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Strand Reading and New Book of Poetry!

I am very pleased to announce that I am winning a 2019 Pushcart Prize fo the poem “Blue Coming” a collaboration with my Thing, his poem, “What You Can’t Know  is that Poetry is Connected to the Body Again”

 

 

 

The  prize winning poem: “Blue Coming”

(published in ABSTRACT MAGAZINE TV.COM)

 

BLUE COMING

(in response to “Poetry Is Connected to the Body Again” by Mr. Bob Holman)

           Thylias Moss

Poetry is connected to the body,

part of my fingertips, just as blue as anything 

that ever was or will be blue–

–blue that dye aspires to, true blue

denied to any sapphire, Logan sapphire included,  even

 if she wears some

on those blue fingers,  blue spreads, consumes her

as if she hatched from an Araucana egg:

SHE IS BLUE, fingers, bluest hands ever, Tunisian blue. Djerban 

blue hands, shoulders, breasts, every 

nook and cranny blue, big bad wolf says: how blue you are!

The better to blue you….

She, so blue today, visits

 Offices of the National Enquirer to report

on this surging of blue epidemic, blue

bottle fly bluer than any sound buzzing,  fly buzzing

as blue as it can, making the Blues,  making 

The Blues mean something very different –such music from 

beating of wings, some of what has spread blue 

throughout her bluing body, 

blue buzz

even layers of atmosphere: blue buzz: name

 of a new Crayola crayon and marker, manufactured 

from her fingertips

Blue Buzz Blood group

She bleeds an orgasmic paint set.  She bleeds 

a blue layer

 her lover’s face becoming 

blue she’s dreaming of again, blue as his face

That defines blue for

her blue orgasm, so much blue everywhere

world become 

blue for her –story of this massive bluing 

–true story on the cover

of papers –turning blue once in her atmosphere

Blue static

Blue stuttering

Blue hands

Blue –Code Blue– 

coming together, what a mighty tincture,

–not exactly at the same time, but coming, connected 

to coming

Her fingertips writing a 

Blue coming.

        In response to a poem by Bob Holman

 

Strand Pushcart Prize Reading

 

Th new poems all come from  my new and unpublished collection, “Shawsheen Memorial Broom Societycover artwork and winter written by Selwyn Rodda

 

Cover: FOR PUBLISHER Selwn Rodda SHAWSHEEN cover art TEXT 01Intro:

Every indicator says 

there is occasion for poetry 

everywhere we breathe.

Thylias Moss pours forth poetry from the very pores of her skin, without pause. From within, so without. Take it from the poet herself: 

I awake in a downpour 

But I can’t shake the feeling that it ever lets up, night or day. Perpetual downpour. In every work of hers I know, poetry is an art of exuberance and daring brought to bear on what really matters, never merely one of detachment or witty, arch commentary, of alighting on a bon mot, a choice phrase, the piquant image, the novel structure – although given her formidable intellect and poetic chops, there’s a river’s bounty of such in this book, and every other. And in this collection, assisted by a power of recall as sharp as 4K, each word and image is an attempt to bring into sharper relief the form of her beloved – and her poetry, blithely impatient with all limits, formal and aesthetic, warps, flexes and weaves in tracing the lineaments of memory and desire. Lines clench, relax, unfurl, luxuriate and linger at the behest of the emotional heft and urgency of utterance, although this is the polar opposite of prosodic mush, the “high ground” of poetry yielding to the floodwaters of sentiment. A complete mastery of the poetic toolkit, of tone and voice, and a panoptic, though never stultifying, control of the material is always in evidence. Image spawns image as thematic material, evolving and revolving in the rapids of her quicksilver mind. And though many poems here are forged in a crucible of hot love, smelted metal tangoing to its ecstatic highs and its terrible troughs, even the hottest are tempered with a smithies’ mastery of material too hot to handle. And of course, as with any poetry tempered to last, each poem here is exactly what it needs to be, like the others in being unlike them. The more inventive the poet, the more generalities miss the mark.

Refusing to yield to meltdown or despair, this is a sustained work of love and art of almost fierce intensity – impossible to untangle the twain. Sustained passages are positively dithyrambic (or shall we say “Mossian”?) in their punch-drunk precision, pitched at an almost incantatory rhetoric that summons and sustains a visionary yet almost palpable presence of love, the shimmer and shimmying of the thing we dare not do without. 

No love poetry of bland, reassuring endearments this, but an amorous saga as somatically savory, as tangy and salty (as “umami”, if I may), as it is sweet. Thylias Moss relishes the sensible world with an intoxicating avidity. Its endless riches inflame her imagination, and she gives back as good as she gets (and lucky us who travel with her: what sights, sounds, smells, tastes!), a veritable welter of pungent and astringent verbal associations, rife with spice, with pop culture pizazz – her “Thing” reminding her of the priest’s first scene in “The Exorcist”, sonic screwdrivers, pop lyrics – and cosmic splendor and strife, things and forces shaped at will. And we are engulfed as we read the balm of her blistering words. Blistering for her, and us, for poetry of and about love, specially erotic, must acknowledge its eclipses, partial or whole, its devastations along with its consummations, its fraught liberation and its willing bondage, 

I walk constantly with these birds

Roped to my heart.  

and this love is made difficult by distance and goodness knows what else (the details, the story of this love, is in the book, laid out with a poet’s and a storyteller’s eye, no point in detaining you with it here)

highest highs

of my life

(also the lowest lows)

 

Furthermore, Thylias Moss, being a poet of the real – that unstable, multi-tiered fiction where raw feelings matter most, and where they color our entire observable universe – can plunge us giddily into different emotional dimensions, from the cosmic splendor of:

bright path of your steps, of course I remember

How you walk, that day you walked to me, fireball out

Of a personal sky,

to this: 

flame tree outside this window 

Matchstick in the dark 

A poet of startlingly real feeling, and so of necessity one of great bravery, for love hurls curveballs as well:

Block nothing, worth the pain because from it, such splendid love

Is born

 

And 

Time to place value on this dark surface    

                                                           door 

to unfathomable depth

Yet the poles of joy and pain will recur, as happens with a poetry predicated on truth, memory and love : 

that note of how very much 

I Love you,  and then my 

father’s casket was closed. 

The sung “note” in this poem, quite apart from honoring a remarkable biographical incident, serves to mark both the genuine originality of the poet herself – reaching new heights in this book – and how every genuine affair of the heart seems unsurpassable, yet echoes our primal first experience of love. And with the closing of the casket, she acknowledges how new love can offer a degree of closure of past loss, a healing long sought. Yet being the final line, it also affirms how closure is never erasure.

So a gathering of poems of love and pain, loss and gain, heaven and hell. And no matter how frightful or grim, few great poets (or their readers) can resist the unreconstituted images gifted from the deep.

black eyes of the sea

where the depths empty what can be seen

onto the surface 

So from the astonishing SHAWSHEEN DEVONIAN CONVERSION, one of the most memorable poems in a book full of such things:

  • wounded trees on their bended knees slashed 

with their own branches bloody from praying

An imaginative and rhetorical sing-song savagery to thrill the shade of Dante (throughout this passage internal rhyme rises wickedly, delightfully, to infernal rhyme); a gleefully diabolical theatre of memory worthy of Bruno Shultz and an intensity fully worthy of the great black preacher cum storyteller tradition of which she is the poetic heir apparent (she has all the fire without the brimstone and the smokescreen), and a thrilling paean to her father, keeper of sensual hot-pepper mysteries that her shame-riddled mother couldn’t scrub away. These people, real, shadowy, tragic, legendary, libidinal and comical by turn, adored or mocked, not only embody some of the history of black America, its divisions, its tragedy, its triumphs despite everything and its genius, but engender the poet’s self, with her magnificent refusal to countenance oppression, political and personal 

Mama knows best, kicking and screaming my way

Out of her petrifying belly

– culminating with her choosing and being chosen by love above all, and the love of a man, collaborator and muse, whose stupendous presence animates and gives rise to much of the invention in this volume.

