Mark Butkus

Mark Butkus
New York, New York, United States
October 21
New York City Minute
There are eight million stories in The Naked City, The New York City Minute tells them 60 words at a time.


Mark Butkus's Links

My Links

Life is often forgotten beyond the headlines. A nation recoiled in horror with the murder of journalist James Foley on August 19, 2014 and introduced a new word into our collective vocabulary — ISIS.

James' friends in…

Read full post »

The anniversary of the death of Edgar Allan Poe on October 7 was duly noted in many media outlets and social media as well. For some fans of Poe, October 9 is the more important date. October 9, 1849 is the date of Rufus Wilmot Griswold's infamous obituary in/… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 26, 2013 3:32PM

The One About St. Mark's Place

There was that night on St. Mark's Place?
      At St. Mark's Church
I stand corrected – At St. Mark's Church
     OCC Q PIE Wall Street
We were going to change the world – again
     Just like our parentRead full post »
NOVEMBER 8, 2013 3:42PM

Word Up! The Pilsen Poetry Slam

Pilsen gets Slammed by Poetry.

Chicago has a long history of promoting poetry. The Poetry magazine has provided poets from Kilmer to Trethewey with vital exposure for more than a century. The first poetry slams were held in Chicago at the
Read full post »
Diego Luna reads Howl en espanol!

 (Other than Jack Kerouac's death on October 21, 1969 no other date resonates as much in the Beat culture as October 7, 1955. The date of the the first public reading of Allen Ginsberg's seminal poem, "Howl"  in SanRead full post »

MAY 12, 2013 9:22AM

For A Mother

A mother is more than a night in a delivery room
She is there when needed
Soothes away pain
With a smile or a touch
Provides lessons in life
And especially lessons in laughs

She gives from her heart
Read full post »

APRIL 8, 2013 11:52AM

Curbside Haiku of New York City

Car stops near bike lane
Cyclist entering raffle
Unwanted door prize

Aggressive driver.
Aggressive pedestrian.
Two crash test dummies.
Haiku for the urban masses. Who says that safety campaigns have to be boring? New York City's Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioned artist Jo
Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 7, 2013 11:16AM

Buddy Bolden: The Forgotten King of Jazz

Buddy Bolden: The King of Jazz and his band circa 1905.


Did you hear that?

Much like the crazy rhythms that would go on to become John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis it took an outsized character to get some… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 22, 2012 12:54PM

Fear and Loathing in the Art World

Fear and Loathing: The Board Game.
Two bags of grass? Check.

Seventy-five pellets of mescaline? Check.

Five sheets of high-powered blotter acid? Check.

Challenge, Dose and Adventure cards? What!!??

In a move that would put a smirk on Hunter S Thompson's face is a mixed media work of art that…

Read full post »

Phillis Wheatley's (1753–1784) birth name is lost to time.

She arrived in America as a child aboard the slave ship Phillis. Bought by the Wheatley family she became, at the age of 20, the first African American poet and the first… Read full post »

JANUARY 30, 2012 6:25PM

Library Walk: Gwendolyn Brooks

In 1996, the New York Public Library, the Grand Central Partnership and the New Yorker Magazine convened a panel of esteemed lovers of the written word and came up with a collection of quotations from the never-ending oeuvre of literature.

These quotes were cast… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 11, 2012 9:18PM

The View From Here: Harlem Sunrise

 Harlem Sunrise

The view from my living room window overlooking Harlem. Every day I am treated to the most phenomenal light show that nature can produce. Read full post »

The Many Faces of Ojibway Artist Paul Shilling.
"For me, painting is a medium for healing, for celebrating the spirit and it is a gift. Painting gives me an opportunity to explore and understand myself and my place and relationship within the circle of…

Read full post »

NY Eve 2012
The history of the Times Square balldrop began with a fireworks display on New Year's Eve 1904 when the New York Times opened its new offices on 42nd Street. The tradition of the balldrop would begin four years later in 1908 in what was now known as Times Square.

At 11:59…

Read full post »


Navy Seal Lt. Dan Cnossen stepped on an IED in Afghanistan on September 8, 2009 and lost both of his legs. On November 6, 2011 Dan Cnossen crossed the finish line of the New York City Marathon in  2:38:00. There were… Read full post »

Let Them Eat Emily Dickinson's Coconut Cake

From Charles Baudelaire to Dylan Thomas most poets are associated with their favorite libation. Emily Dickinson is associated with her favorite kitchen treats. One of America's most celebrated poets wielded a…

Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2011 10:25AM

Hipster Reindeer of New York

(Or How New York Invented Christmas)

New York lays claim to most everything and Christmas is no exception. From Santa Claus himself to eight tiny reindeer you wouldn't be noggin' if not for New York.

Christmas is so hip that St. Nick himself is…

Read full post »

DECEMBER 8, 2011 8:53AM

Imagine John Lennon

John Lennon always considered himself a poet before a musician. Before he was a Beatle he was an artist. Born on October 9, 1940, John Lennon would be enjoying his 71st year but we know that he did not celebrate a… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 21, 2011 3:54PM

Baby Grand Busker

Busking in Washington Square on a grand scale.An Autumn Sonata in Washington Square.

The early evening walkers within Washington Square were treated to an unexpected classical music recital at dusk on Sunday. While a treat to the eyes and ears, the concrete concert begs the questions: How does a baby grand roll into Washington… Read full post »

Nikky Finney has won the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry. In a ceremony last night in New York City, Nikky Finney beat out a stellar group of finalists to claim the National Book Award for her fourth volume of poetry - Head Off & Split.


Read full post »

NOVEMBER 16, 2011 1:45PM

Five Poets Vie for National Book Award

The National Book Award winners will be announced tonight in a ceremony in New York City. The five authors competing for the poetry award are Nikky Finney, Yusef Komunyakaa, Carl Phillips, Adrienne Rich and Bruce Smith.

The Awards gives… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 16, 2011 11:38AM

Hall, Dupré Win Canadian Poetry Honors

The Canada Council for the Arts today announced the winners of the 75th Governor General’s Literary Awards, worth $25,000 each. Poets Phil Hall and Louise Dupré won the Poetry Award in their respective languages.

In its release to the media, the Canada Council states that, "KRead full post »

 James Arthur Baldwin was inducted into the American Poets' Corner on November 6, 2011 becoming the 44th inductee. While it is true that Baldwin wrote one volume of poetry -- Jimmy's Blues -- he is better known as an essayist in the tradition of Thoreau and Emerson./… Read full post »

The movie “V for Vendetta” introduced a new item to the radical’s toolbox — the Guy Fawkes mask. Co-opted by Anonymous it has appeared at protests ranging from Occupy Wall Street to Scientology.

On November 5, 1605 Guy Fawkes was arrested via… Read full post »

More Memorial Day than Halloween, Día de los Muertos brings the dead back to life in the early days of November through remembrance and rituals passed down from generation to generation. The Days also afford a lighthearted poke at the…

Read full post »