Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mia Manifestum




image borrowed from bing


Mia Manifestum

“A painter paints pictures on canvas, but musicians
& poets paint their pictures on silence.”
--Leopold Stokowski.

IMPETUS

It just seems that I have always had a need to comment
on the actions that unfolded about me--a mouthy kid,
a bright student who first encountered the word,
the concept of Manifesto with the term Communist
attached to the front of it, and

even as a youngster, struggling to understand Marx’s
philosophy, lying naked on the page, void of spin, 
that spoke
of a brotherhood of man,
I found myself inspired, propelled into a mindset
of liberalism that would too often place me at 
loggerheads with those in control;

the cruel constabulary,
the bastardo--bureaucrats, 
the corporate stooges,
the inept educators,
the lascivious lobbyists, 
& hordes of hypocritical
posses of Pharisees, priests, & popes.

Reading Jack London with a flashlight under
my covers at ten, I loved the Klondike adventures
but what really caught my eye was the lesser
known dystopian & progressive views in
The Iron Heel. 

Reading Steinbeck at twelve I was influenced,
nearly overwhelmed by Tom Joad’s last dialogue
with his Ma, “I’ll be everywhere--around in the dark
wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat,
or a cop beating up a guy, I’ll be there--or in the way
guys yell when they’re mad, or when decent people
are eatin’ the stuff they raised, living in the house
they built--I’ll be there.”

So before puberty, before further education
or forays into introspection & enlightenment,
I vowed to myself to be there, in all those dark
Steinbeckian places, to be a pair of fists, or
bleeding lips, or a loose tongue, to be a
reporter,
gad fly,
chronicle-maker,
pariah,
loose cannon,
muckraker--
I just needed to find a way, a medium, a voice;

After reading Chekov’s The Sea Gull, I could not forget
the statements made by Trigorin, the writer,
both blessed & cursed by his incessant need
to catalog every conversation, observance,
“clouds shaped like a grand piano,”
& encounters that he experienced before stating,
“Then I hear my desk calling, and have to go back to it,
and begin to write, write, write once more.”

Then came the thundering of the
deus ex machina, 
the burst of golden light,
after I was introduced to the free verse
of Walt Whitman--suddenly I felt
engorged, entitled, privileged 
to thrust my angst, my shreds of wisdom,
philosophy, & righteous emotion,
like biblical loaves & fishes
out amongst the throngs, the swarm--
& I adopted Whitman’s statement,
“Re-examine all that you’ve been told--
dismiss that which insults your soul.”

Manifest Fatum

So yes, I said yes,
a hundred thousand times yes,
yes to clarity,
yes to a path,
yes to a voice,
yes to becoming a Writer, 

and to write about everything,
to use every form,
technical/vocational writing,
novellas, short stories, novels, political speeches,
resumes, recipes, directions, & advice,
& at the top of the needy list was Poetry,
because I understood that a poet
could be prince or jester, sage or trickster,
ever the standard bearer, the baton twirler,
the soldier on point, the soloist, the alpha creature, the lead dog--
not because I was decreed, sanctified, or directed
by others, but more because something had risen up
within me, within some cosmic quantum arachnid’s webbing,
even deeper within some inexorable helixical truth,

and I find myself forever bound to & blessed with
a demon’s silver tongue,
a clown’s demeanor,
a philosopher’s barbed thoughts,
a warrior’s temperament,
a lover’s touch, attached to
a dove’s divine drive to perpetuate peace, coupled to
a rugby player’s need not to be taken to ground;

As every inhalation of breath 
refreshes my poetic sinews,
strengthens my use of language,
gathering more power in order to pump
out my messages from the heart,
to salve my restless spirit,
& to spread my words
like a sweet bountiful virus
beyond the firewalls of resistance,
like cherry blossoms flung about by a Spring breeze,

& even though most will not know me personally,
will not remember my mere name, maybe,
perhaps some of my poetic viscus will cling
to their hungry lobes & chambers, & might actually
become the fuel, the sustenance they need
to journey on into tomorrow. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

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

23 comments:

Claudia said...

very cool on giving us a glimpse into the people and books that influenced you...a very cool journey.. and saying yes to poetry, to writing and finding the own voice.. and touching others with is.. what an awesome journey..

