Nonmonochromic

My yin blue
yang
red

cold, hot

spiritual
Rock’em
Sock’em Robots

equal footing
confined battle
to the end

“He knocked
his block off!”
proclaimed
black-and-white
TV commercial peers
of my youth
in victorious awe

such is the
nature of my id
whapwhapwhap
kaaa-chinng!

Block knocked off.

Stoic head
pushed back down
locking in
with sharp snap
ready for
another round

go on
hit me, sock me
again

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2020
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Finials

Chinese takeout

whiskey sour, two cherries

living room recliner

not yet in full-on mode

 

discussions of recent past

upcoming future

plans, goals, objectives abstract

in low-resolution

 

wistful recollections

glad-its-over conversations

annual ‘old’ sounds-better rebuke –

same auld, same auld

 

old acquaintances unforgotten

checking in/on via social media

I’m fine/have a happy

memes on not sticking with…

 

They who are of certain vintage

forgotten until various reminders

to do just so crop up

incessantly, as they should

 

‘we need to get together’

‘been too long’

‘let’s do dinner/drinks/coffee’

all duly noted as cyber reminders

 

As clock and calendar creep on

chair footrest stays put, down

less relaxation overtake

clock-watching urges, older body

 

At midnight the song is sung

proclamation as fact

not reflective question, as written

should they be forgot, not

 

At midnight once each year

mental warehouses, inventoried

plans grandiose, mundane

decreed with boozy solemnity

 

For auld lang syne, my dear,

for auld lang syne!

We’ll shake the year gone like

metaphysical Etch-A-Sketch,

for auld lang syne, my dear

for auld lang mine

 

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

 

Elegy for Them All

Twenty-two.clouds4g2
Thirty-four, twenty-seven
thirty-nine

Cancer, leukemia, suicide
insidious bastards, each

‘gone too soon’
‘in a better place’clouds4g2-2-f
sycophant salutations
of condolence

We hardly knew ye

Sons, daughters of old friends.
A cousin.
Classmates of our children.

All too vivid reminders
“There but for the grace of God…”
not at all feeling full of grace

single: such promise, unfulfilledclouds4g
married: too young to be a…

Do not platitude me.clouds1

Circle of life
natural order
called home –
clichés
bring comfort only to
disquieted conveyor

I call you, life, on yourclouds1-2b
inherent bullshit.

starting over
parents, siblings, spouses,
friends, acquaintances
colleagues and well-meaning
fund-raisersclouds4g2-2-f

‘moving on’
tethers, broken
bonds strengthened
but how to attach
shackles of memories
to a ghost?

life without
life after
life different
life goes on
a life goes away,clouds4g2-2-f clouds1-2b
we stick around

starting over is stopping,
shifting gears
in-neutral-contemplation
with motor running
deciding direction,
starting slowly, accelerating
gently, with caution,
shifting into low-gear
traversing rocky terrain

‘it is what it is’
banalities softening
in tone, over time
hardening in heavy-handed
sanctification of
never quite being sureclouds1-2b-2g

Why, why, why.
And why?

‘Death, be not proud’clouds4g2-2-f
I am not proud to say
‘I do not like this, ‘God, I am’!
I do not like these dirty ends

forgiving departure begets
forgetting things petty
anger taking grief- time
better spent elsewhere, but…

how ironically oxymoronic;
indelible as a lifeclouds1-2c
it is death, cannot be erased

Raging against
the dying of the light
all the more fruitless
when the light was only
just ignited

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Call me, Ishmael. Leave a message.

We all have within us
some Captain Ahab

obsessively pursuing
something, someone

unattainable

physically or mentally
we quest something lost
never obtained
hadn’t the courage or
stomach for

a diem you could never
carpe

uselessly we quest a time
we came close
nagging should haves
gnawing what ifs

Crimes of passion
not worth prosecuting

each an intensely personal
no-two-alike fingerprint
‘one that got away’

we imagine our prey
sporting our broken-off
harpoons

festering wounds
unbeknownst to us have
scarred over
healed entirely

never went deep enough
scabs that quickly fell away

still we pursue
irrationally with purpose
a creature from the
depths of then

only breaking the calm
surface of now
when it suits us to be
on the hunt

“…to the last,
I grapple with thee…”

parting words uttered
in reply to no one,

the one

the one that got away
cannot let you go if
you don’t
reciprocate

hunter, hunted,
haunted.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Monitored

Laying in the hospital ER bed
vulnerability incognito
machismo mano-a-mano

upside-down thoughts
what the hell is the co-pay
on in-network mortality?

Say a prayer, ask a nurse
“If you keep me here do I
get Jell-O tonight?”

Task at hand Q & A
“Are you having chest pains?”
“No, but I do have a chest.”

“Look at this chart. Point to the
smiley face best describing your pain.”
“That one. Cranky Donald Trump.”

Sneering, she marks iPad e-chart
emphatically, labeling my pain
‘progressive’ as it recedes

Once we are all said-and-done
before they send me home
I can revisit forgotten, lame

abjectly erotic thrill
removal of multiple electrodes
from hirsute torso

I have entered my sixth decade
with complete mastery
of truly cheap thrills

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Soul Luddites

Born in the gloaming
first decade of the Cold War

I puzzle over peers
same vintage as I
declaring superiority for era
we know only from history
family, books, movies

1950’s forever!

Disdaining new insight
for tried and…true? Truth?

The manufactured idyllic spin
post-war, tenuous-peace

The Bomb and all it’s
societal accoutrements
rationalizing or not realizing
now isn’t then, vice versa

I see the fallout from
seeking this shelter

There is comfort to be had
in familiarity
there is comfort to be found
in family heirloom quilt
warmth, nostalgia
safety of cocoon solace
providing feigned comfort from
the winds of now

Hiding behind faith tradition

good enough façade for then but
of little use, here-and-now
no matter who was left behind
no matter who was never close enough
to be close behind

mid last-century
practicums, ways, ideals and ideas

obscure in more enlightened times
we need to let go of in times of
openness, opportunity. Hope.

Try to rectify the sins of the past
for those of our future
Those who find faith in then have
a placebo for now

their fear showing in lack of faith
their professed faith shows
fearful – underestimating G-d with
no confidence in themselves
ironically relying on a mystical then
none of us really knew

My generation sports a sadly
hollow spiritual politic via
We-the-father-knows-best hubris

My indignant peers!

Less about faith in higher power
more about fear in lesser beings
ourselves
self-loathing or just scared

of…?
antiquated, angry spasms of control
control the advancement

control the situation
control the ways of..
control when

your imagined faith-based status
at risk of loss reverting to then
solving all problems

all ills what ails
everyone but us

ironic in its regression to
idyllic then that
never existed, but in modern myth

Quo Vadis,
status quo?



– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Ahhhnointed

Watching the news
story of great angst of
North American Olive Oil Association

never I knew but should
have realized there is a
powerful group of such oilers

curious soul that I am
the urge to know led me to
The Vinegar Institute

not content with their acidic
academia haughtiness they reside at
versatilevinegar.org

while their viscous
counterparts keep it basic, real at
aboutoliveoil.org

Ahh, modern technology!

What things we could have wrought
had you been around
to liven up my salad days

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Poems my father left me

There is reason, evenDad Camp Plauche poem p2
some rhyme
in the stanza, the beat
the reading in time

of who, what, why he was
what he did and why he didn’t
why he maybe should’ve
not stressing on could’ve

Sometimes

His groove was far more
scat than stanza
he could always carry a
jaunty life tune
singing it with gusto

over thirty years since
his last oration
I can still recite
his many poetic forms

Some are tests
proctored from beyond
father/son veil and

I often refer to his
weathered, worn
hand-me-down crib notes
mental index cards
life lessons
guidelines
direction

admonitions and
insights

Cantos of appreciation
for good food
garnished with lively
conversation
the need for tolerance
futility in anger borne ofDad and unknown men locale year 2
frustration

To value people
by the
who not the what, that
words can be weapons
how deeply
they will cut

His iambic passion
for baseball,
Laurel & Hardy
how to properly be the
life of any party

Hard work doesn’t hurt
a broken heart surely does
that family is what it is, not
what it should be or once was

haikus on

How to laugh, how to
love; why the hell you always
should, chortle romance

at every available
opportunity

it is always O.K. to cry
at a favorite song or
at a movie
that age is no impediment
to being
cool, even groovydad and I 35 - Copy

My father left couplets
deli pastrami
crusty-soft Jewish rye

cottage cheese mixed
with sour cream

real New York cheesecake
ricotta cheese, not the fake

steak; medium rare

bourbon and sour
Glenn Miller’s music

all of them much better
from a really good chair

Madrigals for life
try new things
continually dream
life is good
strive to make it better
regardless how it seems

Friends will come,
friends will go

A few will stick around
all will leave you something
of great value

His odes to a son

if you like it, then
it is good – let
critics be thus damned

there will always be more
questions than answers

Not to sweat it
never regret it

you should laugh often
love well
and vice-versa

To smell the roses is good
to give them, even better
in bouquets
and one at a time

These are the poems
my father left me

I can and
often do
recite them

at will

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

No French cuffs

Plaid flannel shirts
of my Northwoods youth
smelled of
beer and pine cones
boat motor gasoline and
fresh-caught sunfish
wood smoke
and filtered Winstons

When I was a kid the
intertwined, pungent
aromas of cervelat salami
plumbers’ grease, house paint
mingled freely, locked
in square-patterned fibers
always-rolled-up sleeves

no amount of
Fels Naptha-soap
could smother those
godly auras

When I was a kid
plaid flannel shirts smelled
wonderfully worn by heroes –
old men with accents and dialects
eye-winks and odd habits
mentors who I know understood
that I emulated
aspired to one day be like

Plaid flannel shirts
hang now in my closet;
freshly washed, hanging neatly –
as they never
would or could on the
hero-men I knew

My plaid flannel shirts
hang quietly, neatly
sedately
rarely worn, quietly lived-in
yet they, too
smell of wood-smoke
and pine trees
beer, salami, pine

wood-box Colby cheese and
chainsaw exhaust
bait minnows and Old Spice
whenever I open
my closet

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd