Robert Ronnow
Brother Death
Ronnow   Reading



The Terminator


One leaf falls
holographic illusion
across time the Terminator travels
to shape Sarah Connors' destiny.
Heart attack
a common enough destiny
as common as young men discussing girls' tits.
The Constitution
is the document we refer to, the lodestone
to correct course and not go crazily astray.
Lose all purpose beyond murder, child sex and food hording.
Illuminated manuscripts
in a dark age, tape decks remind us of our voice
our communal voice
Supremes and Fred Astaire
the silken wail.

I lie alone in the night
its sensuality makes the best sense
it does or does not clarify the day
of classes or clients or chain saws
whatever fever may have infected me at the moment
a fever to achieve access to foreign films while living in the mountain community of
      Schroon Lake
the fever to instruct the American people how to apply ideals and practicalities of
      Constitution to international relationships
the fever not to die today, to maintain consciousness just one more season (and one
      more after that).

Anyway, what is being discussed–
the finiteness of one life–
or perhaps existence continues in another dimension, on another frequency
no owl hoots
but other purpler and indigo occurrences
with other purposes
as incomprehensible and wonderful as these purposes
to choke on a cherry pit or nuclear bomb
to wail our wail together
each individual identifiable hoot and wail, loud laugh and suppressed scream
one orbicular chant, humanity, from India to Indiana
complete, one sing.

I feel this way
searching for my place among you
childless, but a child among children
obeying or not obeying the speed limit
as my hormones permit
everywhere among brothers, the sisters among sisters
the races together exterminating the last rhinoceros and preserving its genes at the
      zoological society
my species attacking entire rain forests, temperate forests and boreal forests
like the engraver beetle in the red pine's inner bark.
Thus, I occasionally cheer the Terminator
cheer the machine and neutron bomb
even in the face of individual heroics, the male and female face
their physical love, tender and violent
I don't know what I want.

It could be simple
as this headache.
Not to despair
just to care enough to think clearly and accept 10,000 years of history.
Not to hate those in authority
humor is the only remedy
yellow ape teeth chimping in the glass death face
and ritual is remedy
a death song
and one for planting
and one for the beginning of loving.


Copyright 2001 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.