out of place

I always knew that there was something wrong
with me.
it got very bad in Jr. High school.
when I walked into a room
all the students would begin talking
at once
it got noisey
and I would stand and stare at them
and the sound would heighten
until the teacher would bang on the
desk:
“ALL RIGHT!    ALL RIGHT!    THAT’S ENOUGH
OF THAT!”

I had no idea of what excited them
and when I sat down at my desk
heads would continue to turn and
look at me.

these occurrences were continuous
and I never did anything untoward or
unusual
so I knew that there was just something
wrong with me.

the teachers, too, acted strangely:
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING, MR. CHINASKI?”
and I wouldn’t be doing anything.
“YOU WILL PLEASE REMAIN AFTER CLASS!”

it was usually the female teachers
who did this
and I liked all my female teachers
even though I felt sorry for them
but they never explained to me
what I had done
and I never asked.

on the school grounds it was odd
also:
boys I didn’t know would walk up
to me
ask, “how you doing?”
and I would answer,
“get away from me…”

what it meant,
I never knew.
I had no plans, few desires and
no impulses toward anything
but I sensed that there was something
wrong with me
that I was a freak

and it felt neither good nor
bad,
I accepted the situation and
waited.

Like this website? Support it.
I want to bring all of Bukowski's poems online and make then freely available. This means hundreds of hours of work to retype over 1,000 of his poems from the original manuscripts. Your donations will help support this work.