Di’bil Ibn Ali’l-Khuzai


Di’bil Ibn Ali’l-Khuzai (765-860/861?)

was a poet’s poet––

                like Gregory Corso––

always ready to slander men of merit,

sparing none,


not even the khalifs.


He was deaf & deformed,

yet because of him,

Mohammed is thought

to have learned sign language


in order to discuss his Poets of Baghdad.


Di’bil’s conduct was sometimes eccentric––

one day he saw a man in a fit of epilepsy,

went up & shouted in his ear

as loud as he could the word Di’bil,


(tall camel).


The man rose up


& walked away

As if nothing had happened.



10 February 2003



[Published in Quien Sabe Mountain:

Poems 1998-2004. © 2004 by Jim Cohn.]




Quien Sabe Mountain
(MAP Publications, 2004)