It’s true: I have never read love poems remotely like these. And I rather fancy you haven’t either (need convincing? Try “Shawsheen Standard Equipment Fuses”, “Shawsheen Dream Baby Nemo” and the magnificent “Required Walking in Shawsheen” – and a quick shout out to her brilliantly unexpected titles). So I’m going to assert that this book stands the possibilities of contemporary love poetry on its head, or flings them into starlight-drenched space – does this seem hedged? Only due to my not knowing the field extensively – there are far too many banal and frankly bad love poems to wade through. Yet given the epic yet vividly intimate scope of this collection, such claims seem entirely reasonable, although I simply balk at attempting to convey the sassy, sexy, spirited, sly, wholly openhearted and wholly enraptured tone Thylias achieves: its energized ebullience and effervescence! To say nothing of her sense of drama, her superb delivery and her wry comic gift: 

You told me, “of course I feel amused; of course I feel privileged” —as you should, for I am still trying to amuse you; I am still privileging you  

every way I can! 

—as for your shenanigans, you just haven’t outgrown them yet; why 

do you think I keep writing bad Poetry to you?

And this (not about her “Thing”):

and it is said that all black men have rhythm, well, he had none, not even rhythm method of birth control his infertility made unnecessary.

What I can’t begin to convey, for even her own book strains to encompass her, is for me her largest achievement: herself. As she moves through these poems of love, revelation and longing like the deep current of Shawsheen, as she relates her past and present, as she toys with and triumphs over words, time and contingency, it becomes apparent that her self, as character and as confluence of energies, is one of contemporary literature’s great creations (“presences” or “spirits” are perhaps closer to what I mean). I  do not mean to suggest that her projected self is merely a fiction (nor to denigrate the achieved truth of hard-won fictions). Not at all. Her integrity, authenticity, curiosity, intelligence and imaginative fecundity are the ground from which her voice swells. They permeate this book, and from them issue all the glories poetry has at its disposal: rhythm, rhyme, lyricism, irony, satire, sarcasm, personification, a dazzling eruption of metaphors, memorable lines and the other these-days-not-so usual suspects.

And nothing is too inert, too mundane, too inane, to escape being swept up by her transmogrifying eye (plastic flamingos with their “liquid raptures”), her astonishing ability to locate the luster of love, with its sensual, alchemical and metaphorical possibilities, where it might be thought to least likely lurk. To find original ways to frame, embellish and convey the 3 words that love loves to hear and say, to make of love’s declaration something new, startling, convincing, this is something that might defeat even a supremely resourceful poet. Yet she does this as if it were no big thing – that is the miracle she performs, with a bevy of others. What the Metaphysical poets did with garlands of metaphors and outrageously suggestive arguments to deliciously inflame sexual desire and the promise of its fulfillment, she does with love (erotic and deep): as a source of poetic reinvention, as praise, as pleasure, sustaining its intensity despite everything that would defeat it (herself included). To sing love’s praise, and the lover’s praise, is to tend and fan the flame, stoke the fire. These poems are not just about love, they are themselves engines of love!

Poetry is of course a form of will; the word-intoxicated will to the love of truth and the truth of love (given life’s brevity, why read a poet who would subscribe to any lesser calling?), and then the even harder task of living with the consequences. One thing great poetry does is teach us that living well, like reading well, is difficult but absolutely rewarding. And with this dangerous knowledge in place, the question of meaning inevitably raises its phrenologically vexing head. We know that wealth, power and material excess do not fill the void (they make it larger, so the drive to have more increases), and also how frequently the disempowered and the lovelorn turn to extreme forms of religion or authoritarianism to fill the same. It is a huge part of Thylias’s wisdom to turn instead to her own life. Not in naval-gazing solicitude, or the look-ma-no-guilt tones of fuck-and-tell-all insta-poetry, but with a mythopoetic vitalism that generates meaning by the gathering and connecting of dots, points, vectors and sectors (like her brother-in-word Walt). Love, that bridging, quickening, healing and annealing force, thrums and flows through her life, her past (wrongs against her are fully divulged, and righteous anger felt, but never rancor. She is far too capacious to succumb to such poison) and her projected future. It is the force that drives the melding of tributaries into the self beyond ourselves.

