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

Act II

hamlet1Your ‘traditional’ values
a façade,
community theatre set
flimsy, off-kilter
kitschy backdrop for
absurdist black comedy

faith as virtue
dignity as punchline
righteousness as truth
pomposity as dignity
oppression as plot twist

‘Jerry Mathers as The Beaver
your black-and-white is showing

nuance cannot be played
by circus clowns
deifying pies-in-the-face as
western civilization’s
high water marks

you, yes you!
square-jawed leading men
could not lead ants to a picnic
but got the gig anyway
blowing your wads on the audition
with nothing in reserve

one dimensional players
in roles written with complexity
vastly more intelligent playwrights
who envisioned a successful run
of dramatic turns
never intending
for the show to go from
high art
to second-rate parody

now the audience is getting antsy
and it’s not even
intermission

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

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

Run on sentence

running2Whatever it was
I used to be running from
sentenced to and for what…

I forgot

what I am now running to –
at a slower, more mindful pace
I may get to ‘to’ or I may not

I don’t know

youth was escaping
on the run from, to…sprinting
middle age finds me
looking over my shoulder lessDonQuixoteWindmill

I have slowed down

life is now a more leisurely
5K-type pace, not a race,
…but for a cure or a cause?

I am I, Don Quixote

slow and steady wins the race
but there is less competition
no pressing urge to best others
?????????????????????????

I still want to win

keep the pace with the race
enjoy the scenery make the case
that the joy is in the journey

in the best shape of my life

others now try to keep up with…
me? I am the lead dog in the pack
setting the pace, tone, tempo

I smile, and don’t look back

Mark Lucker

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

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.

KAAAA-boom

Periodically, I implode
my muse a well-placed charge

when set off correctly, it does
the job neatly, as it should, with
a dusty cloud of self-regard

blowing up something big
irrevocably changes the skyline,
surrounding landscape, leaving an
wobbly pile of rubble to be climbed
on and explored, sifted through,
then hauled away

Only then is it time to build anew

Wry smile confirms that I had a blast,
as my hat and hair remain askew