Tuesday, November 4, 2008

brush clearing

Yesterday I took my crew up to Newark, Delaware to test around an old box factory that may be torn to build an office complex. The caretaker was a sort of personal metaphor for the decline of industrial America: he worked at the factory when it made boxes, he oversaw the removal of the machinery, and now he oversees the maintenance of the empty building and opens the doors for potential buyers and other busybodies. Like a character in a Michael Moore documentary.

Turns out that part of the property behind this factory building was overgrown with a thorny tangle of wild roses (how much breath I've wasted cursing the people who planted those imported weeds as hedges, thus spreading them across middle America), small pear trees, honeysuckle, and blackberries. There was no way to get in except by cutting a path. S0 I walked across the street to the Southern States and bought two machetes. The blades of these were mysteriously coated with some sort of rubbery plastic, which I had to rub off on a rock to expose the cutting edge. I'm sure lawyers are involved in this somehow. Machete in hand, I waded into the brier patch, hacking at the thorny canes that tore my clothes and skin. A haiku came to mind:

Rose hips are lovely
Shining red in the dense brush
Behind, always thorns


I cut the rose canes
Though they slash at my bare arms
Steel beats wood again

Later on, I mused that I was communing with our current President, who is said to greatly enjoy cutting brush on his Crawford ranch. It is rather fun, actually.

I wondered, does he compose haiku as he works? Perhaps

Bombs fall everywhere
I destroy evildoers
Mission accomplished

Or maybe

I hunt bin Laden
In caves, over mountaintops,
He gets away.


Governing is hard
I should have studied harder
Oh well, too late now

Well, probably not.

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