[You know, I tried to read CONVERSATION IN THE CATHEDRAL a couple weeks ago and couldn’t. And yet I wrote a post which was derivative of his work. I’m not Llosa, but here’s what’s left, after I took his style out of my writing:]
Chicago. Spring forward, sunny day, a conveyor sidewalk of cafes ending at a black metal bench at the northwest corner of Division and Damen. A bench without a bus stop.
Heading north, a woman in semi-transparent brown leggings with no pants and no skirt pushing herself, her husband, and her bushels of baby strollers up Damen. This is the second instance of Wicker Park-area exposure I’ve seen in a few weeks – the last one was a woman on the 70 bus with plumber’s cleavage.
Back to the present, a man on an electric bicycle is circling the block, proudly displaying his gut in his red jersey, not moving his calves one bit to move his body.
We sit, we eat, we observe other people’s bodies in motion around us, and we spend the day waiting for a bus that doesn’t come. Instead, the night does.
I say, elated, that I’m going to write a poem about the woman with no pants. I don’t. I write this instead.
[As I write this, gazing more and more inward, a little red-headed bird made out of burnt umber lands on the porch outside my window and squawks at me, as if to say “Get over yourself.” ]