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.

Esoterically

“Et tu, Brute?” exudes more
raw panache than
“Eebbeda, eebbeda, eebeda –
that’s all, folks!”

Abject profundity, treasured
ironic historical declarations
notwithstanding, as a poet
and teacher of English
language arts and crafts
I am more keenly aware than
most; when departing premises,
punctuation trumps all.

Timing

Night comes, day goes –
or vice versa. Who knows?

Nocturnal vices of peers-
beer, dancing, sex, beer
in no particular order

My vices of the night –
words, paper, words

am I more profound, or
more boring – or vice versa?

Who knows? Day comes,
night goes

Picasso Bunyan

A poet friend goes to the
piney north woods only after
stopping by the local
hardware store where he
picks up paint-chip cards.

Holding them up to
whatever thing of nature
he is writing about,he then
aspires to be Crayola literate
in his effortless verse.

Lying in those very same
north woods, gazing at a glassy
sky full of stars framed by
towering jack pines and aspens,
matted with moonlight, I need no
cardboard strips,knowing full well
‘damn fabulous, spectacular blue’
when I see it.

A shade, by the way,
Hardware Hank doesn’t even carry.