Robert Ronnow
                      Absolutely Smooth Mustard

                  How cool!

How cool!
this early summer evening
after a day so oppressive
even we New Yorkers move painstakingly.
The breeze in sumac trees
so why am I not more content?
The electricity went off at the bank,
spontaneous bank holiday,
so I'm broke, drinking water.

All my needs except love
fulfilled. Woman
opens her windows. How cool!
this summer evening
in New York, dense New York
the jets overhead
the people on the ground suffering
and struggling toward vague goals
or goals clear as Harry Helmsley's.

How cool and refreshing
this glass of ice water
after today's hot pavement, clothes.
During the afternoon heat
I sleep in my underwear.
What a city I murmur to myself
looking at its map. Big,
Jamaica Bay to Inwood,
the Battery to Pelham Bay.

Nowadays novels need
a few cities to move the plot.
New York, Saigon, Paris.
The protagonist
does not walk in the park. He
uses his car to get around fast.
How cool this evening in New York!
Lost among the bars and industry,
moonrise over Bronx.

Copyright 1985 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.