How not to avoid turning the searching intelligence and candor of these poems on oneself? How not to at least attempt to rise to their implicit challenge? They have sent their shafts of light, delight and their depth chargers into me, a painter who usually settles for the mute mysteries of image, finding out corners of my soul too often unexamined. What do I mean when I tell someone I love them? What does it mean to say my love is durable, this time for real? Do I dare disturb my complacency, my self-absorption, and risk real love? – This applies to art as well, for once set in motion, such questions do not stop, but ripple outwards and spiral inwards. And in unqualified, awestruck answer, I admit I want to love (and make art) with the intensity, bravery, chutzpah, smarts and openness of the poems in this extraordinary book. 

Love may be the lodestar, but these are also profoundly poems of formative experience: deep, aching, memory-and-shadow-thronged, questioning and questing. Poems of childhood and its losses and lessons, that lessen yet still have the power to control us, sustain us, hurt us, salve us. And poems of her father, a paragon of love and wonder, tutelary spirit – yet how she can flick a switch and plunge us into recollected pain or longing the years can barely diminish – “a mountain over his heart just stays there” and “thunder pulls my heart into my father’s eyes”. 

Yet all is not lost. See how she can regain paradise, how banality, pain and the shadow of death are no barriers but the necessary, because real, conditions – 

we eat the shadows.

two of which

are my father’s

diseased lungs

yet I float on clouds

into such a clean, pure kingdom

that nothing else matters

just a banana which I eat the moment I arrive.

This “just” is no insouciance, just as “nothing else matters” isn’t solipsism, nor defensive posturing, but a moment of needful, everyday transcendence. In the same poem her father’s scalded skin runs “down the drain”, domestic premonition of mortality, and then the banana’s peeled skin becomes a strangely and sublimely linked opportunity of the internalized possibility of love and inner bliss, her father’s gift to her, and the wisdom of getting under the skin of things, to the pith and pulp, the artful consummation of (imaginary) transubstantiation, of the mundane origins of sublimity – anything “just” at hand: the sun-conjured banana obliterates the shadows. Also, “Diseased lungs” to “clouds”. Ethereal transubstantiation. Vaporization of pain. Yes, Thylias Moss is a poet: Ovidian, Orphic (Hippocratic!) and the rest. The given world and words are not only never taken for granted, they may also be taken for a wild ride: inverted, converted, subverted, cavorted with, poles may be vaulted and flipped, and what can’t be bent into and out of shape, what dread or dross not made divine? The poet makes it so. 

“As for politics?” I hear myself murmur. In substantial part, earlier collections addressed/resisted racism, white cultural hegemony or the horrors of slavery, always with a fully immersive imaginative power, never relenting in an equally, and absolutely justifiable, anger (whiplash irony and tar-black humour too, though she has never been in any sense a reductive poet – beholden to no single cause and no one, indeed, not even to her “Thing”). And appallingly, the trauma of white abuse and its devastating penetration into its victims lives is still unacceptably with us:

That need to cover up what she had naturally.

               Stigma

of being that darkest girl out of a dozen children, all 

6 girls born first, my mother the darkest, nappiest

kinkiest hair

Oh the stigma of being the ugly child, 

the one furthest from European 

standards –as if no black women are European– 

silky and blowing in the wind, just the gentlest touch, 

not even the wind

from a mouth able to start that movement:

strands dance 

that is their strength: movement 

reaction to any other movement;  they pick it up

and run with it, bend with it, groove with it….

