Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Fall of Heroes

Image borrowed from bing

The Fall of Heroes

“Name one hero who died happy!”--Madeline Miller.

Beller Ophon was a superb operative,
                      a lone wolf, a rogue mercenary,
                      a man with a triple brace of particular skills. 
He found it difficult to deal with authority figures
     so he always worked alone.

He made so much money
                              plying his trade around the globe, 
                                              that in the turn of the century
he could afford to purchase a Pegasus,
                              one of only three prototype
                              flying battle cars,                   outfitted with 
electric canons, bomb drops, & laser-guided missiles. 
                          He grew famous in espionage circles, after
vanquishing the Solyami Cartel
in Costa Rica, & defeating the dangerous
lesbian murder squads,                           the Amazons,
                                      in Mexico City.

These superhuman feats made him into the Go-To-Merc,
& brought him to the attention
of Zeus Petro, & its powerful CEO, 
Lon Bates---who was having a lot of trouble
                            with a new group of militant Islamic terrorists
                    who called themselves the Chimera;
           their black battle flags emblazoned with the mythical
creature; lion’s head, body of a goat, and tail of a serpent. 

The group of bullies & murderers,       hiding behind the mantle
                                of misconstrued Islamic prophesy,
were highjacking oil fields in western Syria,
                                 owned by Zeus Petro, which
provided the terrorists with the instant wealth
it needed to produce all kinds
                                            of videos & short propaganda films,
                that recruited malcontents from every ghetto
                                            on the globe, & these misguided
Jehadists would soon mushroom their ranks. 

Beller Ophon went into action immediately. 
               landing Pegasus on Middle Eastern highways,
               folding up its weapons
and simply driving right up to forty of their strongholds
               before making its instant battle transformation.
In one ferocious month he bravely tore the heart
out of Chimera, & its few
                          survivors fled, melting
                          back into the mountains.

When Beller arrived back at the headquarters
of Zeus Petro ready for his huge reward,
                         Lon Bates was not there to meet him;
for the CEO had decided to eliminate Beller
            rather than paying him--
            this was a very costly mistake.
                                     Beller slaughtered the 10 assassins
            who were there to meet him, 
and in the next two weeks killed a hundred more of them.
            Of course, Lon Bates changed his mind,
offering Ophon a king’s treasure,
& the hand of his youngest foxiest daughter, plus
the gift of Philonoe Vineyards in northern California.

For a few years,
          Beller actually settled down,
                             bought into his new role with verve
                                                & great passion, having several
                                                                           children, as  he
                                                 grew very wealthy & lazy.
                             but hubris is a demonic parasite
              for ex-heroes, & as his fame grew 
with the public at large, &
his interviews on CNN
pulled in big numbers of viewers,
              something in him snapped,
              & one bright morning he arose
                                  with that old fire in his loins;

he strapped on his old battle gear,
                    took the silver tarp off Pegasus.
                    & simply announced that he was going
                                    to fly to the White House
                                    & demand the recognition
                     that he felt had been denied him.

You are all aware of his plight,
the Secret Service brought Pegasus down
with twin weasel missiles,
               & even though Beller survived the crash,
               he was imprisoned & terribly tortured by
               the jack-booted SS, before
                                         he was stripped of all his wealth
                                         & his identity, & he was transported
in the dead of night to Detroit,
               where he was forced to live
as a homeless, penniless, crippled beggar
               on those mean & merciless streets.

He never tried to contact his family
or to visit them, for his shame was insurmountable.
                                           They say he died of exposure
one winter’s eve, wrapped in cardboard blankets,
next to an overflowing dumpster
               behind a Chuck E. Cheese pizza emporium.

One of his sons became the governor of California,
while another one died of AIDS;
one of his daughters became an actress,
but her chronic depression led her to suicide. 
His wife never remarried, 
but she did manage to launch
a designer line of clothes
at Wal Mart. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Poetics
This poem is based on the Greek myth of Bellerophon & Pegasus. 

