The pragmatist, ambivalent

Although I suffer fromprag1 (2)
a strong faith
it allows me the privilege to
not fear death
or its obligatory attachments

no desire exists within me
to see just exactly
what lurks in
other-side-a-topia

I don’t ruminate on
who I know that
will be
won’t be there

they are dead
they are gone
they may/may not be
hanging out someplace
metaphysical or spiritual

bus stop
malt shop
corner bar
beyond

I don’t think of departed
souls as how they were
when they left
I imagine them as they
would be, now

Twenty turning sixty?
Skipped the middle-man
life
accumulated nothingprag3
physical, otherwise
pro-and-con scenarios

My father would be 102
a more jovial version than
the 67-year-old dude
who left,
mid-cancer

Grandparents
I never met
girlfriends
I never dated
childhood friends
high school classmates
friends, enemies, cliques

a bunch of people

I can’t possibly
have remembered to
have forgotten

the older I get
the older they get
the older I get
the longer the list of

people I hope to meet
people I will need to avoid
those who might want to
catch up, admonish,
welcome me
aboard
to the clubprag4

might just want to
mingle there
in

heaven
hell
purgatory
Des Moines’
Greyhound bus depot,
circa 1975

No hurry on my end to
find out if I am
right
wrong
misled or if
I just followed poorly

When I get wherever, if my
name is not on the
bouncer’s clipboard

no biggie

I’ll go find myself
in bold, underlined, on
someone else’s
list

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

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

Gnosis laid bare

aristotleThe tone
of your discourse
public, private, anonymous
shrill, accusatory
non-sequiturs blending
reality, perception, personality
seamless, misguided pastiche
grounded in your justified
fear of being wrong

fear of not being right
fear of differences
fear of those similar, but
who say unfamiliar things
unbecoming via people that
look, seem like you,
aren’t at all, after all

Fear looks at you from your mirror
fearing your helplessness
no faith exists in the impotence of
the unknown, you stare back
through bloodshot eyes,
sneering disbelief of how, why

my country!
my ideas!
my ideals!
mine!philosophersedit
my piety!
my way of life!
my way or get out!

My goodness! You fear
so much based on so little.

Shame on you

self-loathing perpetuating
insecurities as gospel
persuading yourself, few others,
yes your fear is not fear, not hate
something more grounded
reasonable hate coming from others
not vice versa

go back to reflect
thoreauon what the mirror doesn’t show
what you don’t see may surprise you
if it doesn’t, turn out the lights
look again, more closely

refracted darkness is only
fearing what you cannot see
yet you only fear what is unseen
demons imagined; grotesque caricatures
therein lies your dilemma
a dichotomy reflexively reacting to
reflected fear of the benign known,

sinister only because you fear unknowns
leaving you looking for what is there,
in the darkness, peering in return
with skeptical, knowing eyes, staring
at you vacantly with piteous regret

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

Prey

You cannot pursue
your epiphany

Elmer Fudd-like

True, wascally revelation is
cunning, coy, indiscriminate –
charmingly droll,
visceral with twinkling eye

To hunt your trophy epiphany,
to blindly stalk personal truth
is just taking a walk.

Truth – truth be told –
is far more cunning than you are
much more adept at being
the hunter than at being
the hunted.