Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Evolution Is Never Linear

image borrowed from bing

Evolution Is Never Linear

“The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not
live for itself--it gives life to others as it transforms.”
--Lao Tzu.

My first adolescent fumbling with poetry,
mostly long & rambling purple prose,
more masturbatory than masterful,
was to woo a girl in high school;
which was silly in retrospect,
for she was unattainable, blond,
a cheerleader, going steady with a jock,
pregnant before graduation.

There was this tall effeminate 
Language Arts teacher that taught poetry,
where I got my first glimpse of Whitman,
guiding me to see the marvelous poetic
touches within the prose of Howard Fast,
Steinbeck, & Faulkner. 

half a century has played out,
& my poetry has been my shadow companion
    my time
          in the Navy
                    during Viet Nam,
& throughout my second & third returns to college
during those
           thrilling, turbulent
                                       bra-less hippy-dippy
                                                long hair, leather fringed,
I’m a Gemini--let’s fuck

and the poems were very political, personal, 
influenced by wondrous dips into the far-out realms
of Ginsberg, Kerouac, Kesy, Burroughs & Bukowski--
muscular poetics
with both romantic & metaphysical

Mid-life my pantheist bent mixed liberally 
with my inner spiritual journeys--catapulted
into a frenzied hyper-drive at 3 a.m.
one morning on the high desert
near Red Mountain, CA,
as a UFO encounter helped my poetry
take on a deeper aesthetic--

just before technology transported me
beyond my immediate sphere,
my private patch of the planet,
spreading my atoms, my mind,
my words to every conceivable corner
of the earth, introducing myself
to others through my poetry,
fueling the creative flames,
providing the updraft
that would keep me aloft.

Besides the obvious expansion
of my horizons, I experienced revelations
& epiphanies as shared knowledge
enriched my writing skills exponentially,
& strengthened my courage as the
passionate pack of poets perpetuated
my realization that poetry, like music,
is universal, cosmic, & essential--
and that all dialects, points of view,
forms & messages should be
regarded as valid. 

Glenn Buttkus

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


Anthony Desmond said...

I used to read my poetry to lady-friends as a teen... they weren't too interested in it tho #fail... ha... love the image of poetry as your shadow companion thru all those times in your life... and yes, every point of view, message and form is def valid... great write+reading!

Brian Miller said...

more masturbatory than masterful...ha...prior to 5 years ago, i wrote a handful...one love poem on my wifes hand...and a few morrison inspired pieces of protest riffs...i like what you did structurally in the middle giving that sense of movement and progression.....i like the acceptance as well....

Björn said...

Ha.. to try to charm girls with poetry... Fortunately i never had to go through that humiliation.. and I love how you describe those hippie happy days.. and then an UFO... Glenn this was a great read...

Anonymous said...

Well now I see we have another thing in common Glenn, we're both Geminis. Except for going 'in country' that's kind of hoiw mine played out in sorts. >KB

Claudia said...

cool how it developed and grew on you... my poetry started with the poets i met on the internet - that has both , advantages and disadvantages i think.. but what a cool journey..

The Bizza said...

We have something in common. I also began my journey wooing girls with my words. I enjoyed the steady flow and evolution of your words here.

Mary said...

Really enjoyed your commentary here, Glenn. For me it was a fearsome elder woman teacher who taught me to love poetry & had us memorize lines I still know today. I think I was inspired by her obvious love of the subject, as much as the poetry itself. And after that class I made some very early attempts at actually writing poetry.

I like your last stanza. I do think that the 'shared knowledge' here in the blogosphere does enrich one's writing skills & also frees one a bit to write and share what might not have been written and shared otherwise. Yes, poetry is universal; and the connections 'cosmic and essential.'

Gabriella said...

I like the juxtaposition of the effeminate arts teacher with the mention of poetry being a shadow companion during the Vietnam years, interesting how very different experiences can influence us in meaningful ways. I enjoyed reading about yours.

Anonymous said...

Glenn this poem is by far a new favorite of mine!! The narration, the history (Ginsberg!! Kerouac! Bukowski! Hippies!!--love it), the rhythm, it was like being sung a song. Excellent, excellent job.
Amy Jo

Walt Wojtanik said...

Quite an epoch there, Glenn. We strive for this kind of brilliance.

RMP said...

this was quite an evolution...each stage providing wonderful fodder for your verse. I find the UFO the most fascinating of these.

Your final revelation holds much truth.

Donald Stokes said...

I like this- It was an English teacher who piqued my interest in poetry, and although my evolution into poetry was more abrupt, I have written quite a lot of it to a certain Muse...

Your poem has the flavor of the times. Well done.

Anonymous said...

"passionate pack of poets" - sort of a whimsical wilding of wolves? grins. You've traveled quite the path, Glenn.

oh, one note, did I misread "woe" as "woo" - or is that intentional? My apologies, as I'm frequently dense ~

Anonymous said...

Liked this a lot Glenn! What a long, strange trip its been ... and the road is still winding into the future. Lots of things I liked in your poem, all the references to your influences and periods, but most of all I like how you acknowledge that inspiration and influence come from both small and great ... and everything in between. Kind of like a paen. Lupita

Ronald Shields said...

so many influences through some of the most tumultuous of times. I think your title says it all.

Anonymous said...

poetry grows when we share it - it makes it real. Well said. I just missed those "hello, wanna screw days" but was close enough...

Anonymous said...

Glenn I love this, the last stanza I can relate too, so very much. I was one of those bra-less Hippy-dippy types and loved being reminded of the carefree days. Thank you.

vb holmes said...

Enjoyed reading of your poetic journey and fascinated by the UFO experience--real, metaphorical, or don't know?

Glenn Buttkus said...

The UFO incident was very real, & it was life-altering.

Beachanny said...

Re-link this again today Glenn. Never knew that Anthony and I were on the same page when I wrote my article ... unless you have something else to say about your writing fears, or why you will continue to write because that would be as inspiring as this is. I feel you're my com-padre - we have traversed the same time spheres and the same landscapes. Thank you my friend!