Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Busker

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My Busker

“I have done my share of busking--
it’s fun until it isn’t.”--Andrew Bird.

I walked out of Winco
              yesterday,         & in the corner of my eye
I saw her
before I heard her, a middle-aged woman
                                       sitting on the sidewalk,
                                       her back to the store,
               wearing a tattered black hoodie
               over a brown plaid shirt, her levis
torn at the knees, 
without make-up, with a prominent nose,
               gray streaks in her stringy
               bobbed dyed-blond tresses,
with piercing green-violet eyes twinkling
behind cat’s eye glasses          that were held together
                                                 with white medical tape, sitting
               on a soiled green couch cushion
               on a colorful Indian blanket, playing
a battered black acoustic guitar        ( poorly ),
               it’s strap of dirty clothes line around her neck,
using a sun-yellow-orange pick
that was cracked at the edges
like her fingernails,        singing BLOWING IN THE WIND
( off-key), both               the instrument & her voice,
accompanied by an old black Pug,
                                       his fur & muzzle mostly
                                       gray-white, who
panted, snorted & howled along with the “music”.

I saw all of this in a glance
while walking to my car
in the rain--that & her open guitar case
                  with four single dollar bills
                               dotting the bright red velveteen innards.

Jesus, lady, where the hell are you from,
& what the hell are you thinking?

I strongly dislike, am disturbed
by panhandlers & beggars, always
                   pulled emotionally
                   in several directions.       But then I stopped,
                    as the rain let up a little. I stood
with my wet naked hands gripping the handle
of the shopping cart tightly, 
my knuckles turning white.       I could still hear her,
                     now singing LADIES OF THE CANYON.
I turned & pushed the cart
back to the store
& paused in front of her.          She smiled up at me
                                         while singing, with a mouthful
                   of bad teeth, as I saw a purple-green bruise
on her left cheek. She looked directly into
                   my eyes, & whatever her story or her 
situation, for that moment I loved her,
                   & she knew it.

I dropped a five dollar bill
into her guitar case just as
three other shoppers stopped
to listen to her, reaching for their spare change.
                     I touched the bill of my ball cap
                     in farewell, & rushed to my SUV,
my cheeks wet with both
shame & pride, 
                  my tears both           salty & sweet
dripping over my smiling lips.

When I got home
I told my wife about this woman,
& she insisted that we drive back there
to support her efforts,
                 but when we arrived, she
                 was already gone. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014


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“We will never be totally ready--so guess that means
that we are as ready as we will ever be.”
--Neal Shusterman.

Troy was from Tenino,
                        a tiny whistlestop rural town
                        in Washington, but close enough
to several military bases to feel/hear the shaking
from heavy ordinance, & often see choppers,
                                                        fighter jets, &
                         in the cloudy gray skies.

His father owned Thompson Garage,
                         & one day if he could,
                                    he would return there to
                                                    take his place alongside
his older brother, so that the old man
could                                           finally retire.            They were
            a family of hunters, which was the perfect
            segue into his military career. 

Today Troy is a weapons specialist trainer
            for the Infantry at JBLM.
He was the all-American poster boy
for those homegrown patriots
that quietly joined the armed services
in order to ready this country’s Military
                      to honor our obligations
                      in the Middle East,
                      Africa, & the
                      NATO countries, strapping
unsung soldiers that hoped to actively counterpoint
             the media attention on all the 
             fucking street thugs & illiterate
             gang-bangers who were being
             recruited on-line for Jihad;

and in his strong young heart
he believed that if there ever was 
            Peace in the Middle East, 
                       in his lifetime, then he would
train men to fight in the mountains & jungles
of South America, or the desolation within the
Korean peninsula.

In his spare time, he kept polishing
his own marksman skills, so
                               that perhaps one day he could join
                      one of the outstanding Sniper Squads;
could wear a rad Ghillie suit for concealment.   He was already
                                                   rated expert with the M24 SWS,
                                    with its light Kevlar, graphite, & fiberglass
                stock, its 100X scope, two-foot barrel & its detachable
bipod--able to hit a shirt button at a thousand yards.

