Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Blackthorne Episode 103




image from pulpcovers.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic 103

Bulletspeak

“Thoughts are the gun, words are the bullets,
the bullseye is heaven.”--Douglas Horton.

1(sound cue) French horn and kettle drum.
2(tight one-shot) Buck fired both pistols at once.
3(cut to overhead wide drone shot) and both
brigands went down like twin tin ducks.
4(two shot) one was dead, shot through the
temple, the other was wounded just above
the kidneys. He rolled over and fired back at
Buck.
5(sound cue) two loud simultaneous shots.
6(tight one shot) Before Buck saw the gunman’s
smoke, the Thunderer had thrown a bullet at him.
7(close-up) a sledge hammer hit Buck on the 
side of his head.
8(sound cue) Coronet, one loud long note.
9( cut to overhead crane shot) both men 
lurched forward, thudding to the dirt.
10(medium one-shot) When Johnny saw Buck fall,
he raised up, his shoulder open to the bone,
his forearm numb, his left knee cap crushed,
his rifle pointing at nothing.
11(close-up) Johnny: BUCK !!
12(one-shot) the Eagle felt his guts explode
as a rifle slug tore apart his abs. Johnny
clenched his teeth, dropped his Winchester,
sinking to his knees. Both hands went to his
screaming bowels, holding them in, keeping
them from rolling out into the dust.
13(medium wide shot) The firing stopped. 
Johnny could hear the chickens, the windmill
creaking over the ranch well, and the sound
of the bunkhouse front door opening.
     The gunman from the bunkhouse walked out
slowly onto the porch, his rifle cradled over his
left arm, and a pistol in his right hand. 
14(sound cue) guitar.
15(medium close up) He was a big man, with a
dirty face and a shapeless hat.
16(medium wide shot) He took a few steps into
the yard, his eyes riveted on Johnny, waiting for
the Eagle to reach for the gun at his elbow; but
Johnny just sat there, his eyes to the ground,
holding his guts in. The brigand raised his pistol.
17(sound cue) three shots, fanned almost as one,
blasted across the yard.
18(one-shot) one bullet hit him in the throat, piercing
a hunk of chewing tobacco--one slug struck him
near his heart; blood splattered into the air. The third
hunk of angry lead hit him in the left eye. His body
leaped backwards, like someone had jerked him
with a rope. He pirouetted to the ground like he had
been run over by a stagecoach, dead in the dive.
19(cut to one-shot) Buck stood in the corral, blood
running from the gash in his temple, down over the
side of his face, the Thunderer and the Navy Colt
puffing faint blue smoke.
20(sound cue) piano and harmonica.
21(close-up) the sweat and blood stung in the 
corner of his eyes, and he couldn’t focus on
anything. He shook his head violently. It didn’t
help. He stumbled over to the corral rails, and
leaned against them. He holstered the 
Thunderer, returning it to its cage. He tossed the
Navy Colt into the dirt. The left side of his face
stung as the heat from the flaming ranch house
danced across it. 
22(wide shot) He stared at the house. The flames 
sprang hundreds of feet into a poppy red sky, as
the hungry fire consumed the barn and the house.
23(two-shot) the palomino carriage horse, his
gentle eyes on Buck, sat with his legs under him,
still harnessed to his dead companion.
      Buck struggled over to Johnny. The Eagle did
not look up, kept staring at the ground holding his
stomach. Buck knelt down, wiping the blood from
his eyes, shaking his head as more rolled in from  
the wound. The fires raged behind them.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at  dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Purple Majesty




image from amazon.com


Purple Majesty

“If there actually is majestic poetry in my book about
the sea, it’s simply because no one can write
truthfully about the sea, and leave out the poetry.”
--Rachel Carson.

There can be
a majesty
in so very many things--
mountains do top my list, 
living as I do in
the Pacific Ring Of Fire
volcanos.

Kings, Queens and royalty
occupy the bottom of my list,
for they are merely
just iconic shadow memories
as they cling to tradition
with their fingernails.
Their fabulous wealth and status
are ludicrous and ridiculous,
even silly.

If I were King of the World,
I would disband
all the royal families;
they would scurry from me
as the aristocrats did during
the French & Russian Revolutions.
I would return their wealth and property
back to the people.

