The Madness of Suibne

By Marcia Blaustein


“All my dreams take place in a very large and beautiful unknown city.” – Wols


Part 2. Suibne Geilt sings his despair to the open wound

Because her mind is a playground for startling monstrosities
Because her hair is a luxuriant jungle peopled with monstrous creatures
Because her sex is vegetation sprouting from a magical space
Because her breath is a fever that my weakened will lacks the power to resist
Because her dance is played out on the verge of an abyss
Because she tempts me to indulge in dreams, to find flowers and
luxuriant meadows and gardens of stars where there are none

Because she lies warm on a good down bed
and Suibne starves for cold till sunrise –

So it is the duty of the artist to sleep under
remote spent stars
with hovering crystalline creatures of the air
against twilight horizons,

on phallic flowers that beneath his eyes shall
fall into the sleep of putrefaction

I am the tragic wanderer
I am the madman’s wisp that claims all reason
I am the watcher of ruins under a red moon

To sing his despair to the open wound
to harken to the rhythm rising up from within him
to break up marriages and break down recollections
to fall under the influence of a diabolical beauty
and to strip nature of her malicious disguise
to rise despite the roaring in his head
and the heavy weight on his chest
to create comfort and beauty and order
from the tragic remnants of crumbling, spotted scraps in a desolate field,
and to bless the fire and rot that makes holes in the sacking

Matchbooks, nails, corks, ticket stubs, charred wood,
blood-soaked bandages, a piece of lace on a rubbish heap

To take emblematic suggestions and recompose
them in the imagination
to master the art of living
to open up to the lure of the inherently dead
to throw open the storehouse of the unconscious
to see the nocturnal ground shining through

I am grief clothed in a garment of ogham
I am a fragment of crumbling stone,
on which the feverish hand records a
tale of cooling love

To evoke praise of the dark earth
to praise the menhirs and dolmans of the railyard
to squeeze milk from a clod of earth in his path
to press his lips to a ground pregnant with images
to praise embodiments of the fruitful earth
the ponderous female body emerging from telluric grounds
on which little men and friendly animals make their home
to fasten himself to her willing breast,
to the dark skein of hair beneath her wrinkled belly
to be moulded by earth and polished
and hollowed out by wind

I am
her body
I am
her blood


Only the imagination reaches out to the end of time

—Hoboken, December 1994