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

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