Thursday, April 16, 2015

Buford's Blues

image found over at

Buford’s Blues

“I find in my poetry & prose the rhythms & imagery
& mystery of the blues.”--Maya Angelou.

Buford Brown bopped his way downtown backwards,
                       finding first the finite, then the festive finish;
            just being an old black man that was too boisterous,
                                                                too brave,
                                                         too belligerent,
                                                     too much the brawny blues man;
            whining, yowling, yodeling, yelling & yelping--
            whether for a white audience 
            wild for his weathered soulfulness,
                                    or divers faces burnished black
                                    while busking for bucks on Beale Street,
he would strum, stutter, sing & strut,
his lyrics sonorous,
his message singular-- dangling his diaphanous damnations
                       of all the dangerous delusions
               he felt were afoot, while
                    fingering falsehoods  &
                    fighting injustice--his accent thick, twanging
              three strings at once, his tongue tangled with terrible regrets;
         his voice stentorian while revealing
the verdigris pallor on his visitor’s brass vibes;
                    freaked out furtive tones
         frantically mourning freedom’s frailty,
                                                democracy’s diminishment,
                                                         demonstrator’s demise,
                                                 the dirge of constabulary’s demons,
                                                         & the death of hope;
condemning the KKK cowards that could kill a king,
                        rather than allowing freedom to ring--
                   & of course you could bet your balls there was
              banal ballads about bad women, bright booze
        in brown bottles, nagging bitches, fist banging
& luscious love bruises.

They caught him one manic midnight
while pissing powerfully on the tagged wall
of the juicy juke joint he was working,
          used aluminum baseball bats on him,
                                   broke both of his legs, &
                                   busted his fingers, but in his case
          tragedy led to lionization & living legend
as the multitudes of white fans showered him
with learned love, deep devotion,
sacks of silver FDR dimes, & bountiful baskets
of beautiful devil’s food doughnuts,
bought all his albums while brandishing
Buford Brown Rules
on their collective chests, kept him fit, fed & fiddling
until his funeral at 97,
& then they proudly erected & set up
a seven foot statue of him in Seattle
in a hilltop park near Puget Sound. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted proudly over at dVerse Poets MTB/FFA

Would you like to hear me read this poem to you? 



Deems Urquhart said...

Very nice!!! May I share the poen on FB?

Björn Rudberg said...

Glenn, I can really feel how you worked those word like music. The narrative of Buford even more so.. love some of the words you have incorporated (and hey we can agree on verdigris.. the alliterations take me through the different stages of this poem.. well done my friend

Wolfsrosebud said...

wonderful music in this... i think you had fun with this one

Anna Montgomery said...

This is one of those glorious times where more is more, like flourless chocolate cake. You've spun an alliterated tale from your imaginarium that whirls, growls, and howls until the reader collapses. Incredibly satisfying music, Glenn!

Hayes Spencer said...

Like a mix of ragtime and NOLA jazz - these words whirl, chop, roll, and go from high tinkling notes to rumbling bass. A good story and an excellent write. I had fun with this poem, reading it aloud on the second read.

Anonymous said...

Your voice and your choice of words are excellent and brilliant.

You always find a way to escape the reader into your imagination or the unknown imaginations of us.

Truedessa said...

Hi Glenn,

I really enjoyed this one, I wasn't sure what I would find today. You always know how to create a scene. Now, off to listen to some blues.

PS - I posted another adventure, but wasn't sure if it fit the prompt.

Heaven said...

Nice story, I never knew that of the man ~ How lucky of him to be showered with love & deep devotion after a tragedy~


Glenn Buttkus said...

Buford is a character I created, but how nice that his story has such a ring of authenticity. Thanks, Grace.

Kate Mia said...

Ah.. the freedom of the blues loose in the humidity of southern dialect ways.. there is nothing freer.. wilder.. and much deeper than soul of music.. and i suppose the father of rock and roll as well.. in the blue midnight moons of the African deserts.. that also still exist in rap..:)

Thotpurge said...

The whole poem came alive..I read it, then listened to it..and the whole thing was playing out on my wall in graphic detail. Thank you.

lynndiane said...

Glenn, YOUR lyrics are sonorous as Buford's. (I was sure he was a real blues singer too!)

vivinfrance said...

Wow you sure can tell a story, in full colour and dolby sound. Your wordplay is scrumptious and your reading brings him even more vividly to life.

Anonymous said...

I love this creation, Glenn - you have sung life into your character!

Kathy Reed said...

I like your 'bountiful' response to the prompt...and can't help but think of the time I sat in a tavern in Pioneer Square close to the knee of John Lee Hooker...the rhythm and soul of the blues...

vbholmes said...

Your vivid words are empowered by your alliteration and tell a fast-moving life story which grabs the reader and keeps his/her attention 'til the uplifting end. A joy to read.

Anonymous said...

Glenn, one of your best! The lustrous alliteration lifted this man from a mere performer to a legend. Wonderfully done!

Sabio Lantz said...

Very enjoyable -- a fine tribute.

Grace said...

Hi Glenn!

Can you host a Poetic prompt for D'verse? One suggestion is to write to a couple of quotes, which you often do.

Please let me know if you are available? My email is:


Anthony Desmond said...

As always, Glenn - your work is like a portal to another world... vivid and clear enough to see an image in every sentence.