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Much of this poetry has to do with me finding my way. Much of this was written after graduating from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelors' in Journalism. I decided my last semester there that I wanted to teach, but wasn't sure in what avenue. I first thought grad school was the ticket so I went to work for a while to try to save some money up, and after trying to apply to grad schools, I didn't get accepted and was feeling well, lost. It took me a year and a half before I made my way to Trinity Christian College and felt back on the road to getting somewhere. That's why this section is dubbed the "Lost Poetry."
and I feel ...
in my heart I feel bonfires and intellectual conversations and strange places and train stations and Route 66 and palm trees and camping trips, camping trips, camping trips, and lightning and thunder and thunder and lightning and all day concerts and acoustic jam sessions and a shed where I write and gardens and open fields and beaches and sunsets and sunrises and staying up all day and all of the night just because and baseball games and driving with the windows down on the highway with the tunes cranked, driving no particular place really, seeing no particular thing really, and wearing the same blue jeans over and over and getting involved in issues that affect us all such as the environment or politics, and helping others by teaching not particularly English but enthusiasm first and foremost
1,000 sleeping on an Allen Ginsberg a dream poem in a 1,000 page collection, a dream location amongst the 1,000 soft grains of white sand and the alarm clock sunlight, I awake 1,000 miles away from anywhere strolling along the beach I take some 1,000 paces to find a crab scurrying among the fishing poles set up on shore, extending their death notes 1,000 feet into the unknown an older woman from Tennessee smiles as we converse a young brunette taps her feet into her fears and backs away upon our talk of sharks and Jaws, my foot, I snapshot before the winds and the waves wash it away with all the footprints gone before it [the hawk rides ever so majestically within me] my breath rides this highway 130 to the direction of the sun beams and the trails and the tears of the Indians once gone before us where the wolves once fed, and the stories once read the exhaust flames dust the past in cough medicine, but not penetrable to this soul there's western sunrise in these eyes terra cotta tones and plateaus and hidden rivers and ancient tribal walkways for me to follow, to lead my own path, my own vision burn down the beat kitchen burn down the beat kitchen your sweater may need some stitchin' on the route you've taken you're a lost little girl your envelope under the wiper indicates it all from your boy's terrorizing rants, to his violent fall your hair in the wind is the hitchhiker's thumb forward a new life your crying, crying, crying is drying, drying on the wet pavement you run, run, run away from the destruction you saw the evil of it all the birdcage has opened fly, fly away The car ride rain pours on my car window, 1 in the morning some song plays on the radio I can't identify it, or where I'm at exactly even though I've been down this street a million times, it looks so strange the red, yellow, green lights drip with the rain off my window and splatter like wet paint the rain drops are louder than the music the car ride seems to be without time as if it was given to me as a gift a gift from all the weird parties and long days at work and days of doing things I didn't want to do thoughts from the night spiral my head like a windmill I'm pretty sure those thoughts are driving my car as I continuously meander in and out vacant 1 am lanes I feel like I'm in a movie, like a Quentin Tarantino Oak Lawn never looked so strange to me Was I really without time? 1 am and 2 am, 3 am are all basically the same anyway inside the car it was infinite, a surreal ride that's for sure cold weather is the ugly duckling of society reconstructing the laws of the universe the music breathes new life into this architect of dawn into this seer of the sunrise while all others sleep on a bus in Georgia this peach state is brilliant to the taste as the rays reflect through the shadows of the night road by she sings a song of love and then changes her tone in a wind of snow and rain for me to walk out in and rough out in and for people to bring up the weather on and to hate being reminded what the weather is because I know what this weather's like it's cold and it's distant to people and it's something that I almost find myself agreeing with people about while I hate it, I love it no two snowflakes are alike I like my breathe seen, my face against the wind me in the isolation, surrounded by a tree lot and firewood and the earth and the rough and tumble of a changing earth......and I a man who can take it all in with a love for the weather given ... the cold weather is the ugly duckling of society...he hasn't been loved and hasn't been given recognition and has fought against us with his coldness and winds and snow reconnecting with the glitters of the sunlight lying on a pier in the mist of nowhere but it's everywhere I want to be it's the feeling inside of me disconnected, lost out of place I could swear I'm floating on this I wish I was I could f l o a t forever I forgot how relaxing it was in nature watching the hawk the water flies as they dance on the water did they still dance during the September 11 attacks? It's been mid-siesta, as a local fisherman asked if I was taking and I almost forgot what had brought me here the purple trees populate the easy-going forest summer will be here soon hello and goodbye to a life once knew a suicide on your planned life I think I'm in a slump and I think I'm about due to connect the bases how do you fix a slump go to the plate again go to the plate again go to the plate again Abraham Lincoln failed many times but he never stopped trying time to stop lying on this pier walk off, face the world even at the risk of failure [the romantic train station of early night] the romantic train station of early night the people there, trainsients.....smoking a cigarette and communicating in a very mellow tongue wrapped in their song as the cars go on, congest, the transients digest their own easy-going conversation, free of time and free of space, free of place as they roam from station to station, building meaningful but casual relations one of the most beautiful noises is that of the train whistle, hear it, it's there one minute and gone the next [there's a million pieces of glass on the road] There's a million pieces of glass on the road there's a million different reflections they hold this road appears to be never-ending a dog plays with a woman in a field