words, where indeed is the body of Lorca ~

Enjoyed this quicksilver and liquid lullaby ~ Muchos gracias ~ said...

This is such a complex piece...the window...the death...the mystery...the reappearance in the window..and that it ties in with the image..magic!

Kelvin S.M. said...

..that particular excerpt from Lorca's gave me chills as it reads like a premonition of the fate he endured... you brilliantly expressed the history behind the mystery... loved it!

Abruvanamedsly said...

a liquid lullaby in 2/4 time...

Captivating read from beginning to end...*applause*

Dave King said...

Just delicious! I am completely seduced by it. Finishing it was like waking up from a dream.

Mary said...

Superb writing. The story within your poem really captured and held me.

Laurie Kolp said...

Great atmosphere, vivid images.

Tigerbrite said...

A masterpiece:)

kaykuala said...

A historical perspective is refreshing Glenn! A magical feel takes it through lots of directions. Nicely!


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