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

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

June 5, 2019

News item: On this day in 1977the Apple II computer went on sale, and the era of personal computing began. Developed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, it was the first successful mass-produced microcomputer designed for home use.

SouthIn 1977 on June the fifth I was
four days away from
graduating high school
four days from embarking on the
epic journey to now

On this day in that particular year
my friends and I were
saying goodbye
to each other
to life as we knew it
to the place we had known
more as a home than our houses
or apartments

South High School

On this day in 1977 South had one
computer in residence a
large, intimidating IBM that fed on
digested, then regurgitated
rectangular punch cards that seemed
cut from manila folders

One computer
the size of a vintage Corvette
that took up most of the space
in a large room, with a
perpetually open window to dissipate3606999478_42862dd6eb_b
computing heat

Within a week
unaware that the age of
personal computing had arrived
I departed high school
life as I knew it to that point
gifted, by my parents
with a portable electric typewriter
in a hard, textured-plastic case

I took it with me when I left home
just a week later
Greyhound bus, Colorado
home to native Minnesota
the brown Smith-Corona barely
sliding beneath the seat in
front of me, sleek, ridged handle
providing a foot rest-slash-
theft prevention

Forty-two years
thousands of miles
hundreds of radio scripts, resumes,
pieces of correspondence
a thousand poems, three
partial great-American-novel (not)
manuscripts and
lord knows what else
later100_1851 300

The scribing monolith sits retired
relaxed in its case
beneath my basement steps
the stories it could (and did!) tell
clear-cut a small forest
and would probably
if digitized
appear as nothing more
than a stray ellipsis in a solitary
file of a Mac laptop

As we jokingly said in
1977 mock-robot speak
‘that does not compute’
as indeed at the time
none of us did

Ahh, but things change
time flies

So does my laptop.

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

Echelons

IMG_20190309_191648772Feet on the bottom of a
swimming pool
at times still fill me with
strange sensation
retaining an unknown,
odd fear – wet concrete
hard, dispassionate

I was eight the first time I
hit chlorinated water
our family trumpeting
middle-class arrival
vacation traveling
staying at a motel

With a pool.

Unimpressed,
pool1disappointed I was
in the outcome of
newly bourgeois journey
having previously spent
my summer days splashing
in Horseshoe Lake

squishing sandy clay
through
suntanned toes
trying in vain to step on
minnows
flossing feet on
slimy weeds
catching oblivious
frogs

The pool didn’t ooze
could only bruise

My middle class
awakening was one
of haughty pretentiousness
looking down as I was at
my fellow travelers
also my age
though obviously lacking
my significantIMG_20190309_191844651
expertise in
how things should be

I sadly realized
only much later that
perhaps they lacked my
insight and
experience but also

very hopefully

my posing, self-righteous
pity
at their sorry
lots in life

– Mark Lucker

© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

obsequies

Death came againsad-e1546002905737.png

conversational notification
sociability media
cultural medium du jour

mundanely profound in
heralding a passing

old acquaintance
high school classmate
we were not close,
then

now?comment

feeling compelled to not be
standoffish, participate in
communal grief

‘click’

Our friendship was not
at a depth
then-or-now
lending itself to
condolence commentary

then,

our lives were intertwined
in clumps around
hallway lockers
five-minutes at a time

now

we congregate in the
church halls of Facebook
in passing, needing to get
to the next

‘click’

Our grief
it’s commemoration
has become
personally anonymous
round, yellow,
not-happy facesyou and
adorned with solitary tear

GIFs of
flaming Viking ships,
other visual totems of
various, dubious ilk

friend!

we feast you on the pyre
of our laptop screens
saying farewell

‘click.’

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2018
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

What are the Oz?

Historically considering myself
the Scarecrow
middle-age, circumstance, time
have me contemplating fates
identifying a more Tin Man persona
seeking oil for locked up joints
moving clunkily, at times
joyously graceful, others
grudgingly accepting assistance
from my companions –
friends who
humor my myriad compunctions
to stay out in the rain
eschewing consequences for
the sheer joy of rain

Unlike fictional counterparts I
discovered early, on my own,
lessons of the heart;
having, using, breaking, caring for
only to eventually discover
I missed something in
regards to care and maintenance

Needing more than wizened words:
high-tech cobalt
wielded by skilled surgeons
put in place
without benefit of
easy-open chest door; fixed.
tick-tick-tick-tick
just the way it should

I am now the Oz hybrid
repaired heart
experienced, wiser brain
enhanced courage
still traveling strange roads ready to
encounter the
sublime, absurd, good stuff, bad
with newfound
appreciation, anticipation, curiosity

knowing better than most
be it ever so humble, there is no
heart like thine own.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2018
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Pseudo 23

Modern-day Psalmists
plying their trade via pithy sayings
basic fonts, splashy backdrops
portmanteaus of
varying interpretation

revelations
shifting dunes rounded by
prevailing winds as arid,
accepted gospel
lacking lyricism
posted for the world by
self-anointed prophets
claiming persecution, occasionally
lapsing into lamenting angst
bitterly masquerading as wit
pleading cases to merciful
gods/laptop Pharisees
issuing agreeable protestations
eschewing grace

never to grasp ‘liking’
is not prayer
weeping ideograms do
not denote benevolence
gaped-mouth ‘wows’
cannot replicate true, godly awe

like biblical counterparts
exhortations to repent, reform
delivering thunderous,
threatening, visual praise by way of
pictorial concatenation
oblivious to concepts of mercy, conflating
holier-than-thou with holiness

Facebook is my sheep, shepherd
I shall not want for others
those who disagree are my enemies
I immerse myself in blue pastures
scrolling paths of self-righteousness
finding goodness in my followers
all through my days

Amen?

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

 

Act I

act-1-final-edit-brnblk

http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Gnosis laid bare

aristotleThe tone
of your discourse
public, private, anonymous
shrill, accusatory
non-sequiturs blending
reality, perception, personality
seamless, misguided pastiche
grounded in your justified
fear of being wrong

fear of not being right
fear of differences
fear of those similar, but
who say unfamiliar things
unbecoming via people that
look, seem like you,
aren’t at all, after all

Fear looks at you from your mirror
fearing your helplessness
no faith exists in the impotence of
the unknown, you stare back
through bloodshot eyes,
sneering disbelief of how, why

my country!
my ideas!
my ideals!
mine!philosophersedit
my piety!
my way of life!
my way or get out!

My goodness! You fear
so much based on so little.

Shame on you

self-loathing perpetuating
insecurities as gospel
persuading yourself, few others,
yes your fear is not fear, not hate
something more grounded
reasonable hate coming from others
not vice versa

go back to reflect
thoreauon what the mirror doesn’t show
what you don’t see may surprise you
if it doesn’t, turn out the lights
look again, more closely

refracted darkness is only
fearing what you cannot see
yet you only fear what is unseen
demons imagined; grotesque caricatures
therein lies your dilemma
a dichotomy reflexively reacting to
reflected fear of the benign known,

sinister only because you fear unknowns
leaving you looking for what is there,
in the darkness, peering in return
with skeptical, knowing eyes, staring
at you vacantly with piteous regret

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Elegy for Them

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
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd