BTT #32: Hair — Cut — Non—Transitioned

Faulkner

    This is in response to a post by the Amazing Amaya at dVerse who has prompted us to “Bridge the Gap.”  The task is to start with one quote and then end with another quote from a different source and write a poem that bridges the two gaps.  My first quote is from Faulkner, my second is from Twain.  As you can guess, any prompt that summons for me the ghosts of Faulkner’s Bundren family (trying to get across rivers to bury their matriarch) is going to produce a certain longing for bridges.  Here is a link to Amaya’s prompt:  https://dversepoets.com/?wref=bif

Hair — Cut — Non —Transitioned

It is as though the
Space between us
Were time:
An Irrevocable quality.
It is as though time
No longer running straight
Before us in a diminishing line,
Now runs parallel between us
Like a looping string, the distance
Being the doubling accretion of the thread
And not the interval between.”  *
She calls my name as
I lift my head.
It is my turn
To walk the short
Space with my sneakers instead of
Mules to carry me
Across the flotilla of
Silken spindles suspended
Between the lineoleum
And the air.
My heart has no
Answer to her question,
“How do you want it?”
And a thousand categories
Of unnamed impossibilities
Rush before me
In instant sequence.
A short curl to
Lift and frame
A small smooth face
Toward the light?
Or maybe today I say
I have changed my
Mind and life and leave
It all alone to grow
And thicken and
Cascade and fall
Down, down, down
To drape across carved
Narrow shoulders toward
A gently sloping waist.
It is not the
Weight of my body,
But rather the pull
Of countless tethers –
A face
A child
The long habit of simply
Breathing
That holds me
Anchored in the chair.
I feel a practiced
Acquiescence pass the
Boundaries of my lips to
Just keep it
Basically the same
As it was before,
And she begins the
Cadenced lifting and searching of
Dancing sharpened blades
Slicing and sifting
Out the layers of
Soft perseveration
Gathering in quiet multitudes
On the floor.
My eyes close and
I feel for a moment
Only the slow crawl of
A bullet pressing incrementally
Through my hair then skull
As gelatinous fimbria
Slosh open to receive
And then collapse
To close snugly around it
Holding its fire suspended
Right there at that spot
Lodged in my dysmorphic
Third Interstitial
Nucleus of my Damn
Anterior Hypothalamus
The heat dissipating as it
Lays down softly on a gray
Bed of stria terminalis
To wait and sleep and rest.
She opens my eyes with a question,
Do I like it, and
I perjure that it is just fine
And now I stand
Before the jury of my
Betters who hold out
Their hands cupped as if
Waiting to receive
That large river
And small raft
That once held our
Dear Huckleberry, but
Now carries me,
The inverse symmetry
Of his dream, the girl
Playing tricks with the
World from within a
Smiling empty shell,
Showing definitively that
Breathing and eating
And walking and working
Can all continue in constant
Perpetuity without the
Need for living
Among the shreds
Of torn letters
That will not be
Used to deliver
Into Bondage
Those who could be
Free.
I would, rather, one day hope
Just to be allowed to
Whisper quietly
To the wind and echoes
Of sleepless night
“All right, then,
I’ll go to hell.”  **
Lona Gynt,  May 2018.
 ·
* From “As I Lay Dying” by William Faulkner, Darl – Chapter 34
** From “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, – Chapter 31
Once again, here is the link to the Amazing Amaya Bridge Building link:
Copyright All rights reserved Lona Gynt
 (except quotes of course) May 2018
selfportrait_001
Postscript To Family and Friends…. Don’t worry.  I promise.  Lona.

44 thoughts on “BTT #32: Hair — Cut — Non—Transitioned

    1. Oh Sarah, that really made me smile and laugh. Thank you! 🙂 I guess I would respond by plagiarizing Viktor Frankl’s quote (he used the word circumstances instead of hairdresser). “When you cannot change you hairdresser, you find the power to change yourself.” I am lifting a little glass of Mormon whatever to a hearty toast to future fun hair adventures!!! Thanks Sarah.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Bjorn, I hope I can find that same hell that lil ole Huckleberry unwittingly found, one that was really a heaven opened by surrendering to the imperative of love. Time (or space?) may tell. Appreciate you.

