Bob Lucky

The Never-Ending Dream I Hope Never to Have

I live on a dead-end street, but there are so many people on the road to nowhere any cul-de-sac can be the center of the universe, a never-ending festival with blind jugglers and one-man bands, pickpockets and hot dogs in bandanas, mustard on cotton candy and a whiff of weed sprouting between my toes and a taco truck, an ice cream vendor tucking a mantra between scoops, and a mother searching for the child she never had. Come to Mommy, she cries, like the boy who cried wolf, and we slip into our rescue vests and head for the haunted house.


(A poem based on Giacomo Joyce by James Joyce, page 7, Faber and Faber, 1968)


(A poem based on Giacomo Joyce by James Joyce, page 8, Faber and Faber, 1968)

Near the End

Finally, no matter if one stayed up all night with a swollen tongue begging for just a drop, the dew stopped coming to wet the withered weeds. People drank their urine until that fountain dried up too. Those who could still cry were followed by crowds hoping to catch the last tear drop. I was secretly drinking my own blood. It left a bitter taste in my mouth. I was about to die of loneliness when the rains came.

And in the End

Hey, dude? What’s up? I never talk like that in real life but felt I needed some kind of credibility. He was standing on a railing of a bridge over a river. I was pretty sure the river wasn’t very deep. And I’m not sure this guy cared if he drowned or fed his brains to the fish, if there were any fish in this particular river. Who knows? I wouldn’t eat one. I’m going to kill myself, he said. I had already figured that out, but I didn’t let on. Why, I asked. This question, this existential question you think every suicide would consider, seemed to stump him. The pregnant pause gave me time to stump him again. Why this river, I asked. What, he shouted. Now we’re getting somewhere, I thought. Why now? Morte silence. (Sorry, that was a typo.) Why not yesterday? Or tomorrow? Couldn’t you wait until after the weekend? No one loves me, he said. What’s the point? Do you love anyone, I asked.

Bob Lucky is the author of Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Conversation Starters in a Language No One Speaks (SurVision Books, 2018), My Thology: Not Always True But Always Truth (Cyberwit, 2019). His work has appeared in Rattle, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Otoliths, and other journals.

He lives in Portugal.
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