Monday, January 7, 2013


image borrowed from bing


“We are born, live, and die alone. Only through our love
and friendship can we create the illusion for a moment 
that we are not alone.”--Orson Welles

Forever I have felt as if I were suffocating,
that when surrounded by any gang
I became short-of-breath, light-headed,
livid with undiagnosed mundane retro-stresses
that like hungry lizards would chew at my innards.

My sad soul was just a prisoner
of both my bastard body
and my unyielding circumstances.

My psychic scars were unseen,
but sometimes in the moonlight
during those frequent sleepless nights
I could visualize in the mirror
angry patches of discolored cracked skin
that criss-crossed the ever pale contours
of my bareness.

A psychiatrist told me that clearly
since my sainted mother had perished
at my birth, I was struggling with survivor’s guilt,
that my misguided demonic conscience refused
to allow me to experience joy, homeostasis, or love;
the complete absence of love became
a sucking heart wound, 
that I did not believe
I could give it, or deserve it.

My unbalanced self image was a tar baby,
and any semblance of positive vibes
just melted away when in direct contact
with that corrosive black stickiness.

One day while thumbing through
some medical journal in another doctor’s 
waiting room, I came upon an article
on sensory deprivation tank therapy--

psuedo-science at best my right brain monkey
chattered, but I dialed that clinic’s phone number
regardless, and then dragged my resistance
through the sun-drenched doors of perception,
embarked on a passionate project worthy
of my complete attention, eager to close
the gap between angst and function.

They lowered me naked
several times into a blue pool
of warm salt water, letting me lie
weightless on my back, floating
gloriously with no tendency to
have to adjust my posture,
suspended wonderfully in the absolute center,
hardly aware of the gentle slow circulating
current that kept me there, preventing
me from experiencing the trauma
of bumping into, or even touching

At my insistence, on my third session,
they closed the lid, and as I heard
the clamps click, floating there
in my lightless soundproof pod,
I revisited the womb, reconnected
with the old voyager that had been
chained below decks for so long,
rediscovered the maternal love
that had been the vehicle for
my present incarnation, and finally
embraced the karmic sacrifice
my gracious mother had exercised
in order to launch me into lesson,

so that each time I emerge now
I do so with a full heart,
for I am grateful for the discovery
of my true loving self
that had waited patiently 
in the liquid.

Glenn Buttkus

January 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN

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


jasmine calyx said...

This might be your best piece, Glenn; especially the second half. You brought tears to my eyes, and that is a difficult thing to do. I enjoyed it very much. You are one of the very few writers of long poems whose work I am sincerely interested in reading.

Brian Miller said...

wow man....what an interesting procedure and really well written as well...personal, moving...the rebirth and thankfulness...i can imagine...and how hard it can be as well....nicely done brother...

Claudia said...

oh wow..what a moving story glenn..and what an unusual therapy..just awesome

Anonymous said...

You related this in a fascinating manner.

Saw this procedure on House I believe.

Patricia said...

then dragged my resistance
through the sun-drenched doors of perception
... what a great line, amazing story.
Thank you.

Jenny Herner said...

I am tearing up as I write that this is absolutely gorgeous. Not just the lovely turns of phrase, "angry patches of discolored cracked skin
that criss-crossed the ever pale contours of my barenes" and "heart wounds" and "dragged my resistance
through the sun-drenched doors of perception". All lovely. But the journey also is beautiful. This is very nice.

Guy Marsh said...

One of your best!!

Unknown said...

Oh, the lithium salts! Blessings from the earth. You certainly tell the tale in a way that compels the reader to read on, and then ponder.

Victoria said...

What is it about inner angst that makes poetry so keep, so vibrant and so familiar? This image is a perfect match.

jasmine calyx said...

Still fantastic, Glenn.

dragyonfly said...

Thank you Glenn, that was a valiant description of a world that i struggle to understand daily, that my person struggles to explain to me. Your piece was enlightening to say the least, but beautiful in its entirety. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Excellent poem

A Return to the womb is what this world needs