Personally, his preferred sidearm was still the M1911 .45 ACP,
a bit bulky, but with twice the stopping power
of the standard issue 9 mm pop guns.        Sure, he could
          handle an M4 carbine just fine, but his
          220 pound, 6’3” muscular frame loved
                             to carry the M26 MASS 12 gauge shotgun,
outfitted with a clip; much sweeter than the old 500 MILL pumps.

He dearly loved to pull Outpost Duty, where
                          he could use the M249 SAW with the STANG
                          magazine, with three M320 hand-held grenade
launchers leaning up on the sand bags, armed with the old standby
M67 fragmentation grenades--& when he could manage it
he would keep a M3 MAAWS anti-tank recoilless rifle as a back-up. 

He felt confidant that single-handedly
he could hold off fifty Islamic commandos.    Secretly, he was more
                       than anxious to put his boots on the ground
                       in Iraq or Syria--he had already
filled out the paperwork requesting volunteer non-combat
               within the elite squads of weapons trainers
               who were already there in the shit.   Damn it,
this Raghead Rebellion needed to have every swinging
Islamic dick beheaded, then chopped up into camel meat
sandwiches that could be freeze-wrapped & sent to their
training camps. 

He proudly stood with, & was ready to lead
tens of thousands of others, all eager
                             to test their training,
                             to do their duty,
                             to preserve Democracy,
                             & kick some raghead butt:
Fuck yeah!

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Blackthorne : Scene 30

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Cinemagenic Thirty

Whiskey Words

“There is no bad whiskey--there are only some whiskeys that
aren’t as good as others.”--Raymond Chandler.

1(medium wide shot) Interior of the General Store. Inside, surrounded
by mercantile dust & odors, wide shelves of canned goods, calico 
dresses, bolts of bold cottons on fat rolls, barrels of pickles & pigs feet, 
stacks of potted meat, jars of stick candy & chocolate hunks, dried fruit, 
fat pork sausages hanging on long links, with shiny new farm tools 
mounted on rough-hewn beams overhead, & well oiled polished rifles 
resting on brass pegs,
2(medium close-up) Wallace’s face changed, relaxed;
3(two-shot) as he pulled down a dun earthen jug from a dark corner
behind colorful jars of homemade jam,
4(close-up) and he cheerfully poured out sticky-sweet pungent home--
distilled white whiskey into tall tin cups.
5(sound cue) clarinet riff & saloon player piano.
6(medium close-up) Buck accepted a cup & quickly took three big gulps
of the who-hit-John. His eyes bugged out a bit, & his cheeks fluttered, as
he gasped for air, having survived the alcoholic fire in his throat as it
puddled molten in his surprised stomach.
--Buck: Oooowheeew, damn your eyes, this juice could kill ticks!
7(close-up) Wallace smiling, then it faded quickly as he sipped his drink.
--Too bad about Barnes, hope to hell he pulls through.
8(two-shot) The storekeeper got Buck’s attention.
--Wallace: He’s a good man, & a damned good barber. Guess he just
pumped his jaw once too much about Baron Bronson. Barbers have
loose lips, worse than bartenders. Maybe there’s a lesson to be
learned there. 
9(close-up) Buck: No disrespect, Pard, but that’s a full crock of shit.
10(close-up) Wallace raised his eyebrows like two caterpillars with broken
backs, narrowing his eyes.
11(two-shot) after a tense moment,
--Buck: It didn’t gallop in like that.
--Wallace, calmly: My gut tells me those two gunnies ride for Bronson.
--Buck: Yeah, they probably do.
--Wallace: His fucking highness has never been so blatant before; this
is a real shift in his reign of power.
12(sound cue) Harmonica & snare drum.
13(close-up) Buck:
--Those cowardly assholes were not gunning for Barnes.
14(close-up) Wallace:
--What are you muttering about?
15(two-shot) Both men stare at each other while silently sipping
their whiskey
--Buck: Pretty sure they were after me.
--Wallace: Why? Bronson doesn’t know you yet?
--Buck: You heard me talking to the sheriff--I had a row with his
little brother, Paully, over to the pig wallow. It ended with me tossing
his woman-battering butt out a second story window.
--Wallace: Yeah, that might could be, but shit like that happens over
there all the time.
16(medium close-up) Buck:
--I know when lead has my name on it.
17(medium close-up) Wallace:
--You think pretty highly of yourself.
18(sound cue) cello, saxophone & piano.
19(close-up) Buck chuckling:
--Damn, old man, why don’t you tell me what you really think?
--Wallace: My boy, you only been in town a couple of hours & you
already got scorpions in your boots; that is fucked up.
--Buck: Uh-huh, I hear that dog barking.
21(close-up) Wallace:
--I suppose this all means you’ll be riding on.
22(close-up) Buck:
--Too many people would like that. No, think I’ll be sticking
around for a piece. 
23(sound cue) Indian snake rattle & jazz brushing. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Muscle Rides

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Muscle Rides

“Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed
overcomes the fear of death.”--Hunter S. Thompson.

It is a natural fact
          that I have the mechanical aptitude
                                  of a fruit gnat, and yet,
                                                god damn yet,
as a kid I still had the burning need
                                 to own muscle cars;
pulsate with that American power,
hum with those twin glass packs, 
feel the heat from the wide-assed manifolds,
to be able to rip up beauteous clouds
                                 of rubber smoke, listening
to the banshee screech
                                 of steel belted rear tires  
                                              being torn to pieces, burying
the cars behind me
in a heroic cloud of blue-black raw nearly-inexorable acceleration,
stalwartly serving
my youthful need for speed.

I once owned
a 1934 Plymouth three windowed coupe
with a tilt-out two-piece windshield
                     that my Dad & I dropped
                     a 1947 289 flat-head Six into,   split the manifold,
mounted on twin carbs, then painted it          ice-metallic blue,
                     that a guy at work fell in love with,
& immediately traded me straight across
            for his 1957 Ford Fairlane
            two-door hardtop, with
            a three-speed conversion on the floor,
            two-toned red & white
                      with thick golden stripes 
                      in the middle of the wide side chrome
& that cool flat hood
that popped up backwards, leaving
                      plenty of room to install a tri-power set-up,
                                                  three thirsty two-barrels
                                                  hooked together with progressive
                                                  linkage, a monster
that could burn rubber for a thousand yards
from a dead stop
as I wore out a brand new set
of Firestones, turned them into
baby-butt baldies in one month,
                            with enough power to jerk your head back;

that at some point just scared the shit out of me,
like owning a rogue stallion that only wanted
to gallop, so
                             I traded it to a friend for
                             a 1941 Chev coupe that he
had put a 327 into,
dressing it up with Corvette valve covers
& a wide shiny air cleaner on the
Rochester big-mouth four-barrel
                             that would suck all the air 
                             out of the county when you put your foot
to the floor, bolted up to a
GMC truck transmission that had car gears in it,
but leaving the stock axles.                I popped the clutch one rainy night
                                    while drag-racing,
                                    & blew the shit out of the transmission
                                    & snapped both axles, making me
                                    gush out of my master cylinders
leaving me with no brakes 
as I hit a hydrant to stop myself. 