of snow it looks beautiful from a distance I keep seeing lonely footprint trails in this vast white seemingly going nowhere, until I can't see them anymore the cars whisk by in everyday fashion where are the trails going? I get off the snow-crunching side road for a minute and have taken off my headphones and tickle the winding road's shoulder, and take in the air and feel good in going nowhere [the sky is burning red sun] the sky is burning red sun the day is done night is an ocean as I swim into the unknown I'm pulled into tossing and turning darkness drifting around drifting around, around, around there is no lighthouse out here there is no buoy I swim in nothingness swimming off feeling to where I should be swimming wave after wave after wave pound me weird creatures swim under me fear is nothing for me to even contemplate I am my compass somewhere out there is the sunrise it will be a long swim [I Swim with the Sky] I swim with the sky And eat the sea I run long waves Of forgotten history Stopping to talk to the sunset, I color my blood red Beyond the distance Is something bigger than me But my eyes are bigger than my stomach Transportation Comes a time when we have to get on a train To let go of the places we've been to Transportation is an exhausting thing Going from this place to another It seems as though we're never Really getting anywhere You don't usually think About the next ride Until the one you're On is over Memory Lane Moped Ride riding on a moped at 40 miles an houa at 40 degrees with an old friend down memory lane and laughed and laughed and my helmet almost flew off in the paths of swirling cars and took in the cold night fall, letting it fall on my skin like a million cold showers refreshing it was the teacher, the salesman riding as friends once best friends, picking up where we left off, stepped onto the pedals into unknown directions, at least for this backseat driver, taking it all in our end never really ended ... our futures look wonderful and they're about to begin..... Long Journey deserted road to endlessly trudge upon leading to a long, narrow strip of nowhere the sand, burning, scorching my feet is the sand of time, time of the essence superlative mountain peaks peer over me the prevalent monsters push me down I've always wondered if I could climb one, but I've never even climbed a molehill the oppressing heat slows my brain sweat avidly pours in all directions and a sweeping amnesia grabs my mind in my land flowing with milk and honey cacti hysterically laugh as I pass their way the coyote howls in the far off distance I could swear I'm dying, dying in nothingness prey for the vultures I'd be, lousy scoundrels the road to nowhere, a long dead end and then the ticking, tick-tock chimes out and rings in my ears like church bells on Sunday sun sets and rises, sets, and rises, sets and rises I become thirsty for my city in the sky one with people who've crossed over where the grass is green, and the water, oh! the sweet taste of water I've forgotten roses line the fields and the parkways, and vultures are nowhere to be seen some say there is a place like that, but it is this road one must endure that pain and that suffering before they reach this place the sun rises again, and a morning drizzle sprinkles taste into my mouth, and feeling on my horrid, dried-cracked body the drizzle becomes a rain, and the rain becomes a pour and the pour becomes a storm, lightning n thunder seen over the towering mountains in my far off distance storm clouds congregate and clash, crrrr craaaaaaaash! a sight so beautiful, so powerful as if some sign by God to march forth I slept in a cave I wandered in that night, and just listened to the crackles and booms of the mighty storm as I lay down to await my next day upon this adventurous, treacherous road My own version of Into the Wild My own version of Into the Wild Firing up my mother's nature's child As I lay at my destination Free of politics, I gave my resignation As I set foot on Route 16 Freedom hit me, so serene Timeless, as if in a dream I trekked, turning a normal 20 minutes Into an hour, and in Passing I devoured The sites and the people in the air Like the hawks that flew above Taken in through eyes of love And the blue-eyed boy asked Me questions on the pier While his father gave an anxious Stare, a stare of wonder In the boy's eyes at the Lake, A stare of wonder in mine He's not botherin' me His father gave a chuckle, His ansiness about to buckle As me and the boy found our destinations Free of politics, I gave my resignation Diving head first I was the first to dive head first off a pier a mile down into a pool of the unknown I ran and ran and ran and it seemed like I was still running in mid air then it seemed like I reached a point where I was just f l o a t i n g ever so peacefully, like the time would never come where I would hit those cooling waves, I almost forgot the reason why I jumped it was like slow motion, meditation in the air the air became a cocoon of warmth and protection around me, an arrow that was taught and was suddenly broken as I heard the sound of crashing breaking wave envelope me Looking Back to Go Forward stained glass ceiling isn't it relieving? to know you threw the stones? how beautiful, to break something beautiful an Eve with an apple, A Cain with an Abel nobody told me there'd be days like these John Lennon- if we break a mirror, we can still see our shameful reflections recollections of the past, oh how they've gone so fast some things I wish could come back, some I turn my back to I'll make the run and trip along the way someday, someday I'll find the tracks I left are washed, baptized away you pull the pin, something will EXPLODE but the next day's rain will help it erode, but not fully, not fully scars help to remind us who we are, and where we want to be
I wrote a decent amount of poetry on social issues that I came across. These are issues that I saw affecting our country or how certain Americans behave in general. There are issues in here that I've seen affect one person and also that I've seen affect a multitude. As a 20-something, the social problems of the world have started to weigh heavily on me and all of these events have had some sort of impact on my life, whether it be directly or indirectly.
Goodbye Gung Ho he was a good soldier but now, the war around me had stopped momentarily he lay, emotionless to my emotions he lay, his leg broken, my heart broken he was tiny compared to my towering figure, but I felt equal to his size that leap off the cardboard-boxed fort killed him and now he lay somewhere buried in my backyard: GI Joe National Cemetery. (Continues...)
Excerpted from 20 Something by Kevin Patrick Kenealy Copyright © 2010 by Kevin Patrick Kenealy. Excerpted by permission.
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