Category Archives: reading

Truth of DELIGHT at last

A Very long Post about Love:

Despite those who have advised me to drop or forget Mr. Delightful.

It is not as simple as you may perceived, because I really do love this man, whether or not it seems to make logical sense, even if you want to call me a fool, I still love him, and I do not love him today and stop loving him tomorrow. Maybe I will meet someone else, but until I do, this Hopeless Romantic really loves THAT MAN.

This love is deep and real, and he must decide what to do with it; I gave it to him, and all of it is his. If I am a fool, I am not the first. Maybe I will stop loving him, but it will have to its natural time; if he is indeed scum, then maybe I just happen to like scum. But he is better than scum. How do you know that he isn’t filled with regret?

How do I know that for sure either?

Maybe this makes me the most foolish woman in the world, but until I do not love him, I am not giving up on love.

Lord knows, I am not sure at all what this means. Nor am I asking you. Whether I am called “Dream Baby” or “Eucalyptus Octopus” or “Trauma to Quotidian” –all of these names came from Mr. Deightful’s poem to me, the poem I still believe is about me.

I like these names. I like that they came from poetry. I like when I started calling him my “Muse” and he corrected that to “Mr. Muse”

At first I was concerned that so much poetry in my new book, “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” was either written about or with “Thomas Higginson”, but now I am at peace with that, because I still love the man, and as long as that is true, I’m not turning my back on loving him.

I am not sure how he feels about that but it is my love to give him, and since I have given it, I am not taking it back.

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

You were not with him; but I know a tender side of Mr. Delightful and maybe he did tell some lies. Maybe he did allow me to believe one thing when he had made other –temporary– (one can never be sure with him). I know what makes him delightful.

No; he is not perfect, but then again, neither am I.

A entire chapbook of poetry that Thylias Moss wrote with Thomas Higginson is available right now at Amazon as a book for Kindle, and you may also be able to get this chapbook as a softcover book (I will check again this week), but if you would like a collection of collaborations between Thomas Higginson and Myself, “Aneurysm of the Firmament” (spelled correctly in the chapbook, ad actually not on the table of contents in “Wannabe“), then please acquire this chapbook containing only poems of our collaboration which has been long lived.

aneurysm_of_the_firm_cover_for_kindle

(buy the chapbook and Wannabe at Amazon here)

You just do not throw such things away. I hope the chpbook lives on after I do.

I kissed Mr. Delightful, well, he kissed me first, and then I really kissed him as I have never kissed a man before. That kiss told me everything worth knowing, and the kiss was real, so until and unless I find someone else… He is not easily replaceable. He is not toothpaste or only the flavor of the day, but he is mighty tasty –you wll need to read the romance novel for more details of my inspiration.

You weren’t there. You do not know.

It is not as if one day I decided, “hm, I think that maybe I’ll fall in love with him” –happened naturally, and if I fall out of love with him, that will happen naturally too, and for the moment I haven’t.

Maybe this is a man I will always love. I’m not going into all the details now. And whether or not Mr. Delightful ever knows of this, I am stating for the record, that I simply have never lied to him, and I am not starting to lie right now. When I told Mr Delightful that I love him, that was /is the TRUTH, and I am also saying it now, because it is the truth, that I still love that man, and no advice can change my heart; if an when it changes, I will say so. I am not vindictive; I just love that man as I have never loved a man.

I gave my love t0 him, and it is up to him what to do with it. It is his. I do not withdraw it. That is how serious my heart is. It is his decision what to do with my love. If and when I stop loving him, I will tell him first. But it will not be today and not likely that it will be tomorrow; sorry if I disappoint any of you. Sorry if this only seems to prove that I am fool; I would rather be a fool for love than for anything else.

I have a precious connection with this man, and maybe there are not many women who would love him as completely as I do, just as he is, flawed and everything, but this one does.

I told him once that when he becomes 70, not that long, 2018, he may find a need to settle down his very active life, and guess who will be waiting for him? His “Dream Baby“, his “Eucalyptus Octopus” [which he corrected to “An” Eucalyptus Octopus” as written in the poem], his “Trauma to Quotidian” will be there as long as I still love him. Love is like that, and can be stable, and not trusting him does not mean that I don’t love him.

Among many things, no way that you can ever know all of them, he wrote this to me:

“It’s a gut kick to me and I know I hurt you which ricochets back and painful. I couldn’t take it further, Thylias. I am sorry that the realities of life —my family, my job, my grief — consume me in a way that broke the spine of dream. Were we younger, were I more open, if only I could have put my responsibilities aside and blahblahblah.

I’m a bad guy if you want that, Forker, but when I think about our damn dream time together, relive the drama interplay spontaneity of the performance we did, all we shared and held, for me—

It’s a friendship that I treasure deep. Always will.

