Thursday, December 17, 2020

Panning for Poetry


painting from

Panning for Poetry

"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is

burning well, poetry is just the ash,”

--Leonard Cohen.

There is no more exquisite expression than 


Oh, they think they know what a poet is;

a perfumed dandy in a ruffled shirt, just

an effeminate coward who hides behind the

edifice, the mantle & trappings of poetry,


abounds in those sing-song verses of

love, fairies, and suicide--not real life, 

not being fired or mugged or abandoned. If

poems weren’t penned by sad spinsters

and bi-polar banshees, then your

audience would be larger, because their life

would be represented.

I would disagree with them. Perhaps a poet is

or can be as they say, but I see poets burning

down stereotypes. Poets can be anyone who

writes well.

That’s what I love about all poetry.

It is about everything, it is

not really hampered by form or style, not just

a pale reflection of reality, rather it is the

shadow of truth, the cutting edge, the ash

off Liberty’s torch.

Hell, a poet can be homeless,

or a bar fighter and a drunk,

a politician or a priest,

a cop or a pick-pocket,

a saint or a slut.

Poetry can blossom from every orifice,

                                         every heart,

                                         every spleen,

                                         every loin, and

                                         every pen.

                             It is a word fungus.

                             It thrives everywhere.

It is every color, every emotion,

majestic, scatological, naked, armored, thorny,

bashful, boisterous, belligerent, bellicose, even


It can be shrill or whispered,

proud or pedestrian,

prickly or pussy-willowed,

bestial or bumpy,

honied or haughty.

Poetry is,

and it is the wind

in my sails.

Glenn Buttkus

The Golden Shovel form

Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Messianic Alms

painting by Ed Knippers

 Messianic Alms

“Give, if thou can, an alms; if not then a sweet

and gentle word.”--Robert Herrick.

The wild wind whispers it,

to the shadow tribe,

to empty pueblos, 

to the tundra, forming words,

with ice crystal and moss,

but I don’t see it on billboards,

or on the sides of buildings,

or hidden in ipod text,

only finding counterfeit cheer,

as three-year olds tell me

there is no Santa Claus.

Carols sound like elevator music,

holiday commercials seem absurd,

as spokespersons gather, mingle,

enjoying Christmas meals, with

no one wearing masks, fake smiles,

unrealistic laughing, the same

old Hallmark roppa-doppa,

which is just garish lipstick

on Death’s mouth,

as hospitals fill to capacity,

having to gerry-rig triage

and urgent care units

in their parking garages;

as rented refrigerated trailers

line up behind the sad edifices

like white knight morgues,

as criminals are set free

because Covid and Crime

has overpopulated all the prisons,

as our youth still stand in harm’s way

in too many Middle East war zones,

some in urban firefights,

sitting in bloody corners

holding their severed limb

under their arm

like a holiday ham,

conversing with a severed head

of the kid who stood behind them

bitching about the Swanson dinner

awaiting them at Christmas;

dry cracked lips

moving mechanically

midst melee, chaos and darkness,

death tolls matching 9/11

and Pearl Harbor every 

single day in America,

one person dying

every 40 seconds,

while Australia has conquered

the pandemic, their new cases

at Zero,

And yet just this week,

ReTrumplicans are acknowledging 

Biden as our next President,

and Covid vaccines are being

certified, and miraculously

needles are going into arms,

there is a dim light,

a pinpoint the size of a pea

moving slowly toward us,

as a message is being

communicated, first a

barely audible hiss,

like rolling thunder,

being repeated as a mantra;

“For Christ’s sake, it’s almost Christmas, be strong,

accept Hope as your primary present, and

remember next year comes with hugs.”

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub

Monday, December 14, 2020


image from 


“People go through three conversions, the head, the

heart, and then the pocketbook.”--Martin Luther.

When we

moved into

our home

30 years ago,

we were pleased

our fireplace

was piggy-backed,

with a twin

in the basement.

Last year


we converted

our inglenook

to a gas insert,

and covered

the other


Now we


the wood smoke.

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Blackthorne Episode 127

image from 


Cinemagenic 127


“Unrequited love can drive us to ridiculous

extremes, sometimes.”--Marguerite Duras.

1(sound cue) Coronet and harmonica.

2(cut to low medium wide shot) Wallace dragged

the last intruder out onto the boardwalk, and rolled 

the broken body into the pig-pile of bloody arms and 


3(cut to interior) as Wallace re-enters the jail house.

4(tight four-shot) Buck muttered, Here, holding out

a half-full reddish-brown bottle of Mountain Man

whiskey. Hop took it. The whites of his eyes were

scarlet. Buck stood behind Salina.

Wallace: What are you going to do for a deputy?

Hop: Don’t need one, taking a big swig from the

dark bottle, the whisky-heat masking the pain,

That damned Billy was only half a deputy on his 

best days anyway. I should have shot him a long

time ago, as soon as I found out he was on 

Bronson’s payroll. 

Salina: Is that water hot yet?

Buck returned to the stove, and stoked some

cedar into its bowels. He liked the feel of the

derringer stuffed down the back of his pants.

Wallace opened the front door, and fanned the

thick sweet-smelling smoke with his derby. The

night had become quiet.

Wallace: Bob Hart might consider deputying for

you for a spell, ‘til you can hire a real one, and

get around a bit better.

Hop: Shut that fucking door before somebody 

blows your dick off!

Wallace, chuckling: Well, that’s a pretty small target

these days! He closed the door.

Salina: Pa, shame on you. You shouldn’t lie to the 

Sheriff like that.

Wallace: Did you talk to your mother about this?

5(medium close-up) Salina: I’m fixing to head home, 

but do me a favor and head over to Doc’s and see if 

he needs any more help. But either way, bring back 

some iodine. If I’m not here, I’ll be home changing.

6(sound cue) piano and banjo.

7(two-shot) Wallace: Does that meet with your

approval, Joe?

Hop, looking up, his face sweaty, taking another

scalding swallow of whiskey: Yeah, go ahead, get

some fresh air, and get the lay of things.

8(sound cue) The heavy door closing loudly.

9(three-shot) Hop tipped up the whiskey and gulped

it down. He began to laugh, strangely, low in his

throat, his body barely moving. Salina glanced from

bandaging the Sheriff’s leg wound, and gave him a

concerned look.

Hop: His tongue think with shock and whiskey. Eighteen, 

Buck, fucking 18 men deep in blood, and this goddamn

night is not over yet!

Buck said nothing.

Hop: Plus a half dozen more over to the Doc’s.

Buck, quietly: Johnny Eagle says life is a war, and only

warriors survive.

Hop, not hearing Buck, After all this, maybe I should just

let Bronson have you. Hell, the horse troughs are over-

flowing with blood tonight--a little more don’t count for 


Salina, not looking up, Joe, you already picked a side.

Hop: And now we hear from Miss Innocence, his eyes 

fastened on one wet curl  that dangled by her pink ear.

10(close-up) the curl.

She pinned the bandage on the front side of Hop’s leg,

then stood up and stepped back, putting an arm around

Buck’s waist. Her eyes were red and tired, with dark

circles beneath them. She folded her arms and stared

at the Sheriff. Hop finished off the last of the whiskey 

and tossed the empty bottle at the wall.

11(sound cue) saxophone squawk over glass shattering.

Hop: You fucking bitch!

12(medium close-up) Salina, slowly shaking her head:

Jesus Christ, Joe...not you too?

13(two-shot) Hop: Why not? beginning to tie cross-draw 

down on his left leg. Spitting while he snarled,

You were willing to take up with Thor Bronson, but you

never gave me the time of day.

Salina; Hell, Joe, you never asked me. She moved closer

to Buck who was standing in the archway behind them.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub

Tuesday, December 8, 2020


image from


“Ask no questions of the moth in the candle flame.”


Death is the King of Masks.

In Islam, suicide

and unjust killings

are considered a sin,

yet Jihadists

twist up the Koran’s

teachings, do both

and expect a reward

in Heaven, including

those seven virgins.

In Christianity,

Jehovah and/or Jesus

are the only doorway

to deliverance,

teaching love,

compassion and honesty

as virtues, yet

hypocricy, pedophilia and cults

flower at the fecund heart

of it, fodder for Jim Jones,

and David Koresh, while

John Birchers, the K.K.K.

and white supremacists all

wear Jesus around their rednecks,

and use the bible to justify

cruelty, racism, and murder.

The Pope may disagree,

but Judaism was the cornerstone

of most Christian off-shoots,

and when Jews try

and live kosher, and true

to their beliefs, they

have been easy targets

for abuse and punishment

for thousands of years. 

Buddhists do not believe

in God or Jesus or Mohammad,

spiritual guidance does not

come in a monotheisitic package.

Life is constant change

and Soul is eternal. Life 

between lives in Bardo 

replaces the Afterlife.

It may take several lifetimes

to achieve Nirvana, and once

enlightenment is achieved

a Soul has no need to be reborn.

It is ready to ascend to higher

dimensions and higher spiritual

calling. I cannot think of any example

of extremist groups using Zen teachings

as a front for evil and injustice. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d"Verse Poet's Pub