Asshat Trump would love
to be called Your Majesty,
instead of    Your Miserableness,
                    Your Malfunctionalness,
                    Your Mafianess,
                     Your Misinthropicness, and
                     Your Minimalness.
                      
Trump is leaving a shit stain
on the future pages of history
that will never be able to be
spun or beautified.

There is so much more out here
that can be labeled as majestic;
a person’s kindness,
                  love
                  loyalty,
                  faithfulness,
                  devotion
                  heart,
                  talent,
                  creativity,
                  imagination,
and as Eliza Farnham said,
the majestic mistress, the soul.

To me,
my incredible wife
has a majestic soul.
She is our family’s Matriarch,
and completely my soul mate.
She lights up a room
when she enters it,
and she floods our hearts
with an unmatched love.

A buzzard is not
majestic, but still it has
an important role.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, October 14, 2019

Good Indians




image from fineartamerica.com


Good Indians

“It almost seems that nobody can hate America
more than Native Americans. America needs new
immigrants to love and cherish it.
--Eric Hoffer.

Columbus Day--BFD. Most of us know that
Columbus did not discover America. He never
set foot on it. He made four voyages across the
Atlantic, and he made landfall in the Caribbean,
Central America, and South America. He was 
searching for a trade route to the East Indies;
that’s why he named the indigenous people he
encountered Indios. The Mongols had cut off
access to the Silk Road.

The American tragedy was not a new one.
Throughout the entire globe, as conquerors,
and colonists discovered the indigenous
populations, they murdered, abused, robbed,
raped and enslaved them. Indigenous tribes
were called many things, Natives, Aboriginals,
Originals, and First People. Several thousand
years of residency meant nothing to the new-
comers and outlanders. In Seattle today we
celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day--fuck
Columbus.

Working for the VA for decades, I found out that
working with Native American Vets took special
skills. Annually they send some employees to
attend a week long Native American Sensitivity 
Training. I attended a session in 1997. It was held
at Camp Chaparral, on the Yakima Reservation, on
the east side of Mt. Adams.

We gathered daily to hear Vets testimonials regarding,
alcoholism, education, wife battering, drugs and
suicide. I entered a sweat lodge and passed out during
hour two. I found my niche in the Artist’s Hogan. I 
made sketches and drawings of Pow Wow dancers and
gave them away as gifts. One of them is still framed
and hanging on their Wall of Respect. I became an 
honorary member of the Yakima tribe. I made several
good friends. We stayed in touch for a couple of 
years, but then we let the bond slip away, quietly at 
night on a warm Spring breeze. I could hear the 
haunting flutter of a branch flute as it departed.

Eagles nested in
a tree outside my window;
I gave them good names. 



Glenn Buttkus

Haibun

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Beautiful




image from amazon.com


Beautiful

“When’s the last time an actor has assassinated a
President? It’s been a while--perhaps it’s time.”
--Johnny Depp.

The career and persona of
   John Christopher Depp III has
      fascinated me. From his stint on the
              series 21 JUMP STREET, when he
      became a teen idol, to his 40 year
    career playing geeks and misfits,
he still found time for straight
dramatic parts in PLATOON,
                            FINDING NEVERLAND, 
                            DONNIE BRASCO and
                            DEADMAN.

The camera loves him, with his dark
handsome features, pouty lips and
chick magnet eyes. Women sense
what they think is his vulnerability,
sad lost soul, and bad boy posture.
Beautiful men are branded as very
effeminate by most other men.

                              Born in Kentucky, he
                     claimed a Native American
             heritage, It’s probably Cherokee
     several generations ago.
This caused
the Cherokee Nation to challenge his claim,
as they had done with Johnny Cash, Elvis
and Burt Reynolds.

I used to feel the same
way. My family claimed I had a great great
grandmother who was Cherokee. Recently
I had my DNA checked, and the only
        aboriginal blood I have belongs to the
                Inuit of Eastern Asia. Johnny luck-
                       out when a female fan, who is
                               Comanche, adopted him.

His career has been quirky and completely
unorthodox, but regardless, he became a
huge success. He is the third highest paid
actor in the world. He has been
nominated for 10 Golden Globes,
and has won one.
He has been nominated
for 3 Academy Awards.
His movies have grossed
more than 14 billion dollars.

