Category Archives: forthcoming

Still Waiting & Seeking a Poetry Publisher

 

Hello all who follow this blog!

 

I still have yet to receive my ten copies of

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” so I cannot yet post any pictures of me in possession of my book.

 

wannabe_front

 

and here the video poem I made that is source of the title of the collection, my 11th book:

 

So I still await that, and though “Wannabe’s “jacket professes this: 

This career-spanning volume by Thylias Moss, one of America’s most revered literary innovators, conveys the dazzling spectrum of her hypnotic poetic output, written over the past thirty-five years and including selections from each previous book as well as previously unpublished new poems.”

This collection of New & Selected Poetry DOES NOT contain selections from all of my published collections of poetry, “Small Congregations” , a previous “New & Selected” colection is NOT represented in “Wannabe”, so not “each” previous book, but “many” previous books, “some” previous books, or “most” previous books, but not:”each” for that is a lie.

06-small-congregations

 

I remind you how important it is to tell the truth.  

“Wannabe” will be my final book publication wth Persea, so if any of you publishers out there, or f you know of a publisher who might be interested in my poetry,  and would like to represent my work, please contact me, leave a message on this post or look me up through various means.

Let’s just say that after 25 years with Persea, it has become necessary, for various reasons, to part company.  

**Please read any contracts carefully! –I didn’t and you wouldn’t believe what happened to me, because I failed to be vigilant and observant in the past, but I have learned my lesson.

For my poetry, I seek a publisher for my subsequent books.   

Excitement reigns!

I am very excited about my forthcoming –just days now, volume of new and selected poetry! “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code“! (from Persea Books!)

wannabe_front

I haven’t had a new book since 2006, and Tokyo Butter!

 

Tokyo Butter

Tokyo Butter – a search for  forms of Dierdre (really my  late cousin Hilda).

 

The cover image is really a 50X USB microscpe scan I made of flowers from Hilda’s Funneral in 2002.  I  grew up with Hilda as if she were my sister… A terrible loss for me… 

I wonder what she would be like now?  She was only 3 months older than me, born 25 November 1953; I was born 27 February  1954.  “Tokyo Butter” explores some of that… I couldn’t believe that all of Hilda (“Deirdre” in the book) was gone from the world, and “Tokyo Butter” is the outcome of my (as yet incomplete) search for her.

casket roseHILDA 2

 

Here is a version of a video piece I made about a poem in “Tokyo Butter“: The Cultue of Snowmen”:

I really want the Proscope mobile!  Oh what I would capture!

Images I captured with my Proscope Digital microscope:

:

 

 

Hope you’ve already put in your orders at Amazon for “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code“!

 

wannabe_front

Video poam I made, the source of the title of this book soon to be available:

 

 

 

Also, please check out my Amazon Author Page!!

 

You can hear me reading three of my favorite poems from”Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” for Poets and Writers Here:

 

 

 

http://www.pw.org/content/wannabe_hoochie_mama_gallery_of_realities_red_dress_code

The three poems I read:

  1. Blue Coming
  2. The Glory Prelude
  3. Me and Bubble Went to Memphis 

Also here “Me and Bubble Went to Memphis” here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/features/audio/detail/76019

 

The Glory Prelude video poam here (music composed and performed by Graphic Artist Ansted Moss, Vocals by Thylias Moss who also made the vide poam; contains footage of my mother who has recently been visited by “The Angel of the Lord” –whatever that means.  I cannot compete with “The Angel of the Lord” –noone can):

(my mother is unaware that this footage was captured)

Please don’t tell her, unless you are “The Angel of the Lord”.

she already told me that she’s coming to get me… –I am going to be haunted after her death, so if I make no further posts, you will know that:

  1. I am dead
  2. My mother got me.
  3. My mother succeeded at what Houdini couldn’t
  4. A mother’s love

How mama looks now, as she waits for The Angel of the Lord  (to come back in ways my deceased father can’t):

 

Mama in wheelchair

(She loves Popeye’s chicken, but isn’t supposed to eat it. Diabetes,  Hypertension, Glaucoma, Thyroid problems, loss of the ability to grasp physical objects (with her right hand especially) and to remember anything, Dementia; loss of hearing, loss of eyesight, unless looking at and/or listening to:  “The Angel of the Lord”, but she’s coming back to get me, a promise she has made to the “Angel of the Lord” –I take this most seriously, because she saw “The Angel of the Lord” as real as anything she has ever seen..

“The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” is for her, the widow since the death of my father in July 1980.   She says “the only man I  need is Jesus”, so I called a man I liked a lot, before I loved him as I do now, “Jésus”.  My mama with dementia, (I love her, but she still doesn’t know. Just wanted to tell her that I had found a good man; I thought that maybe she would like that.  But no.  

I’ve been divorced since 2013, but makes no difference… Even if nothing goes any furher, I just wanted her to know that I had found someone much better, who doesn’t lie to me, a man I can trust to tell me the truth, whether or not I like it.  He will not deceive me, the most trustworthy man I know. 

and “Hypnosis at the Bird Factory ” (also in “Wannabe”) as a video poam right here:

and Tornado Pi, video poem version of the print poem “Tornados also in “Wannabe“:

 

 

Print version of “The Glory Prelude” in The Offing here:

BUY THE BOOK!

READ THE BOOK!

 

A significant new poem from this collection is: “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia” and I perform this signture poem from this collection here

(the unnatural emphasis on the word “moss” comes from  a niece of my ex, telling me that I could hardly be moving on with my life, since I still had their name, a name they did not copyright, a name they did not intiate; there are many other “Mosses”; they have no valid claim to the exclusivity of that name:

 

Speaking of things “trustworthy”, I was all set to believe that an unfortunae  sitution with my publisher was greatly improved; I’m still all set for that, but I was disappointed when I saw on the publisher’s website for my book; a quote about me, this mixed-race woman who would never choose a partner based on his color, or a partner who would choose a woman based on her color; I would not exist without mixing… 

and although the quote which offends me now and all that I’ve tried to accomplish in  my writing is gone from the book jacket, I still name, on the website, “the black truths behind white lies” and am still a writer “who speaks bitterness”… I was disappoined to see that, because of the inaccuracy, and immediaetely wote an email to my poetry editor

That is not who I am; I speak TRUTH, no matter what color it is.   And if “black” (a part of me but not all of me) is so powerful that whatever is “black” at all, even a tiny potent, powerful drop; if so powerful that I  can not avoid using a black lens to interpret everything, then everything I see automatically becomes “black” because I see it, and everything  I say automatically become “black” because I say it, and everything I hear automatically becomes “black” because I hear it, and everything I do, automatically becomes “black” because I do it, and everything I touch automatically becomes “black” because I “touch” it, and everything I feel automatically becomes “black,”because I feel it,  and everthing I eat automatically becomes “black” because I eat it,

 then there is no need for me to preface anything I think; anything I feel, anything I do with “black” since I cannot do anything that is not black, so when I think of quantum phyiscs, quantum physics becomes black; every form of math, everything I’ve written here is black; that’s how potent black is, one drop and black heaven is the reward!

 

I continue to think these black thoughts, as I thought them at the University of new Hampshire where in a class for those teaching English composition, the subject was “How To Eliminate Vagueness” in student wiring, and one TA observed that when a sudent writes the word, “black”, the student likely means something else, such as, and this was agreed upon (worth noting that I was the ony visibly “black” person in the room); agreed upon that the student meant “irreversible damage” , so I wrote this poem, for instructors of English 401 at the University of New Hampshire, originally published in Callaloo, then in my book, Pyramid of Bone, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award:

about Pyramid of bone, Langdon Hammer says this: 

Although many of Moss’s poems discuss race and gender, these subjects are, explains scholar Langdon Hammer, simply “starting points for her work…her poetry makes such facts of identity seem unfamiliar, their meanings not to be predicted, unavailable to the naked eye.” Known for startling metaphors and vivid imagery, Moss’s work demonstrates an expansive imagination that seeks to connect at times wildly disparate subjects”

Pyramid of bone

Book by Thylias Moss

To Eliminate Vagueness”

 instructions: substitute  irreversible damage for blacwherever it occurs

 

 

In the red-legged locust’s black raids upon midwest soybeans,

in their illicit transmission of tapeworms and parasites

to quail, turkeys, and guinea fowl,

in all the black calendar days that are supposed

to indicate the ordinary.

