top of page

C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Netflix, Hulu; Contingency

By: Robert Ronnow

Netflix, Hulu

Neftlix, Hulu, autumn elaeagnus

thorns, small hairy buds, twigs hyper-lenticelled

fruits supposedly edible, leaves elongated, oblong

xerophytic but found in wetland

introduced species, some say invasive

Xbox is invasive

Hulu is the best source of foreign films

and foreign films represent reality better than American

although reality is not always what we're after

silliness, silly sadness, and relentless laughter

letting my web site go to seed

writing badly is the best revenge

eventually your doctors find something in you they can't cure

causes some fear, offers some certainty

you're required to tell your sons and brothers about it so they can make informed medical decisions going forward

let's posit the dead, like the dream-lover or -killer

is you in disguise, a facsimile or factotum

stand-in, an actor or actress remembering lines

which are your memories, or if you're not in movies

divinations of things to come, earthquakes and volcanoes

life goes on without a hiccup

you saddle up with the three gentlemen to the River Friday

where a new life begins without sleep as a soul, at least that's the story they tell

in these scientific times we apply Ockham's razor, i.e. the afterlife

will most likely be most like the life before life

when it gets too late to exercise

ignore time, learn slowly to go slowly

through life, rise

early, there is no time only change

an empty belly's holy

and a pussy willow's so alive its buds want to burst

in mid-February when the sun stays up in the sky more than January

this is what I write about, not Tolstoi, nor war

not one conversation or love scene between a man and woman

or illustration of what man has done to man

cars pass I never wave

so many guys are belly fat, women butt fat and they want to sit right behind you in the bleachers eating fried foods and wearing allergenic perfumes

I like the motionless perfection of autumn elaeagnus

wind in white pines

crows do not annoy but dogs do

a porcupine or coyote is a lucky sight

barred owl or pileated woodpecker

and a black bear is quiet reality itself

I said to the doctors 54 or 84 you always seem to want more when they said I'm too young to die

I said dying chooses you you don't choose dying, so it's not my fault

yesterday's walk, today's work

there's no percentage in searching for significance, wanting meaning

and no percentage in respecting death unless it's imminent

I admire the writer who writes 10,000 words per day no matter what

who's got plot

a plague or fire, a spider or a tiger in a boat

stolen Louisiana votes or endangered alligators

in my case common pipewort or pickerelweed floating in a northern lake

egrets, loons and hawks

on your winter walk cedar waxwings foraging for soft rose hips

and talking like people talk

about this and that, work and child rearing, not religion or politics

keeping it light and friendly

eating chili and chocolate chip cookies

passing time watching a football game, the superbowl or a movie usually a romantic comedy


Events will still pile up, with or without an identity willing to organize them.”

The moon gazes

through April’s silver maple.

To work, to drive,

to drive to work.

Earth’s half-in, half-out

of the sun’s habitable zone.

The rushing stream topples old trees;

the peaceful father, mother.

Powerful with eternity,

blinding with intensity.

Zazen position,

necking in the front seat.

Lazy, happy,

mirror, desert.

Moderation, persuasion, elections.

Way stations, stopgaps, safe havens.

Cheap jewelry can be sexy;

stop fixing things with duct tape!

Humor is the only remedy,

not to hate those in authority.

And ritual is remedy,

a death song.

Nothing but matter matters,

chipmunk, groundhog, skunk.

Do not provoke

an angry baboon.

Why care about the future,

the dead don’t live to see it.

I’ve come to see

if this is true.


Robert Ronnow's most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Visit his web site at


bottom of page