Tuesday, December 5, 2017


image from amybarickman.com


“Fish and visitors stink in three days.”
--Benjamin Franklin

We visited frail Miss Lucille
on her 90th birthday, honoring her
request to attempt to renew her
expired Driver’s License.

The line was hours long at the DMV,
a typical bustling state office;
my wife stood in line for her--
when it was finally her turn

She requested a folding chair.
They were kind to her, but
refused to renew her driver’s license.

She had expected that result,
but you could see her disappointment.
She passed away three days later.

Neruda Sonnet

Since my mother-in
law died, I just don’t feel like
visiting Texas.
At ninety, she was much more
than only matriarch; much.


In my home, we have
portals; visitors appear
at very odd times.


For most of my life, I have enjoyed both visiting
with friends and relatives, and welcoming them
to my home--but ill health has trumped sentiment
and reduced practiced candor & civility to ragged
bursts of crankiness.

We are expecting all three daughters and eight
grandchildren to our home for Christmas. My 
latest bout with my immune system has placed 
nails in my mattress, stones in my innards, and
barbs in my belt.

Hordes of arachnids 
become visitors during
winter; fantastic.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, December 4, 2017

Erotica Horribilis

image from picstopin.com

Erotica Horribilis 

“I just wanted to test myself, to see if I could
overcome the dire situation I was headed toward.”
--Timothy Treadwell

Though he 
was in shock,
he could clearly
hear the terrible
crunch as
bear 141,
a rogue grizzly,
bit his left leg off
at the knee.

It happened
in slow motion--

after thirteen summers
in Alaska,
he was being
devoured alive.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q44

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Blackthorne--Scene 72

image from fineartamerica.com 


Cinemagenic Seventy-Two


“You are the road--show me the way. Light up my
day; no more tears, for I am unbroken.”
--Darren Styles.

1(sound cue) six-string blues slide & French horns.
2(overhead drone shot) the Bronson auction barn 
corral, an Appaloosa in the middle kicking up a fuss,
with the rails full of spectators, necks jutted forward
like anxious crows.
3(sound cue) heavy hoofs, stallion screams, sax riff.
4(drone in wide shot, descending)
5(sound cue) bullwhip crack and crowd noise.
6(close-up) Chatawa’s angry eyes.
7(cut to medium wide shot) the stallion on his hind 
legs, hopping and snorting, neighing like it was in 
the middle of a buffalo stampede, slicing the dusty 
air with its front legs. There were two ropes around 
his neck, one lashed to a breaking post, and the 
other was being dragged around in the dust. One of 
Bronson’s hands, a grizzled wrangler, stood behind 
the post, the rope around his wrist and waist. A 
younger cowboy jumped down into the sawdust and 
swept up the end of the loose rope. 
8(sound cue) snare drum and coronet.
9(medium close-up) the Appaloosa leaped forward 
and the young cowpoke was almost jerked off his feet. 
In retribution, the old wrangler lashed his rope even 
10(medium wide shot) Cash & Thor Bronson were on 
the rails near the gate. The auction foreman, Graff, 
and Paul Bronson were on the rails to the other side 
of the gate.
11(two shot) Cash and the wrangler; Cash yelled out 
across the noisy corral: Ryker!
12(close up) Cash: I want that jughead broken today!
I want a women to be able to ride him by sundown.
13(sound cue) crowd laughter & cajoling over clarinet.
14(wide shot) Ryker ordered the youngster to lash his 
rope to a second post, and to get a horse blanket. He
rapidly did so, and stood waiting for more instructions.
15(close up) Graff’s red flabby face: Come on, Ryker,
get on that damned plug and show him who’s boss!
16(sound cue) piano & harmonica.
17(medium wide shot) the wrangler told the youngster
to hang on to the breaking rope, taking up the slack, 
while he took the horse blanket and walked toward the 
18(close-up) Chatawa watching him warily.
19(medium close up) Ryker: Easy, big fellow, easy.
20(two-shot) Ryker kept up his soothing banter as he
approached the flecked stud. Chatawa arched his 
neck, bobbed his head, and stamped the ground with 
a front hoof. The wrangler got within two feet of the 
stallion, and stopped.
21(sound cue) harmonica huffing.
22(overhead crane shot) Neither one moved. There 
was a long frozen moment while they stared at each 
23(two-shot) Ryker reached out to stroke the horse’s
neck. The flesh on the stallion’s neck quivered, as he 
pulled his head back.
24(sound cue) French horn, saxophone & coronet 
bleating in harmony.
25(wider shot) the stallion leaped forward, pulling 
the young cowboy to his knees, raised up on hind
legs again, pawing the air with lethal hooves, backing
Ryker half way across the pen.
26(sound cue) crowd response, cursing & catcalling.
27(medium close-up) Ryker: You damned blockhead!
No more bullshit! It’s time to knock some of craziness
out of you! --his voice an angry growl.
28(two-shot) He whirled around to a sawhorse near 
him, and grabbed a short bull whip with multiple tails.
29(sound cue) If you use it on him, I will use it on you!
some one yelled.
30(wide shot) Everyone turned. Johnny Eagle 
straddled the gate, watching Ryker like a hawk watches
a rodent. Buck stood just behind him, his big hands on

the gate.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Change is a Bitch

image from flicker.com

Change is a Bitch

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels,
the troublemakers--because they change things.”
- Rob Siltanen.

Remove change,
and there is less
conflict & chaos--
                                 but the sad fact remains
                    that without change, progress
          stalls out like a tractor out of gas,
  like lungs without oxygen, like fish
flopping on a bloody deck.

As recipients of unerring
seasonal shifts, every 
one of our days is rife
with change.

As we age there are new limitations that appear
like lichen or rodents or barnacles in the night.

As we mature,
one hopes that
wisdom, better judgement
and compassion
will embrace our sphere.

As we learn, we are given opportunities to
incorporate and apply changes to our personal
perceptions, our interactions & relationships.

Yet, I have
railed against,
rebelled and resisted
change, as if it were
a plague ship,

allowing my well mantled fears
      and well constructed comfort zones
             to complicate and obstruct, even though
                    I understand that most times change
                                 is inevitable, & often inexorable.

                                 When it comes to “Change”, the
                        only thing I hate more than my
                   mounting health issues, more
               than all those things I have to 
           cross off from my plans and
   activities, is my daily bitter dose 
of Trump-madness, as the 
ghosts of Mussolini and 
Boss Tweed’s Tammany
Hall combine in filthy depths
of their corruption,

and America, as the bastion of liberty is now
developing crippling cracks in its white columns,
and grievous wounds to its spirit. All I possess 
is anger and grit to sustain me.

Donald J. Trump,
like the institution of slavery,
like the Inquisition,
like pogroms & gas chambers,
like Witch trials & McCarthyism,
like boils on my butt
shall pass.

It may be a painful transition,
like pulling teeth with rusty pliers,
like passing stones through your urethra,
but history is sharpening its daggers

and sanity is gathering its forces.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, November 27, 2017

Quill Strokes

image from abstract.desktopnexus.com

Quill Strokes

“Beware of advice--even this.”--Carl Sandburg.

After writing poetry, fiction, and technical reports for
sixty years my ambitions burn close to the bottom
of the wick, my goals have become simplistic--just
keep on writing. Over the years, my association with
dVerse has thrilled and enticed me, educated me, 
and helped to implement divers change in my style. 
Now Haibun has become my favorite form, and I 
enjoy the freedom to get creative with it.

30 years ago I wanted to get published, believing 
that this somehow would validate my talent and 
authenticity. Many of the poets I know finance their 
own publications--this just doesn’t appeal to me. In a
decade my poetry blog has logged in more than a
million visitors, and the international fellowship within
dVerse assures that my creative fires remain well lit.

It is a good time to be a poet, but the pay is still 
shitty.”--Bobby Byrd.

Photography has
become my reigning passion;

poetry stands alongside.

Glenn Buttkus

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


image from wildlifeanimals.blogspot.com


“Regardless, I am still passionate about 
grizzly bears.”---Timothy Treadwell.