His love life has be a whirlpool,
with several wives,
and dozens of girlfriends.
He has been accused of
battering many of them.
He admits to spending
40K a month on drugs & booze,
which doesn’t faze him, since
he’s worth 75 million.

He is a talented musician as well.
He formed a rock band, which
he at first called TONTO’S GIANT NUTS.
Today the band is called
                           THE HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES.


Undoubtedly, he is one of the most
unique, bizarre, and mysterious
artists alive. I can dig it.



Glenn Buttkus

Ekphrasis

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Pop




My grandfather.


Pop

“More and more, when I single out the person who
most inspired me, I go back to my grandfather.”
--James Earl Jones.

Earl Melbourne Carpenter was born in Colville, WA.
in 1897. He grew up on a farm, raising apples and
watermelons. Twice a week, his Dad would load up
a wagon with fruit, drive it ten miles to town to sell 
the produce. Earl was the only son, so he always 
accompanied his father, eager to see the elephant, 
and get a candy cane. Colville swarmed with farmers,
ranchers, miners, and lumberjacks; all jobs that
young Earl would later try on for size.

There was no middle name on his birth certificate,
so when he was 18, he gave himself the name
“Melbourne”. He had read about Australia, and
dreamed about going there some day, and doing
some homesteading. He never made it there, but
he kept the dream alive.

I made my appearance in 1944, and he became a
grandfather at 47. Before I was born, he moved the
family from Spokane to Seattle, driving a Model T
Ford, pulling a trailer. In 400 miles it broke down a
dozen times. He always called this his Steinbeck
period, “It was pure Grapes of Wrath time.”

During the Depression, midst soup lines, erratic
unemployment, and fist fights with cops and thugs
while on picket lines...he became a progressive,
joining the Communist Party. This haunted him
later during the McCarthy witch hunts.

He made a living as a house and bridge painter,
joining the union. Heights never bothered him.
He thought he could make a fine steeplejack.
In his spare time, he was an artist, painting
Western landscapes in the style of Charlie Russell.
In his life he painted hundreds of these, getting
a modest reputation.

When I was about ten, one day I took stock of him,
becoming more aware of who he was in the world.
He had always been a laborer, and had muscular
arms and shoulders. He was six feet tall, combed 
his hair straight back (always smelling of Rose hair
oil), always wore glasses, had false teeth, and wore
a thin mustache in the style of the 30’s movie stars.
He had piercing hazel eyes. He had big powerful
hands. It was fascinating to watch him working on
an oil painting, as those big hands delicately held
thin camel hair brushes.

He was always more like a father to me than just a
grandparent. He was very aware that I had no idea
who my biological father was. My mother had passed
away by the time I was in the Navy. It was my
grandfather who wrote me twice a week. After he died,
I was surprised that he had kept all my letters, for I
had kept all of his letters to me as well. Today, all of
our letters are mixed together by date, and are stored
in a metal brief case that he had kept his oil paints in.

As an actor, I
travelled to Australia for
work; he just loved it.  

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, October 7, 2019

Liar in Chief




image from grandamericanstore.com


Liar in Chief

“Things come apart so easily when they are held
together with lies.”--Dorothy Allison.

We have
a presidency
set in lies.

I’d like to set
my time machine
for December 2020,
and discover who
has been set in office.

I’ll tell you what,
my mind is pre-set...
Vote Blue,
No matter Who.
we just have to
Dump Trump.



Glenn Buttkus

Quadrille

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Blackthorne--Episode 102




image from pulpcovers.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic 102

Pistoleros

“A shootout is not a gunfight of honor, it is the 
work of backshooters.”--Jessica Savitch.

