Monday, September 29, 2008

Staff Bible Study

A fluorescent light
blinks over
tired sun-burnt faces
looking sideways
out of hooded college sweat shirts

while a balding man
explains where
wisdom and understanding
can be found.

Few bibles are open.
The bubbly girls are yawning
while the chubby-funny guys
are more asleep than awake.

I'm watching a bug circle the room
trying to remember how to spell


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bass Fishing

This is another borderline.

I'm clumsy in boats
I always have been

I maintain what the boy scouts taught me
three points of contact at all times

I'm a decent swimmer
but I want to keep it a voluntary thing

The outdoor channel shows bass fishing
all the time

they have tournaments
the fishermen have fast boats

They stand on flat decks
and toss lures on weeds

it makes me nervous to watch them
I find myself clutching the arms of the couch

I change the channel quickly

I don't know why I'm writing this.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm a Grown Up Now

So I'm starting plan out my next chapbook. This is one of my borderlines. So tell me what you think.

When I wake up
I hit the snooze 4 times
mutter an expletive
and roll out of bed

It's dark when I drive to work,
brake lights and street lights
reflect off a slick empty highway
I listen to sports radio

I pass three porn stores
a strip club
and a casino
on my way to work

Five car lots, a Wal Mart
my old church
the house where my bible study met
when I was in high school

the church no longer exists
but there are teriyaki shops
at least 10 of them
just on my drive to work

I pass my old orthodontist's office
the field I learned to play soccer on
the music store where I bought my guitar
I commute when I used to watch grindhouse flicks after bar close

I don't know what I'm doing at work
People are friendly
ask how I'm doing
I smile

You know--keeping my head above water; or
highs and lows, strikes and gutters; or
starting to get the hang of things; or
same old same old

Oh and. . .
I went to sleep at 6:30 last night
because I just couldn't think of anything else to do; or
counting down the minutes until I can fall asleep or drink myself stupid

Monday, September 22, 2008


I'd really like input on this poem. So if you have see anything you think is awkward or doesn't make sense do tell. Likewise, if any parts of the poem make you say to yourself "this Tucker fellow is the next king of poetry," do tell.

My cousin Tom smoked until his grand children were in kindergarten. When I was 5 I spilled frosted flakes on my crotch. He said he'd done it a dozen times, and that I shouldn't be embarrassed about it: he's always been my favorite cousin.

Now he's got emphysema and big bushy beard. I only see him at reunions, he can't be around camp fires and he wheezes all the time.

Last time I saw him, I was drinking a High Life out of a styrofoam cooler. Tom asked me if he could have one, said he'd have to owe me till the next reunion. Under his breath he muttered "if I make the next one." I told him he'd better because he owes me a beer.

My cousin Scottie was 17 when his dad died of cancer. At the next reunion Tom took him aside, gave him a beer, told Scottie the only thing he looked forward to about these reunions was having a beer with Scottie's dad and that he needed to have a beer with Scottie.

A few years later Scottie told me if he ever met cancer he'd kick him in the balls. I don't think I'll ever know exactly how he feels but I do know this: if I don't get a beer at the next reunion emphysema better find a cup.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cool New Christian Tattoo

So I've decided
my tattoo is going to be
on my side from my hip
up my rib cage

Where oh death is your sting

With a hornet
devil horns
a confused
sad expression

Heisman pose
with a 4 inch stinger
broke in half

in comic book letters,
like in the old Batman

With Jesus in a karate outfit
double black belt
chopping the stinger in half.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Love Poems

I can fall in love fast, if it were in the Olympics I would be a medalist guaranteed. I'm real fast and I fancy myself a poet, maybe not Allen Ginsberg or William Blake, but a poet. This means that within five minutes of the crush forming, I'm busy writing the love poem in my head.

I fall in love often: baristas, lab partners, girls ordering dark beers or talking about fantasy novels have me head over heels faster than I can stutter an introduction. While I'm stuttering I'm writing the love poem. Planning it out in my head, calculating my approach to the poem she'll never hear or if she does, she'll never know it was about her.

There is strategy to these poems: go big or go home. I know how to go big. I've got so many lines popping out my head it's hard to concentrate. It takes me 5 minutes to answer the question "you want room for cream?"

When I'm asked that question I'm not thinking about anything going in my coffee. I'm thinking 'If you were a princess I'd be your mario. No amount revolving walls of flame hammer throwing koopas or slowly shot giant bullets with angry faces could stop me from storming the castle and saving you from Bowser.'

In my head I make outrageous promises like climbing mountains crowded with angry monkeys wielding switch blades and monkey-sized broad swords, or swimming shark infested seas wearing a wool sweater soaked in seal blood.

Someday, when I finally find someone who's writing poems about me in her head, they'll be no use for hyperbole. I'll say unimpressive things that are actually true. "I probably wouldn't walk 500 miles just to fall down at your door, but I would walk 5 or 6 miles just to watch the Big Lebowski.

"Your smile doesn't remind me of a sunset, but I do think it's pretty
and I'm willing to make a complete fool of myself just to see it."