The poetic insistence on resistance, reinvention, self-determination and self-interpretation, is wonderfully unchanged, yet the focus of many of these new poems is radically different, even more personal and revealing in their frankness and fearlessness: the celebration (and calibration) of love and being in love: love as healing, love as an offering and fulfillment of the self, love as a transformative power, love as a temporal paradise (thoughts of expulsion a shadowy presence), love as a weeping wonder-wound that will not heal, love despite all the blandishments to be superficial and selfish, to spurn the meaning and satisfaction love gives, so that our emptiness may instead be filled, foiled and fed with tinfoil trinkets of no worth. Love as the one real thing. No fake love here, folks, and you can keep your fake news too. How’s that for politics? And being a diehard romantic myself, the so very fine conviction with which Thylias loves her “Thing” feels to me, in a culture where instant gratification is promoted as the highest good, the ultimate attainment, the last word in human progress, distinctly radical. Not a program for revolution, no, but something that’s not for sale, not disposable, built to last (also like a bridge, to span distance and defy gravity). The politics of poetry has always been its heady  (threatening to some) proximity to the unimpeachable verities: no more magnificent testimony to that than the love suffusing the book you hold in your hands.

I image it’s apparent how inadequate I feel it would be to respond to these poems with a certain critical detachment. Possible? Of course, but even given the pleasure and profit of spot-the-allusion, astute prosodic and semantic analysis and then the “sober” passing of Judgment, certain poems demand to be read a certain way –

We are measuring our distance from the poem by measuring the poem

– certainly ones like these do, ones that cast spells and thunderbolts. More accurately, such poems read me, lodge in me and find me out. Such poems are galvanic, seismic, volcanic, meteoric and their technical daring is never merely clever, a twinkle-eyed tweaking of rhyme or meter, but an exemplary counterpoint to deadening and evasive habits of mind, of hooded thoughts and throttled feelings. And any pearls of wisdom they may yield come embedded in the whole damn, living, quivering, oozing, fantastic bivalve. They go down whole: tissue, web and sinew of living matter. Anyway, I thought I could get through without saying what should be clear to anyone familiar with the scene, but dang I want to anyway: Thylias Moss is a past master whose time hasn’t come. Attempting to place her in the history of American poetry, just where she lies on the great Whitman-Dickinson divide – (she straddles both, or effortlessly executes a grand jeté from inclusive expansiveness to cryptic compression and back again: accordion prosodic pyrotechnics –  although expansion and flow, like the great Shawsheen river itself, overwhelmingly govern the ungovernable forces at play here) – or what her contribution to Black and mixed race culture is (surely nothing less than essential), to poetry and culture in general, is liable to leave you by the wayside  – she has already danced around the corner or disappeared in a cloud of her own knowing. Yes, delight is instruction. And not to indulge in these poems, to not assent to them –

still wading when 

you have invitations to plunge

 – would be to miss their wisdom

a leap into centerlessness

at the same time a rising in it

– and their myriad pleasures, their carnally cosmic passion and transformative vitality. Also the tonic of their occasionally bracing sardonic wit, their remarkable tonal range, their inexhaustible inventiveness and exuberance and their insistence on a life lived at a visionary pitch, where emotions are not dulled by opt-in opiates. Because poems like these are for readers who yearn for more than self-congratulation and mild, urbane pleasure – poems artfully construed to yield their secrets with all the humdrum satisfaction of solving a crossword puzzle, the politesse of the “well-made poem”. These are poems on fire, whose white heat illuminates the almost daily assailed truth that love is not optional, and they present that truth with an uncompromising strength and honesty that is as moving as it is inspiring. In that way, perhaps above all others, this is a necessary book.

