BTT 32.2: HAIR–CUT–NON–TRANSITIONED

This is in response originally 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 I am reposting it now also in response to HA’s (Anmol’s) dverse prompt in honor of PRIDE. HERE IS THE LINK: https://dversepoets.com/2020/06/16/dverse-poetics-on-pride/

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.”  

  • From “As I Lay Dying”  By William Faulkner *

.

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

Note:  This poem Bridges a quote from William Faulkner to a quote from Mark Twain.  “All right, then, I’ll go to hell,” from Huckleberry Finn is arguably the seminal point in American Literature when Huck decides not to turn Jim into the authorities, even though he thinks he will go to hell for helping Jim escape slavery.  LG

All rights reserved for text and phontos to Lona Gynt, May 2018

This is my Second Life Avatar. At the time I wrote this, this was the only way I could move through any type of world in a manner that felt like my true self. At the time of this writing, the gender dysphoria was about ready to kill me and I did not know how I was going to reconcile the imperatives of my religion and my culture with who I needed to be.
This is now. Let my hair grow, this is me. Alive, proud, and who I am.

ALSO THIS

2-21-2020:  I am pleased to announce that this poem has been published in “Sissy Fit”  Alabama’s only queer literary magazine.  It can be obtained through a subscription at the following link.  check it out and come have a Sissy Fit!  There is a lot of really excellent pieces in this Volume 1, Issue 1, and I am both grateful and proud to have contributed.

30 thoughts on “BTT 32.2: HAIR–CUT–NON–TRANSITIONED

  1. Faulkner’s diminishing/looping/parallel string of time is like a tightrope here, in your poem. One that’s not evident to anyone but you, but no less frightening in the challenge to traverse it to the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 Sigh subdued – still there for others I know who are transitioned yet still struggle for acceptance. I’m hoping the latest Supreme Court decision indicates a forward direction. Missouri has explicitly denied transgender job protection, and that’s wrong.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Woot! This is phenomenal, Lona!

    This hits hard and I am reeling with the effect of reading it again and again: “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”.

    Thank you so much for linking in and sharing this one. I needed to read it. You look beautiful in that photograph and the hairstyle is perfect. ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the way you describe that part of a transformation… somehow the haircut and the link to your own transformation (nice to see you in person) makes me think about Samson… and maybe that is a myth ready for reinterpretation.

    I leave you with a favorite song of min on that theme

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sanaarizvi

    My goodness this is absolutely phenomenal, Lona! ❤️ I don’t have the words to express how touched I am by your words right now. Like Anmol said, my mind is reeling too (from the impact) and by the sheer delicateness of your imagery! Gosh what superb use of tone and language here that drives the message across. It’s in your face and powerful! I think this is the one of the greatest poems I have ever read 😀 Kudos to you!

    And yes, he really is something! Cheers 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the way you have your hair now. You look lovely. Dysmophia is a horrible thing. People I know have really suffered with it – one still is. Your journey must have been extremely difficult and painful. I really admire you for your courage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend, writing this helped me to face some stark choices, Twain’s imperative to do the right thing even if you think you will go to hell really helped me, and now I have been blessed with a measure of peace and hope that is anything but hellish. The journey is labyrinthine though. I hope your ftriends or family with Dysphoria will find a joyful path.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Lona. The pain of the journey in your words, but the necessity of it! It gives me great joy that you are revealing yourself. You look wonderful and happy in the photo. So much has happened in the past year or so!

    And congratulations on having your poem published!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great idea to bridge the quotes with your own poem, Lona. II especially love the immediacy of writing it in the present tense and making it so visual. I enjoyed the hair dilemma – one I know well – that leads into the lines:
    ‘…the pull
    Of countless tethers –
    A face
    A child
    The long habit of simply
    Breathing
    That holds me
    Anchored in the chair’
    and
    ‘Dancing sharpened blades
    Slicing and sifting
    Out the layers of
    Soft perseveration
    Gathering in quiet multitudes
    On the floor.’
    A haircut turns into a personal transformation, as Bjorn said, like Samson. Your hair looks great! And congratulations on having your poem published in “Sissy Fit”!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Kim, that passage is the nexus and lever for me within The poem. That day as the hair fell down onto the floor it felt like Hope was being cut away from me in layers. That feeling, that realization, helped me realize I had no choice but to stand for who I truly am. Thank YOU!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. This is an astounding poem, Lona. And to read it on Juneteenth. Pride month. To be free. The bridge should/could have been a short interval between the two quotes, but oh, the string, the thread of the bedsheet, the projection of your life, how unpredictable it all became. How so near to death when the thread was widdled down to a hair’s breadth. This was one of my favorite dVerse challenges — thanks for reviving it.

    How are you, my friend? You look happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am well Amaya my friend. I am glad that you saw this today. It was an amazing challenge that you gave us that day, and brought me to face several things that were so important to me. The journey from impossibility to freedom Over that bridge has been so profound. One can muse for a lifetime on the impossible journey that the Bundren family was taking to bury their matriarch, their life, their love, the thread that tied them together, in the end it didn’t matter, that thread dissipated in the swollen river of circumstance. How close I came to drowning myself literally in a river and how often I felt death would be a relief and even a solution For my family. How happy I am to find that I could become free by Not only accepting, but by realizing who I am. But it took A Series of epiphanies like the one Huckleberry had, that in order to be free he was going to have to be willing to go to hell, to be wrong, to not dial down into the tribal imperatives that oppressed his love and And bound him in chains As heavy as those that claimed Jim. Juneteenth Is a wonderful day. May we all become free from the oppression we give or receive. I love you Amaya My friend. Thank you for helping me build that bridge. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  9. a deep and dark journey you’ve had, so glad to see such a cheerful beautiful photo of you Lona!

    Surely if God is all loving there will be no hell for those who have already suffered so much … so very glad that you’ve found your freedom, are comfortable with who you and been published!

    Bravo!

    Like

    1. Oh I hope to God, and feel his comfort. I really feel blessed, but I had to go to a place that my own intrinsic transphobia had taught me was abhorrent – I had to go to “hell” before I could learn I was right.

      Liked by 1 person

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