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Blackthorne--Scene 29

image borrowed from bing


Cinemagenic Twenty-Nine


The voice is raised, & that is where poetry begins. Even today
in the prolonged aftermath of Modernism, free verse remains
the orthodoxy.”--James Fenton.

1(medium wide shot) the trio stopped alongside Buck’s red stallion.
The supplies were in a green burlap bag, hanging from the vaquero
2(two-shot, medium close-up) 
Buck: What do I owe you for the vittles?
Wallace: Four dollars will cover it fine.
3(sound cue) cello & harmonica.
4 (hold the two-shot) Buck slid the lethal Sharps into its Cavalry 
scabbard, & the tall vermillion stud flinched.
5(medium close-up) Buck patted the stallion’s muscular neck, &
rubbed the back of one twitching ear.
6(close-up) the stallion’s gentle eye.
7(close-up) Cheewa barking, the horse flinching again.
8(medium wide shot) Buck’s black dog chasing off a white mutt.
9(sound cue) Indian snake rattle & castanets, blending into a deep
bull bison’s bellow.
10(close-up) Buck’s face, looking up to the hills above town, knowing
that probably no one else heard the albino ghost call.
11(tight two-shot) 
Buck: What in hell happened to this town?
Wallace: Cash Bronson.
12(close-up) Wallace, his eyes angry:
--That & a healthy dose of fear, not wanting to do or say anything that
might upset his fucking majesty.
13(sound cue) Delta blues six-string slide, then chord.
14(medium wide shot) People beginning to drift off, to tend to their own
business. Buck reached down into a front pocket in his leather pants &
retrieved some money.
15(close-up) Buck’s extended hand with four silver dollars in it.
16(two-shot) Wallace accepted the payment, clinking the silver down into
a sewed-on pocket in the front of his starched white apron.
17(medium close-up) angle on Wallace as he wiped his chapped mouth on
his red striped shirt sleeve, squinted into the sun, & thought about the last
time he saw Bill Buck.
18(sound cue) cello & saxophone.
19(Flashback--medium wide shot) Interior of the General Store. 
Bill Buck, a large unshaven man dressed in torn bibbed overalls &
a filthy flannel shirt, stood across the counter from Wallace.
20(soft focus) Sunlight streaming in the windows. Customers
milling around with their morning shopping.
21(tight two-shot)
Wallace: When’s the last time you ate something?
Bill: Shit, I don’t know--yesterday I think; yeah, I ate some cold beans
& dog-rice over to the Cantina. Pedro had me do some sweeping.
Wallace: Christ, you need to eat.
Bill: Eating is overrated if it gets in the way of my drinking.
Wallace: Damn it, Billy, I’m serious as a bullwhipping.
Bill, smiling: Sure, Hank, whatever you say.
Wallace: Here’s a dollar. Buy some breakfast, then come back over
here & you can help stock some shelves.
Bill: Glad to, proud to. You always been a good friend.
22(sound cue) cello & piano.
23( cut to wide-shot) three hours later, the store is busy. A rancher rushes
through the front door, trailed by a clamor of crowd noise outside in the
24(close-up) Wallace, his face weary & sad.
25(close-up) Rancher: It’s the drunk, Bill Buck. Looks like he passed out
while crossing the street, stepped in front of the Deadwood Stage, & got
run over real good--I don’t think he’ll make it.
26(sound cue) bright banjo chords.
27(medium two-shot) 
Wallace: Busy day for you, Hoss--how about a shot of tanglefoot before
you ride?
Buck, smiling broadly: Yeah, I’ll take you up on that, but do you have some
hardtack or jerky--I need to eat something before I drop more booze into
my gut furnace.
28(close-up) Wallace: Sure thing, come on in.
The storekeeper was smiling, but his eyes reflected that old sadness.
29(sound cue) two cellos & a banjo.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN

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Thursday, September 25, 2014


image borrowed from bing


“Let your soul stand cool & composed
before a million universes.”--Walt Whitman.

