Category Archives: black experience

“The Extraordinary Hoof” – We are All Black

A post made by Richard Payne on Facebook about Smoky Robinson. And it is still poetry, everything is.

helped me recall an essay I wrote “The Etraordinaty Hoof”

and I would like to share it with you:  It deals with the one-drop rule among other things:

The Extraordinary Hoof

by Thylias Moss

There are certain marvelous coincidences, for instance, that my ordinarily inconsequential toes, inconsequential not to bipedalism, but to what is momentarily more essential to me, endeavors that take place especially and no place but in the mind

where I’ve just become aware of being an admirer of hooves, less the cloven than the full, particularly as reflective objects,

giving something like depth to an image of dust kicked up, say, by a twenty-mule team hauling borax; particles sent swirling in

the deep reaches of an infinite illusion by the courtesy of the surface of the horny covering that protects the whole foot as

opposed to toenails’s less substantial responsibility for separate digits. On some days, this movement of dust suffices as frenzy,

model of passionate intellectual engagement. Dust rising like a praise of gnats, active veil of one of the hats I don’t get to wear

often enough.

How much further would this digression have to extend– surely not to infinity– before it would arrive at necessity or, better, at

revelation so that detour result in an essential yet, ever the hope, astonishing poem? Especially a detour from self, as impossible

as that is, that usually gets in my way, at the very least informing just what it is that I notice; were I someone else, at last I could

notice something else–though I hope still the hoof. There are theories that could explain both my admiration of the hoof and my

having suppressed that admiration until the occasion to write this essay arose, and were I someone else or somewhere else,

hoof would have its proxy or perhaps there’d be no digression at all, but instead a more conventional road and a more reliable

vehicle to traverse it, but as just a poet finding imagination ever so trustworthy, I needn’t doubt the gift of hoof.

I prefer that unanticipated discovery lead me to and through a poem; for me there is some rapture if the dance of dust mirrored

in the hoof of some unspecified beast offers delight and insight that perhaps I would miss were I regularly more interested in

imposing certain agendas on my poems; if right now, as I am about to do, I paused to consider just how dust and hoof must

change according to my poorly understood and often unimportant identity.

My sense of my identity has formed, and remains subject to change, over a mere forty-four years, yet parts of it are considered

certain although, as a rule, I don’t like rules, and as another, I most often reject certainty for being so sure and through,

apparently, with questions which are all that I have and are what I most enjoy because questions, better than anything else,

promise chances at discovery. I question hoof, but do not doubt it. And so, yes, literary criticism, multiculturalism, for instance,

as forms of questioning; doctrines that reject certainty. That which is apparently stable in my identity has ceased, for me, to be

intrinsically revealing. I am simply not astonished anymore by my racial heritage[s] alone, my sex alone. Only when something

occurs to restore astonishment through fresh rankling of my awareness. Although I do confess to remaining consistently

impressed with sex with Thomas Robert Higginson for its unceasing accessing of a more, my fascination with my social roles has paled except

for when contemplation of them leads me to something that seems, whether or not it really is, extraordinary. Only what seems

extraordinary compels me to write. The extraordinary hoof.

attempt, always, to say more than I am black, a woman struggling because of being black, a woman; for most of my personal

struggle was born elsewhere, and my current struggle, elsewhere still, and I hold no patent on struggling-nor is mine, so lucky,

grievous or disabling struggle; instead, it is source of my energy and will. I suppose that I will never know to what extent, if any,

my poems depend on my identity for their meaning, but the impossibility of such knowing forces me into no quandary; I do not

sweat the analysis of my writing–I, such a brazen little thing, just try to write without restriction. The judgments are judgments,

and nothing more; contrived-as fallible as I am.

The substance of my identity need not be relevant unless it is the subject, and it should not be presumed to be my only subject–not until racial, for instance, differences are of a significance that commands the prefacing of every attempt at thought with homage to race. Then my perception necessarily would be restricted, but as a territorial and, proudly she says, stubborn being I would nevertheless attempt to extend my territory to whatever in the universe interests me. Today, the hoof. Tomorrow, the circumference of belief. Only an unreasonable logic would have my work be a study of race, for instance, primarily or

exclusively. Such simplicity, despite simplicity’s general attractiveness, does not even tempt me.

I do not always want a filter because I want to attempt filter-free vision at times, as much–or as little it may turn out–as

possible. Sometimes, what is needed is not what is looked for, but that which is found almost by accident, coincidences bred

by the process of seeking itself. There is more in the universe than the components of my identity and more, much more than

anything I have ever noticed or considered-and it is sometimes an unassuming hoof that leads me to a glimpse of the more.

Naturally, from time to time, I consciously become preoccupied with various ideas and approaches; sometimes, there’s motive,

but such preoccupation is but temporary commitment, a detour, if you will, in my travels in perception. I won’t bother to fret the

unconscious, and if it is indeed unconscious, how could I fret it anyway? I don’t want to knowingly see [hoping soon to be free

of my crutches] only the same things in the same way all the time; eventually, surely I’d become bored or claustrophobic if I

became confined and entrenched in such unnatural stability, in stasis that frightens me–if death is stasis, then that will be why I

won’t like it. And why I already dislike the stability I’ve presumed of infinity. And why I like the hoof, for its picture, only a

picture, of infinity that within the context of hoof is fallible, so acceptable.

I don’t think that I ignore the facts of my identity–facts that sometimes can be fallible–but identity is most often behind me–a

type of fortification?– rather than in front of me as a lens through which anything viewed first must be interpreted. If identity, no

matter its subordinate location, alters my perception, then it is altered, but it is a more, I would argue, subtle alteration than

would be identity as required corrective lenses. But a hoof is something I find, at least right now, more interesting and

compelling than obligation to identity and identity’s trappings; I don’t want to limit my search or the outcomes of my searches.

And if I have limited them, I don’t want it to matter; I prefer that what is written transcend identity and intentions. That is best.

Some of my poems perhaps can reject an oversimplification of race by making race an illogical reduction of their meaning; if

race must be on every page, then let it not be a premeditated notion of race brought to the book, but instead a notion of race

challenged, expanded, freed by the book.

I continue to marvel at being alive; indeed, not only at being alive, but also member of humanity that is apparently at the top of

the terrestrial cognitive hierarchy. Fascinating, I think, especially if this position is coincidental and not designed. But no less

strange if by design humanity has come into existence; God’s needing or wanting, if that is the case, to design humanity is

curious, strange, fascinating just as is the apparent existence of so much–yet so little–variety. There are other living forms that

could have been made [and perhaps wait for-or even hide from-discovery]. Extraordinary and marvelous oddity. Humanity is

not a form of existence that could have been predicted. The nose, the ear–their functions could have been carried out by other

anatomical forms, and indeed are in some rather impressive snouts, trunks, slits, in the aliens we design, always in forms with

which we may interact whether to our benefit or detriment.

At times, hoof may require that I consider mule, hinny, their hybrid sterility, both ethical and unethical manipulation, or I can

forget all that and consider the hoofing of dancers in a line-up, stepping away from the height chart, hoofing as their number is

called, guilt or innocence determined by this contest, how well they delight the audience into forgetfulness and/or forgiveness.

Of course, I do not forget that everything can be subjected to political, socioeconomic or to any other interpretation. It is not

necessary that I specify one though I sometimes do, as consequence of an acknowledged obligation to information and to

humanity’s circumstances, humanity’s sometimes so extraordinary circumstances.

I am not satisfied with my poems unless they have attempted some reaching, some moving toward a more that ever moves

away, that is occupied with its own reaching); certain marvelous coincidences, that my toes although right now only appreciating the rug, dig through fiber and evidence of machine-manufacture, encountering premium water (would that be wine?), atmospheric roses, the scent that rises from the water as toes stir, as toenails loosen and drift, gather downstream reforming a flower in the distance, just one, just distance, safe distance from even sweet-smelling density, clutter; look– from here, such pretty debris.

from The Boston Review 23.3. Copyright Boston Review, 1993-2000.

Online Source:


It is important that I say this.

It is important that we not remain prisoners of the past.

It is important that we acknowledge change.

It is important that we allow anything to become something else, and not hold it to whatever it was.

“Change” systems are the way; once something has changed, we must allow that thing to exist in a form of system is only a temporary stop; I do not want to think that is a final, instead, only an emerging form.  What would we really be if we could not change? Think of how you may have been at birth; I would assume that you have changed in some way, and isn’t that the idea, to not remain as you were, and to not continue to be judged as that?

What is it that does not have a past not meant to threaten us like ghosts we are unable to escape?

Do you really think I would want to be what I was?

I happen to like evolving, even from my parents; only my mother remains alive, and she wants me to be “saved” from , I hope, hating myself as much as she hates herself.

If you really know me then you also know I am not my mother, though she would prefer that I was. Although she would prefer me to be someone I am not.

My mother insists on dying as she is, unable to change. There is withering I can do about that, as I do not intend to die her death. I will die my own, and unlike her, I have bio idea what will follow that event.

She is convinced,

Thylias Rebecca Brasier Moss and Florida


 however, that I am going to hell; I cannot change her belief system, nor do I think I should, but I can say this, that after interacting with my father for so many years, my mother did not change as she could have.








My father! Calvin Theodore Brasier

My father!

  (half of his father seen below, and half of me)

Frizzell Brasier

my paternal grandfather

(Native American, Indian (from India), and Caucasian)

She is becoming increasingly evangelical, and has dementia that is taking the mother I once knew so far away from me.

And I accept this. Even though my own mother, 87 years old right now is unable to accept me.

And please understand that I am okay with this, I just want to live my life, and of course, I will make mistakes some fo the time, maybe even all of the time, but I will not imprison anyone in their past as my mother rimprisons herself.

I allow that all things may change, and in fact I want them to.

Go ahead and change. Go ahead and become. Go ahead and take the risk, or do you really feel that you have achieved an ultimate form of yourself?

I do not, and at 63, I continue to plod forward, ideally emerging as something better by the end of this life.

My thanks to any of you who have contributed in any way to evolution systems of Thylias Moss.

A few selfies of me, all grown up at 63:


The last time I saw her hair. She hates it, and hates herself.  Completely missed the back power movement. All that prejudice in the south of her birth, Alabama and Tennesssee, called the little black one and fully believed every denigration, even denigrated herself, wanted her child, me to have the hair she always wanted, and I do, never relaxed. no chemical treatment, except she wanted my hair for herself.  

THAT Length she craves.  

Tales of a Harlot

My mother, God love her, continues to call me a harlot.

I realize that she is ill, and this really breaks my heart.  I try to seem disaffected, but it hurts me to hear this whether or not she means it. That woman sounds like her, looks like her, but what she says really stings all too deeply.


But her face has become so leathery-looking for all those bleaching creams.  I would prefer that she could better accept her coloring..  I always have.  Guess that we humans are never satisfied.


Please forgive me for what I am about to say, but I know one reason that she wanted my father to be the father of her child. Growing up in the 1930s in Valhermossa Springs (a corruption of “Beautiful Valley” I’ve thought, ever since I could speak Spanish, but there are many ways to says “self-denigration” and she had plenty of that); plenty of ways to belittle herself in Alabama.

She was born before people learned to be “black and proud” She was so ashamed of her coloring, the darkest complexioned girl in a family of 12 children, 6 males, 6 females, and the girls all born before most of the boys, and my mother was the darkest girl, always called, the little Black One.

All that Nadinola that she continues to slather on her face, neck, fingers.  She looks striped, covered in whooshes and semicircles, the movements of her hands as she tries desperately to paint herself yellow, whiter and whiter,  


Available at Walmart and other fine retail stores.

She was little, (5 feet tall, 4’8″ tall right now) and now even darker as the bleaching creams are darkening her skin instead lightening it.  Among other things –for I know little to nothing of their love life, but I also know that my father was considered a catch, his hair and his skin tone, that mixed race identity, and he had what my mother needed: that hair, that skin.   She didn’t have it, but her child would have “good hair.”


Lawrence, Thylias, Florida

How happy she was sitting with me and my cousin Lawrence in Woodhill Park in Cleveland, Ohio! I am wearing tennis shoes that buckle, as I had trouble with the right-handed lessons. I am older than my cousin to the right of me, but much smaller.  


She speaks this way to no one else.


At this point, I just wish for her acceptance, realizing that she is not capable of giving it.  Timing is just awful… I realize that my mother is near the end of her life, and I wish it could be a more peaceful ending, but I guess that it can’t, for I have become a harlot to her, and I am not sure why, but let me tell you how painful it is for her dementia to do all her talking, and for me to bear the brunt of what she says:


These are my “official” “Harlot Days

according to my mother; trying to listen to her; trying very hard to continue to be a good daughter; right now she is telling me how Trump could be a good president.

God is in charge and she has wisdom and knowledge, but I don’t. She is saying that she belongs to God, and that is all that matters; building a wall, but not like the wall in Jericho, but a wall that will keep out harlots like me.

I’m typing as she talks,

you have to stay with Jesus Christ; God owns everything, all the silver and gold, and she is waiting to go home; she knows who she belongs to, and nothing is impossible through Him; she knows what she’s talking about, no one knows what it’s like to live under Republicans; she is dying in Jesus’s arms. All she knows is that Jesus is coming for her. She started getting hungry last week; it had been a year since she felt hunger, and she is delighted with hunger, and she will eat her fill when Jesus comes back to get her, and she could almost eat a dog, if he was  cooked well done, she is cooking a skillet of cornbread in the morning, and she hopes that I have a blessed life, “why am I talking short?” she just asked me, but I am not talking short. I am listening carefully as she changes my name to “Harlot” (Jean Harlow, Gene Harlot).

I just do not want to be called a “harlot”; “harlot” is not my name. I can’t believe that she would want to claim the birth of a harlot as something she accomplished.

I am trying very hard to be a good daughter, but there’s only so much of this “harlot” namecalling I can take.

Thank you for taking part in this brief tale of a harlot, by a harlot.

1o of the most famous prostitutes in history

a list on which my name does not appear.  Mostly famous white prostitutes, I am neither white nor famous –I’m going to sneak a “yet”in right here, because ya never know what life may require of me, and if it ever does, I will remove this post, but I am neither white (never will be, despite the efforts of products like Nadinola, her favorite skin bleaching, skin whitening product.

Not long ago, she told me that when she looked at me, she did not see herself; why not? I am indeed her daughter, and I have never disowned her, and she hates my part in 9:08, a Day in the life, of The United States of Poetry,  in which I recite a passage of my poem, “The Linoleum Rhumba” –she had an opportunity to portray the maid, and that is exactly what she was,  a maid who toiled very hard, and worked since her days as a six-year-old girl toiling in the fields, picking cotton, fingers bleeding raw, but she wouldn’t do this, as in her mind she was being asked to portray the “lowest”.  My mother always worked!  She was never a stay-at-home woman.  Sun-up and past sun-down.  

And even then before dementia took over her mind, I could not make her understand that I was saying something quite different in this passage of my poem:

I dream of my mother accepting herself. hair and all.  An accepting me, for I really am her daughter, although she disowns her very own harlot.FLORIDA PAST

 the way my mother remembers herself, and so do I.


I’ll always love my mama.  1973, “The Intruders”


My Father

Today would be my Father, 93rd birthday.

100% Daddy’s girl right here.


I remember my father who never met my son, as he died in 1980, and my son wasn’t born until 1991, but I recall an exceptional man, who was never hit as a child, and taught me so much; including, I feel, groundwork of limited fork, the way he treated me, and refused to express love through any bullying techniques such as found in so many Christian patriarchal religions; my father never made differences in toys according to gender… I was also encouraged to speak, to both have and share my opinions.   He died 36 years ago, the year before I graduated from Oberlin College, something he would have loved to experience, me graduating from an institution not afraid to enroll women, African-Americans, and Native Americans, and that’s really why I wanted my degree to be from Oberlin, a college that would have accepted me regardless.

He never knew the me I became, but he did know me as a writer, something I started to do when I was seven… He was right there when so much happened….

He asked my mother not to hit me, and she wanted to, according to biblical rules, that if the rod is spared, then the child is spoiled… My father wouldn’t allow me to believe anything like that! He told me that no decent, no authentic father would even conceive of a place called hell, and even if he somehow conceived it, he would never send anyone there… This made more sense to me than biblical rules with such adherence to patriarchal stances, written by men, and subjugating women –I wish my father had lived to hear me say such things, to watch me practice such things, to see me champion these things he always felt were just!

If such punishment is a shared experience that unifies blacks, then I guess that I am not black at all since spankings and beatings were not part of my life.  I understand intellectually, what spankings are; my mother’s sister who lived with us for many years, would often send her son, my cousin Lawrence:Lawrence Turner


out to get his own switch.  I observed this, but never took part; I was never sent to select my own instrument of brutality.

I drove my father to the hospital on the day he died…. He chain-smoked Pall Malls (there used to be commercaisl, such as):

and eventually, he was quite ill the last couple of years of his life, and I’d driven him to the hospital quite a few times to have fluid removed from his lungs, but he always managed to come home alive… except, of course, the last time…. I’ve felt guilty about that for many, many years… but am so thankful that he created my name for me, “Thylias” –he told me when I was seven that there had never been a presence like mine in the world, so I needed a name that also hadn’t been part of the world –just what a daughter, what any child, what any person should be told! –I would go to church with my mother, and be told that I was going to hell; but as soon as I got home from church, my father, born in the south would take me for very long walks, sometimes for several miles, and allow me to linger and interact with whatever I wanted to, and I returned home from these walks with a new golden book of knowledge and built an alternative bible, these books were also ‘truth“: Energy and Power, Automobiles, Geology, Meteorology, Mathematics, etc… For toys, I had dolls, and I loved them, but I also had space ships, boats, trucks, and my home was filled with music… (Sometimes, my father sang)


Thylias with dolls




My father didn’t have my name picked out for me; he had to meet me first, and then decided, after he met me, what my name should be, a name tailored to the person he saw. Was it the way I reminded him of something? Could he already see some of himself in me? Did he realize then what was always true, that I was more like him than like my mother?

In one of her increasingly rare lucid moments, my mother told me that I am high class and she is low class, and for that reason she and I are unable to communicate. We are too different. My hair came from my father and his people. I am told that my mother, so ashamed of her color, called “the little black one” and ostracized by her family, wanted to lighten up the family, and that my father was considered a catch with his pale skin and mostly straight dark hair; I got the hair, but not the color.


Among other things, on those walks I so frequently take, walking to love and to a man I hope will be in my life for many, many years (this man I love [maybe too much, but maybe not nearly enough –he is that special, and somehow proving just how special he really is, as each moment passes]), but this man is also a drinker, and I sometimes imagine how the two of them, about the same color, could sit at my mother’s dining room table and drink together –sure wish that they could someday meet, but as I walk now, I am also reviving what I did with my father from the time I could walk, those walks with him…. He and I would walk to the bakery and purchase freshly baked loaves of “Wonder” bread. How I loved that name for the promise of “Wonders”, the promises of miracles. We once walked to a bridge and stood there and watched a refinery fire, and the smell of that fire blocked the heavenly aromas of “Wonder” bread baking; I would imagine that Jesus had loaves of “Wonder” bread to go with the fish he served in the feeding of the five thousand.


My father would have loved me at Oberlin! –this tiny woman, under five feet tall, multiracial, grauating first in the class and Phi Beta Kappa; still oly 98 pounds, with completely natural waist-length buttkissing hair, and as naturally shapely as all-get-out, I cannot show you, but —I do not lie— if you ever see this 62-year-old woman in a bikini (no need for liposuction  or for any surgical reshaping, certainly not of my face, or anywhere else; no breast impants, I don’t need them; no weave, no wig, no extensions –not only booty, beautifully shaped, but also enough brains to graduate first in the class –there are not that many total packages like me; and I have the legacy that makes all of me inevitable:



nothing is going to dilute or diminsh my joy this mornin’!

some of the wonders of Oberlin College:

And now some photos of this wonderful man, a father I knew until I was 26, a man my son never knew, being born so many years after my father’s death, a man who also did not hit in order to express love… A man unafraid to marry outside his race in the south! –how did this family manage that? –I am so pleased to have as my heritage such bravery, such decisions to insist on a form of justice, and compassion for all! –to insist on love –my real heritage: I will always insist on love. No matter what.

Love first; all else is secondary.

My paternal grandfather, a man I never know, was not black at all, Native American, Caucasian, and Indian. Apparently, many of them perished from Huntington’s Disease, a most nasty and always fatal, requiring inheritance of only one gene (no successful gene modification of that, as there was in the film Jurassic World), but I’ve been quite lucky, and missed that fatal inheritance from this wonderful man, my father part Native American, African American, Indian, and Caucasian in the south when races, as humans classify them, were not supposed to mix yet always, (let’s be reasonable), did. Real love could hardly care about color, or I would not even exist.

Here’s to my father who did not care about such petty things as color of skin.

And here’s to more rising of mixed race people!

Something Claudia Rankine explores in her “Whiteness, INC” that was part of the Ellipsis show at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, MO, as in:

  (Please look, please love, and please think)

I’ve got love on my mind!




and “Unforgettable” –always:





end of the year, prelude to 2016

The end of 2015 is upon us, and I, for one, am quite glad.    

A most uneven year in so many ways.


For the most part, I am in a most peculiar place.  Too much that matters is coming unglued, I “think” –and that is part of the problem right there: “overthinking” 


I don’t know much for sure, but I feel safe in saying that I will have at least one new book in 2016; I’ve already seen a prototype cover, and I like it… “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” –my New and Selected is going to happen.  My first new book since 2007, and, of course, I hope it’s considered for several awards.  And I also would like to WIN (at least) one of these nominations none of which have happened.


I control none of that. 


And an exhibit  of my video poam “The Glory Prelude

at the Pulitzer Fine Arts Gallery in St, Louis, Missouri, exhibit called  “Ellipsis” from 15 April 2016 – 2 July 2016, music composed and performed by Ansted Moss, my son and creative force behind his invention still-in-the-making, Knaknox 

My son will be joining me at the Pulitzer for the opening, as the music wouldn’t be in my film without his making it.  I am very excited about this.


Will post more details as I have them. Pictures also.



And more than anything I’m hoping for agency representation! –this will happen; only a matter of when and which agency…

NKH is coming!

–This book cannot be stopped. I hope that NKH wins awards also.  I look forward to the NKH movie... I look forward to the myriad interviews.  So many dreams on a book for which I have no contract yet, but I will in 2016! –the year that changes my life, improves my life. 


And for NKH, the current and definitive version, that an agent is considering;

there will be no word on the status of representation (but there will be agency representation –I ‘ve been saying this for some time, but this book, this “story for the ages” to quote one trusted reader [the most important reader of all], will be represented and sold–)

but not in time to conclude 2015 (I wish it would be…. I must be more patient), but in NKH there is a reference to Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” and I must include a version here, Kennedy  Honors, 2015:



The coincidence is amazing, but far less so than this performance.

I am so encouraged by this. 


And I hope that a connection I cherish so deeply emerges from this rubble unscathed…. Life is not easy….  


I want my close friend to remain my close friend.  Always.  At least my close friend, if not, someday more (my hope that I do not keep secret at all in NKH).


Of course, my close friend has a life of his own, worries and concerns of his own… I have no holds on him, and the holds he has on me, are holds of my own making… I want to keep them intact, for whatever happens or doesn’t.  Friendships are not static; this one is dynamic at least.  This one has been growing every “whichway” –as it should. Into what, we cannot say. And when, we cannot say; there is no more than a chance but without a chance there would be, there could be nothing.


It should not become static… 


I continue to dream big. I continue to hope.  As does my [close] friend. As does my son. As does, everyone capable of dreaming and hoping.  We all have flaws, but I hope manageable forms.  Just wait… Just be patient…  Answers are right around the corner… I can nearly reach out and grab them… A fully “natural” process… 

I look forward to 2016! Please join me! –and keep a watchful eye out for NKH, please… that book of incredible passion!

that nearly impossible book, but 2016 is the year the heretofore impossible become possible! Fork on!


Here’s to patience:


New Writing happening


At work on a new project; can’t say much about it, as I don’t yet know that much about it myself.  Perhaps a ritual to embrace summer? A ritual to reclaim myself?


But, I have to keep writing, even while I’m unsure… I have no other job now –this is it: “Write or die!”  Truly “Publish” or “Perish“!

Recently had a blurb approved for “LFMK” a collection of prose poams!”–a blurb approved by ML Liebler! blurb for “Looking for My Killer” — a prose poam of which,Majorana Harem Culture” will soon  be online in One! edited by Richard Krawiec

Moving Forward! –trying as hard as I can…. OBAMA IS BLACK!

I’ve  resurrected the “remembering” posts, in order to tell my truths: remembering, remembering and remembering; this way, I  move forward, acknowledging what will always be with me, rape , abortion, and almost missing a chance to have a successful pregnancy… only one successful pregnancy in my life: as I hope these pictures show:   

sonogram-first pictrue of Ansted PREGNANT THYLIAS

I just want to be able to move in a much less restricted manner… There is no point in inflicting pain into a very long chapter whose covers I’m closing.  That chapter is done, and I’ll leave it that way, focusing on other things including this delicate repair –because it’s worth it.

I’d much rather have a good friend, than not to; I’d rather be able to say at the end of my time, that I was a good friend. 

I’ll be picking up my laptop this evening, and I can’t wait to resume; you know me, doing research on various things including octopi, but whatever I discover from research must become embedded in my mind so that I can speak from having absorbed the info –I will leave that post buried…

It served its purpose, and has been replaced by a greater purpose, one ahead of me… As yet undetermined; as yet unwritten, and I must go forward to find out what it is, to write it as I live it, to live it as I write it –and this is part of my new post now that I have my laptop and am working my way through all the paper that  piled up…

This is one time that I’m listening to ObamaI loved his eulogy

transcript of the eulogy

of course when I posted about “Johnny” being called back for a job interview, I did add “Johnna” being called back but not “Jamallah”, but it was his emphasis on moving forward that struck me the most, his emphasis on forgiveness!!! –I’m for that too! And my Fb posts today  are all about mixtures of this combined with my desires to move forward in whatever kind of ragged friendship may remain; Obama’s need to step into issues so (superficially) different from my own (more of my emotional post right here), but that same need to access something different, and maybe if I’m lucky even with MS –though living without love is so common, and I very well could be one of those, what I’m saying is that if my friend still offers friendship –I will ask him in my blog, only directly if he speaks to me; I want to move forward and find whatever may –or may not!– be there…

This is hard because I worry about what it says about me, that I would forgive him despite how cruel he was –as if there should be no consequences for that cruelty; cruelty and selfishness, his character flaws, but I like him anyway….I have some too, but this is not a contest to determine which one of us is more flawed. My MS (multiple sclerosis) was problematic, ultimately, for both of us I feel; really got in the way, although he was being kind when he said it didn’t… I do appreciate that.  I really do.  I like my friend very much, and I want to keep this friendship.. Do I mean to say that “good sex” makes up for any other deficit? –I hope not, because intellectually, I reject that idea, but on an emotional level, I am saying that, and I don’t like what I have to see when I look at myself honestly… Even as I still regale riding the coattails of, of all things, a eulogy for a most horrendous shooting, in a sanctuary!  for Clementa Pinckney–but even as it happens, police search for fugitives! –and crime continues –did not stop! I have to wonder how many pickpockets and con artists were possibly in the AME church while the eulogy was being made…. Crime did not stop.  Bullets still found a target, willing target or not.


More of this news; gunned down while preaching of all things!

