Robert Ronnow
                                                             Long As You're Living



                        Atman. Atman.


I have no clue what Krshna taught Arjuna
but I like the name Atman a lot.
Atman. Atman. Where a man is at.
At all times. No matter what.
Well, well. I'm sick.
That's better than a heart attack.

Balance sheet and cash flow estimate.
Wisdom, none. What Krshna
tells Arjuna makes no sense.
I prefer mathematics.
Knowledge of how things are made and done
more than meditation on the Self
as a manifestation of the One.

And the poem? The poem has gone to glitten.
Only engineers it is written
can solve problems and build bridges.
I can't fix a 2-stroke engine.
I carried four dead etheridges by hand truck
to the other end of the universe.

I'll never have to leave this comfortable planet again.
Notwithstanding tectonics and tsunamis.
Sensitive to noise
jackhammers and lawnmowers.
I take the elevator to the sky like all city dwellers.
Escalator to the plane.
Such magic! Rivets and a mess of wires.

The pilot who pulled on his pants and put on his tie
over his prostate gland and sexual history
must make the plane fly.
I am responsible, therefore, tense.
Passengers recognize they're not in control,
leave immense decisions to their god or luck.

It is all premised on the mystery
of invisible but sentient particles—
little Krshnas and Kachinas
nesting inside one another.
O, and by the way, before you ask, I'm from Mars
a place before cars—WWII, the Napoleonic wars,
the Civil War which we're still fighting.

No one cares if you're beheaded.
Krshna says behead your brothers without prejudice or justice.
So it transpires in the nuclear fire.
Is school a prison or a blessing?
Regimentation, inspiration. I'd like to be part of that tradition
if only as a tutor. Teacher, teacher—tiger!


Copyright 2017 by Robert Ronnow.