Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Candy Apple Morning

image from fineartamerica.com

Candy Apple Morning

“There is no way that a writer can be tamed, rendered
civilized, or cured. The only real solution is to provide 
the patient with an isolation room, and poke food into 
him with a stick.”--Robert A. Heinlein.

He sat in the attic
on a sangria plastic chair,
near the one window
with its maroon curtain
pulled to the side.
His cheeks were blushed
from an excess of Merlot
the evening before, and
his eyes were blood-shot
from weeping.

Discarded and sequestered items
were scattered, stacked and boxed,
bathed in sunrise smoldering rays;

a crimson Elmo lying on its back,
waiting patiently for its tummy rub.

An overflowing box of Legos,
with the brick-red pieces
bright and cheery.

His father’s favorite red flannel shirt
folded neatly and moth-eaten, one
sleeve hanging out of the
berry-colored Costco box.

A ceramic current-hued tea pot,
chipped and sad, lidless and tilted.

A raspberry jam jar filled with
paper clips and red rubber bands.

A twisted-up pair of child’s
burgundy pajamas, dotted
with numerous chili cats.

A long string of lipstick red pop beads
hanging off the edge of a tall mahogany
framed dressing mirror.

A Bell quart jar of plastic
red roses, inhabited by
two dueling cherry red ants .

A large strawberry colored Little Pony
with pinto bean mane and tail.

A bulging box of Christmas decorations,
plastic candy canes, blood-red snowflakes,
stars, bells, and balls.

A pair of festive current and green
holiday socks with alternating stripes.

A cranberry glass ash tray
with vintage match covers in it.

A large ball of chutney yarns
with knitting needles sticking out of it.

A Ferrari-red metal model
of a ’68 Mustang, missing
a front wheel.

He stood up, cracked his
ruby-rashed over-washed knuckles,
peered outside at the empty streets,
and made his way to his bedroom,
with it’s unmade bed, with tomato-red
cotton flannel sheets, where a first edition
of Ben Hur in its Persian-red cover awaits.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub

Monday, March 30, 2020

Wild Child

image from pinterest.com

Wild Child

“The world is a fascinating place for humans like me.
I’m busy building magic, while half the world is
building wars.”--Nikki Rowe.

Day or night, longitude or latitude, the hour, country,
time zone, karma, hemisphere, ethnicity, parents,
helix lottery, due date, and alignment of the stars--
these are just some of the things to consider when 
you are determining who you are, which is a lot
simpler than figuring out why you are.

I am a Gemini, the wild child of the zodiac. A year
ago I wrote a poem called Twice Born. My two
faces of Cantor and Pollux are conceived back to
back, at first unaware of each other; like the back
of your neck, these faces belong to those around
you, who ultimately will hold up a mirror for your
perusal. At that point you become sentient of your
blessed duality as earthy intellectual, and you
realize being two-faced is a positive asset.

I share my sign with John Wayne, Laurence Olivier,
Bob Dylan, Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Colin
Farrell, Marilyn Monroe, Queen Victoria, Anne Frank,
Nathan Hale, Paul McCartney, Clint Eastwood, 
Lou Gehrig, Judy Garland, Henry Kissinger, Che
Guevara, Wild Bill Hickok, Bob Hope, Jim Thorpe,
Geronimo, Jerry Stiller, Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, Mark Wahlberg,
Paul Gaugin, Venus Williams, Brooke Shield, JFK,
and to my chagrin, Donald J. Trump.

The Ides of March are
Gemini, cradled between
winter and the spring.

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Bat out of Hell

painting by Eric Lacome

Bat out of Hell

“James wanted to streetlight me, so that the bats
would circle me like I was the center of the world.”
--Sherman Alexie.

I never have been very fond of bats,
those hideous flying creatures of the night.

Then again I am a lover of cats,
especially if they don’t scratch or bite.

For me a bat is just a flying rat,
though a flock of them is a real sight.

They say Covid-19 was started by a bat.
No pandemic has been started by a cat.

Some bats are actual vampires
that vastly prefer human blood.

Sadly, not Big Pharma or church choirs,
not snake oil elixir or blessed magic mud,

Not holy healers or very large fires
can cure the deadly Corona crud.

It is frightening to review daily Stats,
hard to imagine when things will be alright.

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Half Mast

image from pinterest

Half Mast

“There’s a boat on the reef with a broken back,
and I can see it very well.”--Elton John

The streets are so empty,
it feels like we are living
in a science fiction movie.
The wind carries litter
throughout the concrete canyons.

Great, gas is finally 
under two bucks a gallon,
and now
there is no place to go,
in the entire world.

It’s like we are reliving
a Nazi horror story.
We stand by the thousands
next to mile-long,
freshly dug pits,
naked, with our eyes closed,
knowing that millions will die.

Our economy keeps tanking,
as bad as the Great Depression,
but at least in the 30’s
the only pandemic
was hunger and poverty.

Who will govern
after this ghostly corona
has fully blossomed,
when the chamber doors
are chained,
and the tall white columns
begin to gather ivy?

It is not logical
to be told
that the way to win this war
is to do nothing,
duck and cover,
scrub your hands
until your knuckles bleed.

In a few days,
or a month,
it’s projected that all our hospitals
will be overrun,
the mobile military medical tents
and converted empty buildings
will all overflow,
and the sick and dying
will lie first in the hallways,
and then in the streets;
plague rats on a gut wagon.

the flags are flapping
at half mast,
and I can see them
very well.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub

Monday, March 23, 2020

Magicians Unite

image from amazon.com

Magicians Unite

“I believe something very magical can happen
when you read a good book.”--J.K. Rowling.

Is it magic
when a four year old
sits down
and plays Mozart?

Is it magical,
after forty years
of searching,
to find your soul mate?

Does it take
a magician
to make Trump

If it’s true,
find that damn Magus
real soon.

Glenn Buttkus

Quadrille: exactly 44 words.

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Panty Pink Caddy

image from J. Hardy Carroll.

Panty Pink Caddy

“Singles hitters drive Fords. Home-run hitters
drive Cadillacs.”--Pete Rose.

Mrs. Robert Rogers bought me in the Fall of 1958.
I’m a 20 foot 1959 Cadillac El Dorado four-door
sedan, painted bright pink. My tail fins and quad
tail lights still turn heads. I have a 390 V-8, with an
automatic transmission. I have the Cadillac chrome
steering wheel, wire wheels and white walls.

In 1999, I had 200,000 miles on me, rings were shot,
and my tranny was slipping. She hadn’t licensed me
in three years. She opened Rock-n-Rogers Diner that 
year. She had me hoisted twenty feet off the ground.
I can dig it. I enjoy the view.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at Friday Fictioneers

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Blackthorne Episode 111

image from pulpcovers.com


Cinemagenic 111

Lead Hunt

“I want to paint a picture some day that is so
realistic it will creep into people and mushroom
like a soft-nosed bullet.”--O. Henry.

1(sound cue) snare drum brushing and harmonica.
2(medium wide shot, overhead crane) Twenty hands
reached out from the crowd to help. Buck carried him
under his shoulders. Johnny’s head rested against
Buck’s chest. Three other large men helped to carry
Johnny up the steep stairs to the doctor’s office. Doc
Sweeney unlocked the door And swung it open.
3(cut to interior) of the doctor’s office. Sweeney 
stepped in and held the door. The four men carried
Johnny into the room.
4(medium close-up) Doc Sweeney: Put him right
there, pointing at a linen-covered operating table
in a small inner room.
5(sound cue) rough boots on the stairs, and men
talking low over violins and piano.
6(medium wide shot, overhead crane) The men 
placed Johnny on the sparkling white linen as they
would a child. The Eagle’s eyes were closed, but
there’s a REM movement in the lids, as Johnny
was on a dreamscape spirit quest. Salina stood
next to Buck.
The place was full of bystanders, but for the
moment, all were silent. Doc Sweeney made his
way through the throng, his leather satchel open
under his arm. He had taken off his jacket, and his
sleeves were rolled up.
7(close-up) Sweeney: Salina, there’s a big stove 
out there, will you start a fire and heat up a big
basin of hot water?
8(medium close-up) Salina: Sure, and I’ll assist
you if you wish.
Sweeney: Excellent, you be my nurse tonight. I
don’t have enough hands for this job.
9(two-shot) Mr. Buck, you look very handsome
with that dried blood on your temple, but why don’t
you go clean up at my sideboard. There’s soap
and water there.
10(sound cue) harmonica and guitar.
11(cut back to medium overhead wide shot) 
Buck gently pushed his way through the clot
of anxious faces, and began to wash up.
12(medium close-up) He looked at his
reflection in the swivel-mirror attached to the
oaken sideboard. He was surprised to see the
exhaustion in his face.
13( cut to the operating anteroom) the Doc had
finished putting out his instruments, on a sterile
silver standing tray. He picked up a pair of shiny
nickel-plated scissors, that had a diagonal head on
them. He began cutting Johnny’s shirt off. It was
so caked in dried blood that it sliced like burlap.
Without looking up, he said: Would you mind
clearing the area for me; I’m feeling a little
claustrophobic. There’s a lot of space in the 
waiting room.
Buck and Wallace herded the crowd into the 
waiting area. Salina was busy building a fire
in the tall pot-bellied stove at the west corner
of the room. Buck approached her. The chairs
filled up fast. Many had to stand, shifting from one
foot to the other, making hushed small talk, 
swearing and praying.
14(sound cue) soft piano and banjo.
15(wide two-shot) Three hours later Buck sat in
an overstuffed chair, staring into a large painting
on the wall. A seascape, with angry waves crashing
onto a black beach, with the tiny white specks of
flocks of sea gulls dotting a cerulean sky, a stark
beach without rocks, one pair of footprints in the
black sand, and the faint visage of an island in the
mist on the horizon.
Henry Wallace sat across from him in a large white 
chair, his hoary head in his hands, his eyes closed.
But for them the room was empty.
16(shot over Buck’s shoulder) He could see into the
operating room. Sweeney was working on Johnny’s
knee, scraping the bone, searching for more lead
fragments. Buck could hear the scalpel scraping
on the live leg bone, like evil fingernails on a
schoolhouse blackboard.
17(sound cue) Indian branch flute.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub OLN