Later on, before leaving for LA
to become a famous actor (smile),
                  I bought an Aztec Gold
                  1968 SS Impala convertible,
with a factory four-speed,
& a 396 under the hood, & I drove it so hard,
                  getting scratch in third gear,
                                      pegging the speedometer
                                      running north & south on I-5
                   flying by Jaguars & Cadillacs & Lincolns,
that ultimately I fried
the compression & oil rings,
& had to sell it cheap
to a Hispanic neighbor in Hollywood after
                   I ran out of duct tape to patch
                   all the knife slashes on my convertible top
                   inflicted by other Mexicans who disliked
where I chose to park, but

when those gas prices began to soar
& the gas lines grew longer,
& we were all scared enough
to be conditioned into accepting petroleum rape,
                            I traded in my jet-black Mustang fastback,
                            with the 351 Cleveland fuel-guzzling mill
for a fire engine red Nissan 
with a 5-speed transmission
& my first four-banger romance, & I got to tell you
                             that once you start buying Jap cars
                you get totally hooked on them, & soon
        there is this parade of Toyotas, Nissans, Mazdas, 
Suzukis & Isuzus sitting in your driveway,
                              and those sexy muscle cars of my youth 
                              sat in other garages, owned
by silly wonderful old men, who could not
let go of those thrills, looks, sounds
of American muscle.                         I just snap photos of those cars
                                      now, & (happily) pilot my Toyota hybrid Camary,
                            enjoying my 42 mpg sedan comfort,
                  & only once or twice a week
         do I see someone else’s muscle car, hear it
purr by while racking its pipes,
& that old stirring
kicks up hard. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Broken News

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Broken News

“I have no time for your fucking negativity.”

Jennifer Lopez’s Abs Game 
              has become Next Level;
She has just completed          a 22-day Vegan diet,
& has been quoted as saying:
              Hey, I really enjoyed it. 
              You never know how good you can feel
                                               until you put healthy food
               into your body.         Well, hell, at 45
years of age she still is holding it all together, 
& getting headlines by flashing her bra & abs. 

Bladerunner, Oscar Pistorius, was sentenced
to five years in prison. He was taken to an overcrowded
                       maximum security facility
                       Kogosi Mampuru II, where
he will be held away 
           from the general population, secondary
                      to his disability & high profile. 
                                He is eligible for parole in ten months,
when he will stay under house arrest for the remainder of 
his term of sentence. 

A Florida sheriff’s deputy is now facing felony charges
after officials         found out        that he accepted
                   oral sex            from a woman
in exchange for not arresting her; imagine that.

Here in WA state,
Gavin Seim, a former congressional candidate
                        flagged down a police officer
who was patrolling in an unmarked car. 
                        In WA, police can only use
                                    unmarked cars for undercover work;
otherwise how can citizens pulled over
                                    by them really know if they are legitimate;
too many thugs out there pulling over women
for robbery, extortion, or rape. 

As I prepare for my next colonoscopy,
                     I read where Andrew Walls, 32, claims
that Delaware surgeons dressed him
                        in sexy pink women’s panties
                        while he was under anesthetic.
The doctors claimed it was simply
                                            an outrageous prank perpetrated
by some of his own unsavory colleagues; regardless,
                        he is suing for extreme emotional distress.
I guess they left out the pantie liner. 

Marion Williams,
a bachelor living in a rural area
            of Northern CA,            suffered a heart attack,
while outside, & died. Shortly after that, his corpse
was dragged off into the woods
           & eaten by a black bear; who stripped
him of his clothes
& feasted on his corpse for several days,
eating 85% of his body;
           Relatives are considering suing
the U.S. Forest Service for gross negligence. 

Jillian Michaels, a weight trainer
          for the TV show BIGGEST LOSER,
says that she is uncomfortable
                                     discussing her 
                                     lesbian lifestyle, 

Breaking News--Famous artist Banksy
                           was not arrested yesterday
at 3 in the morning, supposedly
                           apprehended by the
24 Hour Anti-Graffiti Task Force,
& his name is definitely not
                                      Paul Horner. 
                                      Thank God
it all turned out to be a silly hoax.

Daniela Poggiali,
a critical care nurse in Italy
was arrested for murdering
                      38 of her patients
over a five year period, who simply
                      Annoyed her. 

This is Glenn Buttkus, thank you for joining me this afternoon,
& letting me share the pertinent news of the day.

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