I stared out the window watching
things happen on Milwaukee Avenue,
eating pie with my girlfriend.
What happened to me.
Outside, someone walked up to the
pie store and tried to come in.
When he noticed it was locked he
looked at the store hours.
Saw it was closed and made a face,
looking downward at the sidewalk.
Then he looked up.
We made eye contact.
Maintaining eye contact, I picked up
my plate and took a big bite of the pie
and made a face like the pie was too good
to endure – leaning back a little as I
chewed, closing my eyes and touching at
my throat and face like a woman nearing
He laughed and gave me the middle
finger before walking away – hands in
pockets, looking down at the sidewalk.
We waited for the bus out front.
My girlfriend called her sister,
leaning against the bus sign.
The first thing I heard was, “Hey,
And I thought about how I’d answer.
I’d answer that things weren’t
working for me.
That there were only things.
And I couldn’t get them to work
Other things would indicate, “No
we’re not going to work with these things.”
I’d make like, two or three things
work then realize those two or three
things were attached to everything else,
which never worked, which stopped referencing each other and became just
And I’d be helpless again –standing
there with things in front of me.
A pile of things, piling more but only
ever making one pile.
Born with it, though felt like
something that never happened.
Not a phase.
Not something to get over.
But something to overlook, to forget
Something that’s there.
I stood sweating on the street with
vague and unguided thoughts about
being an architect who knows nothing,
but tried, learning what not to do the
next time – each time having less
and less energy to produce anything.
A series of accidents creating exactly
the same thing, resulting in the same sad
person, everything connected to time as
it happens, without any ability to turn
around and stop even for a second to
Say “what is happening” because that is
And eventually your body just learns
to operate so slowly it looks like you stop
moving and decay – looks like you
die – but you don’t.
Everything else around you just
speeds up and learns to look different
until you look dead by comparison.
But it always makes sense.
Never any errors.
Of course this is what’s
happening - I thought, standing on Milwaukee Avenue waiting for the bus.
And it felt like things were going to
have meaning again maybe.
Also felt like I couldn’t imagine
anything that would make me feel better. . .