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

 

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

Delivered

walking oldScreenshot (43)
neighborhood streets
first time in forty years

strolling the paper route
I once sped through on bike
chucking news, sports,
imaginary touchdown passes
blithe in my accuracy –
papers always
landing where intended
most of the time

remembering homes, faces
cantankerous folks
the best tippers
comforting offers of
lemonade, hot cocoa
incessantly yapping dogs
jokester accountants
fantasy-inducing housewives

Screenshot (45)subconsciously,
automatically I calculate
throwing angles to
accommodate now-grown trees
front yard rock gardens
odd statuary

before realizing with
laughably wistful irony that
all these years later
while I still have enough arm
to get them their news
would this generation even
understand the concept of
computer mouses
with cords
for their tales
landing on their doorsteps

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

diurnal

“…and there’s nothin’ short of dyin’
urban1that’s half as lonesome as the sound
of a sleepin’ city sidewalk
and Sunday mornin’, comin’ down…”

– Kris Kristoffferson

There is no respite from the escape
the night before, sketchy
adrenaline rush of
getting there, staying there, leavingurban3
behind whatever it was
trying to find whatever it is
oblivious as to whatever it should be
ambiguity used to fuel contentedness
but years, miles, time
have dulled senses, pinched off
feelings of adequacy
going with the flow when the
stream bed is just withered sand;
grounded flotsam
of sun-bleached opportunity
weathered dreams
honed to dull, polished smoothness
but the stream no longer washes over them,
urban1channel a conduit only for what was
any chance at rejuvenation
lies in torrential rains
that would wash away the dust
only to disappear once again
in the heat of another day

Stepping out into the street
putting aside metaphor, remembrances
reality is shrill comeuppance
here you are, who cares where you were
you don’t know where you’re going
though the morning is warm you fight the chill
inexorable creeping of time
paranoia of memories and the truth
assuaging balm of reminisces
warmth; pulling the collar of invincibility
up around your throat

There is a cold front moving in

experience has taught you
your wherewithal to combat the elements
no match for this brewing storm
the only sensibility and clarity afforded
urban1by all who’s, what’s, where’s, why’s
urban2you have been
the person you have become
knows instinctually, without regret

hunkering down, waiting it out,
no longer a viable option

out-of-place and time,
weathervane
spins incoherently
vagaries of the squall tells
only from where the wind blows,
not to point you in a direction
in lieu of a compass, it will have to do

headed down the street
the wind at your back, in your face
the city beckons you to
urban3impossibly attainable anonymity
promises you will be forgotten
but only for now,
only today, only tomorrow

There is no respite from the escape
still, you got out – ironically,
you would consider going back if
you only could remember
where you had been, why you were there,
how you got here from there
in the first place
this is what the morning brings

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

Don Yoda

Quixotic exploits
in multiple life-genres
satisfied, I am

lacking though, in
satisfactory resolutionsquixote1
ambiguity suits me

beguiling, am I, in my
befuddlement of others
confounding doubters

mirror voyeurism
minus Dorian Gray ego,
Carly Simon panache

sing anyway, I cannot
dapper enough, I am
charm, it is, carries me

sophisticated enough
I know lost causes from
heroic potential

onward I trudge, in
lightness of step, spirit
ever vigilant

ready for action
sublime or fool’s errand
poised to charge on

never possessing
the courage to
believe in nothing

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Casting

Life casts its shadowsbackstage9
as the director a play
each silhouette distinctive,
unrecognizable,
tragicomic profiles

Actors are we all;
no wordless Kabuki,backstage14
tutiti-fruiti, aww Rudy!

the action plays out
scene-by-stolen-scene
“all the world’s a stage”
the stage a fantasy worldbackstage11
that doesn’t lie

light dictates
action of the dark
sans script, stealthybackstage12
hitting each mark
never missing a cue
follow the action!
Plot, be damned!
character development
holds sway over
uncalled for encoresbackstage4
Out, damn’d spotlight!
Out, I say!