 

In operating rooms body parts black with gangrene

are excised and trash cans seem to fill with dead crows.

 

There’s a black crust two miles thick in Soweto, some on bread,

around eyes, most on the streets where blood dried

into its own monument.

 

Then my mother’s black face nothing can soften, the sweating,

the forgetting to sleep, the solidarity with anyone troubling,

the compassion only I knew she felt hugging a radio, singing

spirituals, sequestering herself in her widow’s bedroom

praying for women unable to pray.

 

And what of Europeans, what of Asians and Latinos who are

     irreversibly

damaged, whose gangrened minds should be excised but who are

   not black?

 

 

One day I noticed my mother had poured her face onto mine

and had given me spirituals and lullabies.

I sang them when baskets of black clouds dumped

their transparent flowers over the convent

 

and the nuns’ basic black didn’t get wet

and they carted the flowers home in wheelbarrows

and arranged them like lullabies

and wept silently

 

as we were weeping, mother and daughter together

in my father’s old rocker, the damage already done.

 

                                            for Gary and the English 401 staff

 

                                                       Thylias Moss

Originally published many years ago in Callaloo, then in my award-winning collection “Pyramid of Bone” (University of Virginia Press, 1989)

 

and listen to me read, on the Poetry Foundation site: “The Pampering of Leora” 

 

and this video poam (product of act[s] of making) I made”Cosmic Seduction” is just another black thing I do:

Please enjoy as much of this truth as you can.  I thank you and  am grateful, always.

___________

Included for someone special 

all  for him

 

His if he wants it, the most trustworthy, most deserving  man I know. 

 

 

 

Distress and Agony

Just when it seemed that everything is going as well as it can, I become aware of something that has been true for a very long time, but this time, perhaps more ruinous to my career as a writer, as a poet,  I mean…

Not my intenton to jeopardize my forthcoming book, about which I remain excited, but I do want it known that Thylias Moss is available for another publisher for my books of poetry; out of my 11 books, 9 of them are collections of poetry, counting Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code“, soon to be published in September 2016, by Persea, a publisher I’ve belonged to since winning the National Poetry Series in 1991, with “Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky“, a book that Persea published, and since then, all of my collections, in book form, of poetry, with the exception of “Small Congregations” published by Ecco in 1993.

 

Here are newspaper articles about this event, that came about because I dared to be honest; I told the truth! squabbling publishers-cropped copysquabbling publishersthylias_wall-street-journal

 

thylias_wall-street-journal

 

And here is the problematic bit of my current contract for my forthcoming collection:

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” September 2016, causing concern; this contract was prepared by my publisher, and  I did sign it without anyone advising me not to (I trusted the publisher who identifued herself as “my friend” (as she did with previous litigation to make sure that I would not go to jail; I recall that phone conversation distinctly; well, I am no longer that gullible child, and for another thing, I am resentful of “advice”  I was given but do not need, about “being careful in my relationships as long as they are not hurtful to me”, well my relationship with my publisher IS  hurtful to me, as my publisher wrote the contract, and I am dead set against maintaing that contract since that very relationship is the only “hurtful to me” relationship I have, I’m going to take the publisher’s own advice

 

OPTION:

20. In consideration of the covenants of this Agreement, the Proprietor agrees to give the Publisher the first opportunity to obtain book-publishing rights in his next book-length work.  The Proprietor shall submit the manuscript of such work to the Publisher before showing it to any other publisher, and the Publisher shall thereafter have thirty [30] days to notify the Proprietor if it wishes to publish such work, and if so, to propose terms and conditions (provided that the Publisher shall not be required so to notify the Proprietor until the expiration of ninety (90) days from the date of the first publication of the Work).  If within thirty (30) days after the Publisher’s having proposed such terms and conditions, the Publisher and the Proprietor fail to reach agreement with respect thereto, or if the Publisher does not wish to publish such work, then the Proprietor shall be free to arrange for publication elsewhere provided, however, that the Proprietor shall not enter into an agreement for publication of such work with any third party on terms and conditions equal to or less favorable than those terms and conditions offered by the Publisher.”

Some of that history of litigation here again:

squabbling publishers.jpg

thylias_wall-street-journal copy

I am seeking a publisher for my volumes of poetry after “Wannabe

 

Another poet friend asked me why hadn’t Norton  (of course, Persea is an affliliate publisher of Norton, as indicated)or Knopf gobbled me up, after so many books and so many awards, and all I could think of was the contract itself, when this dreadful passage was pointed out to me…   

 

Perhaps this will be addressed when my romance novel does indeed sell.  I know it will; I admit that I am impatient, but that book means even more to me now, and I cannot talk about it… Not yet.

 

 I hope that today will be the day…

 

One never knows..

 

But today IS the day that I announce that I am available for another publisher for my poetry.  Ideally the same publisher who oversees publication of my romance novel, but no clause like the option clause prepared by the publisher acting as BOTH my publisher and my agent. If this announced availability causes more litigation, so be it.  I have been down this road before… A road covered by the New York Daily News and the Wall Street Journal in 1994… 

 

I wouldn’t mind going to jail for poetry, something so dear to me.  Poetry tells a truth! Poetry is a truth!   My poems do not tell lies!  They never will!

 

I insist on such purtiy, even though that seems to be becomng so rare and precious, doomed by the injustices in which humanity festers, injustices such as Option clause #20, a clause I did not write and one I wish I had read better but the writer, my publisher, was also claiming to be my friend: 

a familiar or helpful thing, 

a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side

“Remember,” I was told, “I am your friend.”

 

But another publisher is essential.  I am not new to poetry at all!

I will not crumple under litigation should any happen.  I didn’t before when I was served a subpoena in my office where I was a professor until I retired, at the University of Michigan…

and I already have a couple of lawyers investigating that clause, seeking an honest and legal way to break it; my friend indeed.

but we all know this, “Smiling Faces Sometimes”

as it says on <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=friends#favorite-4924077&gt;:

 

 

friend

A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest, too. A friend is loyal.

A friend is someone who is happy to spend time with you doing absolutely nothing at all; someone who doesn’t mind driving you on stupid errands, who will get up at midnight just because you want to go on an adventure, and who doesn’t have to talk to communicate with you.

A friend is someone who not only doesn’t care if you’re ugly or boring, but doesn’t even think about it; someone who forgives you no matter what you do, and someone who tries to help you even when they don’t know how. A friend is someone who tells you if you’re being stupid, but who doesn’t make you feel stupid.

A friend is someone who would sacrifice their life and happiness for you. A friend is someone who will come with you when you have to do boring things like watch bad recitals, go to stuffy parties, or wait in boring lobbies. You don’t even think about who’s talking or who’s listening in a conversation with a friend.

A friend is someone for whom you’re willing to change your opinions. A friend is someone you look forward to seeing and who looks forward to seeing you: someone you like so much, it doesn’t matter if you share interests or traits. A friend is someone you like so much, you start to like the things they like.

A friend is a partner, not a leader or a follower.

The word “friend” comes from Old English “frēond”, which is actually the present participle of “frēogan”, which means “to love” and “to honor”.

I quite agree!  This post is for all of my true friends, and you definitely know who you are, and so do I, always.  There is nothing more sacred than a friend who can be trusted; a freind who will not cheat you, a friend who will not deceive you, and as far as I am concerned, there is no clause #20 in my contract.  

