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Two Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney | Word Riot

May 15, 2011      

Two Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney

Listen to a reading of “Enlightenment” by Kenneth P. Gurney.


When I was twelve and a half
the puberty experience
struck me like lightning
and, metaphorically,

set a smoldering ember
in the framework
that was my childhood self.

My knees hurt so much
from the growth spurt—
six inches in five months—
that I learned to sit down
and read books:
hundreds of them
on many topics,
but not sex-ed.

I continued to ride my bicycle
all over Chicago-land
sometimes roaming as far west
as thirty miles from home
out into the prairie
and corn fields
among people who spoke
with different accents.

It was under an oak tree
overlooking the Fox River
I first met Tom Sawyer
and Becky Thatcher
and I realized
I wanted to kiss a girl.

Listen to a reading of “Picture of the Christ” by Kenneth P. Gurney.

Picture of the Christ

His appearance
upon a bubblegum wrapper
surprised me
as I unfolded it
a Bazooka Joe comic.

So, I drew in the eye patch
with a black ballpoint pen.

Kenneth P. Gurney

About the author:

After bouncing around the USA living adjacent to national parks, Kenneth P. Gurney settled in Albuquerque, NM. He employs his art and computer science degrees writing poetry and publishing Adobe Walls instead of making a living as a graphic artist or digital animator. His poems appear on the web regularly and in print from time to time. Gurney is a Pushcart nominee. His boyhood aspiration of being the left fielder for the Chicago Cubs never became a reality. For complete publishing credits and available books visit

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