Three Snow-Diffracted Views of The Green Gallery in Milwaukee
( 31°F, 17:52)
Even for Wisconsinites, springtime Milwaukee snows don’t make
sense. Cases of Lakefront Brewery are chilled (definitely chilled) tableneath corrugate desking
I listened to a David Bowie biography in the rental car and watched the front
door like I was a private investigator in a bad 1980s spy movie.
I ran across the street, visions of sliding cable vans careening my down
feather clad body into a snowmush yurt’ed up around a No Parking Tow
Away Zone on Ward Ave. I’m so nimble like a
( 32° F, 18:08)
Question commerce as if the things we own
are extrapolations of who I wish to be
-come I scroll I page.turn we price.list we finger.scan we red.dot
(29 ° F, 18:56)
Think traveling is glamorous keep thinking
wall to wall glass overlooking the Milwaukee river, the smoke
stacks and frozen mall parking decks. No room service but a server will run
your burger and Single Hop up to your room if you order before 22:00. Collect
and view for ourselves the mythology of people who never come home and they be
-come life stories of spouses who disappear into the blizzard when all they wanted was BBQ from the Pick n Save.
I’ll skip the burger. I’ll stand in
front of the fitness center gym mirroring my wall to wall light fluorescent shadow craft chiseling
home is 2,454 miles away where it’s 70° F and a pot of water is boiling at 100 °F and she
stares into a phone that she never remembers to charge and she is married
to pixels jet lagged on hotel WiFi.
The catalog I want to order from is this:
-I can hear the page turn flipflapping
-I might cut my finger if I edge too quickly
-I have to outlive
-I possess coat sleeves never empty long enough for her to try me on for size,
-wishing that her husband never disappeared in the first
place streets swallowed snowmelt,
heard it slooshing through the pipes in parking deck, my parking
pass with the stripe facing the wrong way keeping me in
-side the undercement box of an elevator whirengine rising falling rising falling,
fraying spacetime, cut after cut.
“Thermodynamics is mainly concerned with the transformations of heat into mechanical work and the opposite transformations of mechanical work into heat. Only in comparatively recent times have physicists recognized that heat is a form of energy that can be changed into other forms of energy.”
states Enrico Fermi while beginning
his 1936 monograph on energy, on
transformation, on why during a Manhattan July
the campus trails (y) at Columbia will still reel in
students like firewalkers sweltering in suits where
it makes no difference (Δ) to them that qx = k(dT/dY)
qx = the rate heat conducts from
sun to stone to trouser (k) to the skin of your teeth or
qx = how quickly and how high mercury (Hg)
greets (“Hi!”) a damp kerchief (T) , Morse-code blotting of foreheads.
Scurrying across all (100 + x) streets intersecting and bisecting and my-feet-hurt-secting and
I-can’t-possibly-walk-any-further-secting but I’m full of heat, full of heat.
We are the driven, the personified gradients struggling from less to
more (call it passion or call it hot/sore feet) or by feat
alone we want to become, to come
closer just as the day becomes
closer to evening to
into something else.
// previously appeared in modified form in Isotope: A Journal of Nature & Science Writing (Utah State University)