Friday, May 27, 2011

Harold Dull.

Suibhne Gheilt


He has haunted me now for over a year
that madman Suibhne Gheilt
who in the middle of a battle
looked up and saw something
that made him leap up and fly
over swords and trees
--a poet gifted above all others--


How could a proud loud mouth
who yelled KILL KILL KILL
as he plowed down the enemy
--heads rolling off of his sword--
be so lifted up
(or fly up
as those below saw it
--wings beating)
be so suddenly gifted
with poetry
and nest so high
in Ireland's tall trees?
Is there a point
where all paths cross?
And why am I so drawn to him
that all my questions
seem shot in his direction?
     *And they ran into the woods
       and threw their lances
       and shot their arrows
       up through the branches*
What parallels could I ever hope to find--
my refusal to fight
(weaseling out on psychiatric grounds)?
my leaving my country behind?
my poetry?
     *and my wife wept
       on the path below . . .
       Oh memory is sweet
       but sweeter is the sorrel
       in the pool in the path below
       I fly down everynight
       to eat*


Sweeney like the rest of us
would've been better off
if he had never had anything to do with women.
But the point of it lies hidden
in a pool of milk
in a pile of shit
for you to see
when a milkmaid smiles
Sweeney like the rest of us flies down
and when she pours the milk
into the hole her heel made in the cowdung
Sweeney like the rest of us kneels down and drinks
and dies on the horn the cowherd hid in it.
So before you have anything to do with women
remember Sweeney the bird of Ireland
lying on his back
in the middle of that path
in the moonlight.


And on my way home
                                  this morning
(my wife
my shadow
                 racing up the path ahead of me
I saw something
                        (a black stone?)
          at the back of its head
            and spun around
so fast
          I almost fell down
-- it was a bird
                       flying into a tree


No good could come out of this war
out of what burns in the heart of our highly disciplined
John Q. Killer as a whole village bursts into one flame--
the villagers streaming like tears towards the forest
cover his helicopter's blade blow the leaves off and
the flame towards . . .

as we sit in front of our bubbles watching our president
(whose bubbletalk no one can escape and he is a little bit
mad--calling the reporters in for an interview while he's
sitting on the bubble having a bubble movement) and first
lady climb into their big bubble bed and Lucy, born of
their own bubbles, crawls in between--
      *Mah daddy has so many troubles
        turning the world into a bubble*
and sick of crossfire--the cries of the women and
children flying over his head--he stumbled down to the
riverbank and found, the wreckage twisted around the tree
behind, his skull . . .

Noises, there are noises, noises that can of themselves drive
a man mad--NOISES!

but last night the Stockhausen penetrated from the four
sides of the auditorium, stripping each layer of feeling
and thought until all that was left was something the size
of a nut--so tiny, so hard, so impenetrable it was alone
in the middle of an infinite space . . .

--Harold Dull

fr. *Stony Brook 3/4*, 1969
and in *Open Poetry: Four Anthologies of Expanded Poems*
eds. Ronald Gross, George Quasha [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973]