Tuesday, August 20, 2019


painting from fineartamerica.com


“Once the soul awakens, the search begins, and
there is no going back.”
--John O’Donohue.

our natural greed
and gullibility,
most of us
can fall prey to 
            a clever con,
            empty promises,
            sex as payment,
that ever so common tendency to accept 
            a perceived windfall,
            something for nothing,
to completely disregard that old adage--
if something looks like it’s too good
to be true,              it probably is; yes

so gambling can become an addiction,
from slot machines to scratch tickets,
courting Lady Luck,
aching & hoping to find/receive
the hidden treasure--
or being victimized
by a ponzi or pyramid scheme,
or to adopt the stupid notion
that a scattered chaotic web of lies
is much more attractive
than allowing ugly naked truth
to find the light.

I mean something/someone
feels authentic, genuine, substantial,
trustworthy and accommodating,

and then goddamn it,
there is that bewildering
red puff of smoke,
and your find your self
lost in a myriad of Funhouse mirrors, 
where nothing is as it seems
or as it should be, just
a plethora of distortions.

I tell you there are way too many
manic mornings when
you wake up, get up,
then wake up again,
lying in lily pads with frogs on your face
or again
in the eye of a tornado,
or again
in the midst of a machete fight
or again,
this time with beautiful thighs wrapped 
around you, and perky breasts
brushing across your face,
or again
as the electric mist is choked
with a kaleidoscopic light show,
and Christ, then you hear
the sibilant buzzing of an alarm clock,
and in that swirling moment
you wonder if you are just a participant
in someone else’s dream,

and BAM you awaken in a sweat lodge
where the sun’s single sizzling laser beam 
light ray is frying your corneas,
and you clearly hear
three sirens from different directions
and you really/actually stand up
because you have to piss.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


Jade Li said...

Bewildering is the perfect word for it, Glenn. I like the real-ness of what you write here.

robkistner said...

Dude, dude — DUDE!! Rage on my bright brother! Hell fucking yes! GRRRREAT WRITE! I love this Glenn. I have printed it out, and have pinned it to my “thought board” in my studio, where I cluster words and images that reach and stir my soul. Powerful thoughts, brilliant writing... WOW!

Dwight L. Roth said...

So many things that need addressed! I love your connecting gambling addictions and scratch offs with the distress going on in the country. Fantasy keeps them buying. Well done Glenn!

Kim M. Russell said...

I’m amazed how some people can be conned so easily, Glenn, even when all the tricks and scams have been exposed, they keep on repeating the same old mistakes and never learn from them! Everybody seems to want something for nothing. You’ve highlighted so many scams in this poem, it should be broadcast for everyone to read. But, I think there would still be those who fall into the trap again and again; they see the ‘red puff of smoke’ for the umpteenth time and resolve not to do it again – and they always do. Personally, I’m afraid of funhouse mirrors.

brudberg said...

Oh I really like this journey into deceits and dreams... how easily we are lulled and lured... a great thing that we do have to piss at least.

Katie Mia Frederick said...

Life IS A 'Stomach
Flu' THere is no
It all up
And See
WHeRe It Lands
At Least for 40
Percent of the
Population 'These Days'..
Throw Up and Flush Throw Up and
Flush Out of Sight Throw Up Again..:)

Kerfe said...

It's so hard to be human.
You've nailed it.

Frank J. Tassone said...

Shatter the illusions that chain us up! Brilliant rallying cry! Love the humor in the last stanza, too!

Frank Hubeny said...

Nice description: "there is that bewildering
red puff of smoke,
and your find your self
lost in a myriad of Funhouse mirrors," I hate it when that happens, but it is probably for my own good.

Amaya said...

I love this jazz, Glenn. You very well spun an answer to the prompt with the translucent stuff of lie and dream. And the waking to a stream of piss is indeed the ugly, naked truth we try to keep from the light of day.

Amaya said...

Perfect analogy!