Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Poet's Travels

In my youth, I loved to travel. I would snap at the chance to go somewhere new. I was reading "On the Road" at the time, and I realized I would like to give that a try. I loved the way Jack Kerouac was able to be so free, and the style of his writing. You have to consider that he wrote that in 1951, and didn't publish till 1957. I was a teenager in the 1990's, and wished I could go to places that have been long lost. I did manage to follow some of his footprints down the old Route 66, and I still travel on it often. The parts in Illinois that is, I don't get around much any more.

I was more like a mix between Jim Morrison and "Charlie Mackenzie" Aka Mike Myers from "So I married an Axe Murderer" "I like the night life. I like to boogie."

I'm still fascinated with the Idea to just get in the car, or take a train to travel this country. I still crave the smells of dinky little dinner's, and stories you here about the town you arrived in. I don't miss the prejudice, from being an outsider. You see, when I did my travels I had long hair down past my waist. I then learned that this country was an "Easy Rider" world we lived in. I said in my my profile, that I was once a Jack of All Trades. Meaning I took any job that allowed me to travel, so I could get paid too.

The down side to that was, I worked more than I played. The plus was that I did get to see big cities, and little unknown towns. The kinds that would remind you of "The Last Picture Show"and some that that reminded me of Mayberry. I was in Chicago years back, I was wearing a suit playing my harmonica on the sidewalk. Waiting for a friend to come outside to meet me, when people started throwing money in my hat that I had set o the ground. So, I kept playing and by the time I was done, I had enough to pay for lunch for both of us. (True story)

I lived near Chicago for a little while, and I loved it. Mainly because I didn't have to drive in it everyday. I mean if you gave an inch, they would take it! A little piece of advice, Don't ask anybody directions at gas stations, or any stores in general. They will send you in the Ghetto, even if you're having car problems. Don't try to look at a map, without paying for it! "You must buy!" "No pay" "No stay!" "Get out now, I call the cops!" Please Don't drink coffee and drive without a good lid, before you go to the office. Beep, Beep, and Beep in Beep Beep!

That was not the sound of a car horn, it was the words flying out of my mouth that day. That's right, all the advice I just mentioned happened to my friend Minor and I. In the same morning at that, we did manage to get to work on time. Don't get me wrong I love Chicago, and the delicious foods. I don't remember the street, but it was a restaurant here, and a suit store there, up and down that street. I loved the mixed cultures, and the Blues Music! I could go onand on about Chicago. I could ramble on about my travels forever, but I will spare you for now.

Trust me, when I say some of my stories are crazy like a dream. The kind of events, like if there was no other witnesses, I wouldn't believe they happened myself. I will save some of those for later, and leave you with a poem I wrote in a Cyber Cafe In Chicago, IL. It was so cool for a small town Illinois boy to see. I mean they had hand chairs, bean bag chairs, in all different colors. Fresh desserts, and wonderful coffee. I attempted to publish this poem in a European Poetry contest, and somehow goofed it up. It never made it into publication.

Spring of 1998

I'm a chameleon
adapting to my environment.
Perhaps a lizard
shedding my old skin.
Wiping away my grin.
Ridding away my personal sins.
Changing with the seasons and the winds.
Shedding my friends.
Changing calendars
Again and again!
Traveling to distant places.
A stranger in a strange land.
Sometimes it seems
It is only me that understands,
the world's demands.
I will not feed the furnaces of hate.
By having two faces.
By staying within same realm's.
The same places.
No, for I'm a chameleon.
Blending in.
Occasionally a snake.
Shedding my old skin.
Keeping my grin.
Slithering with my own personal sins.



Beth said...

Love the poem!

As you might have figured out by now, I love road trips, too. I've done all of Route 66 in Illinois, stopping at each tiny town along the way. Ken and I will be back through, hopefully in 2010, so perhaps we can have a lunch date!


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

As you know from reading Beth, one of the things we have the most fun with is travel. Our next trip is not until January when we hit Vegas with some California friends.

Nice entry Wes.