Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grout

My body is achin'
Every muscle is sore.
I really dont think
I have had enough sleep
The cabinets are gone
A lot has been done
Been working all week
We've got the new sink
Yet there's still more

Tiles to go before I ......

6 Comments:

Blogger butch said...

Hey, your poetry really moved me, man, and made me whip out one in response. I hope you can enjoy it. I have been reading so much Brautigan these days, it does seem to be written in his style, or maybe yours.

G r o u t t

Groutt is a grouch
who lives under my porch
near the tiny stream
under the house
that runs diagonally
north to east.

Judging from the smell
that wafts up from his den
he lives on trout
and earwigs and earthworms
and perhaps
the odd handful of dry
cat crunchers.

I have never actually seen
Groutt.
He may be a troll
or possibly that dwarf
bus driver
that disappeared last summer.

I do think
that his name is Groutt
because he growled
something like that
one time
when I peered into his domicle.
Or maybe it was “Out!”

I just leave him
Alone,
And I hope he appreciates
the lack of attention.

Glenn Buttkus 2007

11:04 AM  
Blogger butch said...

Hey, now you have done it. My lunch hour became a poetry session. So here is the further fruits of my "labor"

Grout Fishing in America

Oh how I like to rise
before the sun,
before the cock’s crow,
heavily laden with creel,
spinners, hand-tied flies,
and my new Warshall’s pole;
pushing hard
and swirling up dust
hopping between the washboard ruts
on that twisting road
to Palmer Lake;
in order to sneak off
to that lonely south end,
where I am willing
to brave the devil’s clubs and skunk cabbage –
because that’s the best spot
to catch the wily grout.

I know that
a lot of serious anglers
won’t bother with grout,
but hell,
I’ve been catching them,
carefully skinning them
of their sharp barbed multiple layered fins,
then flaying that deep purple meat,
dusting them lightly in flour
and frying them up crisp
in bacon grease. Yeah,
it makes me drool
just jawing about it.

I grew up spit poor
and hungry,
and I learned the hard way
that a lot of critters exist
that can be eaten
if you get your damned mind right;
rats, snakes, slugs, crows, weasels, marmot, and fire ants
amongst others.

We used to guffaw
that in our small town
the chicken joint was really
Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried
Buzzard.
It probably was.

Grout will bite on bright flies
or worms, or juicy fruit wrappers,
or raw hamburger.
They look prehistoric
what with their third eye, double tail,
and spiny fins;
but I am here to tell you,
you ain’t truly lived
until you have eaten one.

If you are curious enough,
Gimme’ a jingle.
I got a dozen of ‘em
in my freezer.

Glenn Buttkus 2007

12:11 PM  
Blogger butch said...

Isn't it amazing how stimulated you keep my aged cortex, how free flowing and borderless your literary challenges are to me, and for me? Not to mention a hell of a lot of fun. Those two weeks that Melva and I go on our road trip, I will miss my daily fix of Palmer prose and poetry and wisdom and rant and philosophy. But gosh, think of all the fun it will be to try and do the catch-up ball.I don't leave until June 23, so you will have to suffer the responses until then.

Glenn

12:22 PM  
Blogger butch said...

As long as you haven't responded yet, let's take another look at Richard Brautigan, and his poetry. By the way, I received some more of his books from Amazon, and I'm now reading along in MELVIN AND THE BOWLING TROPHEYS.

The section devoted to Brautigan featured the essay, "Old Lady," in which Brautigan discussed writing poetry.
I love writing poetry but it's taken time, like a difficult courtship that leads to a good marriage, for us to get to know each other. I wrote poetry for seven years to learn how to write a sentence because I really wanted to write novels and I figured that I couldn't write a novel until I could write a sentence. I used poetry as a lover but I never made her my old lady.

One day when I was twenty-five years old, I looked down and realized that I could write a sentence. Let's try one of those classic good-bye lines, "I don't think we should see so much of each other any more because I think we're getting a little too serious," which really meant that I wrote my first novel Trout Fishing in America and followed it with three other novels.

I pretty much stopped seeing poetry for the next six years until I was thirty-one or the autumn of 1966. Then I started going out with poetry again, but this time I knew how to write a sentence, so everything was different and poetry became my old lady. God, what a beautiful feeling that was!

I tried to write poetry that would get at some of the hard things in my life that needed talking about but those things you can only tell your old lady.

And here is another gem:

"Period Piece"
Nobody needs a dragon cutter any more,
and so my life has no earthly purpose.
I sit here on my ass in a leather chair
provided by a tiny pension from
the king’s shoeshine boy,
and I remember great green chunks of dragon
sliced and stacked in the ice wagons.

The Sitting Here, Standing Here Poem
Ah,
sitting here in the beautiful sunny morning!
Santa Barbara, listening to
Donovan singing songs
about love, the wind and seagulls.

I'm 32 but feel just like a child
I guess I'm too old now to grow old
Good!

I'm alone in the house because she's asleep
in the bedroom.

She's a tall slender girl
and uses up the whole bed!

My sperm is singing its way
through the sky of her body
like a chorus of galaxies.

I go into the bedroom to look at her.
I'm looking down at her. She's asleep.
I'm standing here writing this.


Background
Written for Althea Susan Morgan in 1967. Morgan and Brautigan were friends from January-June 1967. Morgan lived in Santa Barbara, California, where Brautigan visited her and wrote this poem. Morgan recounts waking one morning to find the poem on her desk. Morgan copied the poem and later asked Brautigan for a signed copy. He declined in a letter to Morgan. More . . .

He apparently destroyed that poem because when I asked for a copy of it the next year he couldn't find it. I had copied it off his notepad while he was in the shower without his knowing. It was written up in the mountains east of Santa Barbara while we were staying over the night with my friends the Maytags who owned the Unicorn Bookstore. Ken is a Maytag Washer heir and Melisssa is now a manager at Codys Books in Berkeley.

A Legend of Horses"
Of course
the prostitutes
of reality
are the virgins
in dreams
but there are
seven horses
in the meadow
with no one
to ride them
and all things
are happening
at once.
It is raining.
It is snowing.
The sun is shining.
The grass is black
and there are
seven horses
in the meadow
with no one
to ride them.
The old woman
comes along
selling apples.
The apples
are very beautiful
but the horses
are afraid
and they hide
in the ocean.
Fish look
at them
strangely.
—Spring 1958

The Sawmill"*
I am the sawmill
abandoned even by the ghosts
in the middle of the pasture.
Opera!
Opera!
The horses wont go near
my God-damn thing.
They stay over by the creek.

I guess that is enough of Dickie Brautt for the time being. Lane Savant, it is like you are channeling the spirit of Brautigan. You look like him and write like him, and now you've got me doing similar things. Are you ashamed? I didn't think so.

Glenn

1:56 PM  
Blogger butch said...

Ah gosh dang, let's enjoy a few more of Richard's lines:

The Quail"*
There are three quail in a cage next door,
and they are the sweet delight of our mornings,
calling to us like small frosted cakes:
bobwhitebobwhitebobwhite,
but at night they drive our God-damn cat Jake crazy.
They run around that cage like pinballs
as he stands out there,
smelling their asses through the wire.

Sit Comma and Creeley Comma"*
It's spring and the nun
like a black frog
builds her tarpaper shack
beside the lake.
How beautiful she is
(and looks) surrounded
by her rolls of tarpaper.
They know her name
and they speak her name.

was a river in the mountains, I guess there are many
rivers in the mountains, flowing through our dreams into
death and deep pools. The water was so clear that I could
see the expressions on their faces as they looked up at me
from their glass coffins. I looked under the water and saw
an old lady smiling, she had no teeth nor hair,
I think she was the sister of Jesus, and I saw
a beautiful girl in her coffin, she was holding onto a dry
toy while trout swam across her face. There must have
been five thousand people buried in glass coffins under the
river, and I walked along the bank, looking down at them
as if they were fingers on my left hand.

Brautigan used these images when he wrote a huge section of his novel, WATERMELON SUGAR. Often it seemed, he made no distinction between writing prose or poetry; it all came out the same.

The Octopus Frontier"
1
A pleasure palace
on the octopus frontier.
Perhaps that's
the answer.
An eight-armed whore
in the cabin
of a sunken ship,
the walls covered
with obscene octopus pictures.
She beckons to me.
Passion and gin.
Why not?

2
A homestead
on the octopus frontier.
Perhaps that's
the answer.
A flock of chickens
in front of a cabin
at the bottom
of the ocean.
They seem contented
scratching in the sand
for oysters.


"The Potato House of Julius Caesar"

O Potatoes!
The Roman Empire of Potatoes!

All peelings lead to Rome
and Julius Caesar eats French fries

while the ides of March
have potato eyes . . .

(Then Brutus to the Idaho of Death
Then Marc Antony to
Idaho.)

Horse Race"*

July 19, a dog has been run over by an airplane,
an act that brings into this world the energy
that transforms vultures into beautiful black
race horses.

Yes, the horses are waiting at the starting gate,
now the sound of the gun and this fantastic race begins,
the horses are circling the track.

The Return of The Rivers

All the rivers run into the sea;
yet the sea is not full;
unto the place from whence the rivers come,
thither they return again.

It is raining today
in the mountains.

It is a warm green rain
with love
in its pockets
for spring is here,
and does not dream
of death. Birds happen music
like clocks ticking heaves
in a land
where children love spiders,
and let them sleep
in their hair.

A slow rain sizzles
on the river
like a pan
full of frying flowers,
and with each drop
of rain
the ocean
begins again

"More!" he cried.
"MORE!!" she whimperd.
"mOrE!" they chimmed in.
And so I gave it to them. Dickie likes to keep it coming.

Sonnet"*

The sea is like
an old nature poet
who died of a
heart attack in a
public latrine.
His ghost still
haunts the urinals.
At night he can
be heard walking
around barefooted
in the dark.
Somebody stole
his shoes.

"The Chinese Checker Players"*

When I was six years old
I played Chinese checkers
with a woman
who was ninety-three years old.
She lived by herself
in an apartment down the hall
from ours.

We played Chinese checkers
every Monday and Thursday nights.
While we played she usually talked
about her husband
who had been dead for seventy years
and we drank tea and ate cookies
and cheated.

"Portrait of a Child-Bride on Her Honeymoon"

The desire
in her eyes
sits astride
a rocking horse.

Her breasts
are like
little teacups.

And her vagina
is an Easter
bunny.

"Hansel and Gretel"

I have always wanted to write a poem about Hansel
and Gretel going through the forest, leaving behind
them pieces of apple pie to form sort of a bridge between
dream and reality, and being followed by those gentle
birds that embrace both illusions like violins eating
pieces of apple pie.


"April Ground"

Digging the April ground with a shovel
that looked like Harpo Marx, I cut a woman in two,
and one half crawled toward the infinitesimal,
and the other half crawled toward the eternal.

That's All Folks !!!
Dickie is taking a powder
For now,
But he probably will return
soon.


Glenn

2:21 PM  
Blogger butch said...

Dougie:

Here is the tail that wagged the dog, today and tomorrow.

Kid Grout

Kid Grout was a short
drink of water,
and it left him
with a hair-trigger temper
and big knuckled hands
that hovered constantly
over the twin pearl-handled .45
Peacemakers
in his black leather belt.

They say he loved the whores
at the Bella Savant,
and one humid afternoon
he shot a miner in the groin
for disrespecting Miss Annie;
who was his favorite.

I guess he loved to play poker too,
and it became his unraveling.
One night in December,
Bart Harte sat himself down
at the beer-stained green felt-covered table,
placing a fat pile of greenbacks
next to a tall stack of twenty dollar gold pieces.
Kid Grout’s pig eyes lit up,
shining with mescal
and arrogance.

The kid drew for an inside straight,
and he didn’t get it;
but he was all in
so like a man who had crapped his britches,
he put on the glower
and bluff, but
the gambler had the full house,
aces over tens.

Kid Grout bellered
like a wasp-stung bear,
and his big hands dove
for the Colts,
dangling from his waist
like great silver cocks;
but Harte had one of those
terrible and tiny one-shot derringers
spring loaded under his coat sleeve,
just above his right wrist.

The fancy pop gun made
it’s small noise,
and the hot slug parted
the kid’s eyebrows,
burrowing like a tick of lightning
knuckle deep into his brain.
Before the Colt twins could bark
death, death itself
like a searing cowled shadow
leaped ravenously upon him
and devoured the light.

Harte played at being
the big man
for about a month,
until two Indians backshot him
in an alley in Tombstone.
I wonder what the hell
he said to Kid Grout
when they met up
in the town of
Glory?

Glenn Buttkus 2007

3:39 PM  

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