Life is not karaoke

performing words, ways
of others
interest me not at all

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