For me,
hell, for most
of us, while studying 
poetry in English class, it all
seemed so sappy, so effeminate; nothing
but forced rhymes, fey pale-skinned observances
about unrealistic romantic clap-trap, or a
bunch of dumb odes to nature and 
religion, written most of the
time by someone in the
privileged class.                                                                                                 But then
                                                                                               we discovered Whitman,
                                                                                        & it was like we were struck
                                                                            by language lightning--wow, we found
                                                                    our Champion, our earthly Liberator, finding
                                                         out that prose was never in dire conflict with form;
                                                          Christ, no, prose became our beloved foundation
                                                                    --the fallow ground, the fecund passionate
                                                                               pod our new poetics could blossom
                                                                                                              brightly out of.
And of course,
this dazzling journey
soon led us happily to the
Beat Generation, to the muscular
poetry of protest, where one’s own truth,
one’s literary essence could be cheerfully revealed,
exorcized, flexed, displayed, and yes,
promulgated as we nearly all
lost our voices screaming
with joy.  
                                                                    So many
                                                           of us really felt
                                                   this was our personal
                                            discovery, our very private
                            ephinany, that somehow validated our
                      gnawing need to write "poetry", but enabled
                           us to do so by unleashing our rebellious
                                     spirit, to pull the nets down, to
                                          trample antiquated fences &
                                            hoary parameters, to finally
                                               fully embrace our raging
                                                   outlaw sensibilities.

Years slipped                                                                              
by & prose poems began
to pile up in dusty corners, ring bound
folders, cigar boxes & wooden file cabinets,
& later in computer documents, &
how proud we were when they
numbered in the hundreds,
& for some of us, the
thousands.                                                           Our computers
                                                               enabled us to reach out
                                                  to countless poets everywhere,
                                    to join groups, to take part in reciprocal
                              readership--but then an odd thing began to
                          take shape as our poetic education started to
                                       expand, we found ourselves exposed
                                             to and began to participate within
                                                         various compelling classic
I laugh
now as I recall
those first timid forays
into myriads of corseted forms,
those nagging feelings of inadequacy, ineptness,
failure--that ever so slowly were overcome with modest
successes & a broadened knowledge base
as various talented & better educated
poets patiently shared their
extensive expertise.                                                         My God,
                                                                        the forms seemed 
                                                              to be endless, & yet with
                                                each attempt I began to feel more
                                      confident, empowered, enlightened as I
                              actually wrote poetry with classical structures;
                    Sonnet, Sestina, Villanelle, Pantoum, Rondeau, Ode,
                                   Tanka, Haiku, Lune, Ghazal,Triolet, Renga
                                                Epistle, Sapphic, Cinquain, Terza--
                                                              Rima, Haibun, & the Bop.
Am I
now a better
poet for being brave
enough to expand my homegrown
horizons?  I would certainly like to think so, as my
lovely Muses appear in togas, armor, robes
& hooped skirts, & my very own poetics
can now flourish & appear from out
of a palpable plethora of classic
diversity. Who knew?

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB  

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

To Infinity--& Beyond

"We are Infinite"--image by Brooke Shaden

To Infinity--& Beyond

“If you look, might you discover that our entire universe is
but a part of one atom on a blade of grass?”--Stephen King.

Most of us
have seen the lemniscate symbol,
                  created in the 17th Century,
the number 8 lying            on its side
                  representing infinity.

As curious simians, we are cursed 
                                      or blessed
with countless questions, literally driven
to find answers that do not
           generate closure or actual knowledge.
                   If it is fact 
that our spiritual essence is eternal, then
                   how does infinity weigh into
                   the cosmological metaphysical equation?

Jesus, all the brainy mathematician types
create complex formulas
                   utilizing two basic types of infinite numbers;
                   those that are countless & innumerable, &
                   those that are truly endless & limitless.

