What’s in a Name?
by Rick Lupert

My parents named me Rick
spelled just that way.

They liked the way it sounded and
didn’t want to have Richard

on paper, just so they could
call me Rick.

When I ordered my birth certificate
in 1986, from the great

state of New Jersey, so I could
get my driver’s license,

it came with a document
signed by my dad

removing the ‘k’ which he thought
would be cool.

There was another document
attached to that

dated the very next day
signed by my mom

changing it back.
You could see the divorce

coming for miles.

PHOTOGRAPH: Rick Lupert in 1970, shortly after the events described in the poem. With a pony.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I don’t remember a time that my parents weren’t divorced. The evidence discovered in the events of this poem, years after they occurred, were astounding to me, not just because of what they foretold about their relationship, but because they were evidence that the relationship actually existed . . . something I never experienced as a conscious human.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for two years. He created the Poetry Super Highway and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 17 collections of poetry, including Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman (Rothco Press, May 2015), The Gettysburg Undress, and Nothing in New England is New, and edited the anthologies Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah, and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic Cat and Banana. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California. Visit him on facebook.