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Chicagoetry: More Than A Feeling

More Than a Feeling

Dude brought a rifle to school,
Naperville Central, 1978.

He was from India
and he wasn't fitting in. His father
was a prominent physician
and they moved to town
late into our midst, he was maybe

a junior (Jesus! New Guy!).

They caught him in the parking lot,
seething with rage with a bolt-action
rifle, no further harm done.

Apparently, we were a wealthy suburb
with excellent public schools.
You'd want to be there, or so you thought.

Our Lord
of the Flies.

New Guy?! Lord have mercy!

I remember, a few years before,

simply being a freshman
was humiliating enough.

But as sophomores, I remember my crew and I
finally realized maybe we had something
of our own, regardless of the upper-classmen
and their automatic disdain,

I remember us discovering

It wasn't easy.

I hear that first Boston
album now and I'm hurled back into it.
Might as well have been goddam Sergeant Pepper.
I, too, hurt in the midst of all of that,

but I was never New Guy.

When Boston came to the Stadium,
my bros and I had seats behind the stage,
and we scoffed at opener Sammy Hagar.
Apparently, he was the Red Rocker.
As a solo artist, he was New Guy.
And we scoffed.

Year and a half later,
we're the "upper classmen,"
and this dude shows up

in the parking lot
with a rifle.

He wasn't fitting in.
Somehow, they busted him
in time.

I participated in a youth culture
that shut him out.

I participated
in a youth culture
that shut his ass out.
I know for a fact
I never personally

fucked with him.

But I participated
in a youth culture
that shut his sorry, Indian ass out.

To this day
I shudder to imagine being
New Guy
at this particular, big-shot high school.

To this day
I shudder.


J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.


More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel


Posted on December 29, 2012

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