Call me, Ishmael. Leave a message.

We all have within us
some Captain Ahab

obsessively pursuing
something, someone

unattainable

physically or mentally
we quest something lost
never obtained
hadn’t the courage or
stomach for

a diem you could never
carpe

uselessly we quest a time
we came close
nagging should haves
gnawing what ifs

Crimes of passion
not worth prosecuting

each an intensely personal
no-two-alike fingerprint
‘one that got away’

we imagine our prey
sporting our broken-off
harpoons

festering wounds
unbeknownst to us have
scarred over
healed entirely

never went deep enough
scabs that quickly fell away

still we pursue
irrationally with purpose
a creature from the
depths of then

only breaking the calm
surface of now
when it suits us to be
on the hunt

“…to the last,
I grapple with thee…”

parting words uttered
in reply to no one,

the one

the one that got away
cannot let you go if
you don’t
reciprocate

hunter, hunted,
haunted.

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

Documentation

Uniquely Minnesotabar napkin
crumpled, soggy
torn palate
slurred ink
Picassoesque words

Big Chief tablets
beloved by
2nd graders,
kitsch rhymesters

used envelopes
narrow canvas
postage, odd visuals,
broken windows
work in
cancellation stamp
wanderlust,
bonus angst

matchbook cover
epics cause
inspired squinting

haikus on receipts
cannot be returned without
merchandise in hand

scribbles, doodles on
pilfered periodicals
leave waiting rooms wanting
morsecodeed
urinal stall cuneiform
witticisms masquerading
as profundity
works! when aim altered

poetry is not common law;
always get it in writing

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

Wood-post modernist

pencil2thrills are to be had

secrets need revealing
wonders beg unraveling
truths urge to be told

revelations

dark and light
constrained in the
pristine symmetry of
new, freshly sharpened
shiny-yellow pencil

just above the perfectly
honed greyish tip
peach-fuzz wisps of wood
cling gently, smell of pine
tickle fingers excitedly

anticipation

cylindrically contained
wisdom waits for dispensing
tales of life crave to regale;
ideas yearn to be rendered
philosophies chafe
to be revealed

slices of life,

snapshots in time
narrow, wooden
repository of wisdom
covenant ark of perceptions
woven tightly between
two fingers, thumb

pristine, freshly sharpened,
primal and fearless
my shiny yellow pencil

poet selfie stick.

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

In Honor of Aidan Immerfall 1991- 2014

IMG_20140721_133201

– Aidan Erin Immerfall, 2014

 

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

Ode dear.

My studentsPhoto0406

engaged with our
classroom material!

Rh negative blood shows
up with more frequency
than authentic interest

b ooks2my high school sophomores
academic pursuits escape
without breaking a sweat

until today, our unit on poetry

contemporary poetic takes
on relationships, life,
old basketball players,
the homeless
and disenfranchised

have left them unmoved,
their empathy still pristine
in their blister packs

Today we read, write odes –beatboy
puppies, cars, cheerleading;
tributes to video games,
paeans to
socks, cheese, urns, lamps;
dead soldiers, old beauty
queens, blank paper, life

pique curiosity, prompt

student salutes to pizza,
kittens, guns, gumbo

we explore synonyms for
like, praise, honor, worship;
admire, love, ‘really like’.
hyperbole flows
like spilled syrupaudience

and we never stop to
clean up our messes.

Each class repeats
the pattern
reveling in the un-poetic
praising the mundane
flattering the obscureblindsquirrel

acknowledging stuff.

My day ends with ample
praises having been
ambiguously, unassuredly
sung, shouted mumbling
from loose-leaf rooftops

nut-finding blind squirrels
would be at home
in my classroom,
would probably listen at least
as intently as my students
as I recite for the
pseudo-attentive
sophomore masses

this salutation to success
my ode to odes.

– Mark Lucker

Recycle

tartarsauce“Love is like tartar sauce; it looks like hell, you have no
idea what’ in it, but you always seem to find it tasty”.
Me, circa 1990

Witticisms, coined phrases of my
younger years linger around me
trailing like stray dogs followingcoining
me home from the butcher shop

‘scat! go away! don’t follow me’!

But I am not that stern in rebukebassethounds
and what amused others in the
ubiquitous then often stagger
occasionally into the now

which I oftentimes take asmicrophoneonstand
permission to trot out my
verbal dog-and-pony show
sans pony, awash in dogs

blank stares quizzical looks
remind me that as times change
so do my own sensibilities
though at times logic succumbs
to temptation falling off the
cleverness wagon with a thud

accordion2“life is an accordion” I have oft
noted “the harder you squeeze it,
the more discordant the music”

offending more than a few
aficionados of squeeze box music
puzzling others of a musical ilk2204773492_a3171a1168
tone-deaf to my whimsical bent

With age comes fresh insight new
opportunities, chances to start overaudience
with new audiences who have yet
to hear my-one-about-the…

everything old becomes new againSO001038
keeping me in the spirit of going green
salvaging scraps for one more turn

instead of leaving them on a pie panil_fullxfull_404646133_qnon
outside my backdoor for the stray
benign dogs they are to come nosh

– Mark Lucker

Muse bemuse

Erato

She has been a muse
nothing more and
everything less
since we met as teens

inspiration still flows
from a fleeting reminder;
hearing her name
(commonly used by others
out of parental laziness)
the searing stubbed-toe
pain of an emotional owie
only she could’ve kissed
and made better

longing springs from trying
to remember just why
pinpoint specifics of how;
pixellated memories
vaguely distinguishable
from imagination

I was never her destiny
not even on the periphery
of being a fallback option
as I don’t believe she ever
wrote a single word of me,
save long-ago-stopped-
exchanging Christmas cards

Thalia

as my muse she has become
more verb than noun
a contemplative touchstone
to a time when faux
inspired creativity passed
for honest insight

confirming my relief that
I am neither sculptor or
painter…but a simple poet
– prone to and forgiven for –
hyperbole and other creative
transgressions, writing with
suspended creative license,
failing to not yield
to the pedestrian

A musing

You seduced me.

Drew me in
played me for the fool

and I bit
took the bait
tried to dart away
only driving the hook
in deeper

now here I am
at your pondering mercy;
throw me in your creel
fry me up
toss me back

let me swim away
or watch me flopping
for breath at your feet

Usually you throw me back.

I get bigger, bolder
still incapable of resistance
when the bright flash of
inspirational lure crosses
whatever path I am swimming

writer as languid, sassy bass
catch me if you can
catch me as you always do

catch-and-release is a
weak metaphor, considering
your use of live bait
and my less-than-persnickety
appetite for flashy, darting
things that shine

Throw me back.
Come again tomorrow.

Self. Centered.

I love to walk alone
in the rain and snow
the colder
the wetter
the better

I hear, understand
nature, myself,
my perosnal nature
a whole lot better

character building
personal challenge; to
prevail against the cold,
the wet, implies some sort
of adversarial relationship
we do not partake

the colder
the wetter
the better
for while tasting fresh snow,
caressing rambunctious rain,
I hear the wind laughing at me
knowing it is nothing personal
for I am truly not that vain.