Thursday, June 18, 2015

Blackthorne--Scene 41

image borrowed from


Cinemagenic Forty-One


“A star shined brightly on the hour of our meeting.”
--J.R.R. Tolkien.

1(three-shot) Sheriff Hop: I thought you had already slapped leather,
big man,
--Hunter: Nope, didn’t want to miss the show.
2(medium close-up) the Eagle turned & placed his stoic gaze on the
tall buffalo hunter.
3(extreme close-up) Johnny’s eyes softening in recognition.
4(sound cue) an eagle’s scree over a choral harmony of it.
5(medium wide shot) a magnificent golden eagle dropped down out of the 
bright blue landing on the peak of a nearby barn--
6(cut to close up) holding a sidewinder in its black beak; the wrought iron 
rooster on the adjacent weather vane bowed its comb in earnest deference. 
7(sound cue) Powerful wings flapping over harmonica huffing. 
8(cut to two-shot) the hunter held out his hand with the silver in it. 
--Ey, muy hombre--I think these belong to you. 
9(angle on) Johnny, saying evenly, tight-lipped:
--You make it too easy for this pinche gordo to wriggle free.
10(angle on) the hunter: I seriously doubt he will crawl very far away; his tail
can be sliced off on another day--dropping the three silver dollars into the
wild-eyed Eagle’s retracted talons.
11(sound cue) French horn blast over snare drum brushing. 
12(close-up) Graff: And just who in the bloody hell are you?
13(medium wide shot) the tall hunter whirled around to face down the angry
mound of gouty flesh. 
14(medium close-up) the Sheriff: Buck, Rod Buck; some fellas tried to kill
him, & wounded the barber--you wouldn’t know anything about that, would
you, Mr. Graff?
15(extreme close-up) Johnny Eagle smiling without showing his teeth, deep
dimples creasing his lean tanned cheeks.
16(two-shot, angle on) Graff, over Buck’s shoulder: Well, Christ no--why
would I know anything about that? There’s gunplay in this town all the
time, Sheriff. 
His eyes darted back & forth, like a rodent cornered by cats:
Buck, you say--Rod Buck? I want to get all the facts straight before I make
my report to Mr. Bronson!
17(medium close-up) the Sheriff: So (pause)--Mr. Graff. Do you now have
all the facts straight?
18(sound cues) a wave of laughter from the crowd, interrupted by trumpet/
saxophone duo over an Indian snake rattle. 
19(cut to a Titan overhead crane wide shot) a large crowd of onlookers
around the white-washed corral.
20(a tracking shot) following the rotund red-faced one as he hurumphed
& pushed his way through the crowd.
21( sound cues) unspecified wrangler dialogue:
--Are you going to let that greasy breed get away with this?
--Bronson will tear your ears off tor this shit!
--Quite a day, don’t you think?
22(musical sound cue) Morricone-like choral passage over cello & piano.
23(medium wide shot) People milling around. The corral gate has been
opened & ranch hands were leading the soot mustang out & walking it
toward the barns. 
24(angle on) Graff as he enters a tall red door in his office, over which the
huge BRONSON AUCTIONS sign towered. 
25(cut to medium wide shot) Buck, the Eagle, & Joe Hop, joined by a
thin black wrangler in a brown bowler hat & a bright red neckerchief, who
walked directly up to Johnny: Here are your el cuchillos.
26(two-shot) Johnny flashed his wide sardonic smile, took the wide
beaded belt with his knives & began buckling them on. 
27(cut to new two-shot) Johnny facing the camera, with the Sheriff
behind him. Joe Hop: There will be no more trouble, right?
The Eagle folded his strong arms & nodded yes.
28(sound cue) piano, guitar, & violin.
29(cut to wide shot) The Sheriff & his skinny deputy dispersing the
mumbling crowd. 
30(close-up) the voracious eagle, its black eyes blinking, tearing
shreds of snake flesh off with its bloody beak.
31(sound cue) Indian branch flute fluttering.
32(cut to a two-shot) Rod Buck & Johnny Eagle
stood suddenly alone in the dusty street facing each other.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets  OLN

Would you to hear me read this Cinemagenic poem to you?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Organ Donors

image borrowed from

Organ Donors

“I could be considered an organ donor, the way
I give up my heart.”--Anonymous.

Be of brave heart, folks--
consume new & strange foods for

When one craves
expansion of their food horizons,
shocking their palette,

after a lifetime
of white bread, barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, 
sausage & bacon--all cholesterol-ridden acceptable
sources of wondrous tastes; choosing
not to investigate what constitutes our frankfurters
or how much sawdust or vegetable fillers
are laced into our cherished fat-laden ground beef--

                                           we can also choose to be brave, either
                                  through travel, or just fun forays into foreign
                          food restaurants in our neighborhood, gulping down
                 strange foods, both unfamiliar & exciting, or not.

I tend to be a very finicky eater, & I have never really enjoyed
                the culinary adventures that some of the rambunctious cooks
                          in my family have subjected me to;    tongue & cucumber
                                    finger sandwiches, roasted whole beef brain or heart
served as an entree, steaming rancid innards, like liver or kidneys, smothered 
in onions, pork-blood stew, peach mutton chops, blood sausage & such.

                What I’ve discovered on my own culinary safaris
                is that there are three dishes, a demonic trinity of
                foods that I just revile, simply cannot stomach--
three cultural contrivances that originated as
a practical & inexpensive source of protein
for the poor,
     the masses,
     the peasants and               I understand the necessity for the creative
                           development of such foods, & the application of
                           curry, chilis, onions, & garlic to mask the nasty
                                                stench & taste of them.

Offender number one would be Korean Kimchi, kind of an Asian sauerkraut,
that nearly makes me pass out just being in its presence. It is made up
from some good vegetables & it might be great if served fresh; stuff like
bok choy, daiken radishes, ginger, chilis, sea salt, cloves of garlic, &
red pepper powders, but damn, after it is mixed up, folks find it necessary
to let it ripen & rot for at least a week, sometimes even burying it to 
augment the fermentation--then when it is ready, you can add pork & more 
spices to it. At the end of one of the recipes was the statement, “When 
prepared properly, it can be delicious.”

Next up on my gut-churning list is the wonderful Mexican & Filipino
stew called Menudo, made from tripe & offal--the stomach linings of 
ruminant animals, with ground kidneys & liver. It is often made from the
honeycomb tripe, a cow’s second stomach. Come on, you can boil. broil,
braise or bake it, & it still retains a pock-marked spongy texture that while
chewing it reminds me of ingesting a rubber inner-tube; pungent & cringe-
worthy, it needs to be mixed with a lot of hominy & topped with strong spices.
It is said to be a cure for a hangover. We are instructed post-recipe that
it requires “a certain amount of care in order to be prepared properly.”

Last in line in this unholy less-than-kosher trio of triumvirate nastiness
is a celebrated Soul Food--Chitterlings, or as they refer to it down South,
chitlins, created from a pig’s small intestines; a dish common to most
pork eating cultures, & oddly to dog eating cultures as well. You can boil
it, batter it & deep-fry it, then mix it into some dirty spicy rice. It is recom-
mended to serve it slathered in hot sauce with some kind of strong liquor. 
It has “a very unpleasant oder when it is cooking.”

The bottom line for
me, once I try a new food--
love it or hate it.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like me to read this Haibun to you?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Metallic Minions: Mirrors of Rust

image found at

Metallic Minions: Mirrors of Rust

“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works
of art to see your soul.”--George Bernard Shaw.

Rusting hulks can become inert
yard & field art, frozen in place,
but still diverse as those individual spots
on a stone leopard or a ceramic dalmatian;
Buicks, Pintos, VW bugs, harrows, Ford trucks.
construction Cats with broken tracks, bicycles half-swallowed
by ravenous trees, both plagued & proudly sporting
patina-freckles that developed into chronic oxidized
complexion masks, a simply gorgeous metallic psoriasis,
unmoving as monoliths, yet as beauteous as any creation
by a talented sculptor of marble, quartz, or granite figures;
----Art at its essence----
inert, becoming rusting hulks,
frozen in place as yard or field art, but
remaining individual, diverse as those spots
on ceramic dalmatians or stone leopards;
Ford trucks, harrows, VW bugs, Pintos, Buicks,
bicycles half-swallowed, construction Cats with broken tracks,
both proudly sporting & plagued by ravenous trees,
as chronic oxidation becomes patina-freckles,
then gorgeous metallic psoriasis, complexion masks--
yet as beauteous as unmoving monoliths, as complex
as any marble, quartz, or granite figure created by a sculptor.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear me read this Mirror Poem, this marvel of Palindromos? 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Onyx and Alabaster

image borrowed from

Onyx and Alabaster

“There is something really appealing about the simplicity
of black & white images.”--Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

Most formal affairs,
weddings, funerals or balls,
demand black & white.

Do we dream 
in color--or is it
just mysterious shades

of the full
spectrum of black & white;
all black roses.
& white lions, 
onyx jewelry
& alabaster statues?

Pondering this inquiry, I find it difficult
to pinpoint, to absolutely define;
perhaps dreamscapes are sepia-soaked, 
or washed out starlit colors?
I am positive, though,
that I daydream in color,
all azure eyes, pink nipples, & red convertibles.

