Monday, September 26, 2011

A Poem for Today's Mood

South Bound Poet
For David Ray Vance

I want to be a Penguin poet,
name on list, followed by several titles:

.............CYN HUDDLESTON
.............The Domicile of the Guardian
.............Prepare Yourself for Rape Poems

Workshop tonight, but I long to write.
I jot poems on bits of paper
and large green sticky notes,
perfect for plastering the poem on my back
to see if it can drum up a following.

I am regimented, organized, habitual, and yet—
tonight I want to blow off workshop,
toss my poems in a knapsack
and head south.

Write Post Eat Bathe: High Anxiety..

First Secrets, now Fears
Fears?  So this Monday is gonna be one of those Mondays...

8 Fears, in no particular order, with commentary in some instances and not in others, for no particular reason:

  • I fear being in large public venues with lots of people.  Or small public venues with a moderate amount of strangers.  I am not afraid of public speaking in these places--do it all the time.  And I get along remarkably well for someone with this fear. 
  • Going down.  I found this out when I was at the top of a tower in Darmstadt, Germany and had to go back down the stone steps.  I had climbed them without noticing anything other than the view.  Now, going down, I saw that they were circular, narrow at the central point, heavily worn down from all the feet that had climbed over the centuries, and that there were People in front of and behind me, touching me.  This fear now extends to all down staircases and water slides.  However, I am not afraid of heights. 
  • Running out of food.
  • I used to be afraid of Tennessee.  It was recent enought that I still get sick sometimes when I go there.  I go there. 
  • Leaving my house.  Driving.  I do both. 
  • I used to be afraid of spiders.  Screamy afraid.  And I am not a screamer.  Then in therapy, I figured out I was displacing fears onto spiders.  Poor little mites.  Turns out they are not a bad bunch.  I kinda have a soft spot for them now since I stepped on so many.
  • Anyone who would hurt my child.  No. Scratch that.  I am afraid FOR them if I catch them.  Different thing.
  • Turns out I am not very afraid after all.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What Makes My Dress Fly Up...

Nine loves.  Easy.

9.  I love being able to walk again without crouching down like a crone or holding onto a cane.  I love being able to sleep.  I love being able to attend to the important things in life without worrying if I can stand up without help or get off the toilet.  There are still issues.  But these things are pretty nice. (Update:  Hiked for the first time since getting sick.)

8.  I love having a daughter.  I wouldn't have minded a son.  I just have no experience.  But a daughter.  It's so good I have no words for it.  I don't want to jinx perfection.

7.  I love being married to someone who does not give me reason to worry that he will drink up my earnings, bring sluts into my yard, beat me with a bone-in ham, shoot at my children in a thunderstorm, take my daughter to beer joints and a) take her into the place so that drunks can paw her or b) leave her in the car to worry that someone will see her and paw her, talk one way to strangers and a whole other way his family so that strangers think his family got a real smart guy for a daddy when he was a bum who couldn't keep a job, or, and this is key, make me lose a minutes sleep worrying that he would do something heinous to my daughter. You don't, in my experience, often find a man who is that "lacking" and Adrian deserves my loyalty and undying gratitude.

6.  I love that I am weird and yet still have people who are willing to be in my life. 

5.  I love cats. 

4.  I love my brain.

3.  I love being 51. (I have loved all my years since around 30, but not so much before that.)

2.  I love psychotherapy and good friends.

1.  And lastly, I love writing.  How else would you know all these keen things about me?

Monday, September 12, 2011

If you tell someone...

Each Monday some of us at Write, Eat, Post, Bathe writing group are going to post one of these little lists.  Ten secrets.  Am I writing down ten secrets?  Huh.  Your government trusted me with secrets. I never told them and don't intend to. 

I have three secrets I never tell a soul.  I don't even say them out loud.  The nature of a secret is this: if you tell one person, it is no longer a secret.  And I can, as we have established, keep a secret.  So the best you can hope for is 10 little-known facts.  Here they are:

10. I love purses.  I have way more than you can imagine.  I also hate cleaning them out.  Too time-consuming.  So I have little bags of stuff that I can grab and put into the new purse.  Presto chango.

9.  You were hoping for some real dish.  Sorry.  I told you I am good at keeping secrets.  Let's see...  Number Nine.... I used to really hate the look of my big toes.  I don't now.  The toes still look the same as before, so I think something inside my head changed.

8.  I have Asperger's Syndrome.  Not a secret.  I just might not have told you.  I have it in a very mild form.  Don't let that make you think I don't have problems with it.  I am 51 and have great coping skills.  What you don't know is that I like having it despite the problems.  There are things, not the least of which is the ability to hold gigantic amounts of stuff in my head at the same time and manipulate all that to my benefit, that are downright cool.  The wanting to run away and hide in most public situations is not so much cool.  I work on that.

7.  I used to spend a lot of time up in trees when I was a kid.  I would take a bag of non-perishable food and books and stay and stay. 

6.  I like to look at small things, like the pattern that some bees and wasps make in the dirt or a drop of water on the tip of a leaf, stuff like that.  I like to hide in small places.  I wish I was very small sometimes so that I could secret myself into a nook and stay and stay.

5.  I was a virgin way longer than you would believe, so I won't bother telling you.  No, really.  I don't care what you heard.

4.  I actually say the things that people say they wish they had said or would have said to people who are abusing children in public.  I have called the law on one occasion too. 

3.  I count how many times I talk out loud during a class session so that I won't talk too much.  You will not, if you are in class with me, believe this since I still talk a lot.  You can ask my early college professors before I adopted this tactic. I wouldn't shut up.  See 8 above for an clue to this phenomenon.

2.  I am racked by guilt.

1.  I want to write a reasonably-well-received book of stories.

Now, I have 2 secrets that I have never told a soul.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Psalm 911

A Psalm for New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania

I cry out to you with a sound torn from my soul;
a sound of metal tearing;
a sound of innocence dying.
How terrible is this thing which has been thrust into the heart of the many.

Evil has risen up from its nursery and arrived full grown to destroy us;
those who pervert your very name;
who bow to false gods of hate;
who breed in the desperate a desire for destruction.

Their instrument of death is a cruel one;
they have used our own selves as a kind of cancer.
My body has been hurled against my body;
sister torn from the sky to rain destruction on brother.

And hell erupted in the sky;
And hell erupted in the sky;
And hell was thrown against the five sides of our strength;
And, yet, hell was cheated the fourth time.

Our words rained down on us like an evil snow;
like a parade held in honor of our enemy's victories.

Humans fell from the sky; Humanity fell from grace.

High places were made low;
crushed to dust that blows at our feet.
Our mighty have been struck a cleaving blow;
warriors defeated without a battle cry.

Images of horror enter my every waking moment;
burning into my eyes.
I sleep and dream, not in pictures, but in tears that do not wash,
tears that do not cool.
I awake and the sun is blocked by the smoke of a fire which burns my soul.

I have looked to the heavens and seen a terror.
I have cried to the hills and heard no relief.
I have called to the warrior and he is quiet.
I have screamed to my Lord.
I have screamed to my Lord.
I have screamed for relief.
I have screamed for vengeance.

"Sing praises to the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what He has done. For He who avenges blood remembers;
He does not ignore the cry of the afflicted."
Psalm 9:11.12 NIV

I cry out to you with a sound tom from my soul;
a whimper;
a sob;
a groan originating in the earth.

I cried out to the Lord
and I have seen him.

The Lord is with us in the rubble.
God has come to us in the body of the man who lifts a stone and clears a path.

The Lord is with us in the fires.
God has come to us in the hands of those who spray a healing, cooling stream.

The Lord is with us in the places of healing.
God has come to us in the mind of she who closes the wounds.

The Lord is with us in the streets.
God has come to us on the feet of the child who brings food to the grief-stricken.

The Lord is with us in the houses of worship.
God has come to us in the arms that gather us up.

The Lord is with us in our homes.
God has come to us in the lips of our loved ones who kiss us through our pain.

The Lord is with us in the places of power.
God has come to us in those whose hearts bum for justice
tempered with judgment.

I cried out to the Lord and the Lord joined me in my cry.

Cyn Huddleston 09/12/2001


I wrote this on the day after the attacks, when watching the images had burned them into my retinas.  I needed some way to think about it.  I started to write like the old psalms, in the cadence of those poets.  About halfway through, at the place where you see it, I decided to see what the Psalm was at 9:11.  It says those words in the version I read.  My psalm had to change.  It was now a psalm of 9/12.  Any more violence done would cause there to be more afflicted.  I looked around to see how we were coping.  I saw response to violence with help and comfort.  I prayed we would have more of that and less of violence. 

I still am praying. 

In 2001, I read this in church to a group of battered folks and one state trooper who just walked in late and stood in the back, ready to go. 

This Sunday, we will have our New Beginnings Sunday.  It's what we have always called our first day of the new sunday school year.  It's Kyndall Rothaus Renfro's first day to preach to us as our pastor.

Here's to new beginnings for us all.