Still Waiting/Holding Pattern

Holding Pattern…

Still Waiting for word, good word, about my romance novel.  

Getting close to the time for “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” September 2016 publication!  

 

wannabe_front copy

Red Dress Code-02

Pretty excited about that! 

 

Flap copy from the Persea website:

 

Thylias Moss, one of American poetry’s great innovators, is a national taxonomist and secular preacher who catalogues our culture and responds in gorgeous outrage to its injustices. This career-spanning volume conveys the hypnotic spectrum of her full poetic output, from Hosiery Seams on a Bowlegged Woman, her 1983 debut, to Slave Moth, her acclaimed 2006 novel in verse, to more than fifty pages of new poems. Whether in early or recent writing, Moss makes no promises of smooth sailing: even when her poems begin with beloved cultural icons (Robert Frost, Doctor Who, the Statue of Liberty), they insist on new perspectives, truths, and realities. She is a fearless reimaginer of poetry’s possibilities, a writer who seems made for (and by) the digital age—its blitz of interactivity and reinvention—a futuristic archivist always compelled by the current moment.  Arranged chronologically, this volume offers us Moss as she has evolved through the past three decades, recognizable yet unpredictable, ever “a poet of fierce intelligence and radiant intensity” (Martín Espada). Wannabe Hoochie Mama of Realities’ Red Dress Code is an indispensable book, a record of who this essential writer has been and where she may be heading.

Praise for Thylias Moss

“Thylias Moss is a permanent American poet, canonical in the old, authentic sense.”—Harold Bloom

“As if the muse of Wallace Steves were transplanted into the body of a black, female pop-culture maven.”—David Yaffe, Village Voice

“It’s tempting to confuse Moss with the characters she describes, so deeply does she appear to inhabit their lives. . .[with] her trademark intensity and ferocious intelligence.”—Jabari Asim, Washington Post Book World

“Reading Thylias Moss is always dangerous and exhilarating, because one never knows exactly when the poem might explode and leave its reader marked forever.”—Raphael Campo, Parnassus Poetry in Review

“Thylias Moss names the black truths behind white lies. She is a writer who speaks bitterness and makes her own music of it.”—Marilyn Hacker, Women’s Review of Books

About the Author

Thylias Moss is Professor Emerita in the departments of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan. Her eight previous books of poetry include Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and Slave Moth, named Best Poetry Book of 2004 by Black Issues Book Review. Moss is a recipient of the fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations, among other honors. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

 

Okay, maybe naming “black truths” is part of it, but I hope that I have not been figured out completely; I hope that many of you are still guessing… I like to think that at some level, truth is truth, and does not have to have a color, but apparently, we are not there yet, if that is what I am doing…  but if truth must have a color, then I am all for black truth, for if black is as powerful as it is supposed to be, then how could I avoid “black” truth even if I wanted to; if black is this powerful  that black alters whatever I experience, let it! –I need do nothing but use my senses —bitterness? Me?  –dangerous? yep; that’s me, a dangerous woman –yes, trademark intensity (Lord know, I am intense, as in Lisa Fischer, “So Intense“)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just completed a draft of an essay I will be submitting by 15 September about being multiracial in America.  looking forward to that,  and soon, waiting and waiting and waiting.  I wrote about “Hair”, of course… 

Still Waiting for word about my romance novel & Believing in LOVE!

On this summer afternoon, I still wait to hear about the status of my romance novel.  Yes I guess I am impatient, still working on selling my house, and having the terrific life that a very good friend of mine, a Mystery Man  (with whom I am in love –ouch) told me I am going to have.

Whatever this post is, it is also a post to a Mystery Man

It is also  a post to you, whoever you are; I will never tell.

I have no idea where I am going to live.  Just that I will be moving –and I am looking forward to beginning this new life, with or without you, but preferably with you. Definitely my preference,  but I can’t say that it will ever  be yours. Wish I could say that.  Because I love you.

Because I want you to love me too.  I even told you that I know I am your “Side Chick” (at best –and I’m okay with that?  What is wrong with me? –willing to be the side chick just so I can have you?  Why don’t I want more for myself? –yeah; I already know you are the best possible lover, and I probably should not have told you that, but I did because it’s true, and I realize that I am too public for you, Mystery Man, but I don’t want the light of what I feel hidden under a bushel.  I light it just for you, light of my world.  Do not let the fire that warms you go out, already dimmed a bit by time itself, but I am making up for that. I am blowing on the flame; my hot breath is working that fire, fanning those embers, restoring the hot potential, living up to my blazing name… 

 

I also said some other things that the pressure of all this forced me into saying, trying to get my house prepared for sale, worrying about my sick mother…and taking it out on you.. I’ve been accusatory, saying things I know simply aren’t true… about when I was in the perfect world of your arms… I wish I didn’t have to apologize but I do.  Mystery Man, I didn’t mean it, what  I said about boats, especially.  I was, am under the duress of all of this; and I’m too afraid to tell you. I am not sure you would even listen to me, and this is my unadorned apology. I am sorry Mystery Man –I just ask you to please understand. My mind is going in circles, round and round your sweet clockwork face –you know I look at your face and love it, can trace every crease in both my mind and heart…

 

and this version:

 

 

but mostly it’s “If You Stay in my Corner” (The Dells):

 

 

I know I have a volume of poetry coming out every soon now, I can wait to see the galleys, my 11th book! “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Relities’ Red Dress Code” –and I am so excited about that! –words cannot begin to describe the joy I feel just thinking about that book, cracking the spine, smelling it, even licking some of my favorite pages, photographing myself holding it, traveling and reading from the book! –I cannot wait for such moments;

Here is the cover, and it is available for pre-order right now on Amazon dot com :

 

 

wannabe_front copy

and the author photo (taken by graphic artist Ansted Moss):

 

Red Dress Code-02

Now of course, I’m looking forward to Wannabe, but I do admit to being even more excited about just the possibilty of this romance novel, because I get to partcipate in such ideal love and passion through my characters, eveything I may want, the characters experience; how could I write it and deny the protagonist the experience I would want for myself?—if I could have it– maybe someday, because this writer believes in love..

 

I will always believe in what love can accomplish with that Mystery Man (you), or with any man; I am not the kind of woman who will be happy without a flesh and blood man –who  knows who  I am, a woman who wants a man who will be hers, and I will be his.

 

I sure hope it’s you. I know I don’t have to tell you again, but  I sure like saying it, get caught up in the refrain of it.

But even more disturbing right now, is the increasingly deteriorating condition  of my mother. She is losing her grasp of reality… Her diabetes is out of control; she’s been falling and not telling her doctor.  She’s not taking her medicine and using profanity the likes of which I’ve never heard her use.  Glaucoma, Thyroid trouble, Heart disease, Out-of-Control Hypertension 

Her situation is so exasperating, she is not taking her medicine, and this sick diabetic woman is now about the same weight I am, this has never been the case! –always since I can remember, 40 pounds heavier than me.  I understand that her backyard lawn has not been cut in a couple of months; my father died on 13 July 1980, and when I called to remind her that it was the 36th anniversary of my father’s death, she didn’t know what the day meant, nor did she know me –I had to explain who I was… 

 

(She is 86 years old, and I am 62 years old)

Thylias Rebecca Brasier Moss and Florida

 

A little later,  some pictures of my mother and my mixed race father, and my non-black paternal grandfather, with Caucasian, and Native American Heritage and Ancestry from India

(includes some artwork by my mother; she was born in Alabama, a tiny town not on most maps, and was very senstitive about her color; when she was more lucid she told me that she was always called the “Little Black One” –this casued her to use “Nadinola” all over her face, arms, legs, neck, to lighten her skin –this was very important to her! She hated being dark skinned, had high yellow dreams, I was not high yellow at all, but  did have the prize hair,  all my life, but even more so now –she encouraged me never to go into the sun; she is so embarrassed by her hair that she always wears a wig, and even did so for my wedding (you can  see that Nadinola glow [somewhat radioactive, it seems to me] in her face. My father was already sick; what was he really thinking?):

 

My parents at my wedding.jpg

Bride Thylias, with my father and just with the bouquet, 25 August 1973:

I had a tremendous amount of hair then, the teenager that I was.  