Growing up in the 1950’s, so much of what I recall
       is definitely in black and white, from our first B&W television,
                 with its 12” perfectly round screen & its heavy oaken case,
                           still looking like a living room radio, to the Saturday
                 afternoon Hopalong Cassidy Matinees at the local cinema.
        Oh sure, by 1955, we had all heard of Color TV, but only a few
friends from wealthy families had one--and there were only
a few select programs that were broadcast in color, WALT DISNEY
HOUR, variety shows, BONANZA & such.

As a kid,
it seemed to me that
the colors were

super-saturated & way overdone, with hot lighting, over-bright clothes
& sets, bizarre make-up & lipstick like the movies of the 20’s, feeling
very unnatural to my 11-year old sensitivities--much like I feel about
the modern craze of photoshopping color images, shifting them from
realistically-hued into the realm of abstract. So I was happy to
retreat to the majority of TV shows, comfortably presented in
stark & sharp-edged B&W.

Color was still a bit of an oddity, a weird & special treat; like that 
                 one roll of color film for birthday or holiday parties;
                 I mean the horror movies & all the classic Noir
                 crime films were exclusively in black & white,
                                    all wet brick & cobblestone night shots,
                                    harvest moon & rampaging werewolves.
                                    & villagers with torches & pitchforks, as
movie studio cinematographers made those
classics of light & shadow into an Art form.

                 By the 60’s & 70’s fewer & fewer movies were
                             shot on black & white stock, & those few
                                     that were by Stanley Kramer, Peter Bogdanovich
                                                 and Woody Allen conjured up a nostalgic,
                                                 gritty & realistic view of the past. I cannot
                                                 even imagine TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
                                      in gaudy technicolor.

Today, in our techno-savvy digital imagery world, it becomes an artful
& joyous experiment to showcase both our photoshopped color photos
& their black & white version/counterpart side-by-side. It is kind of
fascinating to me how many of our youth enjoy that juxtaposition as
we boomers & duffers recall the glory of decades past cataloged &
framed in glorious black & white.

Eyes are designed
to process color, but black
& white is restful.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

would you like to hear me read this B&W poem to you?


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Blackthorne: Scene Forty

image from


Cinemagenic Forty


“The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more
wars, must be broken, or we will be plunged into an impasse of
annihilation.”--Martin Luther King, Jr.

1(medium close-up) Johnny Eagle: OK, tin star, not today--but on some
other day, I think this one needs killing--motioning with his chin to the
agonized one in the bloody dust.
2(two-shot) angle on Joe Hop: Yeah, maybe, but not here, not today.
3(medium wide shot) angle on the Eagle, measuring the Sheriff’s steely-
blue gaze. Then he pointed to the lard-bucket foreman:
--Graff owes me money. 
4(medium close-up) Graff’s chubby flushed face:
--Like hell. That horse ain’t broke yet; she’s still full of the devil!
5(sound cue) piano & guitar chords.
6(close-up) Johnny: She has had me on her beautiful back--her spirit
will no longer be the same.
7(two-shot) over the Indian’s shoulder:
--Graff: You lazy red-butt sombitch--if you climb back over this fence &
finish the job, then I’ll pay you; otherwise you don’t get a damn dime.
8(sound cue) Indian seed rattle & harmonica.
9(cut to two-shot) over the foreman’s shoulder:
--Johnny: You have no honor, nor respect for others. I think you will pay
me & I’ll head to Pedro’s & have some whiskey, then I’ll go fishing.
10(medium close-up) Graff, sputtering & spitting: You don’t get shit.
I won’t pay you a plugged nickel.
11(sound cue) castanets & snare drum baps.
12(close-up) Johnny: If you don’t, I will cut your tiny cock off & feed it
to the town’s stray dogs.
13(medium wide-shot) The foreman climbed down off the corral fence,
& stood wide-legged with his ham-like fists on his bulging hips. 
14(medium close-up) Graff: Did you hear this bullshit, Sheriff? This
greaseball half-injun has just threatened me in front of you all!
15(medium wide shot) Joe Hop looked up from where he had squatted
down to offer aid to the whimpering boot-squashed bully cockroach
on the ground.
--Sheriff: Then pay him half, & this incident will be quits.
16(sound cue) snare drum whacks over bass drum beats.
17(close-up) Graff:  But, but...
18(three-shot) The Eagle & the Sheriff stared solidly at the rotund foreman,
who was sweating & looking around at some of his hired hands--but they
all seemed to be staring at the ground, or somewhere else. Suddenly,
he reached into one of his immense vest pockets & plucked out several
silver dollars.
--Graff: You know Mr. Bronson ain’t going to like this.
19(sound cue) harmonica & cello.
20(two-shot) Joe Hop & Johnny Eagle exchanged wry grins.
21(three-shot) Graff: Here then, damn your worthless hide!
tossing three silver dollars into the dust. 
22(close-up & sound cue) the silver hitting the ground. 
23(two-shot) Johnny kept his eyes on the foreman, standing 
motionless. Graff, his face turning crimson:
--Well, pick up your fucking money. 
The Eagle held his right hand out, palm up. Graff folded his flabby
arms, stuck out his lower lip, & hoped for some support. 
24(medium close-up) the Sheriff, shaking his head slowly:
--What are you, Graff, ten years old? Pick that silver up & hand
it to Johnny, or I’m going to run you in.
25(cut to) Graff, sputtering & spitting: Arrest me for what?
26(medium close-up) Joe Hop: For making a jackass out of yourself,
& for pissing me off.
27(three-shot) The foreman’s shaggy eyebrows clunked together in a
quivering knot, frown furrows plowed into his wide forehead all the
way to his receding hairline. The three of them stood there for several
elongated seconds.
--Bystander: Fuck me.
28(sound cue) blues guitar slide.
29(medium wide shot)
--Christ, what a dumb-assed thing to get upset about,
said a big man in a buckskin shirt & a flat black hat, bending over
& swooping up the silver.
30(sound cue) saxophone bleat & harmonica riff.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets OLN