...and i of course liked the piano shaped cloud..smiles

Beachanny said...

WOW! How I love this - how I wish I could have written it. Reading really is the first part of the journey isn't it (and I didn't include it in mine, but Whitman probably was the force behind my beginning to write at first). This is magnificent. Truly what I was hoping to find and here you are at the top of the list! Kudos, sir!!

annotating60 said...

Well Glenn, you certainly covered all the bases on this one. A very interesting insight. >KB

Björn said...

ah this is brilliant.. first the background and then the poet manifesto itself...

the lines that really caught my attention was

could be prince or jester, sage or trickster,
ever the standard bearer, the baton twirler,

How I wish I could ever come up with lines like that.

Brian Miller said...

mix in your reading (which was a great influence on me too) with the need to say something...unable not to...ha...yeah that can get dangerous....the demon/clown/philosopher/warrior/lover...ha..yeah you got it in spades brother...

Mary said...

This is stunning writing, Glenn. A depthful writer self-portrait. I think you know yourself well, and what a memory of your younger self you have. My favorite part is this description--which gives such a vivid word picture of the poet!

"and I find myself forever bound to & blessed with
a demon’s silver tongue,
a clown’s demeanor,
a philosopher’s barbed thoughts,
a warrior’s temperament,
a lover’s touch, attached to
a dove’s divine drive to perpetuate peace, coupled to
a rugby player’s need not to be taken to ground;"


freyawrites.com said...


and I find myself forever bound to & blessed with
a demon’s silver tongue,
a clown’s demeanor,
a philosopher’s barbed thoughts,
a warrior’s temperament,
a lover’s touch, attached to
a dove’s divine drive to perpetuate peace, coupled to
a rugby player’s need not to be taken to ground;

A great read, Glenn, I loved reading about your influences, and the part of the poem above really sang, for me.

Other Mary said...

It sounds like you've been influenced by some of the best Glen. What a very well done manifesto.

quest4peas said...

Whew!! A tour de force there Glenn! Both the inspiration to become and the motivation to remain a writer well laid out!

Gabriella said...

I was a mouthy kid too! I had never come across Whitman's statement but can relate to it. I like too like what you find yourself blessed with. A great manifesto, Glenn!

Susan said...

It's clinging, Glenn, it's working. I love that you wrote the development along with the outcome. Insight especially into reading is welcome. What a rich life you have! the words you leave reveal patterns that will help others imagine.

dkirkstokes said...

Good one, Glenn. A journey.

shaysky said...

Loved it, very passionate.

Wolfsrosebud said...

Jack and Walt... wonderful combination over the years... and the journey isn't done yet

lynndiane said...

Yes, you dare to explore those "Steinbeckian places"! Autobiography of a reader/writer catapulted into poetry...powerful manifesto.

kaykuala said...

Reexamine all that you’ve been told
dismiss that which insults your soul

Fantastic rendering Glenn! Exhaustive acts when growing up lighting up the path to the future. Brilliant shot!
Like the above quote!

Hank

bwfiction said...

A strong statement of who you are and why you believe as you do.

grapeling said...

I wager you'd gain an audience were you to put this on as a one-man show, Glenn. ~

Ronald Shields said...

Brother this is the manifesto of a man who knows himself and why he writes...brilliant.

RMP said...

Wow...what a journey that lead you to your voice, no matter what form it takes. "& at the top of the needy list was Poetry, because..." you list of reasons here is quite perfect.

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

wonderful - especially was caught up with the 'yes' stanza - heard it shouting from the page - K

The Bizza said...

I tend to go through life thinking that I just might know a thing or two about this writing thing...

But then I come across something as brilliant as this, and suddenly I don't know a Damn thing.

Thank you for sharing this and for schooling me on how much I have to learn.

Mystic_Mom said...

Epic. Bold. So YOU!