Quartet Quandary

by Glenn Buttkus
“There are issues of trust, deep trust, in the way the members
of a string quartet learn to interact with one another.”
–Yo-Yo Ma.

“My life has been a dance that has walked a song 
that was spoken”–Maya Angelou
There can be,
there is poetry in the naked motion
            of sports heroes,
                body builders & dancers;
where gluts flex boldly over
                                    undulating thighs,
                                                     bulging calves
                                                                  & expressive feet;
where Abs stand in rigid rows
                                    like militiamen on parade,
where deltoids partner with 18” biceps,
                                     with triceps as wing men;
where hands stroke their lovers,
                      sculpt faces from granite,
                                paint giant flowers that resemble
                                vaginal vessels of loveliness.
“If you are a dreamer, come in, sit by my fire, for we have
flax-golden tales to spin.”–Shel Silverstein.
I tell you we must dream about Peace even
               while we wield the weapons of War,
               follow orders,
               take innocent lives;
while we witness others among us
               waving Confederate flags,
                            calling our President
                                             a mongrel nigger monkey,
or standing with oaken billy clubs
                            & preventing black Americans
                                             from voting;
while we suffer the staggering ignorance of
elitist bullies who
         dearly love to keep their boots
                                         on the beautiful necks
                                                                   of white doves;
for Peace is achievable, but it has to be fought for–
     Liberty has never been a mere entitlement;
                        it is reward for our sacrifices.
“The word was born in the blood, grew up in the dark body,
beating, & took flight through the lips & mouth.”
–Pablo Neruda.
And what is the Word–
                          Love, Larceny, Lunacy–
                          Bastard, Brotherhood, Buttock–
                          Equality, Elephant, Evergreen–
                          Hindu, Hate, Horny–
                          Rose, Rhyme, Rigor-mortis–
                          Ferrari, Fellacio, Fire–
                          Cheetah, Callous, Conflict–
                          Breast, Bathroom, or Buick?
And how is the Word communicated best,
               through speech, epithet, prose, or poetry?
And the answer is YES,
               each word a gift, the birth
               of a child, where you are cast as
                                                                Parent, & Pariah
in equal measure.         Yes not No, the sonorous sound of your voice
                               with the breathy hum of your inner harmony.
an can get by for 70 years without a piece of ass, but
he will die in a week without a bowel movement.”
–Charles Bukowski.
My grandfather often used to tell me,
                         “ The day will come, my boy, when you would
rather take a good crap than have
                           a terrific piece of ass.”
Though I am not aboard that boat
               yet, I can attest to the fact
               that Cascara Sagrada
can be a gentle friend when life’s conflicts
                                             lead to a bewildering state
                                             of constipation.
We are certainly not fooling our colons,
                for it is keenly aware of when
                                             we are full of shit.

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