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Tao of Soul Dancing

the image borrowed from

The Tao of Soul Dancing

“When I let go of what I am, I become
what I might be.”--Tao Te Ching.

Yin & Yang forever,
inseparable, fusion,
purity, wholeness.

Yin Ubal & Yang Adret used to meet for lunch dates during the
work week, on a bench in the park when the sun appeared, & in
a dark corner of a coffee shop when it was cold & overcast.

Yang: I believe that a prime principle in nature is that opposites
attract, achieving balance.
Yin: But hey, you do understand that they also clash, can become
mired in conflict?
Yang: I love the Spring, when fecundity is prevalent, when blossoms
precede flowers & leaves & growth.
Yin: Sure, unless there is a drought, monsoon, tornado or flash floods.
Yang: Does it ever bother you that we are always referred to as yin &
yang? It bugs the hell out of me. Just look at the Taoist symbolism. I
am always on top, or on the left, always prominent.
Yin: Typical male, consumed with illusions of control, obsessed with
being top dog, first in line, the ersatz master.
Yang: Perhaps, but it just seems odd to me. Yin & Yang is an oxymoron.
Yang & Yin could be just as facile of a term. 
Yin: Do you have difficulty putting a hat on that blockhead? We will always
be yin & yang because that is a irreversible binomial.
Yang: Pretty rigid thinking there, sweet-cheeks. Under the right circumstances
AB is comfortable being BA.
Yin: What is the real issue here? You dominate most of the symbols, but not
the terminology. Didn’t your mother ever teach you about sharing? Besides,
“Yin & Yang” is just easier to say. 
Yang: Well, I read the other day that it is more just traditional usage than
inviolate mandate.
Yin: Where, in the Farmer’s Almanac or the Police Gazette?
Yang: The OED informs us that “yin & yang” was a term popularized in
1671, when Chinese society was matriarchal--that “yin-yang” became
more common usage in 1850, and that “yang-yin” came into vogue in 1959.
Yin: That Eisenhower anomaly went out of style in 1962 when JFK was 
President, like the Edsel. Come on, Yang-Yin is just clumsy on the tongue,
like mouse & cat, and chain & ball.
Yang: Are you aware that in the I-Ching, I am referred to as the solid line,
& you are always depicted as the broken line?
Yin: That is just more codified sexism, created by priests. Real men learn
about the sweetness of treasures found in the empty spaces.
Yang: I am the dawn, the sky on fire, the shatterer of shadows,
daylight spreading over half of the planet.
Yin: I am the softness of twilight, the dark side of the moon, molten
lava rushing into the blackness gathering on the horizon, the shadow
ballerina, bringer of midnight, the duchess of darkness. 
Yang: And yet we are connected at the heart, bosom companions,
spiritual soul mates.
Yin: You mean it’s like our perpetual fusion in perceived physical
matter helps to enable us to be co-creators, bringing the spinning
chaotic world into a semblance of balance?
Yang: Yeah--what you said.

Yin is dark,
wet, soft, yielding & passive,
moonlight, vaginal, feminine.

Yang is fire,
hard, hot & dry, aggressive,
phallic, solid, focused.

It’s just me & my
shadow, infinite tango
in sun or moonlight.

Glenn Buttkus

Would you like to hear me read this poem to you?