My Last Poem

I first read “On the Road” at sixteen
In a bookstore in Kathmandu
And I loved it so much so I
Finished it right then.

Yes, the book,
That touted freedom
Touted dreaming
Transfixed me and
Tantalized the tortured soul
Of a teenager who knew not
What the fuck he was in for
When he told his mother dearest
America was where her
Son would have a good education
And a future hopefully
When truthfully all I wanted
Was to see the rolling roads
That Jack wrote of, heart in wonder,
Head in wonder when I read it
And I wanted to see.

But sadly, Saginaw,
Michigan, was where I landed
Roads all leading to gas stations,
Supermarkets, and suburban
Nightmares straight out of the 50s
What Kerouac ran away from
I bet. And as someone born
In a city, in a valley,
Surrounded if not by
Buildings then Goliath hills,
Seeming so as keeping watch
I thought
I wanted to see the roads
To know what freedom was
And when I moved to Minnesota
Saw roads all leading to gas stations,
Supermarkets, and suburban
Nightmares straight out of the 50’s
I thought Kerouac was a liar

Poetry by Sameen
Read 283 times
star mini Editors' choice
Written on 2018-03-15 at 15:03

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Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Kerouac's freedom always was an illusion, but the illusion remains. All you need are a car and a couple of days off to find and enjoy it. Head west.

Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
Having lived in Saginaw Michigan, I can feel your disappointment, and St. Cloud, well, I don't know it, but it's a city. To be "On the Road" is different these days, but there are still places that make one feel it. Upper Michigan (past the Mackinac Bridge) is one of those places, and then there is the West, which is where there are so many open roads. However, I know things have changed, and dreams are always better than stark reality. Don't give up!

Marie Cadavieco The PoetBay support member heart!
Very enjoyable! Sometimes it takes going away to find out that the best was at home. I feel your disappointment. There are, I am sure, beautiful places in America - the Rockies, the Great Plains....but you landed in Saginaw, Michigan. And wrote a compelling poem about it! So not all was lost. Every experience in life can be used. Nothing is ever wasted. I enjoyed sharing your nightmares straight out of the 50s.

jim The PoetBay support member heart!
I can't imagine how many angst-ridden teens read "On the Road," and felt as you did. Now that you're older, now that you've been around the block a few times, and you've seen where the open roads leads, maybe you can see Kerouac wasn't proselytizing, he was writing. That his imagery didn't match your reality doesn't make him a liar, it made you wiser for the experience. Give him credit for that.

Good poem, though I hate the "fuck."