List of Charleston, South Carolina Victims

more news here, with names! from The New York Times

A list of victims from Wikipedia:

The dead, six women and three men, were all African American. Eight died at the scene; the ninth, Daniel Simmons, died at MUSC Medical Center. They were all killed by multiple gunshots fired at close range. One unidentified person was wounded but survived. Five individuals survived the shooting unharmed, including Felicia Sanders, mother of slain victim Tywanza Sanders, and her granddaughter, along with Polly Sheppard, a Bible study member. Pinckney’s wife and daughter were also inside the building during the shooting. Those killed were identified as:

Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54) – Bible study member and manager for the Charleston County Public Library system; sister of Malcolm Graham
Susie Jackson (87) – a Bible study and church choir member
Ethel Lee Lance (70) – the church sexton
Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49) – a pastor who was also employed as a school administrator and admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University
Clementa C. Pinckney (41) – the church pastor and a South Carolina state senator
Tywanza Sanders (26) – a Bible study member; nephew of Susie Jackson
Daniel Simmons (74) – a pastor who also served at Greater Zion AME Church in Awendaw
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45) – a pastor; also a speech therapist and track coach at Goose Creek High School
Myra Thompson (59) – a Bible study teacher

And just now, I received another stanza of a poem on “Shadows” that a friend and I have been exchanging via email for several days. I think that we’re still friends, and I responded by sending an additional stanza earlier today. I will say nothing else.  The stanza will say everything for me… Eggshell time….  Delicate Ballet

I hope he is both encouraged and amused by this post.  I just want to continue our friendship that was doing fine until sex practically ruined everything –not because the sex was bad, but because it wasn’t, and– move forward… keep moving in this delicate ballet on eggshells.

LFMK – Looking for My Killer!

Happy to report that I’ve made, in my mind, significant progress on a collection of “prose poams”: LFMK (“Looking for My Killer”) a project begun some years ago, that lapsed; I never completed it, but recently, just a couple of days, completed an initial draft.   Will spend the next few days trying to make a more definitive version – project inspired by a request from a friend, Daniel Vidal Soto, to contribute to a project: “Pangea Underground Worldwide“, and for that project, I located my video poam: LFMK (“Looking for my Killer”) –which  led to my rediscovery of the associated prose poams which I began revising… And now: “Looking for my Killer” is a manuscript in progress!  

Some of the prose poams the manuscript contains have been previously published! 

Very excited about this process! –and another thank you; huge thank you to:

Daniel Vidal Soto!

A sample of the prose poams, “Yes, Melvie, my Killer Comes to Inaccessible Island with apologies and cigarettes!”

~What is more intimate than being killed? ~

AWP – Cave Canem Panel

I’m very happy to repost some success with my reading? –performance? –sharing? on Friday, 10 April on the Cave Canem panel (for AWP): “Three decades, Four Poets:  a lovely panel on which I was the only woman –and last, as in, perhaps, Save the Best for Last“?  

I shared, “Interpretation of a Poem by Frost,” a poem  (in its entirety here) that interprets  “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” –I was teaching a class at Phillips Academyhistory and literature of Afro-Americans, and as I seemed the natural choice for that class, and many were taking the class to avoid certain writers, in favor of “black” writers,  decided to make a point (those who know me will understand how irresistible this was for me), and I ordered only one text: “The Complete Works of Frost” that included the poem that my poem, written after the huge cries of dissension, and threats to report my class to the head of school (head “master”, but a term I would never use) to try to make a point about how and why something could be read, and that a writer’s race is no guarantee that the work in question will respond meaningfully to current situations of the reader — as if only black writers  (I’m on this list, as I should be, by the way) can respond significantly to  “black experience” –and not all blacks have the same experience anyway; significance of a poem or any  other piece of writing cannot be determined by the race of the water alone, and what if mistakes are made about the race of the writer

Is this the best way to determine relevance? –some topics allowed only if you have the “correct” race –as if nothing said has meaning if your race happens not to be the race of the writer? –sounds very suspicious to me!  A bit of defiance, just in reading, just in performing my work ; a bit of revenge! –I can still do this, despite MS! –maybe even better, because of MS!