1(overhead drone shot) wide shot, Johnny behind 
the tree, Buck behind the carriage; silence between
gunfire.
2(sound cue) guitar strumming over Voice Over:
Buck: Are you still with me, old one?
Muffled horse cries.
3(cut to medium close-up) Johnny: I am shot to
hell, but they cannot kill me.
4(jump cut) a ranch cat screeched and hissed as
it bolted out of the bunkhouse.
5(sound cue) fiddle and Indian branch flute.
6(roving overhead crane shot) Neither man spoke
for a long moment. The barn roared and crackled
with flames. The horses were silent. The ranch
house began to blow out windows. Bullet casings
clicked as they were shoved into cylinders and
rifle breeches. 
7(close-up) Buck: Sonofabitch--you were too right!
8(medium close-up) Johnny, clenching his teeth,
reloading his Winchester, but saying nothing.
His wounds were beginning to stiffen up. The
front of his shirt was blood-soaked.
9(sound cue) snare drum and banjo.
10(medium one-shot) Buck: Cover me! He began
running, crouching as he ran toward the house.
Firing resumed suddenly from many directions.
11(cut back to roving crane shot) the wrangler
in the woodshed attempted to pin Johnny down,
while the three in the bunkhouse sprinkled shots
all around Buck as he now sprinted; no sign of
life from under the front porch.
     Buck made it to the north side of the house.
Angry slugs split the siding as he ducked behind
it. The gunman in the woodshed appeared, and
squatted behind a tall chopping block, hoping to 
get a better shot at Buck. The Eagle delivered
30-30 lead to his stomach as he crouched. He
stood up. Johnny shot him in the throat. He
fell over the chopping block, and crumpled
into a heap, as his rifle barrel was crammed
into the hot dirt.
12(sound cue) it went quiet again, just the
sound of the wind, and grumpy chickens.
13(wide shot) Buck worked his way along
the west side of the house. He paused at
the south corner. The intense heat from
inside the house penetrated the walls. 
Buck bobbed his way out from the corner, 
both guns cocked and leveled at the front
porch. No one was there. 
14(cut to the burning barn) the barn’s roof
caved in, crashing down, as the greedy
flames leaped higher. 
15(medium wide shot) a gunman, the one
from under the porch, was crawling on his
hands and knees across the corral, holding
his side where Buck had wounded him.
Buck snapped off a pistol shot, and it hit
the man in the butt, knocking him flat into
the horse shit. The man struggled to get
back up to his knees.
16(sound cue) snare drum bap & coronet bleat.
Using both hands, Buck held the Thunderer’s bead
on the man’s head.  Hey, asshole! The slinger
turned his head and a Colt .41 slug made a new
hole between his eyes. 
Are you still alright, Johnny?
The Eagle waved a Yes. 
17(one-shot) Buck quickly vaulted over the corral
rails, then snaked his way over to the body. 
18(one-shot) Johnny fired into the bunkhouse, and gunfire 
was returned.
19(sound cue) castanets & Indian seed rattle.
20(medium close-up) Buck picked up a pistol,
a Navy Colt, off the dead brigand. He continued
across the corral on his belly, with a gun in each
hand.
21(cut to a wide shot) Two men rushed out of the
back door of the bunkhouse. They ran fast & low.
A third man, still inside, kept Johnny pinned
down with rapid gun shots.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Pachyderm in the Parlor




image from plasticstoday.com


Pachyderm in the Parlor

“Each and everyone of us has unknowingly
played a part in the obesity problem.”
--Indra Nooyi.

Sustenance
is one of the big words,
like truth, love and liberty,
multi-layered and faceted.
Its definition encompasses space
between starvation and spirituality.

Our absolute need for it
supersedes everything
but our desperate need
for air and water.

I used to do a lot of hiking
and camping out for days
deep in our Northwest forests.
Fish may be caught
and berries may be picked,
but most of our meals
would come from the food
we packed in on our person.
A variety of freeze-dried delicacies,
but when you are hungry from hiking
the processed foods taste mighty fine.

That was one of the rare times
that I would only eat what I needed.
The good air and exercise seemed to
reduce cravings. The week’s provisions
did not include snacks.

Scientists and nutritionists inform us
that our poor food choices
are endangering our health & longevity.
Fast and processed foods, steroid-
ravaged beef, chicken and pork
wreak havoc with our entrails;
fats, sugars, and calories
all act as our adversaries.

Damn, you hit middle age
like a melon against a brick wall,
and you are presented with a new label
in your medical chart--
you have become morbidly obese.
Out of self defense, you take a handful
of chronic meds to combat
hypertension, stroke, heart attack, gout,
asthma, cholesterol, and blood clots.

Come on, we fully understand our dilemma,
more’s the pity, but without the high metabolism
of a manic teenager, we spend painful
decades dieting and binging.