I would ask you to consider this an offer to continue our friendship. To support each other in a new way.

In any case, know that I an here for you, always will be, in a way for us still to find.

Love,
Mr. D

and he wrote this to me:

“Dear T,

What a moving and lovely letter, what a heart you got, a wondrous one, one that I got to know better, and better, and loved in the way we loved. A mind that evolved those feelings into literature, into a story for the ages.

And that art means so much to me —and this letter, just as much, meant just for me, explaining me back to me from you perspective, and through your lens. Our friendship has moved so many places the world cannot contain them all, and still goes on, growing every whichway.

So thank you infinitely for this gift of all possibility and the settling of the words’ world into a mutually respectful and fulfilling friendship. Of course that means ongoing, and how the works with collaborating, mutual performances, seeing each other etc etc —it’s all there, we just don’t know what yet, and that’s the beauty you have given us in this letter. The truth of it.

It means so much
It means everything

D”

You are not aware at all (well, maybe you are also so lucky); but you are probably not aware at all of what it can mean to kiss this man, but one real kiss from him, not the sweet peck in the airport, but that extended foreplay kissing in the back seat of the taxi all the way from O’Hare to the hotel, completely erased 40 years of marriage, 44 years with my ex-spouse; it was as if no other man had ever kissed me –please try to understand the power and promise of that kiss.. and helped me understand desire and expression of love as I have never understood it before. Forever transformed me in the most “delightful” way.

That kiss will forever be fresh in my mind. I even have a bottle of his cologne that I spray n my sheets to get into a bed of him, recalling instantly what it’s like being in his arms. I play the music we exchanged with each other; you can’t hear it, but it’s playing right now in the background. I listen to a playlist of it when I, this woman with MS go walking my 5-8 miles, and also on the playlist, because I love the sound of his voice, is a recording of the support he sent me so that I could listen to it, as I was writing about the two of us –I would listen t ohs voice all day, inspiring me to produce my best writing, in my opinion, ever, and in response to some of that writing, also in the chapbook, by the way, but not in “Wannabe” from which the poem, “If You See Something, Say Something” by Thomas Higginson’ with my addition / extension was rejected for “Wannabe” but was a poem published by “The Fiddlehead of Canada,” by the way, but Mr. Delightful wrote this to me after I completed that poem, before the Fiddlehead publication:

“”Skippity,

Sitting by a calming fountain in Kiev, just after the bells of St Sofia rocked the plaza — real rocks of noise
I can say a few things: how crazy are you? am I? we?

Pretty crazy, I’d say!

BUT certainly it is a continuously reviving poem
A fantasy dream and reality scream
You are a Go For It All woman finally free
You constantly inspire, and I wish to too
Standing off to the side and cheering you on
Hey! Watch out for that banana!

The Mnemonic of Yr Palindrome

TMnOYP”

I can’t say what is going to happen. It is not my job to predict the future, just live it as long as I can, the best that I can and if I live it loving him, so be it.

I really do love THAT MAN. And this is a fact. Sorry if I disappoint you, but I am not disappointing myself. I really do lovehim, and it was not a choice. My heart did this. I do not involve myself with multiple men. Good for you if you are able to do that. I can’t and I don’t want to. I once told him that I would rather not have a man, if it can’t be him, as long as I love him, and since I do love him, I guess it’s many manless nights, a lot of tears, a lot of loneliness, but a lot of love for him to try to keep me warm in the coming winter, when I will be living somewhere else — he wrote ” Of course that means ongoing, and how the works with collaborating, mutual performances, seeing each other etc etc —it’s all there, we just don’t know what yet, and that’s the beauty you have given us in this letter. The truth of it.”

Mr. D, as delightful as he really can be, also wrote this to me, when I really needed it:

“Thylias, I feel from your letter that you need an immediate response to help ease you into that house, into yr mother’s dementia, into Mr Moss’s inflexibility.

Somehow it seems the fork of love will give you strength. That is strength I want you to have. Because this fork moves poetry and heaven and earth and hell and all history and muse push and language rush and Amstead and so so so much else, the All of It, I want to simplify my response to: I give you a life of strength and support in our friendship, and let you define the love for you.

My own personal life is not part of that equation. That is for me to live. This is a privacy issue and not important to that house you are going into. Please accept this as the eternal strength and support, or as long as you need or want it.

Godspeed.
D”

(By the way, I need it forever  I want it forever)

And after a discussion on, “letting me define the love for me”,
Mr. D sent me this on 3 August 2016, not that long ago at all, :

““Thylias, It is Love & that is all, it is kin and Life itself.
Sending you strength

D “

to which I replied:

“You know that I accept this. I like hearing that it is Love.

