Wanting, but not Wanting, to be the Dancing Man

Dancing man, middle of the city block,
not on the corner, middle, by the bus

stop, dancing, singing, yelling commands,
but when the buses come by, back off,

as if the buses are vicious octopuses,
left foot, right foot, and spinning,

not like a ballerina, but now shouting
instructions into the balloon that is 

his head, and I pull my hair, longing 
for the hospital to help the middle

street dancer, but I remember
my visits to the asylums, hating

the very good, the compassionate
people who do all that they can, 

hating them for drugs that seem
to silence the soul, knowing the shouting

soul is more damaging than the silent
one, and I want my own spot

in the asylum, not wanting to dance 
at the middle of the block, but to sit 

and watch the green of the world shoot
past, sitting in the adirondack, sipping

tea, feeling my vacuous worth, but 
knowing that I couldn’t survive 

the middle of the block, would be
destroyed by a slick, red octopus,

by a bus smothering my lungs, so I
grip, grip tight, pull my hair, watch

the dancer, not thankful for hanging
on, but hanging and gripping my desk,

waiting for this barbarous fever to
pass so that I might pass for a human.


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  1. #1 by stillight on August 8, 2012 - 10:08 am

    Such a strong and vivid piece, Carl. Reads really well and full of a lot of emotion I can relate to.

    • #2 by Carl on August 9, 2012 - 12:18 am

      Thank you for your comment. Your kind words encourage me.

  2. #3 by joanna on August 9, 2012 - 9:02 am

    hmm. that the shouting soul is more damaging than the silent one…. great lines.

    • #4 by Carl on August 9, 2012 - 9:17 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

  3. #5 by Carl D'Agostino on August 9, 2012 - 5:54 pm

    I would like to post this on my Wednesdays guest post.

    • #6 by Carl on August 9, 2012 - 9:20 pm

      Carl, wouldn’t you think it needs some heavy editing? I am very flattered that you want to do that for me. I’m always afraid that I’m not good enough, and you have a very solid audience! Can I look this over some more and let you know?

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