Sadly, we pass on this conundrum,
this legacy of poor food choices
to our children. Shame on us.
Maybe, as some believe, when
Jesus returns at the last moment
to save the planet from global warming,
he can do something miraculous
about our attitude adjustments
regarding sustenance.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, September 30, 2019

Kafka Sunrise




image from pinterest.com


Kafka Sunrise

“I cannot make anyone understand what is 
happening inside me.”--Franz Kafka.

One morning, years ago, I awoke to an odd
clicking noise. As I localized the sound, I
realized that it was more of a crazed crunching,
and that it was coming from my left ear. I
panicked a bit--did I have a punctured ear drum?
Then the noise stopped. I had my wife look at
my ear. She found nothing. 

The crunching sound would come and go. 
Sometimes it would get very loud, then subside. 
It became surreal, like a Kafka daydream. I 
imagined a tick or a spider burrowing in my cheek.

That night, I couldn’t sleep. The noise became 
maddening. Then suddenly it began to itch. I
turned the lamp on just in time to greet an ant
emerging out of the quagmire of ear wax. It
dropped into my hand. I took it outside and
released it. It had earned its freedom.

Last June, beneath deck stairs,
hundreds of tiny black spider’s
eggs hatched babies.



Glenn Buttkus

Haibun

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Love Is



painting by Elena Kotliarker.


Love Is

“I love you simply, without problems or pride; so
intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
--Pablo Neruda.

Love is magma muscle,
the vertex of the flesh husk
we choose to inhabit.

Love is the engineer
that directs the plethora of emotions,
the executive producer
for the daily broadcast
we consider as our life.

Love can, and perhaps must,
overpower the darker impulses,
can smooth them out,
even eradicate them.

If love were a hormone,
it would spring from the heart,
treating it like a railroad round house,
providing for itself several routes of egress.

Love is not lust, not greed or avarice
or selfishness--no, it is the antithesis
of these;        selflessness,
                      vulnerability,
                      integrity,
                      honesty,
                      near transparency

Love can be too often misunderstood,
misinterpreted, misaligned and misused
by a sweet tooth,
     an erection,
     ego, preferences
     and inhibition.

Life can be reduced to mathematics.
Love can combine math and heart emissions,
and provide startling solutions
to problems, diplomacy, negotiations
and relationships.
Love can be the departure & the destination
                     the before and the after,
                     the darkness and the light,
                     the reason d’etre,
                     or Cupid’s curse.

Jesus wept,
out of love
and the lack of it.



Glenn Buttkus

Metaphors

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Under the Sea




image from cesdeals.com


Under the Sea

“I usually solve problems by letting them
devour me.”--Franz Kafka.

Penny Plankton could not swim against
the current.
Sam Sardine gobbled up Penny and her pals.
Sam smiled at his good fortune.
Bradford Bass munched up Sam easily, but
Bradford was still hungry.
Then Timothy Tuna swallowed Bradford whole.
Timothy was happy with his feast.
Sidney Seal scarfed up Timothy in three bites.
Sidney giggled because of his wonderful lunch.
Olivia Orca devoured Sidney while he slept.
Olivia shared her meal with her two calves.
Walter Gray Whale ate up Olivia in one big bite.
Walter felt like the Sultan of the Sea,
for he was the biggest creature under the waves.
Nothing was big enough to eat him.
Mister Morton was a professional whaler,
and he harpooned Walter last week.

All these events may seem cruel or sad,
but this is Nature’s Way,
and we cannot change it.



Glenn Buttkus

Children's poem

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Blackthorne--Episode 101




image from pulpcovers.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic 101

Bushwhackers

“Some fell by laudanum, some by steel, and
death by ambush lurked in every shadow.”
--Samuel Garth .