It’s November, and my den is hollowed out. I
just feasted on four fat turkeys--ha--a few less
for man’s table. I pick my teeth with four inch
claws. My jaws are so strong I once bit through
a cast iron frying pan to get all the bacon grease.
I mated twice in August, and I’m ready for the
big nap.

They call me Bruiser--which appeals to me a 
hell of lot more than Ursus Horribilis. There are
only a couple of a dozen of us here in the North
Cascades. I range a couple hundred miles, 
sometimes checking out the foothills of the Rockies.
I was raised in the Yukon, but over the last decade
I’ve worked my way down here. I once spent a
year in Montana, but it was just too damn crowded;
hundreds of bears competing for sex and food.

I’m about 30, old for a Grizz--most of us check out
before we’re 25. I think it’s because some of them 
choose not to hibernate; stupid kids--afraid they’re
going to miss something. I’m left alone, which is how
I like it. I’m 9 feet tall, and weigh 880 pounds. I had 
a tussle with a rogue Sasquatch last year. He was 
about 8’ tall, and weighed in at a skinny 425. He was
pretty nimble, but they’re not good fighters; small jaws
and teeth, with no claws. I had to stand erect to battle
him. He gave up after I tore one of his arms off; made
a nice lunch.

I’m expecting a big blizzard this week, so I’m eating
everything that moves, from ants to coyotes. I tend to
hibernate for 5 months. At my age, I enjoy the rest--
but I’ll tell you what, when I emerge in April, I am
both cranky and real hungry.

In Spring the grizzly’s
roar causes critters to hide, cuz

they will devour all.    

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, November 20, 2017

So Dense

image from frugalhomedesign.blogspot.ca

So Dense

If Tao is like a river, it is certainly good to know
where the rocks are.”--Ming-Dao Deng.

Geologists ain’t afraid
of no rocks,
they love
the hard stuff.

Slim women rock
their tight jeans,
but how do they
get them on?

Blues men gave
musical birth
to both
jazz and rock.

rocks in your head.
but not yet

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q44  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ode to Muscle

image from pinterest.com

Ode to Muscle

“If a writer has to rob memories of his mother, he
will not hesitate.”--William Faulkner

The last muscle car
I ever owned was
a 1973 Mustang, 
Pantera styling,
jet black & waxed,
a fastback, 
a 4-speed transmission,
and 400 horsepower
out of a 351 Cleveland V-8.

After a while though,
I began to realize,
it was damn heard to see 
out out the small back window,
it averaged 8 miles to the gallon.
and because it was a classic,
it was very hard to find parts.

Insurance was too high,
maintenance was prohibitive,
repair costs were outlandish,
and I banged it up twice
backing up blind.

Glenn Buttkus

Monday, November 6, 2017

Killer Kick

image from quintoquartobr.com

Killer Kick

if we become apathetic, art can kick our ass, give
us back conscience & focus.”--Erik Pevernagil.

Sunday got the blues
as I sat alone
watching the Seahawks

lose a game
to the Washington Redskins

Kicker Blair Walsh,
the man with a golden leg,
missed three field goals,

contributing mightily
to the loss,
all three kicks

wildly to the left.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q44

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Blackthorne--Scene 71

image from pinterest.com 


Cinemagenic Seventy-One


“When you have a child, the world has a 
hostage.”--Ernest Hemingway.

1(sound cue) harmonica & accordion. 
2(two-shot) Salina, over Wallace’s shoulder:
I am my father’s daughter.
Wallace, smiling : It’s just that you can’t close
your eyes, click your heels, and Thor disappears.
His kind of mean hangs in like colic. I think you 
should give some thought as to how to straighten
things out.
3(close-up) Salina : OK, Pop. I figured I would cross
that little bridge when I get to it.
4(medium close-up) Wallace : Damn, girl, you should
be fixing to find a way to let him down easy. He is not
used to being told No.
5(voice over) Salina: Well, there’s a first time for 
everything--followed by a chuckle.
6(sound cue) piano & harmonica.
7(cut to medium wide shot/exterior) An old buckboard
reined up out front. Johnny Eagle was driving it. A 
young black mustang jerked against his harness and 
the tall gray mule alongside him. Rod Buck pulled up
and stepped down off his huge roan. Wallace walked 
out on the porch, squinting into the east as golden rays
began to edge up over the sign on the CHINA DOLL.
Wallace wiped his liver-spotted calloused hands on his
clean apron.
8(three-shot) Wallace: Nice to see you. Did you run out
of chuck?
Buck: Among other things.
Wallace: Hey, John--then turned on his heel as the
Eagle returned his greeting with a silent nod.
Buck stepped up onto the porch: Do you want to 
come in, old brother?
Johnny: Not today, boss. I think I will wander down to
the cantina and shoot the buzzard shit with Mateo.
Buck: I’ll join you there later.
The Eagle jumped down from the wagon; Buck 
watched him making his way along the dusty street, 
watched how straight he carried himself, how his 
shoulder and arm muscles rippled as he walked.
9(sound cue) guitar & coronet.
10(two-shot) Wallace was in the doorway : So
what do you need on this fine morning?
Buck: I’ll need some paint for one--stepping into
the store behind Wallace--What have you got?
10(medium wide shot) Salina was still at the fabric
table. She straightened up and stared at Buck, not
pretending to work.
11(voice over) Wallace: What quantity & color?
12(close up) Buck: Enough to paint a rainbow on
your crapper.
13(two-shot) Salina, over Buck’s shoulder: What a 
colorful way of speaking. Good morning, Mr. Buck.
Buck: Good morning, Miss Salina.
Salina: Does Johnny Eagle work for you now? 
Buck: That’s what he tells me.
Wallace (as voice over) Blue, black, red, white and
green--a fine selection.
Salina: Fixing up the old place?
Buck: We stay in the bunkhouse for now. The house
needs a ton of work. After I get things presentable,
you might could come out for a visit.
Salina, smiling warmly: Yes, I might could.
14(sound cue) violin & flute.
15(two-shot) She returned to her fabric bolts. He 
spent an awkward moment considering what to say 
next when Wallace inquired:  What colors?
16(sound cue) heavy boot steps just before the front 
door swung open, awakening the bee hive of bells.
The Eagle rushed in, a bit out of breath: Boss, I think
you need to come with me right now.
17(three-shot) Buck: Hey, fierce one. I haven’t 
ordered anything yet--nor have I had time to ask
Miss Salina for a date.
18(medium close-up) Another smile from the lady.
19(two-shot) Buck: Just tell Mateo to wait a few 
Johnny: It’s Chatawa.
Buck turned and the two men tramped out of the 
store. Wallace shrugged his shoulders & followed
them to the doorsill. A large crowd had gathered

down at the auction corrals.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN


painting by James Ryman 


“If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.”
--Tennessee Williams.

By day, I am nearly invisible as I bus tables and
wash dishes at Denny’s. I live in my grandmother’s
basement--a nice little apartment with it’s own
entrance. Gramm is hard of hearing, and for me
that’s a blessing.

By night, I troll the bus station, back alleys and
the gay bars. I’m a big handsome Swede, with 
long blond hair & deep blue eyes--looking like
Thor and shit. Though for years my sexual
preferences were conflicted, I seem to attract
gay men, so it’s just easier to score with them.

My father used to get drunk and beat the hell out 
of me, before he was stabbed & killed in a bar fight.
My mother was a crack addict, and she died when
I was 14, just after an older homosexual had given
me a ride from school, and raped me in his garden
shed. I could have stopped him, but hell, I enjoyed
the attention.

Five years ago I discovered that I preferred to have
sex with young boys who agreed to be mute and
non-responsive. I had a part-time job in a mortuary,
and I developed a real taste for necrophilia; but
most of the lover boys still made noise & moved

So I made the decision to start killing them, so 
that my sexual & emotional needs could be more
adequately satiated, I’m very strong, so strangling
them was the easiest & quietest solution. Soon I
became expert at cutting up their bodies in the 
bath tub, and dissolving them in barrels of strong
chemicals. Gramm noticed I burned a lot of incense.
I told her I was converting to Hinduism.

One bright day, I got to staring at the neatly sliced
up portions of meat, and out of nowhere, I fired up
my oven and made a delicious roast out of buttocks.
To date I have slain 37 young men, and eaten a 
dozen of them. The last seven of them as a lark, I
saved their heads in my refrigerator. As I sink deeper
into the darkness of depravity, murder, and sweet
cannibalism--I have no regrets. At some point I will
be caught, and that’s as it should be. I will probably
get 20 consecutive life sentences, and after a few 
months I will be cornered in the shower room by
several men & stabbed in the eyes.

I have become a
demon--every night is like

Halloween for me.

Glenn Buttkus

Monday, October 30, 2017

Compassionate Conflict

image from pinterest.com

Compassionate Conflict

“Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and
the blind can see.”--Mark Twain

Unfortunately, our kindness, like our compassion
and empathy, is that part of the human condition
that allows the unscrupulous among us to work
their cons, scams & lies--allows politicians to 
thrive, and lawyers to successfully defend the guilty.

I always feel the tingle of alacrity when a stranger
stops me in a parking lot, sharing some sob story,
asking for ten bucks for gas so that his pregnant
wife can get to the doctor; or those smiling sons
of bitches who come to my door offering bogus
services, or collecting data for a greedy corporation.

Yet if you approach me, then look me in the eyes,
tell me your situation. & I hear no alarms--I will 
give you food, a ride, or money, or all three. So,
yes, even though deceptions surround us, making
me paranoid, suspicious, or sarcastic--my heart
is still touchable.

Mighty maple first
puts on a show. then it

kindly shares its leaves.

Glenn Buttkus

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Nacori Cantina

image from flipsidesf.wordpress.com

Nacori Cantina

“BLOOD MERIDIAN seems to me to be the major
esthetic achievement of any living American writer.”
--Harold Bloom

Looking left,
the Judge’s pistol fired.
rolling clear--

got to his feet,
paying their respects,
the dead man fell;

Smith had drawn his Bowie,
the knife protruding,
dark arterial blood spray--

jabbing with their knives,
holding the wounds shut,
sound of gunfire--

stepping over several corpses,
huge pistols roared,
20 Mexicans shot to pieces;

bullet splinters blossoming out of the wood,
mud walls pocked with fresh holes,
blood splatter drenched stucco.

The Judge was like a cat,
he picked the man up;

blood flowing from his ears,
the man did not get up.

Door frame filled
with smoke, jammed with
the dead and dying.

a great ringing silence,
his back to the wall;

Figures stood frozen,
gunsmoke drifting through
like fog.

Glenn Buttkus

Blackout Poetics--Page 179

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub MTB

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


image from penbaypilot.com


“I believe in my mask. The man I made up
is me.”--Sam Shepard.

On that first date,
the mask you wear
is mannequin--
not a wrinkle,
not a care.

Behind the Ray-Bans,
under the Borsalino,
you seem to have no eyes, 
                             no window
                             to peek within.

For the office,
facing the boss,
the smile is greasepaint;
sincerity is your loss.

Looking at your spouse
after decades of marriage,
you become the king of masks--
swishing through the mix
flawlessly, like an old Disney
flip-animation tablet, although
                       your actual face,
                       your real thoughts,
                       your genuine emotions
are making more appearances

But in the mirror, under
          the blade,
          the comb,
          the deodorant,
          the powder, paint & spray,
you watch daily
as the wild man
           with unruly hair,
several day’s growth of beard,
and bacon between his teeth,
            that guy you slept as,
            who hides nothing,
the scrubbed, button-down automaton, with
that day’s supply of masks geared up and 
ready to camouflage-one for every encounter,
who now is prepared to rush out and join the
counterfeit conflagration of all those other
frozen Com media faces on route to their ruts.

When do the masks we
choose finally fray--become

just unwearable?

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, October 23, 2017


image from inspirationseek.com


“The creak of bed springs suffering under the
weight of a restless man is as lonely a sound 
as I know”--Patrick deWitt.