While we have the presence of mind to say “this is not the worst”, the possibility remains, through the alchemy and agency of imagination and love, to make of our life what we all, avowedly or not, want: a thing of wonder and joy. And a strong, unrepentant, unbowed imagination –

will not go down without fighting, will not drown without fighting, and that is the actual beauty:

fighting

– is the right stuff, the very stuff needed to transform ourselves and with it, perhaps, the world. For these qualities are, like poetry and love, to live and die for. And Thylias Moss, without a skerrick of pedantry or ideology, through rare conviction and delight, delivers an object lesson in (forget “positive”) ecstatic thinking and feeling, of choosing paradise – be it “just” a banana, a lover and their text messages, a river, a son, a son’s car, Laytial the stuffed mammoth, the whole wide world and beyond, no matter, all matter – over resignation, banality and the mountains “that just stay there”. And so I invite you to “take the plunge”, for these poems have the power to move and lift hearts as well as mountains.

IMG_0645

 

Again I read from  this book at the Strand bookstore 828 Broadway, New York, New York, on 16 November 7:00 pm

 

From my new Collection, Shawsheen Memorial Broom Sociery.

 

A little info about how the title was chosen:

 

WHY SHAWSHEEN?

 

Shawsheen is where “ocean” acquired meaning, ceased being just a word, but now also had power. Atlantic before me, Shawsheen is convergence, where this tributary of mighty Merrimack, this Great Spring brought Tewksbury, Billerica, and Andover together: trinity.  This is where I learned to love  Atlantic Ocean, a flow that connected me to the rest of the world   Shawsheen Transport of what Shawsheen instantly became.  Water even gurgled sometimes.  I was where I belong.

Reflections of  clouds danced on the surface —just for me  it seemed, but really for anyone.  Seemed to me that stars made earthly visits to this planet by sharing the luminous power with the river.  I stood by Shawsheen and learned my connections.   I like the stars sharing, I  loved their visitation.  I like the promises of “more” more than anything.  Stars sparkled as they fell, and the splashes so cool around my feet; such buoyant ankles

WHY MEMORIAL?

Some things we should never forget, Shawsheen is one of them.

Why Broom?

That power to clean up, to move things, even dust, fine particles of matter. Stardust, that power if you will, fugitive dust in particular.  Particles descending and decorating my Shawsheen, landing on the surface, bobbing there like the most colorful cups of glitter, and the brooms sweep this away, handles like baseball bats sometimes, and this dust rises into air, respiration cycle, enters my lungs and emerges unsinkable, bejeweled Shawsheen so happy to lick my ankles, and when the broom pushes particles they rise and rise, so beautiful and vast, these cosmic particles replace stars, Shawsheen bubbling with this goodness that particles, these cosmic buses, happily share

Why Society?

Group effort.  Belongs to all participants even bystanders afraid for whatever reason to believe that Shawsheen really is for them also; afraid of getting their feet wet.  But it’s true: Shawsheen is for all of you.

 

copyright © by Thylias Moss. Published by arrangement with the author.  All rights reserved.

More than anything, I am pleased to have written the Shawsheen poems mostly in text messages to my Thing.  Every day I would write a poem to him, often combining his words and my own He is my ideal collaborator in so much.  I would not be standing beside anyone else. Not in this life.  

 

and these links might help you understand:

 

A Journey into Collaboration

 

Abstractmagazinetv.com  feature 

 

and here is where I read “Blue Coming” Pushcart Prize-winning poem 

me and my Thingdom

Me and my Thingdom

 Come to the Strand and hear and these poems! 16 November 7:00n pm. 8282 Broadway, New York, New York 10003

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Thingdom Billboards

My new gynecologist was so impressed with my Thing and what I told her I finally experienced when I was 60 years old and alone with him for the very first time in my life, and I had to give her my entire sexual history; I had to begin with the rape, and then I told her everything, ending with my Thing and she was shocked that I had a fulfilling relationship finally when I was 60 years old just from Kissing him, and she said this was a story her patients “need” to hear, as so many women do not experience what I felt just from his unforgettable Kiss, A book “New Kiss Horizon,non fiction!all about kissing him.!

Cover of NKH

 

She suggested billboards attesting to this Love, and you would see only our photo; Dr, Werner asked if I had a photo, and of course I did, the greatest love in my life!

She said she had many patients who had never felt what I felt and senior citizens no less. She felt our image should be on billboards spreading hope to people! Can you picture this?

THYLIAS MOSS AND BOB HOLMAN

I can, easily given how very much I Love this man. And his, well, romantic skill? And his out of the world  world passion.  This man even  carried me on his back in Chicago, picture  that if you will, and  imagine these billboards everywhere you go, the escxitement, the thrill in what may be found as you grow older! 30 years with him and counting.  He is as close to perfection as it gets

 

I am now qworkifn in another book, a bio abou my life, and how this man singlehandedly transformed my life, improved it I mean.  No fiction, I just need to tell the truth about what I have with him.  I have a working title from a series of texts with him.  I try to tell him first thing every morning  first thing  when I awake, how much I love him and how hapy I am that he is in my life.  And I do the same thing at the end of the day, let him know how very much  appreciate him and love him so very  much.  Always.

 

Love is not just for the young, may be it’s even better now that I’m older. 

Tarpulin Sky: What I’m Reading

  I have just completed and submitted my essay on “What I’m Reading”

books of influence and comfort, books, ideas and words of propulsion, the books I chose are among my favorites; I own just over 5,000  books and Lisa was generous enough to help organize them for me today.  But in the end, Lisa turned out to be neither who nor what  thought she was.

No longer tight rows of a hundred boxes of books; the books I selected for Tarpulin Sky:

  1. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr   

     2.  Schindler’s List by Thomas Kenneally

3. Contact by Carl Sagan

     4. Touch the Universe by Noreen Grice

5. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

You will be able to read my essay very soon, online. As soon as I have it, I will post the link.

I hope that you will want to experience these books. 

I live with them, these books form an archway;

I had to walk through them just to get to my bedroom, lines, images and words fell down as explosions of popcorn that kind of excitement about what will soon enter my body –that’s how sensuous reading is to me, active not passive.  

the swelling and opening of kernels, that rank indeed. Idea Gardens. Essences of the plant, no higher order of magnitude, necklaces of popcorn balls, popcorn hat that falls apart; I hardly get to wear it.  

Only thing better: would be to wear a honey comb; I go to bed like that, golden caramel and buttery, even between my toes;  most of you will just have to imagine this

–for a moment I think of popcorn balls at Euclid Beach Humpgrey Popcorn balls 

(Image from : http://www.humphreycompany.com)

Now a video of Popcorn popping from YouTube:

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

 

Romance Novel draft!

So pleased to say that I just submitted a revised draft of my romance novel, something I’ve been dying to do, and after a misstep or two yesterday, things are back on track! 

 

“What You Won’t Do For Love!”

 

Oh for love of this book! 

 

Thanks so much for my editor Jason Kirk helping to get this little book to this point.  

 

 

“Dream Baby”

Here’s a photo of “Dream Baby” –as she looked in “Mongongo Drupe” and as she looked for the last date of her incredible, beyond compare weekend with a total fantasy man, called Jesús in the story but

now called: Mr. Higgs –last date involved dinner –incomparable dinner at Vemilion Restaurant in Chicago  (and as she looks now, except that my hair is longer)

 

For details of that fantasy date that culminated a weekend, please read the current, the latest issue of Callaloo Journal

 

smaller_Thylias in Cushnie et Ochs dress; photo by Ansted Moss copy

 

Details on ordering a copy (won’t be in your local grocery stores, probably, due to the sex-positive nature of the content): 

Website of Callaloo: (http://callaloo.tamu.edu/node/227).

Issue of Callaloo in which “Mongongo Drupe” appears:

 issue, 38.1 winter 2015 and can be purchased from this website:
Once the issue is actually published first week of March 2015
A phone number for John Hopkins University Press, publisher of they edition, issue 38.1, Winter 2015, Callaloo: 1.800.548.1784