Monday, February 2, 2009

Kevin Keck, October 23, 2008

When I started Poetry Hickory 14 months ago, I had my friend Tim Peeler in mind. I thought, here is a great poet who is barely known in his own hometown. And I decided the easiest way to do something about that was to give local poets a venue through which local audiences could hear their work and get to know the poets. Fortunately, the owners of Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse already had a history of supporting local art and were willing to host the readings which followed.
It didn’t take me long to discover that Peeler wasn’t the only already successful local writer who was largely unknown by the people they encountered every day. One of the other noteworthy but underexposed writers I discovered was Kevin Keck, who at that time already had published three books.
Keck was born in Johnson City, TN, but raised in Denver, NC, where he still lives. His books include My Summer Vacation, Oedipus Wrecked, and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Kevin. He holds a BA from UNCC and a MA from Syracuse, and is currently a member of the faculty at CVCC. I want to thank Kevin for allowing me to print the poem below.

Sonnet from an Idea Stolen from an Unpublished Story Written by Randy Clayton in 1982

- for Kevin Rouse

After the girl who fell from the clouds
was carried aloft again, everything changed.
Reason, courage, love—all of it took
a back seat to waiting. The daily luster of life
slowly began to rust, as though the people
in charge of polishing up had disappeared
overnight, like her. And with everything
I know, all I want to learn is where
did she go? Who watches after her now?
If I knew the road that would get me
to her I'd take it, but as it is I'm just some
straw man alone in the pockmarked street,
looking skyward and dreaming of a strong wind.
If I only wasn't holding all these bricks.

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