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

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

The pragmatist, ambivalent

Although I suffer fromprag1 (2)
a strong faith
it allows me the privilege to
not fear death
or its obligatory attachments

no desire exists within me
to see just exactly
what lurks in
other-side-a-topia

I don’t ruminate on
who I know that
will be
won’t be there

they are dead
they are gone
they may/may not be
hanging out someplace
metaphysical or spiritual

bus stop
malt shop
corner bar
beyond

I don’t think of departed
souls as how they were
when they left
I imagine them as they
would be, now

Twenty turning sixty?
Skipped the middle-man
life
accumulated nothingprag3
physical, otherwise
pro-and-con scenarios

My father would be 102
a more jovial version than
the 67-year-old dude
who left,
mid-cancer

Grandparents
I never met
girlfriends
I never dated
childhood friends
high school classmates
friends, enemies, cliques

a bunch of people

I can’t possibly
have remembered to
have forgotten

the older I get
the older they get
the older I get
the longer the list of

people I hope to meet
people I will need to avoid
those who might want to
catch up, admonish,
welcome me
aboard
to the clubprag4

might just want to
mingle there
in

heaven
hell
purgatory
Des Moines’
Greyhound bus depot,
circa 1975

No hurry on my end to
find out if I am
right
wrong
misled or if
I just followed poorly

When I get wherever, if my
name is not on the
bouncer’s clipboard

no biggie

I’ll go find myself
in bold, underlined, on
someone else’s
list

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

Laughter, unfading

‘If by chance some day you’re not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I’ve said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my comedy3purpose as your clown has been fulfilled.’
– Red Skelton

I never wanted to be known
as class clown
being the buffoon never my style
even in younger days I
preferred wit to slapstick
drollery and pathos
over crudeness and burlesque

Looking back I saw
missed opportunity in my humor
camouflaging as it did my
other attributes

my reputation cemented
as the fun, funny guy who could
always be counted on for
the big laugh
unexpected punchline

As time passed all I wantedCLOWN3
was the respect
of my peers
those who liked me, others
who I admired
for themselves

Decades have passed
as have classmates
frequently I have  been called upon
to provide a moment –
my amusing or hilarious take
on something past
story, funny toast, anecdote,
or memory
in times we gather
happy times or sorrowful
personally, or online

I am the one
to dilute the sadnesscomedy4
with quirky eulogist’s take on
someone’s life, shared times

Acceptance of my ‘character’
character was a
long time coming
though eventually, grudgingly
I acquiesced to long-ago-forged
rapier-wit persona
tempered as it was by time in
the minds of others

But a funny thing happened
on my way to
being jester remembered
a comment, once – from
an old friend, yet another
from someone else

more have followed suit

comments of gratitudeCLOWN1
or being there
to lift spirits on down days
remove the edge
from darker moments
just being me

These certainties I know now
relied upon by others
comfort, in some way
relief, reassurance to people
whose respect I long
sought, long ago discounted

Death, taxes, a quip from me
one out of three aint bad

I’ll take that to my grave
even though I have always believed
you can’t take it with you
because I cannot in good consciencecomedy2
leave such an important gig
to someone else

As the show must always…
go on, now.

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

#laughter #comedyandtragedy
#NaPoWriMoprompt1  #NaPoWriMoApril2019

Put on your shoes

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

      Laozi

Our journey has finally begun road1.jpg
there have been
fits, starts, delays
in getting here; now
finally underway, I am ill at ease

The irony, not lost on me

An inveterate wanderer, –
‘Mr. Spontaneity’ to friends, family
I do not like not having an even
rudimentary itinerary
I find myself in the driver’s seat,
riding unwilling shotgun

Where this road takes us, unclear.
I know where we are going  –
in abstract theory
our route is well-traveled,
mapped out and useless
“This way” our only directional cue

Traveling companions
our conversations more and
more disjointed, repetitive
yet replete with always new insights
wisdom, perspectives – shared,
dispersed like random gumballs

I wanted the yellow, got the red
still a gumball.
Something innocuous to chew onroad3

People sometimes remember
in order to forget;
not by choice, yours a different tack
forgetting to not remember
remembering the obscurity of what was
oblivious at time to what is

except when you aren’t.

Your navigational skills
no longer reliable
I steer conversation to a time of
your place and choosing
where with alarming alacrity
you can recall, recite
the mundane and profound
as I work to remember
to try and not forget, while keeping
my eyes on the road ahead,

utilizing little more than stray
magazine articles and brochures,
well-meaning advice,and gut instinct
all the while striving to keep us moving
forward, using the rear-view mirror

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

Visionally

Been here too longbutterfly
seen
way too much

my empathy has
decayed
piles of rubble-pity

hope was a chrysalis
birthed
ugly butterflies
that now flit from
dead plant to
dead plant

Paradox eternal
doing right things for
eventualdecay1
wrong reasons
appeasing, ignoring those
doing wrong things for
right reasons

conundrums abound
doing good where ‘good’ is
nebulous,
‘doing good’ suspect
moral ambiguity the norm

corrupted
even the best of the good
tempered
by good intentions
gone rogue

– 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

A toast

24102‘…A flute of champagne
contains
one million bubbles.’

Toasting a new year –
fresh starts
beginnings, endings,
transitions –
see each bubble
as a moment
each individually
tantalizing, collectively
rising rapidly,
quickly dissipating

Gone

short-lived
effervescence
sweet anticipation
swiftly departed
memorable

Savor each bubble –
the tingling of
remembrance
tickle of anticipation
moments reveled in
quickly gone

let each beguiling
moment refresh
your palate
the sweetness
of what was
flavorful temptation
of what is to come.

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

Missing out

Living now in a placeautumn leaves3
where, in autumn most
leaves stay put
clinging to their branches
without pretense

never having the
decency to abandon their
vibrant green for
appropriate, earthy hues

A few adhere to my more
familiar, season-bound
tradition, true natural order
small in numbers
generally unnoticed

It takes keen effort to
scrounge enough of a
collection for
traditionally crunchy walk

Which is cheatingDSC03236

The jumpable, enjoyably
scratchy, towering orange,
brown, red, yellow leaf piles
I crave are hopeless here

my native Midwest seems
further away in fall than
during the absence of winter’s
winter’s snowy blankets,
frosty windows

for I know full well
the curative, redemptive
potential of a fall
leaf pile on a man’s soul

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

Put on your shoes

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

      Laozi

Our journey has finally begun
there have been
fits, starts, delays
in getting here; now
finally underway, I am ill at ease

The irony, not lost on me

An inveterate wanderer, –
‘Mr. Spontaneity’ to friends, family
I do not like not having an even
rudimentary itinerary
I find myself in the driver’s seat,
riding unwilling shotgun

Where this road takes us, unclear.
I know where we are going  –
in abstract theory
our route is well-traveled,
mapped out and useless
“This way” our only directional cue

Traveling companions
our conversations more and
more disjointed, repetitive
yet replete with always new insights
wisdom, perspective shared,
dispersed like random gumballs

I wanted the yellow, got the red
still a gumball.
something innocuous to chew on

People sometimes remember
in order to forget;
not by choice, yours a different tack
forgetting to not remember
remembering the obscurity of what was
oblivious at time to what is

except when you aren’t.

Your navigational skills
no longer reliable
I steer conversation to a time of
your place and choosing
where with alarming alacrity
you can recall, recite
the mundane and profound
as I work to remember
to try and not forget, while keeping
my eyes on the road ahead,

utilizing little more than stray
magazine articles and brochures,
well-meaning advice,and gut instinct
all the while striving to keep us moving
forward, using the rear-view mirror

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