Dancing While Weeding

It’s what grown-ups do,
I tell myself,
but I’m no grown-up.
Yanking at weeds, shaving the lawn,
buzzing the bushes,
so everything is boxy.
It’s what grown-ups do
while sticking their chest out.

But I am a kid,
bouncing like a clown.
The Prodigy,
a blip from my war chest
of 8 Gig’s of MP3’s,
impetuous, silly
dance music,
blasts, erupts my brain,
and nothing else encroaches.
Surely causing old-age deafness,
but the price is so worthwhile.
Dancing, what kids dance to,
but I’m not slick.
I am in the mud
and lost in the suburbs.
As my body moves, I’m cognizant
of its intelligence, far more
vast than that in my skull,

I laugh at my grayness
as I contemplate where
I would be,
not wanting to be nagged:
Alone in a dark spot, being a child,
reading that day’s favorite book,
imagining having a life
as one of the beautiful
or even as one of the ugly,
but imagining having a life.

Berating myself,
prompting spiritual knowledge:
You don’t have a life;
you are life.
I am no life.
When a child, I am,
I am life as a child,
but when a grown-up,
faking grown-up might it be,
I have a life, more like have an
existence, a death,
but why do I resist
these things of grown-ups, why can’t I
accept my existence as an American
in 2011? Perhaps it’s those brilliant books

that poison me, that show me how foolish
it is to be grown up in a post-modern melee
of a shitfest, as my neighbor, Harold, assists:
he’s riding his fucking lawnmower,
his pale red, Sears Craftsman riding mower,
up and down the street.
No shit, up and down the street,
like he’s in the parade,
wearing his Safari hat, waving me over
to gossip, but my music’s too loud,
and I can’t interrupt my work,
and he fucked me over
about a tree, two years ago,
but I feel bad about my
anti-social sheen.

And a man, surely off-course
because he’s in a new, maroon Audi
nearly hits Harold,
but Harold waves,
like Hi there, Farmer John-
I push my cheapo mower
hopping donkey on my feet,
unusually not giving a shit
if the neighbors feel I’m cracked,
but feeling grown up,
feeling dead to life
like carbon fiber,
I’m proud of my boxy yard.

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  1. #1 by Find an Outlet on September 26, 2011 - 12:56 am

    I would trade places with you to live among grownups. Come down to the border where no one gives a shit. I guess there’s no place left to just live your life without either filth and disrespect, or hypocrisy and geometric bushes.

    • #2 by Carl on September 27, 2011 - 11:40 pm

      This is so interesting to me. I can be judgmental both ways…I wonder what would happen if I left the judgment at home in the closet?

  2. #3 by scribbla on September 26, 2011 - 1:05 am

    This is brilliant writing. There are days when the kid you describe surfaces. And I trust that kid more than the adult I wear each day. I guess I’d say that your body’s instincts are right, but what to do? There are no easy answers to this one. It’s a slow, painful decay. Still, this piece is incredible in what you have managed to caputure. Previously you were the king of urban poetry for me; you just took the crown for suburban too.

    • #4 by Carl on September 27, 2011 - 11:41 pm

      Your comment is very flattering. I greatly appreciate the kind words. They inspire me to go forth!

  3. #5 by Carl D'Agostino on September 26, 2011 - 6:46 pm

    I did those hedges once every 3 weeks when I was a kid. . Florida cherry hedge. Hand shears, no buzzing. 2 ft wide, 4 1/2 feet tall X a good 200 feet length. Parents gave me $1. You think you’ve got resentments?

    • #6 by Carl on September 27, 2011 - 11:42 pm

      I’ll bet you had them looking good! How much is that $1 in today’s dollars?

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