Poetry by R. A. Lucas

The Excuse: an Email


Still not certain how

my schedule will unfold


I am confronted by a

roiling combination

of previous promises

weather events


miscellaneous omens now conspire

to leave me dealing in a world of 18% grey.


Calendars mean nothing.


I beg a day to consult

the shape of morning clouds

the slight rising whistle of a mourning dove

a woman with remarkable legs who sells fruit at the local market on Tuesdays

the priests at the end of the lane

various unpaid consultants, shamans, retainers

tea leaves coffee dregs


wine stains


I will get back to you. Soon.






Outlier in 12/8 time


It’s like a joke in a way. You know?

I mean


explaining anything that

shouldn’t need to be       explained


My old man played

sax in the’30s


I knew broken rhythms from

my first step         me not old
enough to shave. You know?


Broken rhythms?





5-4 time. You know? 12-8


my friends daytripping the Beatles in ’65

me carrying Thelonious Monk

under my arm


Thelonious Sphere Monk dig it


I got cool, you know? Cool.


No one told me about Howl      no one

knew      I felt it before I read it and
Jesus, did we need anything else?


I know. You weren’t there. You

missed it, an accident


of birth. Your parents didn’t know how

important it would be


riots in Paris death

at Kent State you

bopping to disco.


Really? Did you need that?


Disco Repeat Disco Repeat Disco

drums supplied by


a machine a machine a fucking machine

dig it?


It was like a joke in a way. You know?



Vagabond Deluxe


I have played

in the warm rains of a surprise

Hawaiian downpour

walked Fijian beaches

and seen

wet dark stones silvered

by Pacific sunsets


I have fished fast flowing

Spanish rivers

sought comfort in Havana’s bars

and stood on the

balcony outside Hemingway’s

Key West bedroom


I have wandered the

cobbled streets of Saint-Michel

stood beneath the weight

of Notre Dame’s ancient shadow

searched for gold in a

Tangiers market and left

footprints on the shores of

the Sea of Cortez




I would give it all back

erase from memory

destinations far and near

if for a moment

I could revisit Victoria Avenue

and in that bedroom

just once more

find you waiting.

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