Things that go creak
in the night,
loose gates,
cranky screen doors,
hardwood floors,
broken shingles,
and misaligned aging bones--

all can wake you,
or color your dreams,
forcing you to swim
up from the maelstrom 
of slumber to guppy-gulp

at consciousness.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Dead Sea

image from sites.psu.edu

The Dead Sea

“Destruction is man’s will; nevertheless remember
prevention can also be man’s will.”
--Babu Rajan.

Global warming is not our only problem with our
besieged oceans, nor are oil spills. After using our
seas as a toilet for thousands of years, it is man’s
garbage that is the primary culprit. We let 1.4
billion pounds of trash per year enter the ocean.
In addition there is run-off pollution, called non-
point sources.

I love seeing images of fish & marine life snarled in 
plastic refuse. There is a proliferation of micro-
plastics, pieces a few millimeters in size, just below 
the surface, from coastal garbage patches clear to 
the Arctic sea ice. Many pollutants create algae 
bloom, which in turn creates a dead zone. Habitats 
& reefs, normally teeming with life, are becoming inert 
biological deserts.

The sea is dying;
we are to blame--but it is

not too late to act.

Glenn Buttkus

Saturday, October 14, 2017

J. Hump Records

image from breitbart.com


“I hear that Melania has a reoccurring nightmare--
she’s in bed pinned down under a 300 pound sack
of orange shit.” --Bill Maher.

it was Little Bill who broke the news--
our President has let Rap become 
his new Muse.

Debonair Donny has found a way to expand his
base and rejuvenate his Presidency. BITCHES 5,
a new Rap group, performed at the White House
during Black History month. Midway during the
show, Trump leaped to his feet, turned his red
ball cap backwards & began to rap alongside the
performers. He and the lead singer began to bump
hips, then doing a facsimile tango while rapping 
in counterpoint duet. Everyone clapped, and our
President became smitten.

At three a.m., he began a Tweet storm:

OMG-I’m in lust with #Shakutth & she adores #Me.
My secret love with Rap has been revealed. She is
now my constant companion. Moving her now

into the WH. #She makes me feel 40 again! Am
appointing her the #SecretaryOfTheArts. That hag
Melania is out in the cold, while sexy foxy..

#Shakutth has captured my heart. Skank #Melania
will live in NJ; will not divorce her, cuz that could
stain my political image; she agreesOK

Shakutth is a gorgeous 25 year old NY-bred sassy
sometimes lesbian, who is half black & half Jewish.
She told CNN that her Lovey-Name for the
President is “J-Hump”. He created a record company
for her. Her first album, J. Hump Rules, has shot to
the top of the Pop charts, & is very popular in

She is at his side 24/7, replacing Ivanka as his 
political advisor. “She is my chocolate Yoko Ono.”
She began to dress just like him, starting a new
fashion trend & resurrecting his Clothing Line.
His popularity numbers rose from 35% to 75%.
She stated to FOX & FRIENDS: I flat out told 
Jay--if you want to keep tapping this fine ass,
then it’s no more fucking Nazis. 

She recruited 50 of her LBGTQ friends to be her
Brown Shirt Posse, dressing them like Mussolini
thugs. They’re all strapped with pink Glocks. The
Secret Service works with them, all eager to do
photo-ops with the new entourage.

Jared & Ivanka throw huge parties now where the
BITCHES 5 perform, celebrating all the Jewish
high holy days. Our President goes to a Jewish
Temple on Saturdays, and a Baptist Church on 
Sundays. He has learned a lot of Yiddish epithets
which now spice up his Tweets. A rabbi has a new
office alongside the WH chapel. Trump has been
endorsed by Jews for Jesus & Woody Allen.

I’m now having a ball,
don’t need no fucking wall.
I told Little Rocket Man
that from now on he can keep his
regime cuz he’s part of my team.
I told all those losers in Europe
that they could suck my syrup,
while I’m banning all travel to Middle East
(cept for Israel) cuz my diplomacy is dope,
a fucking fantastic moveable feast. Yup,
and we fixed Obama Care--did it on a dare.
I tell you I could not be a happier man,
cuz Mexi-cants have turned into Mexi-cans.
and I’ve gone from being a sad sack zero

to a fucking red-white & blue super hero ! 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN