David Huddle

October 12, 2011 Huddle David

God Speaks of Dancers


Their quest–what does the human body mean?–
must be carried out without understanding,
so I love them for their blithe ignorance,
I admire the balls of their feet, their horse-

sturdy buttocks, the stink they make falling
in a pile of wet flesh at the end of the show.
Their laughter then so pleases me, they may
misbehave as they wish, and for that, too,

I love them.  That naughty one named Elise,
who claims she’s the best goddamn dancer of all,
who pulled up her dress to display her lack
of shame?  I grant her long life, no illness,

a clear mind, much mischief, no need to pray
and no fear of me.  Get out of her way.



The Dancers Speak of God

And David danced before the LORD with all his might


If God didn’t love us more than She does you,
we’d be with you down there numbing your asses
in the dark watching us up here with our flesh
giving light a good name.  When a hawk flies,

that’s just normal weather, but when a girl
flings her pretty sack of bones across a stage
God sucks in Her breath and sends a tornado
to ravage Alabama.  That’s special–

and with it goes obnoxious.  God likes
us best when you can hardly stand us.  Who
thinks God’s a sweetie grew up in Disneyland.
You want to know why we get to prance through

our lives like the Lipizzaner stallions?
God wants to love human flesh.  It’s not easy.

David Huddle teaches at the Bread Loaf School of English.  His fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in The American Scholar, Esquire, The New Yorker, Harper’s, Poetry, Shenandoah, Agni, Plume, The Hollins Critic, and the Georgia Review.  In 2012 his novel Nothing Can Make Me Do This won the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction, and his poetry collection Black Snake at the Family Reunion won the Pen New England Award for Poetry.  Huddle’s novel The Faulkes Chronicle appeared from Tupelo Press in Fall 2014, and a poetry collection, Dream Sender was published by LSU Press in Fall 2015.  In 2016, a novel, My Immaculate Assassin, appeared from Tupelo Press.  Another novel, Hazel, was published in 2019, and his most recent poetry collection, My Surly Heart, was published by LSU Press in 2019.  With Meighan Sharp, Huddle has co-authored a poetry collection, Effusive Greetings to Friends, which will be forthcoming from Groundhog Poetry Press very soon.



**Photographer:  Molly Huddle Coffey