Confidently…

I have grown accustomed to
astonishment of others

selfconfidencesilently, smugly I take their
surprise as less personal affront
more opportunity to exploit
their naiveté-tinged ignorance

(when not feeling charitable)

making any successes sweeter
though I oftentimes regret
my haughty self-restraint in
not saying ‘I told you so’

actions chat louder than words
though aren’t always heard
while seeing is believing
even when nobody is watching

– Mark Lucker

Here on scholarship

“There is no honor amongst thieves05199_V13_I1
even less with trailer-park debutantes”

Early life lesson from a bartender who
worked his bottle opener like a scrapyard
crane operator dumping rusty Chevys
spun a corkscrew as a master drill press
operator teaching an apprentice21-500x347

But that was years ago, when the price
of a drink was considered cheap tuition
whether auditing the neighborhood class
or undergrad-afterthought clubbing

Now I know betterbillets 100 dollars #23

You pay for the best education paying
attention to detail, not with Franklins

People tell tales; life instructs,
proctors its own tests
sometimes you get your gradestandardized_testing
rarely are you offered extra credit

Life’s tests are not standardized
multiple choice essays true/false

Just do the homework
02hillary_bskip the cramming
know it or you don’t

Seeing it living it understanding it
where, when it all went south
when you’ve reached the summit
how you did it, maybe could again

sometimes you just walk away

platitudes, platypus, Plato;
you’ve read enough to be dangerousPlato-006
a grandma once told me with sad irony
“You buy ‘em books, you buy ‘em books”

And never the twain shall meet.

What I have learned and can impart
from this side of the weathered bar?gps

Be polite, play nice, share your toys
Life is not always fair because it isn’t
Love and laugh – a lot and with gusto
Look both ways before you cross life

And never trust a vagabond with a GPS.

Mark Lucker

Misdiagnosis

Admiringly told I
‘didn’t have an insecure
bone’ in my body

I gracefully thanked the
impromptu diagnostician
while silently questioning
his medical conclusion

having double checked
every x-ray and CAT scan
the evidence on film seems
supportively in favor of my
more cautious second opinion

while acknowledging
simply for comparison that no
radiologist had ever located
my ample funny bone
I could accept his initial
conclusion knowing that any
treatment options would be
fairly limited anyway

make no bones about it
the Röntgenesque tribute
while flawed, was more
amusing resident-intern
error than fatal verdict

Mark Lucker

Passing fancy

I have passed many things in life;
tests, gas, out, deals-of-a-lifetime,
cars on the freeway, footballs –
been given a free pass,
let other go past

I have passed forty and now fifty;
been passed over at work, while
women have passed me by as
has apparently ‘my time.’
I have passed the buck.

I have passed the gravy and on
the opportunity; been caught
without a hall pass, had my
past catch up to me, though
most have let that pass

I have frequently passed muster
often said ‘Thanks but I’ll pass’
made quite a few passes at girls
with and without glasses – often
past the point-of-no-return

Someday they will say of me,
“Oh, he has passed on” though in
my own mind I will just be dead,
simply in the past-tense of others

It’s all semantics, anyway, once
you get past the diction, phrasing –
the awkwardly quirky bad spelling
has all passed someones inspection

Hummel a few bars and they’ll fake it

carnal garden gnomes
filling my shelves with tchotchkes;
time to trim big leaves

Not a deep sleep

I used to have a dream where
I had won first prize in a
church raffle: lunch with God

where, over, thin-crust pizza,
I could ask him three questions.
I always lead with an inquiry
about why he made humans

“The hyenas” sayeth God,
as the waitress pours more wine,
“said I didn’t a sense of humor.”
“Guess you showed them, huh?”
replyeth I, with a nod

In my dream, God then laughs
uproariously – looking, for just a
moment like my late uncle Paul
(without salad stuck in his teeth)

This is where the dream always
ends, leaving me to ponder; was
it just a lame dollar-a-ticket raffle,
or am I not much of a dreamer?

Accessorizing rime

The albatross swinging
from around my neck

is simply a rental

like a tux, I pick one up
just when needed

for extremely formal
occasions only

Comfy

Certain memories are
a favorite pair of old slippers;
ragged, tattered, not much
to look at, but comfortable in
a way nothing new could be

once you plucked them from
the garbage; second thoughts?

hard to part, sometimes, with
a never-complaining old friend

then again, sometimes it’s best
to just let the dog chew ‘em up

Pilgrim

I am a spiritual man
I believe

stuff.

I have read a lot, lived
a bunch, experienced
much, seen and did

things

Other people of different
places, peoples, cultures
old ways and fresh ideas.
have always piqued
my curiosity

Ideas of life, concepts of

God, the/a hereafter,
meanings of life, purposes
for existing.

Questions, asked
repeatedly, differently
answers given
vaguely, with a shrug
howling in defiance

Sometimes, the answers
actually matched the
questions being asked or
the puzzle being challenged

Sometimes

Why, how, why, why, why?
Why, you say?

always, still more why.

‘How’ always finishing a
distant, disinterested second.

I am a spiritual man.
I believe

stuff.

Who believes

me?

2011 – 2012

2011

“Give it a sixty-
two, Dick. It had an odd beat;
could you dance to it?”

2012.1

promises proclaimed
vast improvements vowed
compliance deferred

2012.2

January’s hope
March’s actualities
December’s ‘oh-ohs’…