1(sound cue) coronet and breaking glass.
2(medium close-up) Johnny heard the glass break.
3(cut to second story window in the main house)
a brigand had smashed the window with a rifle.
4(one-shot) The Eagle swung the hot barrel of
his Winchester around just as another shot tore
into the tree; splinters stabbed into his shoulder.
In the same moment Johnny got off two shots
in the direction of the figure in the window.
5(sound cue) saxophone and piano.
6(cut back) to the second story window. The
gunny standing there fell face first, breaking
more of the glass. His body hung like a limp
scarecrow, slashed to ribbons by the glass,
and shot in the head and chest.
7(sound cue) bass drum and banjo.
8(medium wide shot) the barn began to smoke.
The tall red double doors swung open and a dun
mule rushed out, followed by two men, firing as
they ran.
9(overhead crane shot) Johnny firing from behind
the tree, and the two bushwhackers scrambling
across the open space between the barn and the
bunkhouse.
10(medium close-up) Johnny firing three times,
his lever action a blur.
11(two shot) the back-shooters kicking up dust
as they sprinted. One of Johnny’s bullets hit the
slower one in the leg, but both men made it to
safety past the east side of the bunkhouse.
12(wide shot) the barn began to burn
13( voice over) Rojo chinche assholes! 
14(sound cue) guitar and French horn over
horses screaming.
15(tighten wide shot) flames begin to lick
around the doors.
16(voice over continues) They burn the fucking
barn--Bob and Red are still in there! Damn it,
Buck, where are you? Bronson has sent half of
his men, and they burn our horses!
17(sound cue) horses screaming and kicking
their stalls.
18(cut back to the main house) black smoke was 
billowing out the window, over the head of the 
dead wrangler.
19(sound cue) horses galloping over blues guitar.
20( medium close-up ) Johnny whirled around,
looking behind him.
21(overhead drone traveling shot) Rod Buck was
racing down the west road, slapping leather, alone
in the carriage. Cheewa was running alongside.
Johnny’s heart rose to his throat, and his wounds
did not hurt any more.
22(medium wide shot) the black carriage came in
with its red wheels spinning, Firing from under the
porch, the wood shed and the bunkhouse tore holes
in the rig’s canvas cover. Thirty yards from Johnny
the sniper under the porch dropped one of the
palominos in its traces. The horse went down,
tripping his companion beside him, jerking it off
balance, and it went down too. Buck jumped from 
the carriage as it snapped its leathers and flipped
over onto its side.
23(tight one shot) Buck landed on his feet, going
into a shoulder roll to break his fall. As he rolled,
two shots puffed up in the dirt where he had just
been. He fired his sawed off at the man under the
front porch. A four foot section of thatch burst into
splinters. At the same time the Thunderer barked
in his right hand, spraying lead across the front
of the bunkhouse. He rolled to safety behind the
overturned carriage. One of the horses had got
to its knees, and it was complaining loudly. The
firing ceased.
24(sound cue) violin, banjo and harmonica.
25( tight one-shot) Buck lie flat against the ground.
He peeked at the wood shed and bunkhouse
through the wagon spokes. The barn was fully
aflame. The main house belched smoke from
its second floor. Flames appeared from the north
side of the house.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Prom Night




image from pinterest.com 


Prom Night

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as
to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
--Joseph Campbell.

It was Prom Night.
Rob sat there with his hands in his lap,
holding the corsage.
He was 18, and was there
to pick up Miss Kathy King.

Her father sat across from him
glowering, his arms folded.
Rob had been going steady
with Kath all year,
an eternity in high school time.
He would have liked to fold his arms too,
and make eye contact with Mr. King,
but the young man understood
the courting ritual.

Mr. King was a prominent banker,
and Rob was from a blue collar family.
Kathy’s Dad kept staring
at the modest ill-fitting suit
the boy wore; it was his father’s.
His folks had warned him
about dating a girl from a wealthy family,
but young love disavows
all barriers to its fruition.

Finally Kathy descended the stairs
in her lavender evening gown.
She was a vision of blond cheerleader ecstasy.
He presented her with the compulsory corsage.
Her mother pinned it on her.

Her little sister came out to join the parents.
Her mother told them to have fun.
Her father reminded them of the midnight curfew. 
The kids stood for a picture, waved, smiled,
and rushed out to Rob’s red 1955 Chev Bel Air
convertible.

He opened the passenger door for her.
Her starched petticoats swished
as she pulled them into the car.
As he walked to the driver’s side
he fantasized about “going all the way”
with her, as she had promised.

The Chevy V-8 lit up, the glass packs rumbled
as they pulled away from the curb.
Rob glanced into the rear view mirror;
the little sister was waving good-bye.
The kids giggled nervously.
The waiting for this evening was over.

A half mile away a delivery truck rushed
toward its destination. At the intersection
of Maple & Main, Rob, distracted, entered
the intersection without looking both ways.
The speeding truck T-boned them
on the passenger side.

Kathy was killed instantly.
Rob broke his spine, but survived.
Now a new kind of waiting began,
as the terrible memories raged
like a wildfire in his heart. 



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, September 16, 2019

Forest of Evil




painting by Behshad Arjomandi.


Forest of Evil

In the darkness of the forest near Vlad’s castle,
the stench of evil has saturated the tender bark
of aspen and birch. The trees became barren.
Last Fall, as the leaves dropped, they were the
last signs of life

The bubbling brook that fed the trees was
poisoned, because of the thousands of corpses
dumped into the creek near the Castle. The water
turned gray, the pebbles turned red. When Spring
arrived the trees could not blossom. Their bark
became black with a deathly ooze.They began to
lean over, their spines broken. Their spindly 
branches intertwined into a bulwark of sharp 
brambles.

First the birds left, except for those who feast on
carrion. Then the animals fled. Soon villages were
abandoned. Years later people asked what had
happened in these woods, but no one knew the
answer because those memories were left here
with the trees.


Glenn Buttkus

Prosery

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Uncelebrated




image from fineartamerica.com
painting by Igor Postash.


Uncelebrated 

“It’s hard to hold the hand of anyone who is 
reaching for the sky just to surrender.”
--Leonard Cohen.

I’ve had several English teachers advise me to
become a writer--but none of them advised me to
become a poet or an actor; two pursuits that
provide succor and heartbreak. I, of course,
became both. I, also, out of necessity, became a
teacher, which paid the bills.

By 1974, I had written two novels--an existential
Western, BLACKTHORNE, and a detective novel,
BAERBAK, placed in Seattle. I submitted them both
for publication. No one was ready for them. I was
advised to write non-fiction. Damn it, I don’t want to
be paid to write--I want to be paid for what I write.

I looked into self-publishing, but I had too much anger
and pride to follow through. I rationalized that to be
published was no big deal; there’s always the internet; 
a select pool of readers. At 75, I can live with that.


Glenn Buttkus

Prosery: Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Bitch by the Bay




image from Delta Flight Museum


Bitch by the Bay

“A bitch is the opposite of a whore. A bitch does
not need anybody--or at least that’s what she
would like people to think.”
--Saint Paul Trois Chateaux.

I was born in Seattle,
on Flag Day, a few minutes
past midnight in 1944.

Growing up, learning
the city by hopping
like a gypsy locust
from suburb to suburb,
I became very proud
of my seven-hilled city,
like a throned monarch
hemmed in by parallel mountain ranges,
and teeming port
for our inland sea of Puget Sound,
with its dozen lush islands,
served by a fleet of super ferries.

When I was twelve,
I began to take buses
into the heart of downtown,
to see movies,
to people watch,
and to marvel at the eclectic mix
of modern and pioneer buildings,
watched over by the Smith Tower,
the tallest building east
of the Mississippi.

Seattle became a part of me,
of who I was, and who I’d become.
It felt like Eden before the fall,
like Rome at its peak, full
of artists and intellectuals
like Paris in the 20’s.

I spent a couple of years
in San Diego in the Navy
in the mid-60’s.
Seattle was a joy to come home to,
all opened-armed, wild wet kisses
and blow jobs on a regular basis.

I returned to Southern California
in the mid-70’s, as an actor, 
all starry-eyed, naive and vulnerable. 
LA hardened my edges, 
and smashed my rosy glasses.
Acting was replaced by Teaching.
By the early 80’s I pined
for deep green forests,
snow-capped fire-mountains,
and vivid memories of the past.
So I headed North again.

But Seattle did not welcome me
this time. It had become
a place to chase ghosts,
a place of a spiraling cost of living,
a place of a dozen new skyscrapers,
and a gaggle of confusing freeways.

Seattle took on the role
of bitter ex-wife, who remarried
for money, who belittled my cherished
memories, who would not even
acknowledge me in public.

I’ll tell you what--when an ex-lover becomes
a haughty bitch, there’s nothing to do
but break up with her, find
another lover, and make
a new home.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub