Landmarks and touchstones

In honor of April being National Poetry Month, today I’m going back even deeper than he old Marchives – my repository of previously used (in one form or another) poems. This one comes from some forty years ago: it is the first poem I ever wrote just for the sake of writing a poem.

Forty years.

That has some significance to me as it was one of the first years I traveled alone, via Greyhound bus, from Denver, Colorado, where my family had moved when I was ten, to my hometown of Minneapolis, where I spent the summer with family and friends.

All-in-all, I think it holds up well; it’s not a horrible piece, especially taken in the context of being written by a fifteen year old boy.

Here, for the first time in print or electronic form, in its original, typewritten form (I still have the typewriter, BTW) is Minnesota Seasons. May the poet in you be inspired!
First Poem (2)

 – Mark Lucker

Bartender genome

tequillashots1Sitting alone at a bar
downing rows of tequila shots
earns you your bar cred

griping rights: politics, sports,
love, loss, life’s inequities

pour-out-your-heart
privilege, at the very least

knowing, indifferent nod,
patronizing smile
tacit agreement smirkespresso2
‘go for it’ shrug

Sitting by yourself at Starbucks’
throwing back espresso shots
buys you a hipster buzz

clicking away on your laptop
caressing your smartphone to life
cyber-genie-in-rectangle-bottletequillashots2

earning you little more
than barista indifference

as they lack the hereditary
imperative of the best barkeeps
worldly servers, even
past-their-prime barflies

beverage gentrification of theespresso
traditional, dimly-lit, urban habitat
renders the trusted, guru-esque
breed of mixologist one of our
most endangered species

Master the artful hybrid genetics
of barkeeps and barista
there is a Nobel Prize for you.

Or at very least, a perpetually
overflowing tip jar.

– Mark Lucker