Tag Archives: Glenn Buttkus

To Infinity–& Beyond

by Glenn Buttkus


“If you look, might you discover that our entire universe is
but a part of one atom on a blade of grass?”–Stephen King.
Most of us
have seen the lemniscate symbol,
                  created in the 17th Century,
the number 8 lying            on its side
                  representing infinity.
As curious simians, we are cursed
                                      or blessed
with countless questions, literally driven
to find answers that do not
           generate closure or actual knowledge.

 

                   If it is fact
that our spiritual essence is eternal, then
                   how does infinity weigh into
                   the cosmological metaphysical equation?
Jesus, all the brainy mathematician types
create complex formulas
                   utilizing two basic types of infinite numbers;
                   those that are countless & innumerable, &
                   those that are truly endless & limitless.
I favor the notion
that curves,
fractal of otherwise, compose
                  all the universes & dimensions
we stand square in the middle of,
                  or on the fragmented edge of–
                           that the flat topology enthusiasts,
like the flat-earth believers of the past, are just not
imaginative enough, that
our Universe, perhaps
                       but a microscopic blemish
                                             on the buttocks of infinite
                                             universes,
is curved,
like the earth–that a thought,
                              a laser beam of light,
                              an astral projection traveling
on a straight line journey will
ultimately return
to its original starting point,
eating its own tail, becoming
           part of the great wheel,
perpetually in motion.
I mean, if the universe(s)
& our little lives
are comprised of infinite possibilities–
then should we waste time
trying to grasp the nature of it,          or just keep on moving
                                         until our feet turn to clay,
our cortex is rendered down to a gleaming cubicle of salt,
our fragile armor of flesh rots
                                         and returns to the earth mother,
                 or turns to gray ash on a pyre?
The young woman in the blue dress
has her own perspective on all this as she suddenly
                 can see through solid stone walls,
                 can see flights of angels,
& intricate patterns of every hue of light,
                 conquering fear, glimpsing a portion of understanding
as to her peculiar placement within her particular lifetime;
and like a princess pig well trained
                to sniff out heavenly truffles, she is
                            certain that Truth lurks just below the surface,
even though she is prevented from unearthing it–
& she is now equally certain that it is philosophical madness
to entertain the notion
                that a million monkeys banging
                on a million typewriters eventually
would reproduce the Holy Bible, the Koran,
                         or the complete works of Shakespeare,
for she is witness to a billion monkeys banging on
                                 a billion keyboards, & whatever
is emerging
is only part
of an infinite process.
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The Fall of Heroes

by Glenn Buttkus


“Name one hero who died happy!”–Madeline Miller.
Beller Ophon was a superb operative,
                      a lone wolf, a rogue mercenary,
                      a man with a triple brace of particular skills. 
He found it difficult to deal with authority figures
     so he always worked alone.
He made so much money
                              plying his trade around the globe,
                                              that in the turn of the century
he could afford to purchase a Pegasus,
                              one of only three prototype
                              flying battle cars,                   outfitted with
electric canons, bomb drops, & laser-guided missiles.

 

                          He grew famous in espionage circles, after
vanquishing the Solyami Cartel
in Costa Rica, & defeating the dangerous
lesbian murder squads,                           the Amazons,
                                      in Mexico City.
These superhuman feats made him into the Go-To-Merc,
& brought him to the attention
of Zeus Petro, & its powerful CEO,
Lon Bates—who was having a lot of trouble
                            with a new group of militant Islamic terrorists
                    who called themselves the Chimera;
           their black battle flags emblazoned with the mythical
creature; lion’s head, body of a goat, and tail of a serpent.
The group of bullies & murderers,       hiding behind the mantle
                                of misconstrued Islamic prophesy,
were highjacking oil fields in western Syria,
                                 owned by Zeus Petro, which
provided the terrorists with the instant wealth
it needed to produce all kinds
                                            of videos & short propaganda films,
                that recruited malcontents from every ghetto
                                            on the globe, & these misguided
Jehadists would soon mushroom their ranks.
Beller Ophon went into action immediately.
               landing Pegasus on Middle Eastern highways,
               folding up its weapons
and simply driving right up to forty of their strongholds
               before making its instant battle transformation.
In one ferocious month he bravely tore the heart
out of Chimera, & its few
                          survivors fled, melting
                          back into the mountains.
When Beller arrived back at the headquarters
of Zeus Petro ready for his huge reward,
                         Lon Bates was not there to meet him;
for the CEO had decided to eliminate Beller
            rather than paying him–
            this was a very costly mistake.

 

                                     Beller slaughtered the 10 assassins
            who were there to meet him,
and in the next two weeks killed a hundred more of them.
            Of course, Lon Bates changed his mind,
offering Ophon a king’s treasure,
& the hand of his youngest foxiest daughter, plus
the gift of Philonoe Vineyards in northern California.
For a few years,
          Beller actually settled down,
                             bought into his new role with verve
                                                & great passion, having several
                                                                           children, as  he
                                                 grew very wealthy & lazy.
                             but hubris is a demonic parasite
              for ex-heroes, & as his fame grew
with the public at large, &
his interviews on CNN
pulled in big numbers of viewers,
              something in him snapped,
              & one bright morning he arose
                                  with that old fire in his loins;
he strapped on his old battle gear,
                    took the silver tarp off Pegasus.
                    & simply announced that he was going
                                    to fly to the White House
                                    & demand the recognition
                     that he felt had been denied him.
You are all aware of his plight,
the Secret Service brought Pegasus down
with twin weasel missiles,
               & even though Beller survived the crash,
               he was imprisoned & terribly tortured by
               the jack-booted SS, before
                                         he was stripped of all his wealth
                                         & his identity, & he was transported
in the dead of night to Detroit,
               where he was forced to live
as a homeless, penniless, crippled beggar
               on those mean & merciless streets.
He never tried to contact his family
or to visit them, for his shame was insurmountable.
                                           They say he died of exposure
one winter’s eve, wrapped in cardboard blankets,
next to an overflowing dumpster
               behind a Chuck E. Cheese pizza emporium.
One of his sons became the governor of California,
while another one died of AIDS;
one of his daughters became an actress,
but her chronic depression led her to suicide.
His wife never remarried,
but she did manage to launch
a designer line of clothes
at Wal Mart.

Trinity Tales

by Glenn Buttkus


“Pessimism, distrust, & irony are the holy trinity of
my personal religion; irony in particular.”–Brando Skyhorse. 
I.
I stood downtown
            in front of a department store window
                        that was being busily decorated
                        for Halloween;        ghosts,
                                                          goblins
                                                          ghouls
                                                          gnomes
                                              gnarly green giants;
            pumpkin princes,
            pirate’s parrots,
            pernicious pariahs,
            puzzling palindromes;
dwarves,
dragons,
dingle-berries,
donut mushrooms, &
death defying ducks–              & I was barely aware
                       of the other people busily
                       crowding around me;                babbling,
                       buzzing, agitated, frightened, not seeing
the young woman lying on her back
                       on the pavement,
turning blue,
limbs twitching in
full seizure,
eyes rolled back,
with coffee-colored foam            covering red lips,
                        staining her yellow silk blouse.
II.
Leaving the Art theater
              with a female friend,
                        right after viewing a revival
                                         of Bergman’s PERSONA,
my arms sawing the air,
my excited words rising & falling
                  in the evening’s chill,
                  trying to explain, what I perceived as
                                              the psychological existential symbolism
within the classic Swedish film,
the commonly encountered nature
                       of those who are too easily
                       other-directed, & the too human
                                               need for some to follow (blindly)
                                               & others to lead (arrogantly),
carefully drawing a fascinating parallel
                       to the topical reality of young malcontents
                       being too easily recruited, trained, & turned
                                               into home-grown terrorists;
then suddenly
        finding our path blocked
        by two men in black hoodies, just as
I saw the muzzle of the Glock;
       We’ll be taking your wallets & watches, mother fuckers,
                        the shorter one said.
III.
For delicious decades,
we have lived in a house
                        rife with portals, humming
                        with metaphysical psychic meditative imagery,
and often, too often
                 according to my three daughters,
                 we all detect movement & presence
in our periphery–
          people & pets             who are not there,
                                             but were there
          for a few fleeting moments.
We call them the Visitors, and for the most part
         they have always been gregarious,
         as they stroll & slice through
                      several dimensional veils, even
         the ones who actually materialize
for a minute, or an elongated part of one,
visiting with us in plain sight.             My wife & I
         have always been receptive to
                      and in tune with
these visits;
& that’s made all the difference.

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.


I.
“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,
                models,
                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.
II.
“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
homophobic
sexist
racist
misanthropic
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.
III.
“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
                                                               Creator,
                                                                Parent, & Pariah
in equal measure.         Yes not No, the sonorous sound of your voice
                               with the breathy hum of your inner harmony.
IV.
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.

Concerto For Time Bandits

by Glenn Buttkus
“Old Time–his factory is a secret place, his work
is noiseless, & his hands are mute.”–Charles Dickens.


TIME: A non-spatial continuum in which events occur in
apparently irreversible succession from the past through
the present to the future.
The White Rabbit dashes about the Queen’s maze
                             staring at his large pocket watch:
                  I’m late, I’m late
                  for a very important date–
but like a gerbil spinning on his exercise wheel,
                             he went nowhere fast,           in a conflict
                             with inertia, caught forever
                             within the thorny parameters of the Now;
a prisoner,
a victim,                painfully aware that victory does not
                             always go to the swift–
just ask Tom Tortoise.
Each of us squats comfortably
                              on our very own section of this planet,
                                                 trying valiantly to understand
                                                 hemispheres,
                                                 longitude,
                                                 latitude, & all those damned
Time Zones.          I reside in the Northwest, my wife is visiting
family in Texas, & as I write this she is two hours ahead of me,
                              while my oldest daughter in Maryland exists
three hours ahead–& so it goes traveling East
                              ripping through zone after zone
traveling in an unbroken circle
                              until you bump into the butt of your own shadow,
arriving right back where you started; while some bush pilot
                              in Alaska struggles an hour behind me.
            When I traveled to Australia from California,
            dipping deep into the upside down reality of the Southern
            Hemisphere, speeding 8000 miles in 18 hours, I arrived
in Sydney the day before I left, & hey, when I returned, I arrived
            in LA 2 hours before I departed.
Sometimes I find it to be fun to stop by a Clock Shop,
& stand in the actual moment
completely surrounded by thousands
of clicking, clanking, squeaking, whirring & twitching
springs & wheels housed in hundreds of time pieces–
                each a microcosm unto itself, a mechanical
miniature universe, inhabited by
                a vast population of dust mites, & while
our imagination has been focused so microscopically,
                 we take the opportunity to peer even further
                 within to a sub-atomic world
                 where a grain of sand
would appear to loom as large as Ayers Rock,
                 where Time stands still–
and that doesn’t even scratch the surface
                 of attempting to master or understand
                            Time,
even while dropping into a whirlpool or worm hole,
                  folding back the edges of dimensional reality,
                  rocketing unimaginable distances
                                  while violating the laws of physics,
without even considering the metaphysical postulates
that beyond the Veil, Time does not,
                                           can not exist–
where Past, Present, & Future cohabit a linear continuum,
where
       the mysteries
                       of Life all
                                  become beautiful
                                                          pods of clarity.
So, what the hell time is it, you ask?
Well, you are standing in the pivotal center of it,
& it is later than you think,
& earlier than you would like it to be.

Archways

by Glenn Buttkus



“Why do you speak to me of stones? It is
only the arch that matters to me.”–Kublai Khan.

Castles will surely crumble, but their stony bones laugh
at Time’s attacks.

*********************************************

Twilight comes to Tacoma, where rich men’s yachts
are foreground for museums.

***********************************************

Union Station, once a terminus, now just
a federal hogan.

************************************************

The window was an old skeleton, wearing new glass
as cloud mirror.

*************************************************

I found a pipeline being a bridge over oblivious waters.

**************************************************

An old Dodge logging truck can become sculpture,
left to the elements.

**************************************************

Water towers have just become hen’s-tooth scare
as covered bridges.

****************************************************

He was a forgotten king pretending to be
a young wayward prince.

*****************************************************

A solitary shoe becomes a clue about a careless
missing child.

*********************************************

Some statues seem to be screaming silently:
seen but never heard.

**********************************************

You must realize that all silver clouds do not have
Rolls Royce on their undersides.

Zealots

by Glenn Buttkus


“It is not God who fucked up, it’s the screamers who say
they believe in him, & who claim to pursue their ends in
his holy name.”–John Irving

God has multiple faces,
every pigment of skin,
speaks all languages,

but it never
has made any sense to
me that as

many choose, or
are chosen to follow a
specific faith, they

immediately fan their own hubris,
plunge into pitfalls of elitism,
condescend to everyone named Morris,
& condemn all the other ‘isms.

The world’s religions break down to
the Big Dog Clubs, the strays, and non-members;
33% of us are Christians,
23% are Muslims, 14% are Hindus,
7% are Buddhists, 2% follow Judaism,
about 10% are considered non-religious,
and everyone else falls through the cracks.

Are we all slaves to our own base nature?
If we belong to or favor a sports team,
a fraternal organization, a city, a state, a country–

this somehow makes us feel superior
to everyone else?
We belong, they don’t, so fuck them?
Citing our unalienable rights to fight
for what we believe in, versus what
they believe in, giving us impetus
to declare war on them.

Our Founding Fathers believed that
we should always keep Church & State
as separate entities, & yet throughout history
more wars have been fought,
more lives have been lost,
more blood has been shed,

over religious conflicts than
any other single factor.

The entire American Military Complex
is in crisis, it seems, facing
a suicide epidemic. Last year more
active duty servicemen & women
committed suicide than died in combat.

Within the US Marine Corps,
in another lame attempt to promote
well-being among troops, they force
those on active duty to fill out
a training document, asking them
to check boxes that pertain to them,

as their commanders hope to prevent
loss of life by monitoring warning signs
like substance abuse, criminal records,
prior suicide attempts, implied sexual orientation,
and the latest is “lack or loss of spiritual faith.”
In the Army they require soldiers to complete
a survey that measures their “spiritual fitness”,
because spiritual people have decreased odds
of attempting suicide, spiritual fitness has a positive

effect on quality of life & mental health,
and no one is ever allowed to put the word
atheist on their dog tags.

Come on, how in hell are we to keep religion
out of the armed forces,
out of politics,
out of our schools,
out of our workplace, &
out of our wars.

Are there truly no atheists in foxholes
during a devastating mortar attack?
Have there been wars in heaven
as the angels did battle wearing
white or black wings?
Is there a war within our own hearts
between greed & compassion?

Rhetorical inquiries I suspect, since
belief in one’s faith often denies logic
and fully embraces conundrum.

Midst the maze, each of us must seek
our own answers, adopt our own conclusions,
and then face the consequences
of those actions–regardless
of what we are told, mandated, preached to about,
dictated, forced, cajoled, or manipulated
by the powers that be.