Someday I'll write a love poem that's true. I won't even have to use my imagination. I'll actually read it to the person who inspired it; and when the girl at Starbucks, or whatever locally owned coffee shop I happen to be at, asks me if I want room for cream. I won't pause. I won't look deep into her eyes. I won't try and think of any romantic analogies. I won't think at all. I'll say casually, instinctively, "no, thank you" then turn and try and locate the sports section of the Seattle Times.

Monday, September 15, 2008


So this poem is a bit like the last one I posted. I'm trying to reclaim some old pieces, like this one. this was a road trip piece I never posted for some reason.

I feel like a man when I drive
when I pull into gas stations
buy a cup of coffee
confirm directions I have on a map

I wear an over-sized Washington belt buckle
with an eagle, mountain and evergreen tree
501's, hiking boots and a T-shirt with a cougar on it
I belong on the road

I like the seeing
trees, rocks, people
taking it in
with eyes stretched

like NFL linebackers
eyes almost popping out
because something important
is always about to happen

a grove of cypress trees
a concrete caveman
an old man on a front porch
widdling himself into a cliche

the route is a free-write
going where it will
with a general sense of direction
destinations left to be discovered

I need the road
I need to see something new
rivers, lizards, cities or diners
I need to study things for the first time

I have inherited the wander lust
from generations of ancestors who needed the road
across the Atlantic and across the plains
because they'd seen home

driving is an instinct
like house cats stalking dirty socks
or dogs peeing on mail boxes
I feel like man when I drive

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wishing I was a Bad Ass

When I smoke
I'm Lee Van Clef.
I consider
real slow.

When I smoke
I have a handle bar mustache.
I see things

When I smoke
I think about
lots of things,

in the smoke
I see faces
of the people
I've killed,

or at least
I've seen killed
in movies.

The Closet

Everything I want to own is in my car right now:
three plastic bins, a guitar and a backpack.
I'm a long ways from being a nomad
riding the rails, following the great herds
but I'm a gas station and a reason away from anywhere.

One bin is pants and jackets.
One bin is shirts.
One bin is books, dvd's and pictures.
I keep miscellaneous Best Buy suburban necessities in my backpack.

I'm happy with the little inconvenience
of making room for a passenger or two,
though there may be a few small digs
about the clutter.

My car is a closet,
for right now
I live in it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


A friend told me to check out a pizza place on railroad
told me it was great, that it would be my new favorite place in town.
I tried it and it was pizza.

It was good
but it was just pizza,
there was nothing special about it.

Like when I went to the Grand Canyon
drove out there with a buddy in the middle of the night
drove 6 hours out of our way, because it was the grand canyon,
we sat in my Camry and watched the sun come up.
It came up slow and we saw more and more of the canyon,
it was big.

I read Ovid's Metamorphoses.
I didn't get what the big deal was.
Maybe I'm not cultured enough.
Maybe I need to read more things
to be able to read Ovid
and actually like it.

People say that's what I need to do,
but I think those people are in love with being smart.
They want to have opinions on Ovid, Plato and Tolstoy.
I don't.
I wish I hadn't read Ovid,
it was crap.

Most things that are supposed to be special
The people who say they are
just want to be special themselves,
but they aren't.

Now when I went to see Crater Lake
that was special.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Couches in front yards
mean that the lease is up
in a college town
they migrate there every fall.

For a week
their owners advertise their comfort:
drinking cheap beer and smoking cigarettes
while lounging in their old davenport.

Some are snatched up quick,
depending on the corner they're on and their condition
some could be on the lawn an hour or less
but some aren't so fortunate.

This is for the unlucky
stuck out in the rain
mildew growing in their pull-out mattress,

for the ugly and torn
on inaccessible back alleys
drooping with fall rain,

for the last one taken to the dump
collecting dead leaves
into the depths of October,

for those cushions
that will never smell right again
never have another out of town friend crash on them.

Those who are gone,
buried in landfills
or lost under a mountain of clutter
next to old cans of paint
in the back of poorly lit basements.

For years
they soaked up the PBR
wore the spilled marinara sauce with pride
hid pens, bottle openers and change so well
we forgot they even existed.

Let us not make that same mistake
with these noble embracers of ass,
for while we may have abandoned them
in favor of our Aunts reclining love seat,
nothing could replace the love they showed us
on those late nights
watching Warner TimeLife's Golden Oldies informercials.

Monday, September 1, 2008

All Smiles

He's working hard at killing his liver
in dimly lit dives
frequented by girls
in tight black jeans,
bullets hanging round their waist.

He spills bull shit
lapped up
by twenty-somethings
emanating bullshit of their own,
it gives off a faint glow,
it's how those tanks are lit.

Smokes in alleys
walks down dirty sidewalks
laughs when he's supposed to
knows the right people
orders the right drinks,
he's vaguely liked by most.

His disease is buried
like a cicada,
comes out
once in coon's age.
When it does
it makes a big noise.

On the side of the road
a dead coyote