 

I made all the dresses for the bridesmaids and flower girl  in my wedding (sewing based on what I learned in a single semester of home economics in seventh grade):Wedding Party, women i the dresses I made.jpg

and if my mother  could understand it, she would be shocked that I walk in the sun, anyway, and yes, even flaunt my “good hair” –I’m glad I have it; I will not lie, and this 62-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis, who almost died on 29 July 2011 when a cranial aneurysm ruptured, and my head was partially shaved, but the hair has grown back profusely! –in a straighter and natural texture; I’ve even gone walking in the rain! (trusting that my hair would retain its length, and not revert (to what it never was):

–I have quite a thing for my hair, I admit that, and I also admit, in my mind, at least, that I walked to that elusive Mytery Man –but I fool no one, and certainly not you; I fear I will always love you, and you are certainly most deserving of love (there is no better lover; nothing compares with being in your arms –I admit that I just want you to love me back; that is all I want… I can’t even sustain any anger toward you… I’ve tried and it doesn’t last.  What is it about you? –I fear I’ll never be able to let you go! 

Mystery  Man, just love me back; that’s all; just love me back! –now I’m begging you… I liked much better when you were chasing me; you know how to persue better than most men..  What more do you want from me? –please don’t say nothing unless that is the truth

 

–I learned this from this Mystery Man, from you, that I am in fact beautiful, you always told me that, and no one else ever did, not even my ex-spouse, I was so lonely and hungry for compliments, just wanted to know that the man I was with liked how I looked, a shapely and sexy little package, and was happy to be seen with me; my ex-spouse said he didn’t tell me because “my head would swell”; Mystery Man , you didn’t care how big my head was; when I told you, Mystery Man, that you were the only man who called me beautiful,  you could not believe it, so I told you, which was true, that outside of catcalls, whistles and other unsolicited reactions,  it was only your opinions that matter to me, and this is more true now than ever (with what I’m experiencing with my mother and those well-meaning souls around her, I need “The Comfort of a Man,” the Comfort of you, Mystery Man. 

and I learned to believe you.  My ex never told me that I was beautiful, but now, I KNOW I AM –so even if nothing else happens between us, I learned valuable things from you, endless pasion; I was loved by you as every  woman, as every prerson should be loved, the heights of pleasure, heights of desire, there is no denying this, and if nothing else, I learned how to express this love to you… You were patient with me, realizing what I didn’t know and realizing what I was able to feel with you… and I have nothing but thanks for you for that, sort of similar to

this thank you  to my ex 

But I was older than the writer of that thank you to my ex ; I experienced my first real adult love afffair with you.   In most ways, I have to admit that you Mystery Man are my first love as the adult woman I am now, and there is no wonder that I want physical love, all forms of love with you again… Should come as no surprise at all. You are the Right Kind of Lover!  as in:

 

It is that good being with you whoever you are, a man of my dreams fully fulfilled   A man I will never forget and, truth be told, do not want to forget.  Ever. I just want you to want me so much that you won’t mind admitting it, that I won’t have to be a side chick or a friend with benefits.  I want the comfort of a man, the comfort of you Mystery Man  –there is nothing else like it, no one else like you….

 

Side chick 

 

 

and ideally not just secret lovers, though I cannot lie to myself I would take that; you are such an exquisite lover, well, Atantic Starr can say it better:

 

No secret to that wonderful, dammit! Mystery Man that as Luther says, I came here for you to love –for you Mystery Man, all for you! 

 

Luther Vandross, “For You to Love”:

 

 

 

So “My First Love“, and “Comfort of  a Man” for you, everything for you… –“I Will Always Love You

 

and I will Always Love you

 

Mystery Man, I just pray that you will Love Me back; that’s all, Mystery Man –and I am not as high maintenance as I must seem to you.  

 

 

Lord help me, I so love you, Mystery Man,  and Lord help me, sometimes I wish I didn’t, but I keep wishing and hoping, as in this Dionne Warwick rendition –I am yours,  but are you  mine?  –are you kidding? I know you like long hair, and I didn’t buy mine; if hair were all it takes, you would be mine… but if even the long hair fails, this 100% natural butt-kissing hair, you can play with my hair all day, all night and it will not come off, I do not have to worry about “weave sex” as discussed in the film good hair what can I do?  And if my hair won’t do it, nor any of my other natural looks that I so want you to desire… My tiny waist, my shapely hips, those peachy breasts that ripen whenever you are near, if these things don’t entice you, what will? –and why do I care so much? it isn’t as if you’re the only man in the world! –but you are the only man I want in my world.  

 

Trailer from Chris Rock’s “Good Hair“:

 

 

 

 I do want to be in your heart! (so embedded that without me, you’d have no heart)–no lie there!

 

 

So there you have it, waiting for “Wannabe“(that’s definite), hoping like crazy for my romance novel in which the female character is loved back, and then some, my dying dementia-ridden diabetic mother with hypertension that would have already killed the more ordinary; she has already given up on life, and is just waiting to go home to Jesus, while her house that my father bought in 1963, and where she still lives rapidly deteriorates… Oh I remember being in the south, and my father able to go into stores that my mother could not enter; I remember hiding in the car, being so frightened, because in that tiny Tennessee town, there were some who did not feel that the races should mix…

I cannot explain exactly how my paternal grandfather could even exist… Caucasian, Native American, and Indian (as in “India”) and my own problems with not only finding the right man –which I’ve done– but having you willing/able to love me back… Unless you have married… I do not know.  

 

If you are that deeply in love with somone other than me, I would like to know so that I can begin to adjust, but let me tell you, there is no man on this earth I would rather kiss, and there is no man on this earth I woud rather touch, and there is no man on this earth I would rather have kiss me, no other man on this earth I would rather have hold me, and no other man on this earth I would rather hold —

 

But I do need a love of my own!  as in:

 

 

If you think I’ve confessed to you Mystery Man how much I love you in this post, I assure you that I’ve confessed this to you even more in texts… I so want you just to notice me… I so want things you said in the past to still be true… This is not the first time I’ve said any of this, and I fear that sometimes I should keep my blabbermouth shut, but if you can love me for what I am, I should be able to say anything to you… I even asked you to tell me if you thought you could ever love me; I asked you to tell me that you’re sure you never want to hold me again, to never touch me again, to just tell me,  because I can’t wait for you forever, but if you know you can’t ever love me, I want to know that…

 

but if it’s possible, as much as I say I wouldn’t, I would take you back–not you you’re gone, still BFFs–, so rather elevate both of us from BFFs to lovers… –which is what I want, but if you don’t?  Too bad for you, but, for now, I love this Mystery Man! –I love you–even if I shouldn’t.

 

I have never loved a man the way that I love that Mystery Man: you:

 

Now some pics of how I look right now, and what this Mystery Man  (you) seem willing to give up.  My hair: no wig, no weaves, no hair pieces, no extensions, 100% natural hair, waist-length and rooted in my scalp; 98 pounds, no plastic surgery anywhere; I have never had to diet.  Everything about me is natural except for some hair dye from time to to my hair.  No bleaching or skin whitening creams.  My own “yellow” teeth (I will be going to the dentist). I was told that I have dense breasts in my most recent mammogram (a week ago), but no abnormalities detected dense breasts –as I’ve had since I was a teenager in triple D cups –really got me noticed, and may have helped that deacon decide to rape me, but they are natural, no implants –never,   As that you Mystery Man, know better than anyone…

 

I love you, Mystery Man.  I honestly love you. You know I do.

 

For the record, this is just too much for me, trying to prepare to sell my house, a son I love dearly who isn’t that cooperative, and then his partner who lives with him in my basement (so far, I haven’t received even a penny from my tenants [who aren’t that tidy]), the romance novel, trying to find my way on my own, without a car, too difficult for me to feel that I can drive safely with my optic neuritis, a consequence of my MS–but I can walk six miles most days, three miles to a  locaton where often I find so many geese, and amazing sunsets:

–and yet I must still shop for food, and I want to do these things for myelf, and see what might happen (don’t I hope) with that Mystery Man (you), and if not you, then someone else.  I hope it can be you   –please “I say A Little Prayer”

 

and this version of saying a little prayer:

 

First task is to sell this house and be free of a house too big for me to take care of by myself, without help from my tenants, as it currently is, one of whom is my own 25-year-old son who has psychological problems, that I don’t believe he inherited from his Bangladeshi sperm donor paternity.  Such donations and family backgrounds are screened.  Sperm donations are kept for six months before being used.  I was lucky in that one visit was all it took for me to conceive… the difference a good sample makes, I was told, by the fertility clinic’s doctor.    

 

I recall that when my ex-spouse found out about this pregancy he did not want me to have; I remember that he said, “Didn’t I consider AIDS”? -and he would probably say that my son’t psychological problems stem from the donor.  I do not know.  I want the best possible outcomes for everyone.  

And yes, you better believe that I want you, Mystery Man…   But, I want you to want me too.

Do I really ask for too much in asking for love? 

So this is my crazy life right now, but it is life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way… 

 

Thank you for reading this.  

Sorry that I rambled on and on… I have so much on my spilling plate… And that Mystery Man 

is not here.

I am never giving up on love, even if that makes me a fool for love, fool, fool , fool for that Mystery Man ; fool, fool for you.

I hope I am able to report something better about you, that one day, you are no longer a mystery man because we enter a better relationship, one that isn’t all me, for now, my impossible dream, but I really pray for more than that…

And here’s Frank Sinatra, saying it better than me, The Impossible Dream becoming possible:

 

This is more than enough for one night; I love you   Mystery Man enough for a thousand and one nights, for a million nights, for every night. –I can’t help what my heart feels, one thing that is for sure, Mystery Man, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine

 

(Lou Rawls can help me with this one, and I do need help, loving this Mystery Man [you) as I do):

 

Good Night, Mystery Man; don’t let the bedbugs bite

 

Author Photo chosen!

Happy to report that the author photo for my forthcoming volume of poetry, book #11 “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code“, Persea, September 2016, has been chosen:  Photo by Ansted Moss, a graphic artist Red Dress Code-02

wannabe_front

Artwork on the cover is used by permision and is “Untitled” from the New Orleans series, 1941, Gouache, by Gwendolyn Knight and may be seen at this website: http://www.phillipscollection.org/research/american_art/artwork/Knight-Untitled_NewOrleans.htm

 

Coming up “Other” and more

Tonight, Good Times Writer’s Buffet!

 

at:

PUBLIC POOL ART SPACE

3309 CANIFF AVE, HAMTRAMCK, MI, 48212

313.587.9572

FROM PUBLIC POOL’s about us page:

About Us

Public Pool is an art cooperative formed in 2010 that was designed to create and support a wide range of contemporary art experiences. Founding members include writer Steve Hughes and his wife, artist Anne Harrington-Hughes, author and Team Detroit creative director Toby Barlow, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) board member Jessie Doan, advertising-industry creatives Mary Trybus and Jim Boyle, who is also a former Detroit Institute of Arts executive, artist/curator Tim Hailey, who’s also the former co-director of New York City non-profit gallery HEREart, writer and musician Walter Wasacz, and artist/musician Jennifer Paull.

My image reflects how I look after having my butt-kissing hair done at Penthouse Hair Design, 561 N. Hewitt Sy. in Ypsilanti, MI, and  I am wearing the hat of a friend,  at   

I m 62 years old, and unretouched in every way, okay, my stylist Pat Freeman used some hair coloring to hide the little bit of gray hair I have.  Although it is fine to adorn hair any way that you like, indeed, hair is no more than an accesssory now; but it is fine if you must  have a feast in the mirror that way, but I don’t have to do that… Not than anyone is asking, but I weight on 98 poiunds, and I’ve never had to diet.  

Also upcoming: a reading from my new book, “Wannabe Hooche Mama, Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code“, on 30 November 2016,  7:00 pm at Columbia University.  

will have more details about that later in the years, for now, just know how excited I am to read there, and hope to see all of my friends at the Columbia Reading. Huge thanks to Timothy Donnelly for inviting me… I will be reading, among other pieces for Wannabe! –my signature poem, soon to appear in “The Fiddlehead of Canada, “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia

Here’s what the Persea Page says about my 11th book:

wannabe_front copy

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code: New & Selected Poems

Thylias Moss

Thylias Moss, one of American poetry’s great innovators, is a national taxonomist and secular preacher who catalogues our culture and responds in gorgeous outrage to its injustices. This career-spanning volume conveys the hypnotic spectrum of her full poetic output, from Hosiery Seams on a Bowlegged Woman, her 1983 debut, to Slave Moth, her acclaimed 2006 novel in verse, to more than fifty pages of new poems. Whether in early or recent writing, Moss makes no promises of smooth sailing: even when her poems begin with beloved cultural icons (Robert Frost, Doctor Who, the Statue of Liberty), they insist on new perspectives, truths, and realities. She is a fearless reimaginer of poetry’s possibilities, a writer who seems made for (and by) the digital age—its blitz of interactivity and reinvention—a futuristic archivist always compelled by the current moment.  Arranged chronologically, this volume offers us Moss as she has evolved through the past three decades, recognizable yet unpredictable, ever “a poet of fierce intelligence and radiant intensity” (Martín Espada). Wannabe Hoochie Mama of Realities’ Red Dress Code is in indispensable book, a record of who this essential writer has been and where she may be heading.

Praise for Thylias Moss

“Thylias Moss is a permanent American poet, canonical in the old, authentic sense.”—Harold Bloom

“As if the muse of Wallace Steves were transplanted into the body of a black, female pop-culture maven.”—David Yaffe, Village Voice

“It’s tempting to confuse Moss with the characters she describes, so deeply does she appear to inhabit their lives. . .[with] her trademark intensity and ferocious intelligence.”—Jabari Asim, Washington Post Book World

“Reading Thylias Moss is always dangerous and exhilarating, because one never knows exactly when the poem might explode and leave its reader marked forever.”—Raphael Campo, Parnassus Poetry in Review

“Thylias Moss names the black truths behind white lies. She is a writer who speaks bitterness and makes her own music of it.”—Marilyn Hacker, Women’s Review of Books

About the Author

Thylias Moss is a multi-racial Professor Emerita in the departments of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan. Her eight previous books of poetry include Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and Slave Moth, named Best Poetry Book of 2004 by Black Issues Book Review. Moss is a recipient of the fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations, among other honors. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

There will be even more readings as time moves on, and I will be moving also, as soon as my house sells.  Time for a change, in every possible way.  Time to let go, as the commercial goes, and discover other possibilities, wherever that may be.  

Shout out to Thomas Higginson wherever he is, I will not pretend; I love that man, even while the world falls to pieces, as in:

“Of course, I read your Fb post about “Orlando” –and I even left a comment, but this longer message is about “otherness” itself, something I’ve been writing about practically since I started writing when I was six years old. And I even sent you a sort burst of a text message saying “The Pulse” Orlando. Not just the ‘Magic Kindom‘ anymore, or rather there is an”other” kind of magic now… 

I have two friends and former students who live in Orlando, one of whom has offered that I come live with her right after my house sells. She is lesbian, and the “other” is HIV+ and gay and one of my dearest friends, other than you, but after hearing your poem, I suspect that I am more to you than “just” (as if that is diminishing), “just a friend” –no matter what we do or do not become, with you, Mystery Man, I have the greatest friendship-love affair in my life.  Something I know you already know –an “other”-worldly romance. 

My   Mystery Man wrote a poem about me, the most beauitiful love poem, I have ever heard, and I found him reading it online, and it changed my life again; because of that poem, I know how deeply —in his own voice!— this man cares about me; I know that this man loves me, and I insert a photo right here, to show that I listened myself; “cream in my coffee“, he writes a cup of coffee (Latte I had at B-24’s in Ypsilanti) thinking of his poem:

 Cream in my coffee

he calls me, among other things the: 

Cream in my coffee” 

swirls of me right there, I appreciate the caramel coloring, the blend and lines of multiple races, because that is who and what I am; cannot separarate me into parts successfuly, without destroying me , and this world does enough of that… Hiatus on destruction, please.

(my current Facebook profuile image): 

UNITED AGAINST HATE CRIMES

I cannot say more without possibly exposing his identity, and I like being involved with a mystery man…

And if you look through most of my books, Mystery Man, you will see that the poems deal with the “other”.  I was born as “other” –official census reports refused to acknowledge “official” existence of citizens not fitting into “neat” boxes of race. But not killing us physically; only diminishing us with that “one drop” rule, and some of the things I want you to notice about me also make me “other”… When I go walking momentarily –to you Mystery Man — as I do most days, it is an “other” who will walk through this neighborhood, and I guess it is an “other” who cares about you so much after seeing you such a few times –not normal; still qualifies me as “other”. My neighbor knows an “other” when she sees one. And I know that you know that in my mind, I always walk off that bridge to you, my ass-kissing hair really kissing my ass…

Now, for intelligence, my “otherness” was recognized in first grade.  Nothing but trouble because of this, and the dreadful things that happened at Syracuse University  (I was there only from 1971-1972, world was so different then…

I was from one of those “other ” worlds,because I was “other” , because I am “other”… And who knows, Mystery Man, maybe part of what you like about me?

–Lord knows, I will never completely understand nor ask about your taste in women, and although I’ve been faithful to you, I have never assumed that you have experienced similar faithfulness to me. I also know that no human man can perform the way it seems to me that women accuse you of, making you an “other” in your reputation…. Mind you, I like that reputation about you, because I benefit from that reputation whenever I am (lucky enough to be) around you –my how that reputation glows, Mystery Man

I now refer you to my poem, “Lessons From a Mirror” published in “Pyramid of Bone” originally in “Callaloo“, a poem that ends (as you may know, within the knowledge you have of me, more than anyone else; yes, I knew I was privileging you deliberately… The things you said to me, the things this “other” will never forget because you said them, and I believe whatever you say, because I trust you Mystery Man , as no “other” woman will ever trust you…); “Lessons from a Mirror” ends:

“When you look at me,

know that more than white is missing.”

And the end of, on the facing page, “The Wreckage on the Wall of Eggs

that contains and ends with:

“The easiest thing was to keep looking east and west

and hating girls who couldn’t control ancestry.

On the wall, all we ever want is easiness.

Egg shells keep turning up on the path, the humpty-dumpties

spill from me and die like so many babies mercy-killed

out of slavery.

My life on the wall is anything but easy.

I want to but can’t hate Heidi well.

I can’t maintain tragic responses to breaking eggs.

When I look down at the wreckage on the wall of eggs that

cane out of me, I see that what’s inside is as white and

gold as Heidi.”

Same book: end of “A Reconsideration of the Blackbird“:

(Also see this YouTube video in which my first name is mispronounced [should be THIGH-lee-us or THY-lee-us]; but that is highly unimportant –he found usefulnes for the words; that is what matters, usefulness for the words, beyond the usefulness I felt in writing, arranging them –in the arrangements, even in DNA –those arranegements say everything):

“Problem: No one’s in love with the blackbirds.

Solution: Paint them white, call them visions, everyone will want one”

Oh, and my poem, same book,”There will be Animalsto teach us

What we can’t teach ourselves….

Then once and for all we will know it is no illusion:

the lion lying with the lamb, the grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood

walking out of a wolf named Dachau.”

 

Same book, Pyramid of Bone, poem “To Eliminate Vagueness” –all these examples from my second book, 1989, “instructions: substitute irreversible damage for black wherever it appears”

In the red-legged locust’s black raids upon midwest soybeans,

in their illicit transmission of tapeworms and parasites

to quail, and Guinea fowl,

in all the black calendar days that are supposed 

to indicate the ordinary.

In operating rooms body parts black with gangrene

are excused and trash can seen to fill with dead crows.

There’s a black crust two miles thick in Soweto, some on bread,

some around eyes, most on streets where blood dried

into its own monument.

Then my mother’s black face nothing can soften, the sweating, 

the forgetting to sleep, the solidarity with anytime troubling,

the compassion only I knew she felt hugging a radio, singing 

spirituals, sequestering herself in her widow’s bedroom

praying for women unable to pray.

And what of Asians and Latins who are irreversibly 

damaged, whose gangrened minds should be excised but who are

  not black?

One day I noticed my mother’s face had poured onto mine

and had given me spirituals and lullabies.

I sang them when baskets of black clouds dumped

their transparent flowers over the convent

and the nuns’ basic black didn’t get wet

and they carted the flowers home in wheelbarrows

and arranged them like lullabies

and wept silently

as we were weeping, mother and daughter together

in my father’s old rocker, the damage already done.

                             for Gary and the English 401 staff, (the University of New Hampshire)

–where I was most definitely other, told by some that I was the first black person they had ever seen.. The only brown female grad student, the only!

The Durham police officer was convinced that I had to come from Harlem, NY, though at the time, I hadn’t been there… And one student who was genuinely curious, and asked me all kinds of things, and told me of his rituals at Wendy’s every Friday night, and his adventures at the mud-pit with his truck; he lived in an isolated section of rural New Hampshire and quite possibly had never seen a brown person in real life… I told him that he was lucky he was asking such questions of me, a non-threatening multi-racial woman [more than 2 races, so not ‘bi’], and some persons of brown heritages would not be as accepting of his questions, but I was, and enjoyed talking with him, and responding to his genuine curisity as best as I could; wish I remembered his name…

And the dorm where I was asked if I were Egyptian?  Yes, I said.  Sri Lankan? Yes, I said. From Peru? “” I said.  Colombia? ” “again.

Of course, I also heard a student, I did not know,  remark that blacks were the only people to have pubic hair on their heads; only you know what I have on my head and elsewhere, Mystery Man;  only you, you Lucky Devil .  

The Durham police officer wanted me to validate for him that  the stereotyical big city police life was the way it was portrayed on “Hill Street Blues” and I assured him that show was much more a documentary than fiction.

Here’s a little clip of the TV series:

This was also the place that my biracial student J whose father was a professor of African American history at Harvard Uiversity, as I recall, but had married a white woman, learned that her father did not think her beautiful because she had none of the assumed, and stereotyical  markers of biracial heritage, not the complexion, not the nose or mouth, and most importantly, she lacked the hair, that evidently, her father preferred.  Oh the scathing essay she wrote as she became  aware of this knowledge.  

She was totally rejected.

No one would date her; most of the black males were recruited for athletics, and just like stereotypes had their pick of white women, leaving J and other black women without dates.  

I was  the only brown female graduate student , and I was married, so I was asked to lead a series of meetings between the very popular black male athletes  and the dateless black women, including J (who with her mother, M wrote a book about biraciality –it’s on Amazon).

In these meetings, I shared sections of Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon“where Hagar nearly dies for want of Milkman who prefers hair color of a penny, who does not like, she says, hair like mine.  In a frenzy and desperation, Hagar rushes out and buys the clothes that she feels might make Milkman notice her and possibly want her.  The black men laughed, and the females were devastated; these two groups could not communicate.  Not human rejecting human, nothing like that, with “otherness” well-established.

(what a Google search of “other” reveals):

oth·er

ˈəT͟Hər/

adjective & pronoun

adjective: other; pronoun: other; pronoun: others

    1. 1.
      used to refer to a person or thing that is different or distinct from one already mentioned or known about.
      “stick the camera on a tripod or some other means of support”
  • the alternative of two.“the other side of the page”
  • synonyms:

          • those remaining in a group; those not already mentioned.“they took the other three away in an ambulance”
        1. 2.
          further; additional.
          “one other word of advice”
  • synonyms:
          1. 3.
            PHILOSOPHYSOCIOLOGY
            that which is distinct from, different from, or opposite to something or oneself.

verb

**verb: other; 3rd person present: others; gerund or present participle: othering; past tense: othered; past participle: othered

        1. 1.
          view or treat (a person or group of people) as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself.**

As Anne Frank writes (in “The Diary of  a Young Girl“):

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.

 Diary of a Young girl

I care about this  Mystery Man very much, but he belongs to himself,  and if there’s ever anything else, he  will have to decide.

There is no mystery there.  

All his descision.  

Good Things: an update

It gives me great pleasure to mention these things on the horizon as it settles into something wonderful.

 

First of all, on 30 November 2016, 7:00 pm, I will be reading at Columbia University  –really looking forward to that for many, many reasons.  Will post pictures and hope to take many.  I’ve been good at forgetting to take photos of significant events.  Many thanks to Timothy Donnelly for inviting me.

First time I will get to read “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia“, my signature poem in “Wannabe” that will be published in “The Fiddlehead” (of Canada) next month; first time I will get to read this poem  to Higginson himself –who has already told me that he will be there –and there will be grapes! –(as there were when I read this poem at the Pulitzer Fine Arts Foundation in St. Louis, MO, for the reading in the courtyard, following a viewing of my video poem, “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” still on exhibit in the Ellipsis show through 2 July, so hurry to see it on display, while you can)

A couple of video stills from “The Glory Prelude”:

and peaches (as the poem actually says) when I read “Higginson Matters” at N’Namdi’s in Detroit, MI.  Both times I read the poem, I asked him to lisen carefully, so that he would hear me reading his poem; the way the wind would carry iy into his ears, but now I will get to read it to him in person, and I am so delighted.  Nervous and delighted.  Anxious and eager to  read “Higginson Matters”  at Columbia, in Higginson’s city…

I’ve read this poem  a couple of times, but never to the man the poem is about, and I’m so glad to have a chance to do this.  More glad than I know how to say, although I am a poet, and presumably should be able to find a way to articulate things, but my heat is so full. A photo of me in his hat (featuring, I have to say it, while I’ve still got it, my buttkissing hair, age 62, no enhancements at all; natural hair, no weave, no hairpieces, no extensions, and no augmentations or reductions, no facelift –nothing but grace  of genetics, 98 pounds by natural means, never a diet, okay, I do need to see a dentist):

HOT-02

 

 

 

 

VASHTI-RAIN-WALK-30

“A Walk in the Rain” 

 

Higginson has never seen me in person with hair , natural hair, this length; hope he likes it… Who knows, maybe it will be even longer come November. 

 

My forthcoming book a Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code is now listed on the publisher’s website: Persea Press where it says this:

Hurray!  Hurray!  Hurray! 

Thylias Moss, one of American poetry’s great innovators, is a national taxonomist and secular preacher who catalogues our culture and responds in gorgeous outrage to its injustices. This career-spanning volume conveys the hypnotic spectrum of her full poetic output, from Hosiery Seams on  a Bowlegged Woman, her 1983 debut, to Slave Moth, her acclaimed 2006 novel in verse, to more than fifty page of new poems. Whether in early or recent writing, Moss make no promises of smooth sailing: even when her poems begin with beloved cultural icons (Robert Frost, Doctor Who, the Statue of Liberty), they insist on new perspectives, truths, and realities. She is a fearless reimaginer of poetry’s possibilities, a writer who seems made for (and by) the digital age—its blitz of interactivity and reinvention—a futuristic archivist always compelled by the current moment.  Arranged chronologically, this volume offers us Moss as she has evolved through the past three decades, recognizable yet unpredictable, ever “a poet of fierce intelligence and radiant intensity” (Martín Espada). Wannabe Hoochie Mama of Realities’ Red Dress Code is in indispensable book, a record of who this essential writer has been and where she may be heading.

Praise for Thylias Moss

“Thylias Moss is a permanent American poet, canonical in the old, authentic sense.”—Harold Bloom

“As if the muse of Wallace Steves were transplanted into the body of a black, female pop-culture maven.”—David Yaffe, Village Voice

“It’s tempting to confuse Moss with the characters she describes, so deeply does she appear to inhabit their lives. . .[with] her trademark intensity and ferocious intelligence.”—Jabari Asim, Washington Post Book World

“Reading Thylias Moss is always dangerous and exhilarating, because one never knows exactly when the poem might explode and leave its reader marked forever.”—Raphael Campo, Parnassus Poetry in Review

“Thylias Moss names the black truths behind white lies. She is a writer who speaks bitterness and makes her own music of it.”—Marilyn Hacker, Women’s Review of Books

About the Author

Thylias Moss is Professor Emerita in the departments of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan. Her eight previous books of poetry include Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and Slave Moth, named Best Poetry Book of 2004 by Black Issues Book Review. Moss is a recipient of the fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations, among other honors. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

 

"Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery f Reliries" Red Dress Code

Cover of “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery Of Realities’ Red Dress Code

 

Best for me is discovery of  a recording of a love poem writtten for me a little while ago, but finding it online, answered so many questions for me, that is if I needed proof of his caring, I have it now… and no; I can’t post a link because this is not public, just something that soothes my heart –has been online since February, but I didn’t find it until this week, and I have listened to nothing else… listening to it now. It’s hearing the poem in his voice –it’s everything, everything.  I already had the poem memorized, but this is heaven. Heaven.  “It’s for somebody who knows who she is,” he says introdcing the poem, and I do know who I am… I really do.

I remain in love, but with fewer questions, and I will leave it at that, as I should. 

And I will be moving; preparing to sell my house, downsize; live more appropriately for just a woman who does not need a giant house, too much for me to manage.  Not sure where I will live, but not where I am.

 

Oh, how can I forget this! –my editor’s comments about my romance novel! –such encouragement, but not done yet; here’s what my editor has to say:

“I think the manuscript is close. To give you an overall sense, I think the majority of the work is done. Structurally, it’s pretty sound, and everything you’ve added to it has been to its benefit. I’m focusing on a few remaining structural issues and some line-editing, but the result should not require a huge amount of work on your part. After that I think it’ll be ready to shop around.

So rest easy, I think it’s getting very close, and the majority of the work for you is done. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished, and I thank you for your patience with me.”

I hope to make the final edits/additions soon! — (549 pages, 77,021 words –and counting –of pure romance… ) and then I hope that publishers will nibble so that book #12 becomes a reality, with any luck, this year.  

I am proud of what I accomplished, and will be only happier when a publisher is found… My favorite book ever! 

 

HELLO COLUMBIA!

Just received word that I will be reading from my forthcoming collection of New and Selected Poetry: “Wannabe Hooche Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” on 30 November 2016, 7:00 pm!  Columbia University!  

See you there!   –for this interactive performance; there willl be grapes!


I could not be happier about this!

