Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,791 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

Sticky Notes Of Toneless Dogs - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Now that the fire is dead,
I kick the ash, but her lips have curled up
Long before in the coyness of a wildfire;
Even while sleeping next to me,
She floated away, and the entire forest
Burned down ugly while I slept;
I put too much diesel in the tank and it over spilled,
And she laughed,
And I was fired and could not look at myself
When I was sent to the bathroom to clean up,
And then to leave;
It is spent, and the rattlesnake has coiled over the
Empty cans of an unsatisfying meal.
The venom is glowing in my blood,
And he has crept through her open window where
She’d been singing for him with her blouse unlaced,
And setting down our child from its busty meal,
And asked it to go away and sink into the teal
On the back of a tearful crocodile;
I have nothing to do, but to gather up what dreams
I steal into a kit and tied it to the lesser end of a
Walking stick, like a praying mantis in a traveler’s plaid;
I have laid myself into the depression of the wave,
Where the cuckolded men work and slave entirely
In the molecule of a single wave;
Or this is what I write, insouciantly, in the vocabularies
That I overuse in my delusional malaise;
I give myself words of luckless praise, as I write
Only for an hour in a month of days. I finish entire books
Which aren’t true, and she makes love to men I’ve
Never met in person, and the crocodile has yet to come
Home with our child, but that is only the infant of my
Misconception; I read obituaries of writers I stole
From my elementary school’s library. I outwitted
Sherlock Homes; I ate Twain's Huckleberry, and never did
Return Encyclopedia Brown or Frank and Joe Hardy,
But in two more days I will be entirely finished with my
New novel’s entire body; but what would it make for real,
If I laid it like sticky notes of toneless dogs around her
Navel,
Would she read it and make me real,
Or, rather likely, leave it uneaten at the table,
And gone out instead into the chirping beds of
The university’s bawdy estuary, and there fawned
For some days in her lipstick malaise, choosing from
The empirical mates who fawn and graze shirtless and
Muscled on the green palate of her sightless gaze,
And my book should lay rather unread on the table long
Before and long after they have dressed me up fine,
And my mother has wept, sincerely, as they lowered me
Into my wakeless bed, and pulled up the covers of
Earth and grass, and crowned with a stony epitaph,
The only thing remaining of me which is said,
Like a candle doused from flaming head,
Like the barren hillside after the fire has sped,
And eaten the words I would have said;
Better off, and senseless, muted in stone, I lay down
My pen, leaving the branches wholey unshaken; Thus,
They kiss goodnight, embracing so tightly,
While the industrious worms turn my flesh's poem
Into bacon; then, bodiless, without either sense
Or pen, I rest without thinking, while their coitus coils
Tighter, and moans most nights, like cats leaping from
Fences, and over graves.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, October 13, 2008



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