Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The New Kid




image from goodreads.com


The New Kid

“When I was the new kid, pussy was just a cat,
sex was just a gender, 69 was just a number, and
bang was just a sound.”--Anonymous.

I was far from invisible,
ten schools in ten years; incredible.
I became the sometimes pariah,
stranger and me indivisible.

I was the perpetual new kid,
popular as an arachnid;
growing up fast and hard, all fists
and intellect, making sure I did

not anger leaders, nor bully
their followers, making teachers fully
impressed, carving my place at the table,
living much of the time mid--gully

between friends and belligerent foes,
I stayed strong eating my Cheerios,
surfing more highs than undercurrent lows--
emerging with all my fingers and toes.

So I’ve never managed to be
invisible, though it could key
less stress and strife, happier me;
instead of always fighting and never flee.



Glenn Buttkus

Rubaiyat

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

15 comments:

Merril D. Smtih said...

It seems to me that perhaps he is invisible--in that he's putting on this tough persona. It must be difficult to always be the new kid. Should the last word be "free?" Or did you mean he would never flee? I like how you worked this into a rubaiyat.

Grace said...

That may be the secret to staying out of trouble and being stress-free. Hard to be always the new kid in the block though, but if you can make friends easily with everyone, it's always a new beginning.

Jade Li said...

The new kid is never invisible, especially if he catches the eyes of the opposite gender, as then he (or she) is considered competition and has to be tested. Ongoing trial by fire can either make or break a person. Sounds like you found a way to survive but with scars.

Glenn Buttkus said...

I meant "flee"--the old fight or flight scenario. The poem is autobiographical. As the new kikd, IK was never invisible.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Being both new and invisible has its perks if we manage to stay out of trouble. But then again we are poets (always within) so it's difficult to remain indifferent. A most stunning write, Glenn ❤️

robtkistner said...

Gawd this was good Glenn, and so fucking relatable. I never matched the school count you did, but I was a fighter like it sounds you were. A shit orphan's experience then adopted into a home dominated by a paranoid schizophrenic mother-in-law. I was lucky to have a great adoptive father Bob. He was passive at home, I didn't blame him. His wife's mother was just way too fucking batshit crazy!! However, he became my north star in my early life. Angry and intelligent (high IQ with ADD) as I was, I fought authority, the other kids, myself... but he kept me anchored enough that when I left home at 16 I was tough and cunning enough to cut it! I lived in a couple "rock band" houses while I finished high school and during college. I was the lead singer in these bands, and rock band houses were in vogue back then. Sorry Glenn, got way off base here. To repeat, I really liked your piece here. Speaks to you as a guy with a lot of smarts and a lot of guts. We may have been strange enough to have been friends as younger dudes. If you get the chance, go back to my site and see how I replied to your wonderful comment on my "Gone Before I Left" piece.

V J Knutson said...

Interesting perspective, Glenn. I was often the new kid too, and I never thought of how it made me stand out, only that I never belonged. Invisibility, then, has it up side.

Roslyn Ross said...

This is a very interesting take on the prompt. Well done.

Truedessa said...

it sounds like visibility was your cloak of invisibility. Perhaps, it was a way to hide ones true feelings in a way. Does that make sense?

Kim Russell said...

Another interesting autobiographical poem that reveals more about you, Glenn. It’s interesting because you show me another world (USA/UK) from the male perspective. All that bravado to get you through all those schools, always the new boy – I couldn’t have done it. These lines made me smile:
‘between friends and belligerent foes,
I stayed strong eating my Cheerios,
surfing more highs than undercurrent lows--
emerging with all my fingers and toes’.

Gina Gallyot said...

the new kid who was never invisible i absolutely like how you wrote like a double negative poem here. in Asia, new kids were ignored and they had to make themselves visible, that was their fight. i enjoyed learning about your experience and perspective. my boys were never invisible too, coming from mixed parentage they stood out, my youngest got into a lot of fights trying to fit in.

brudberg said...

I love this... any new kid is always highly visible and you have to chose a strategy for that... and having the teachers with you is not a bad one in the end.

Sara McNulty said...

Love this, Glenn. I cannot imagine being the new kid over and over. I love,

"growing up fast and hard, all fists
and intellect, making sure I did

not anger leaders, nor bully
their followers, making teachers fully
impressed, carving my place at the table,"

lynn__ said...

I take this as autobiographical...tough with a humorous side! Definitely NOT invisible :)

Nora said...

I didn't realize this was a rubayiat until I read the footer note - well done!

I wasn't the new kid as often, but I relied on intellect, too. Other kids may be upset when you're upsetting the status quo, but eventually that can turn into respect.