Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,308 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

New Years And Beowulf Is Dead - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

New Years,
Cyclical like the Anglo-Saxons,
Her monthly period, presidential elections,
A night (like all the others spent, droning)
Rolls on, the completion of a circuit, circular,
Pointless, indistinguishable from the rest with
Their eyes fawning and making love in the forest,

As the streets under the atmosphere
(speared by the aerobuses starting and landing in
The compacted dream) under the stars, always the stars
(sung to by the multitude, by the
Minor poets- and I amidst the
Howl, being lost to her, being drowned out
By the undertow of all the middle-class
Traffic of this sloppy dictionary at my hands)
When her legs are done with the
Buck,
When the show is over, and she has cleaned off
(when they can still
Find me at the very back of me, but if they go down
That deep inside me they will be lost with
Me and drowned like the misplaced diver
In the submarine before they are out of me) ,
before the yellow eyes close,
Like the median telling you
Not to cross,
I watch the middle-school kids on
TV,
Who are smarter and better tuned than me,
Spelling words I can’t remember (which lubricated
Me) televised before their first erection,
(when I am on my second glass on the sofa,
Already ejaculated into the green carpet of memory) ,
Pull off erections to the sad president,
The urban sprawl nightmare,
They’ve made pyramids out of her sheets
And are playing pirates:
As, across country, younger and
Younger body parts are being found
Inside dumpsters (As, she is sure that no one
Loves her) ,
My young cousin, Tyler, has won a
Spot on the Orange Bowl
Half-Time show, she’s
About 5, and already she’s
Being taught to swing around the
Pole pantiless,
Foaming at the mouth,
For the fame of her sex, the ultimate privilege
After the Roanoke Virginia mystery left unsolved for
300 years,
And the green of the bankroll left uncut
And unpaid for since the time of the dinosaurs
Under the sun,

As the hurricanes pick up,
(As Zeta appears on our radars,
Like the sad caves carving the rest on me
In the great calcium monoliths removed to the back
Of my mind) ,
And dropp the windowless
Chambers of the farm house on the witch,
Like the drought of the early 20th century,
We all stand from our seats and cheer (and pay)
The spectacle,
The lidless monster flickering in ash

Year less, I have no home
And no destination to dock success inside,

As the sun rises, Beowulf is dead,
The cycle is complete and headless (sure
To come around again and eat itself with the
pulp fiction, the reticulated python of the masses) :

They strap his body to the front of the
Grill and spit some Spanish slang on his remains,
And raise him like a god,
Before the sirens and the repeating lights
Of the city this new year.


Comments about New Years And Beowulf Is Dead by Robert Rorabeck

  • (4/13/2007 3:56:00 AM)


    Rarely does a longer poem keep my interest as this one does. It's both modern and ancient (as I think it's supposed to be): with contemporary language fused with a sort of archaeology....maybe? S x (Report) Reply

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  • (1/2/2006 11:56:00 PM)


    completion of a circuit, great line, also, great poem, sad but true............. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 2, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 29, 2008


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