I favor the notion
that curves,
fractal of otherwise, compose
                  all the universes & dimensions
we stand square in the middle of, 
                  or on the fragmented edge of--
                           that the flat topology enthusiasts,
like the flat-earth believers of the past, are just not
imaginative enough, that
our Universe, perhaps
                       but a microscopic blemish
                                             on the buttocks of infinite
is curved,
like the earth--that a thought,
                              a laser beam of light,
                              an astral projection traveling
on a straight line journey will
ultimately return
to its original starting point,
eating its own tail, becoming
           part of the great wheel,
perpetually in motion.

I mean, if the universe(s)
& our little lives
are comprised of infinite possibilities--
then should we waste time
trying to grasp the nature of it,          or just keep on moving
                                         until our feet turn to clay,
our cortex is rendered down to a gleaming cubicle of salt,
our fragile armor of flesh rots
                                         and returns to the earth mother,
                 or turns to gray ash on a pyre?

The young woman in the blue dress
has her own perspective on all this as she suddenly
                 can see through solid stone walls,
                 can see flights of angels, 
& intricate patterns of every hue of light,
                 conquering fear, glimpsing a portion of understanding
as to her peculiar placement within her particular lifetime;
and like a princess pig well trained
                to sniff out heavenly truffles, she is
                            certain that Truth lurks just below the surface,
even though she is prevented from unearthing it--

& she is now equally certain that it is philosophical madness
to entertain the notion
                that a million monkeys banging
                on a million typewriters eventually
would reproduce the Holy Bible, the Koran,
                         or the complete works of Shakespeare,
for she is witness to a billion monkeys banging on
                                 a billion keyboards, & whatever
is emerging
is only part
of an infinite process. 
Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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Thursday, September 18, 2014


image borrowed from bing


“The story of Ulysses & Agamemnon & Menelaus, of Jesus,
of the Good Knight of Chaucer lives in every one of us.”
--James Lee Burke

The baronis barricaded bungalow
                    stood on it stilt-stanchions
                    near the cusp of the Tharakian Forest;
to the torrential Rains of Riprore
                    that came too often        unannounced,
                                                     as the pernicious purple
tides would run four feet deep,
                     sweeping all the sweet ferrischrooms
                     & fairy muklarks away, carrying
them unceremoniously down to the muddy Dartoon Delta,
where the pink-winged garfs
                     & the shark-finned electric pinto seals
would gobble them as glorious delicacies.

Kronis arose with the second sun,
ate his pelicoon eggs cold,
dipping his toasted rye-fingers
into his golden mug of steaming green kafteen.

He strode proudly out onto his pecan porch,
                 stretching his powerfully muscled arms
                                 over his head, rippling
                                 & popping his abs, gluts. & calves
                 during his morning sun salute.

                 His silver-plated armor hung
on its willow pole horse, beckoning to him.
                 He pulled on the metal leggings first,
squatting several times as the iron knee joints brayed
                             & squawked--limbering up,
                             before          pulling on Pyrothian
                             snakeskin boots, slapping at
the red & black scales embedded in the leather
                             for luck;        strapping on
his chest plates with their bloodfire mercurian mango crests
emblazoned on them,      tied on his golden wartdog eppiletts 
& his forearm protectors, before picking up
                       his thick heavy broadsword--Drammelslayer,
                       sheathed in its white-fringed 
                       Palimanus scabbard, & artfully slung
it across his broad naked back--a warrior
               never wears armor behind him
               because his foes
               would always be in front of him.

His war helmet, Bertranius, shone brightly
of bronze, jade, & gold-plating.               He carried it
under his left arm as his Stygian attendants
walked over from the stable
                with his Mars Stallion--Ferocitus.

He mounted confidently, without assistance,
this morning, & galloped off toward
                the Vermillion Mountains--for a yellow-backed
boar Drammel had been raiding a village
                near Mt. Shaknoid, devouring cattle
                & villagers alike, before burning huts.

Kronis would introduce himself
that day at the end of Ramgust,
& he rode without doubt
that the dastardly Drammel
would soon become
his hundredth kill.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

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