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  1. I first read this at some hellish hour full of phantasmagoric and soured milk and I didn’t want to taint your piece with heirlooms of the night. You have excellent precision when zooming in on a moment, a space in the mind that is out there in the open sea, waiting to be rescued by rightful synapses. It’s like the whole poem is the
    “slow crawl of
    A bullet pressing incrementally
    Through my hair then skull”…
    how you show the mind mulling through the myriad of impossibilities, but, out of love, wanting so much not to come up empty-handed. I feel this and the inverse symmetry of the dream, the girl, the smiling shell. Maybe the answer is the slow motion of the search itself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yours is a tender answer Amaya. I wrote it at a hellish hour as well, it is partially the search, and centrally the connections, the synapses and nexi that give me the best shot at an answer. The connectedness to those I love, not wanting to hurt them, which is hard to reconcile with who I have at last found in my search as to who I am and the long slow press. But I tell you, I can go a long time on wings of joy focusing on the responses and needs of those I love. My babies are now to old to be screaming, but they still hold tightly in their needs at the very moment they are pushing outward on my chest to launch. Thank you for your kindness, I am glad, and also a little nervous that the feeling in this poem came through.

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      1. Why nervous? No need, Lona! Also, I didn’t know you had kids. How many? I’m afraid hurting people is inevitable in this realm, even when it’s just us acting out our paths, doing God’s will, and even if it’s only egos that suffer for it. I don’t know, it’s all a balancing act I have not even been able to uphold for a brief picture, let alone mastered. (Our Creator doesn’t ask us to balance though, as far as I understand. That’s just the world talking eloquent nonsense.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, not really nervous I guess, more like animated. I love my kids. Have 23 year old and a 15 year old. They are joys. She does not know it, but the 15 year old became a character in the cast of my blog in the thread from katiemiafrederick’s comment thread below where I squeeze her hand.
        .
        I like what you say about balance… “world talking eloquent nonsense…” now that really made me smile, too true. I can only hope (literally) that when I am weighed in the balance, the one who loves me will have his hand on the scales. If the pinnacle of what God wants us to learn is love, I guess it might not be possible to learn that lesson in any type of balanced way, you sort of have to go all in somehow.

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  2. I need to read some Faulkner. Twain held the record for my most read book… until I discovered Tolkein… and then Joseph Heller. You actually have the same feel in your poem as I feel whenever I’m about to get my hair cut. …okay, maybe not quite that intense, but close! Your poetry is outstanding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have Twain and Tolkien in common, my son is finally reading Silmarillion and loving it making me a smugly happy parent. “As I lay dying” actually blew me away when I finally picked it up, and it is not only deeply beautiful, it is also darkly hilarious, which surprised me, I was less surprised by the darkly part. It has become a touchstone for me, but good ole clever Huck remains the fulcrum for me, Twain moves in any American writer in mysterious ways – although I think such a statement would have been met by Twain himself with wry circumspection. I’ll tell you what, this summer I’ll swap you a Faulkner for a Heller, what do you say? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Faulkner for a Heller? Hmmm. My choices for Hellers might surprise — Picture This, or God Knows. I’ll pick up a Faulkner and add it to my pile… with a promise to read!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. “I was perfect and unplanned, strong enough so still I stand.” (The Weeks). I gaze recursively into that spiral, what I see before me turning down into white ashes resting on the waters, behind me the hive mind buzzing into expectation, beside me me a confident young woman, both bossy and sweet, grasping a hand, unaware it is only an inkling of what she does not even yet know she has lost. Concentrating to move this clay from my nest of ectoplasmic emergent epiphenomena, turning back to look in front of me – I squeeze her hand.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. There’s something incredibly sensual about the bullet’s intrusion. It’s coated in specific terminology that should make it sound clinical, but doesn’t–the specificity only enhances the sensuality. And I love that ending. It’s one of my favorite quotes from “Huck Finn” and similarly to the original, it carries the weight of a momentous, life-altering decision in your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have reflected a central feeling of my poem back to me so exactly. I literally feel that bullet…, yes sensually, every day (don’t worry, I don’t even own a gun and I have made a powerful covenant that I will drastically transform myself rather than harm myself if it ever came to that again), but I am glad that you sense the hope and the love that we learn from Huck… that was a critical moment for Huck. Twain spent the whole book building up to it and draping it in layers of context and irony and power and soul, and the lesson of that moment is fulcrum for me. Thank you, your words are powerful and descriptive and help me feel a little more real.

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  5. Two excellent authors chosen and you make them proud. These words
    “It is not the
    Weight of my body,
    But rather the pull
    Of countless tethers –”
    These words especially spoke to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: I am Worried About Jessica. Full posting. – Scattered thoughts made a little more random

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