Villanelle for Dónal Óg – Colm Tóibín and Maura Dooley

hurling_ball

“Hurling Ball, 1914” © GAA Collection, Clare Museum.

Villanelle for Dónal Óg

The hurler said: I get more out of men
I love their buttocks and their hairy chests.
They get me going nine times out of ten.

I knew that I was not a straight guy when
Blokes became stayers and girls stayed guests.
The hurler said: I get more out of men.

As sure as priests intone the word ‘amen’
As sure as young birds fly out from their nests
Guys get me going nine times out of ten.

I could be lonely with a pint of plain
Instead, I seized on what for me is best.
The hurler said: I get more out of men.

When skies are fierce and Sunday’s lost to rain,
When I might feel like letting things go west,
They get me going, nine times out of ten.

It is not pasta, prayer, not coke, not zen,
I’ll own what gives my game mouth-watering zest.
The hurler said: I get more out of men.
They get me going nine times out of ten.

_______________________

Dónal Óg Cusack (Dónall Óg Ó Cíosóg) was born in Cloyne, County Cork in 1977. He was educated at the local national school in Cloyne village and later attended nearby Midleton CBS. Following his secondary schooling, Cusack began a career as an electrician. On 18 October 2009, he revealed to the Irish Mail on Sunday that he is gay.

Colm Tóibín is a multi-award-winning Irish novelist and critic. He is the author, among many other books, of The Blackwater Lightship (1999), Love in a Dark Time: Gay Lives From Wilde to Almodovar (2002), and The Master (2004).

Poet Maura Dooley was born in Truro, England, and grew up in Bristol. Her poetry collections include Explaining Magnetism (1991), Kissing A Bone (1996), and Life Under Water (2008), which is shortlisted for the 2008 T. S. Eliot Prize.

Reprinted from “I Get More Out of Men” by Colm Tóibín.

Contact the Editor.

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