It is the refraction
of the darkness
spilling over, into the light

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Driven

Waiting for an oil change
rachaElray3customer area big-screen TV
Rachael Ray cooks pasta something
a grandfather across from me texts

the coffee is respectable
volume on the TV isn’t but
Rachael is Rachael it doesn’t matter
she cooks rhythmically zzt! zzt! zzt!
the unmistakable garage sound
of tightened lug nuts al dente

oppressive smell of new rubber

I remember the first car I owned
cherry ’69 Plymouth that needed new
Goodyears that first summer of ’78

smooth white sidewalls costwst3
me extra, almost out of fashion then
there are none on display here
young blue-shirt guy at the counter
says with bewilderment they can
special order white sidewalls

I smile, tell him I’m just asking

sit back down where the grandfather
is still texting joined now by a young
woman in red dental-office scrubs
scrolling rapidly through her smart phone
both oblivious to Rachael, moved
on to odd vegetables zzt! zzt! zzt!

This is  the proverbial rubber-oflugnuts1
memory-meets-the-road-of-fantasy

I am whizzing down thin blacktop
’69 Plymouth, white sidewalls,
windows down, Rachael’s hair flying,
staring longingly from passenger seat
talking about stopping for pasta…

zzt! zzt! zzt! ZZZZT!  My name is called;
my newly lubed, innocuous sedan, ready –
leaving hygienist, grandpa and Rachael to
their respective rubber-scented reveries

– Mark Lucker

Tips

Life is not karaoke

performing words, ways
of others
interest me not at all

imitationtipjar1
less sincere flattery
more pandering laziness

someone else’s persona
under guise of
your ‘interpretation’

nothing there is real.

I sit on a rickety stool
deliver my own material
strum my own chords
sing my own song

battered tip jar
constantly overflows with
gratuitous knowledge,
advice, cautionary tales,
cryptic foretelling,
simple greetings

crumpled singles
lay atop crisp new bills of
various denominations

rubber checks
fortune cookie slips
bank robber notes
inadvertent shopping lists
mingle unobtrusively

between sets
I empty the snifter
let the aroma waft

smooth out the crinkled
tender, rough drafts
and manuscript

absorb doodles, scribbles
assorted hieroglyphs
phone numbers

keeping some, using
many, tossing most
remembering all

the words, ways
of others as intimation
not imitation

playing my show live
all original
not my take of
someone else’s shtick

making it all
just someone else’s
take on me

– Mark Lucker

Deliverance

remembering trumpsfullhouse
planned forgetting
spontaneity a full house,
repression a lowly pair

erasing the past isdelete key
deleting old email, your

in-box is empty, but…

our eternally modernreplybutton
struggle remains
reply or delete?
reply or delete?
reply or delete
reply. delete.

indecisivehuntandpeck
hunt-and-peck
via archetypical
cartoonish devil
on one shoulder
angel on the otherarcheologist

needing a reboot;

archeologist feverishly
digging away on one scapula
Santayana philosophicallyGeorge_Santayana
musing on the other side

your contemplative
reveries frequently disrupted
answering the doorbell t0

Jacob Marley’s ghostjacobmarley
clad (sans chains) in
Dickensian FedEx uniform

resignedly you scrawlfedexdelivery
your nonchalant signature
on her thick clipboard
close the door beforefedexpackages
tossing the unopened envelope
onto the stack with the others

– Mark Lucker

Estrange

Regret and I100_5071
have a tenuous
relationship

flirtations ebb, wane
pop up again
precariously at odd
moments, clumsily

the standoffish one
in this tepid
relationship is me

running hot-and-cold
I can be a
frustrating companion100_5067

lackluster lover

there is no love lost
between me
and regret

never love
at first sight
never a commitment

convenient
one-night stand
whenever I
happen to
be in town

regrets
I’ve had a few,
so sayeth Sinatra

regret is a derisive
impotent lover
scorned

cold shoulder
all mine

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