• Address 720 East Locust Street | Milwaukee, WI 53212
  • Phone 414.263.5001
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm | Sat-Sun 12-5pm | Closed Mon
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm, Closed Mon
Event Calendar
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performances
April 19

Alash Ensemble

special events
April 21

Join us for the 13th annual RIVERWEST FOLLIES variety show

performances
April 22

ACL presents Renee Baker Quartet, Visual Dark Scratch Suite

exhibitions
April 22

Woman: Frailty Thy Name, works by Renee Baker

readings & workshops
April 25

Reading: Toni Jensen

readings & workshops
April 26

Four Milwaukee Poets: Alix Anne Shaw with Annie Grizzle, Sam Pekarske & Bethany Price

readings & workshops
April 28

Wisconsin Reads: Reading with Louise Erdrich (video streamed to Woodland Pattern)

readings & workshops
May 2

Poetry Reading: Rena Priest and Denise Low

readings & workshops
May 2

Craft Talk with Denise Low at UWM

readings & workshops
May 10

Birds in Poetry at Urban Ecology Center

performances
May 13

Alternating Currents Live presents: The Transatlantic Bridge #11

readings & workshops
May 16

Kundiman Midwest Chapbook Series Noel Pabillo Mariano

performances
May 17

Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

readings & workshops
May 24

Poetry Reading: Urban Echo Poets

performances
June 3

ACL presents: Tom Hamilton & City of Vorticity

Michael O'Leary

Michael O'Leary is the co-editor of Flood Editions and he works as a structural engineer in Chicago.

Selected Poems

Politics


Michael O'Leary

 

I watched the polls as breathlessly
as Deadwood, dedicating hours
at work to downticks in the South

and found an article online
on survey weight and sample size
which led to Leibniz's response

to a Bernoulli on whether
the likelihood of early death
can be inferred from death tolls past:

Nature's habit is patterned on
the repetition of events,
but only for the most part.

Like anybody, I was moved
by the long odds of the campaign,
the painful progress, how his dad

abandoned him for his career
and especially when Rev. Wright
spoke at the National Press Club.

A week before election day
I saw a picture of a sad
Obama walking down the street

in Honolulu—slight haze of
pollution in the humid air,
palm trees unmoving, cars unmoved,

the dark apartment tower where
his grandmother lay dying now—
now at the pivot of relief

and grief that there is nowhere left
to go and no one to turn to,
the habit of reflection split

in two by revelation that
entropy is another name
for what is otherwise unsaid.