I’m just afraid that it might not be love tomorrow.

I love knowing that it is Love, I need that more than anything…

As long as it will continue to be Love, I am fine.

No one can say how long it will continue to be Love on this Wildest of Rides, but I am glad to take this ride with you.

Thylias”

(we even have a poem about this “Wild Ride” of ours,

and here is some of it, (should have been in the chapbook also, my mistake, well, for the next chapter f the next book, because there will be one, of that I’m sure; Love demands this, and even if for mow it seems that it is only me loving you, so be it… As long as I love you, it must be this way):

Higginson The Thrill Ride

Every emotion possible to feel,
I have felt with you –highest highs
of my life
(also the lowest lows)

I once thought the Blue Streak at Cedar Point
was a tremendous roller coaster,
but you surpass that by far! –as
“Higginson-Higgs-Mr. Muse-Mr. D”
any of your personae—
I have been everywhere with you
yet nowhere

(and I wouldn’t trade this ride for anything).

You Are
The Wild Ride

(Higginson)

Loving it

“Higginson The Thrill Ride”

Every emotion
sighest mighty riotous highs
belowest lows)

the Blue Streak at Cedar Point
roller coaster blasts past
my past into your past passed
but you surpass t
“HigginsonHiggsMrmuse-Mr.D”
everywhere with you
butt nowhere

(and I wouldn’t trade this wild ride for anything).

Remember when I wrote a poem, and you couldn’t respond w=exactly as you would have liked, you wrote this to me:
“Thylias, wow, si o non

sionon

Great word

I am honored beyond beyond

But my plate is so big of full right now I can only make a new word and push on-words

Sionon it is on my part

You have my permission to use everything but I must beg your forgivenness in being unable to come out with the resounding affirmative the Soul cries for because I just do not have the time to do that. My film work, Ford Fdn work, poetry work, the Club, plain ol work, on and on —

I just want to ask for yr understanding on this.

OK, BFF?”

and this led to a poem in “Wannabe”
“Sionon Epoch” also in the chapbook

The primary point Mr. D, always so damn delightful to me, is that my Soul still cries out for you, and I may be a fool, but I am your fool; it is entirely up to you what you do with your fool,

and for a time you were foolish with me,

and I just want to remind you, that very few men, maybe no other man, is or has been or will be loved the way that I love you, and though I will not use you name, you know who you are, just as in that recording of the poem you wrote for me, and I can prove it if necessary, after I rejected a poem you gave me when I found you reading it online and complained that it wasn’t written specifically for me, and then you wrote a poem that I knew was specifically for me, with the references to particle physics; you know me Mr D, better than anyone, and when I hear d you reading it you saud, “It;s for somebody who knows who she is” amd she dies, she is me, your “Dream Baby“, your “Eucalyptus Octopus“, your “Trauma to Quotidian” your Thylias, apparently always yours, for the long haul

me in the “Dream Baby” dress :

Thylias in Cushnie dress 2 copy

and speaking of long hauls, surely you remember when you said you would “drive an 18-wheeler full of condoms down my street”? –really might need that many for the next time I get to be alone with you.

It’s not just sex, but loving him, melting every time his breath was on any part of me, his hands,  the weight of his palms, his exquisite tongue, his lips, sex became sublime.  

I will see, won’t I? –he said it, he wrote it, and the “written word” is just as sacred to him as it is to me –no there’s no “ring” on it, but there is something that maybe even better, the rings of love around my Saturned heart.

I just don’t know what yet. But maybe something, and just as I am worth waiting for, with all this love I have for him, he is worth waiting for also. And so I do, committed to the love itself for as long as I feel it.

I am getting so much closer to what I really need, for a future as uncertain as futures must be if they are unwritten, and they are.

I do not live a pre-determined life; I know what I want, and I am determined to have it, whatever that means.

I am 62, no longer middle aged, and since it isn’t likely that I will live to be 124, it is necessary that I act on whatever I can, and living in my own place, on my social security, and yes, loving a man, taking a chance on what I feel, because what I feel is real,

and I know I might sound crazy, and I know you know, or think you know who I love, but my feelings are real, and I have already given them to him, so they are his, and he knows this, and what he decides to do with his gift is up to him.

I do not give something to him and then withdraw it. That is not who or what I am, a so-called or proverbial “indian-giver” (and me personally, as a member of this heritage, have not known such phony-givers, and knowing myself, I am not about to be one now).

This is my only life, and I want to live it truly and honestly. I am the one who must face myself in the mirror, and I want to like what I see. (I know you like what you see in those photos of me, Mr. D; you already told me that, many times). That’s all this is: my chance to live the life I need; the life I want, preferably with Mr. Delightful, and that “terrific life” he told me I would have, and not just because he told me; I will have it regardless, but so much better with him than without him, which is what he meant, as I interpreted it anyway.

Terrific life” with or without him, but much better with him… He also said to me: “Relax. It takes time”

And that is exactly what I have for you: Time.

Just as you waited 25 years just to kiss me, I know that you also understand time, but, please, not another 25years. Neither you (aren’t you already 68?) nor I at 62 have another 25 years.

But I will keep waiting. And while I wait, I will work on rebuilding trust. I know you didn’t want to have to tell me what you told me, but even that did not destroy the love I feel for you. Dampened it, because you evidently could not wait for me as I waited for you, and still wait; Dampened, but did not, could not Destroy.

I can’t promise you that I will still be beautiful when I am 70
and you will be 76 (!)

–I can’t believe that I am saying and thinking such things about a man as old as that, but you yourself told me that love doesn’t care about age when you carried me on your back in downtown Chicago, and it was obvious to anyone who saw this woman in the short form-fitting skirt, even shorter for being elevated on your back, and where your hands were (under the skirt) as you carried me, and where my hands were on you and you know that the form is also real, and unaltered (like your banana, if I may say so:

“Hey! Watch out for that banana!” 

The Mnemonic of Yr Palindrome

TMnOYP”)

 –unaltered

like my love for you;

it was obvious what this aging couple had done, just as it was obvious to that taxi-driver seeing that aging couple making out in the back seat of his cab what we were going to do as soon as we were alone in that hotel he drove us to; everyone knew, what we had done and were going to do again and again…

The way the registration clerk chuckled. Such a terrific moment.

All of them. All of them Mr D.

I have to be willing to accept the bad moments with the good, –love demands this–true love does, that is, but when I list them, the good is ten times longer than the bad.

Face it Mr. D, I love you plain and simple.

no matter who or what you love. or think you love.

My love for you is certain
–and if or when it isn’t, I will tell you.

I cannot offer you more than that.

And I would not want to offer you less.

whoever you are, sweet mystery man, my sweet mystery man, standing bside me on a bridge in Chicago, bridge to a terrific life: 

This “terrific” photo has its own life, as does this “terrific couple

They have met in the center of the bridge… Desn’t matter how they got here, but here they are. And here they belong together. Everyine can see this, as you sad yourself: “That time was Delight” –you said that becase it was,it is.  

The photo never dies, and nor does the love, Mr. D.

I love you, just as I  loved you yesterday, just as Iwill love you tomorrow.  Whenever you’re ready, you know where I am.   

“Higginson”: The Thrill Ride”

(another poem for Mr Delightful [it should have been in the chapbook, and I will add it to the chapbook]. Hard to say who wrote which line; lines meant to be together just like Mr. Delightul and I. 

copyright © 2016 by Thylias Moss. Published by arrangement with the author.  All rights reserved.

Higginson The Thrill Ride

Every emotion possible to feel,

I have felt with you –highest highs

of my life

(also the lowest lows)

I once thought the Blue Streak at Cedar Point

was a tremendous roller coaster,

but you surpass that by far! –as

“Higginson-Higgs-Mr. Muse-Delighful”

any of your personae—

I have been everywhere with you

yet nowhere

(and I wouldn’t trade this ride for anything).

You Are

The Wild Ride

(Higginson)

Loving it

“Higginson The Thrill Ride”

Every emotion

sighest mighty riotous highs

belowest lows)

the Blue Streak at Cedar Point

roller coaster blasts past

my past into your past passed

but you surpass t

“HigginsonHiggsMrmuse-Delightful”

everywhere with you

butt nowhere

(and I wouldn’t trade this wild ride for anything).

Our Usness!

My favorite picture of Mr. D  and myself; nothing would make me happier than being in  his arms again, arms meant to hold me, look at them; look at us.  

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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! 

 

AWP Tomorrow –in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

 Please join me if you can!

I will be at AWP in Minneapolis, Minnesota tomorrow.   I will be reading in the Cave Canem events” “Three Decades, Four Poets: Cave Canem Presents
Whiting Award Winners.” on Friday 10 April; details in case you’ll be in the area:

*         Event duration: 3 pm – 4:15 pm

*         Venue: Ballroom A, Level 1, Minneapolis Convention Center,
1301 Second Avenue South

4.      Program Itinerary: Each poet reads for 15 – 17 minutes.

*         3 pm: Alison introduces poets

*         3:05 – 3:22 pm: Atsuro reads

*         3:22 – 3:39 pm: Tyehimba reads

*         3:39 – 3:56 pm John reads

*         3:56 – 4:13 pm Thylias reads

*         4:20 – 5:20 est: Book signing 

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

Would be happy to meet with anyone who wants to, while I’m there.