I already plan to read my new signature poem, “HIGGINSON MATTERS IN MGNIFICENT CULTURE OF MYOPIA” that I’ve read at N’Namdi’s in Detroit (where the interactive element involved the audience [and the author, who is part of the audience] eating peaches, as the poem indicates, a wonderful metaphor, by the way), and at the Pulitzer Fine Arts Center in St. Louis, MO. on 15 April 2016 (where the fruit was grapes).  

 

My video poem, “The Glory Prelude” remains on exhibit in the Pulitzer through 2 July 2016, with video poems by John Bresland, “Mangoes” and John Lucas and Claudia Rankine, “White Inc.” –please stop by and see the entire show, 3716 Washingto Boulevard, St. Louis, MO63108

 


(images from my video “The Glory Prelude” and from the courtyard reading of “Higginson Matters” with grapes).

 


I am dressed in a red top both to honor the return of my leased 2014 Juke with red side mirrors, and for the “Red Dress Code” in my forthcoming book, #11 for me, and the first reading from the new book, available in September 2016 and already for pre-oder on Amazon.

 

wannabe_front

 

Now for a little red dress code:

 

 

THIS COULD NOT BE A BETTER DEVIOPMENT!

PLEASE JOIN ME FOR THIS EVENT!

Update

Happy to report that progress is being made on my book, my 11th book, a collection of New and Selected Poetry, September 2016, Persea (no doubt soon to be on the Persea website:

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code

(jacket copy from the book: “As if the muse of Wallace Stevens were transplanted into the body of a black-Indian, female pop-culture maven.”—Village Voice

This career-spanning volume by Thylias Moss, “a permanent American poet, canonical in the old, authentic sense” (Harold Bloom), conveys the full extent of her dazzling poetic innovations over the past thirty-five years with substantial selections from each previous collection, as well as over fifty pages of new poems.

A poet whose innovations have influenced generations of writers, Thylias Moss is a sort of taxonomist-preacher, whose profound meditation on American culture underlies and propels the dazzling lyrical and impassioned passages she writes in outraged response. This new volume gathers together substantial selections from her previous books and follows them with more than fifty pages of daring new work. Whether in early poems or more recent output, Moss make no promises of smooth sailing: even when they begin with beloved cultural icons (Robert Frost, Dr. Who, the Statue of Liberty), her poems spiral outward, insisting on new perspectives, truths, and realities―particularly of African American experience. For more than three decades, Moss has been a fearless re-inventor of poetry’s possibilities. Her New & Selected is a momentous publication by “a visionary storyteller, a major figure in contemporary American poetry” (Charles Simic).

Thylias Moss, Professor Emerita of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan, lives in Ypsilanti.

$29.95 hardcover (CAN. $38.95) |
Territory  World | ISBN 978-0-00000-000-0
7×9 POETRY
September 2016

 

 

wannabe_front

I added “Indian” in the quote from Village Voice because I do not want to omit my father.  Such an important man to me and source of the name “Thylias”.  He didn’t name me immediately but had to wait until he met me to be sure that he was giving my the correct name, and then he created “Thylias” because he told me that “since there had never been a presence like mine in the world, I needed  a name that also hadn’t been in the world”‘

 

Calvin-tight crop 1950 copy

my father (died the year before I graduated first in the class from Oberlin College)

 

Frizzell Brasier copy

my paternal grandfather (I never met him alive; sure wish I had)

 

available for pre-order now on Amazon

Possible author photos (by Ansted Moss, photographer and filmmaker):

Red Dress Code-01Red Dress Code-03Red Dress Code-02

(I still don’t know for sure which image will be used on this book)

I am increasingly excited about this book, and really look forward to having the galleys, those indications that publication is not far off.  September! –have to have summer first, and whatever summer promises!

 Another highlight was my interview for National Poetry Month in the “Huffington Post” by Jonathan Hobratsch

And I must repeat how wonderful it was to have my video, “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” in the Ellipsis exhibition at the Pulitzer Fine Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Boulevard,  St. Louis, Missouri, 63108  314.754.1850  I had the pleasure of seeing Treasure Redmond at the opening of this event, and my video shared company with videos poems by John Bresland: “Mangos”, and John Lucas and Claudia Rankine, “Whiteness, INC.”  –What an honor for my work to share space with their work.   You have until 2 July to see this exhibit, and I also must add how wonderful to have my work represented with work by my favorite artist, Felix Gonzalez-Torres (“’Untitled’ (Placebo-Landscape-for Roni),” 1993) –also interactive as visitors are to take a piece of the candy that forms this installation.

Images from the poetry reading in the Pulitzer courtyard, just outside the  Ellipsis exhibit I read the poem “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia” (grapes correspond to  lines in the poem , that actually refer to peaches, two peaches on the speaker’s body, and when the reader says:”when he finally lifts it electrified to his mouth,” all lift a “peach”
(in the poem, but peaches were not in season in St. Louis on 15 April, as they were when the poem was read in Detroit, MI at N’Namdi’s, so everyone lifted a grape to their mouths; for the interactive part of the reading, I lifted and bit a grape also, of course, and turns out that “grapes” were even better… more about the appropriateness of grapes when the book is actually published and when “Higginson Matters” appears this summer in “The Fiddlehead):

Art meant to be touched and consumed. 

My thanks to all at the Pulitzer who helped realize this essential part of the poem; not the same at all, loses too much meaning if this indulgence is omitted…

grapes from the pulitzerelipsis-251elipsis-260elipsis-250elipsis-248elipsis-208elipsis-216elipsis-208

 In this last photo, I am reunited with Rafia Zafar, a professor at Washington University who had been a colleague at the University of Michigan; what a pleasure it was to have this reunion, and I’m so glad she was able to attend.  Also in the photo, Aaron Coleman, former student of Rafia Zafar, who was able to inform her of my reading and the exhibit when he picked me up at the airport, and Treasure Redmond, poet, with her father — pleasure to meet both of them!

A few video stills of “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” by Thylias Moss:

 

THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_11-2THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_13-1THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_15-1STILL FROM MY VIDEO POAM: “THE GLORY PRELUDE TO A WIDOW SHRINE SYSTEM”

STILL FROM MY VIDEO POAM: "THE GLORY PRELUDE TO A WIDOW SHRINE SYSTEM"

STILL FROM MY VIDEO POAM: “THE GLORY PRELUDE TO A WIDOW SHRINE SYSTEM” Thylias, age five with her mother and as part of Ankor Wat, with my hair growing wildly, and part of what is natural, unstoppable growth

Piano Hair, video stilll from "The Glory Prelude"

“Toy Piano” on which “Piano Hair was both composed and performed.

THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_01-3

 

Music for “The Glory Prelude“, still on exhibit through 2 July 2016, was composed and performed by Ansted Moss (as Strexx Motion Lab on YouTube), with Thylias Moss, who captured all the footage, including my mother who still hasn’t grasped that she is in this video; she would never have consented had she known, and that really is such a shame, as the video is flattering to her and other women.  

A print version of “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” (also to be in “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery  of Realities’ Red Dress Code“) may be experienced here, as it appeared in “The Offing”:

The Glory Prelude

 

Other news that I hope is exciting, it is to me, is completion of a draft of my romance novel, only completion of a draft, not acceptance for publication,  but that is coming soon! –I feel it, a book so special for many, many reasons, and I will persist until I have it right, which I may have right, now… I will hear something sooner or later.  

Yes, a romance novel about love and intimacy, the kind I dream about, and hope for every day… 376 pages; 76,086 words –I am pleased with just having written so much,  but I hope I’ve achieved quality also.  

 

Looking ahead,  I can say that the author photo for this romance novel will be taken by Tony Smith

 

I, for one,  look forward to this. 

 

As soon as I can, I will say more, but please join me in a most fabulous and, well, erotic dream system…

Thank you very much for reading this, and lets keep in touch!