Very pleased to announce the publication of my essay “Good Hair: an Endordsement of Vanity” in Mythos Magazine! at this link: https://mythos-magazine.squarespace.com/essays/good-hair-an-endorsement-of-vanity
–by the way, I love my hair, and will be going on Wednesday to have my hair done at Penthouse Hair Salon, 561 N. Hewitt Street, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197.
Pat Freeman understands my hair, almost more than I do.
When you visit Penthouse, please ask for Pat.
No weave, no extensions, no hair pieces, never relaxer: 100% natural hair.
A clip from the Chris rock film “Good Hair” with which my essay shares a title”
Apparently publication of my Good Hair: essay remains on track in Mythos Magazine illustrtions and everything. Here are the inital comments from the edios o Myths:
“Thanks so much for your submission to Mythos Magazine. I loved your piece. The richness of your narration was powerful, smart, and unapologetic, and I’m interested in working with you in the coming weeks to publish it for our site. I know it would be deeply appreciated by our readership.
Let me know if you accept this offer to publish, and I’ll reach out with more details. We have an illustrator for pieces who would likely do some accompanying artwork for yours, which we can coordinate a bit later.
Looking forward to hearing from you!”
and here is the followup just received minutes ago, a wee k befor my 63rd birthday!
Hope you are doing well, and sorry for the long delay on my end!
Our illustrator is going to work on a piece to accompany yours in the coming weeks. Do let me know if you have any specifications for that.
I’ll be back in touch by the weekend with some logistical things.
and now a few photos of this “good hair stuff”; I must thank my parents for my haiving the hair I have, especially my moher’s own shame of her short, kinky nappy hair:
Mama here with the hair she hates:
She always wears a wig now, will not be seen without one, and not necessarily the 100% human hair wigs, but in hers as seen below, the fibers are plastic, but they do cover her shame, the curse of having Afro-textured hair.
And then there are those who insist that my hair could not possibly be natural, although it is.
Others have problems wth my hair, not me.
I was born this way; I do nothing to cause my hair to grow. NOTHING. AT ALL.
You want this hair, you can purchase it. There are all kinds of products that I do not use, well, watch the Chris Rock movie if this is something you do not know for yourself.
Do I look better because of my hair? Some men think so, and isn’t that what this is really about? The sex appeal of hair?
I cannot say for sure; I only speculate, but in my mother’s case , she hates her hair, and made sure I wouldn’t be born it, but xI an also say that I am glad not to be bald, and if I am relaxed, that is just my demeanor. I have the hair I haeve because of heritage, that’s all.
My parents, the reason for the hair she always wanted and didn’t have. Specifically my paternal lineage. I am not in control of my birth; just glad that I was born, and also glad, very glad to have hair, good or not. Even my hairdresser has commented on my hair, because there is no weave, no hair pieces, no extensions, and I have never had a relaxer, and will be 63 years old in a week. The only change I make is some occasional hair color. My hair dresser can attest to that –not that I require any proof. If you want to think that I have good hair, then think it. I’ve been told often anought that I have it.
Please, I am glad to have it,but no need to make a big deal about it.
And I would not trade my hair for another form. Yes, indeed, men tend to like my hair, for a variety of reasons, but one thing I can say is that my hair does not come off, unless it is cut off. The way it looks is the same way I wakeup wih it. I do no have to have “weave sex” as in the movie “Good Hair” by Chris Rock.
I just want to repeat that I have no relaxer. I do not need it. Sorry. I am a black woman, but that is not all. I am a multiracial woman, if that is needed to explan this natural growth of my hair. My hair grows the way you see it in these photos.
If it looks relaxed, that is only because that is the way my hair grows.
And this clip from the Chris Rock movie also:
I am also naturally small, 98 pounds, and I have never dieted. No, my life isn’t perfect, but I am thankful for whatever I’ve got, and I do not apologize for it.
If it took races mixing to give me this look, then let them mix, for I could not exist any other way. I a naturally thin like my father. And his father seen below. Races should mix anyway; such devisions help no one, but my mother was completle bypassed by black movemens she never said it loud that she was “black and proud” because she isn’t.
And at age 87, and about to die, she is not going to change. I will be sure that she has on a wig for her funeral. I will be sure that she looks what she considers “best”
I am delighted to report that my “Good Hair” essay has just been accepted by Mythos Magazine.
Not sure when the issue with my essay will be published; I sent it earlier todays, and I have already receved a response from the editor:
“Thanks so much for your submission to Mythos Magazine. I loved your piece. The richness of your narration was powerful, smart, and unapologetic, and I’m interested in working with you in the coming weeks to publish it for our site. I know it would be deeply appreciated by our readership.”
As usual, I spoke TRUTH —nothing else is worth saying. So I don’t say it.
There will be accompanying artwork, I am so pleased to say. No details yet, just feeling “acceptance” (all I have ever wanted, to be accepted as myself. That is all you get with me, 100% natural; I do not mean this harshly. No wig, no weave, no extensions. None of that for me,… Not a problem if you want to accessorize yourself that way, I choose not to, not because it’s better, I am content with what I have right now. I not feel a need to change it or enhance it. I like it as it is.
Doesn’t matter what I used to have or will have, this is what I’ve got in the moment that I write. Take it or leave it. Does not come off unless it’s cut off.
It is what it is, and I am who I am: a tiny woman writer –age 62!– with a lot of natural hair.
My hair is thick, but the photo doesn’t convey that.
We all have something worth celebrating about ourselves, as long as you woke up, that is excellent acheievement. Be thankful, boast that you woke up, not everyone did.
And yes, I woke up like this:
I am as unapologetic here as I am in the essay.
and never anything else from me. Everythg about me, head to toe is 100% natural. Everything. No additions or subtractions. Not one. Not even a diet. No weave, no wig, no hair pieces, no extensions and I do not apologize, for what?
Does the “TRUTH’ need to apologize for being the truth?
“Weave sex“? –not necessary here.
A man who is with me will see a woman wake up with him the same as she went to bed with him. I am not hiding anything. No girdle to unlossen. My waist is tiny but is not cinched. I have not ever needed a push-up or padded bra. Never.
I try to be quiet in the background; I try to fade away,
but this truth is as real as anything else, and if I am accepted, please understand that this TRUTH comes with me. I do not ever separate myself from TRUTH.
If you want to know something, depend on me not to lie
(not even to get the man I want, yes; I may have some truth and a lot of natural body, and I am not that stupid, was considered gifted starting in first grade, but TRUTH alone is not enough, I even gave him my best natural “cookies”, but I woud be lying if I said I have him, but not if I admit I want him (and telling the TRUTH right there, may cost me, but I say it anyway, I must; I asssure you he already knows how I feel about him. I speak here as myself not as a character. I speak about my real life, from the depths of me–)
The naturally skinny, the naturally coiffed, the naturally aging (I don’t even wear makeup, only some lipgloss) also have something to say.
I am talking here about nothing I gave myself. Born this way.
Please note, I am not rich.
I was born that way also. I too have needs, wants, desires. Including a man who will accept me as I am. I accept him as he is; he knows I do. I just want love; I just want to give love…
I am little, but I can love him… My love for him is much bigger than I am. Much stronger too.
I don’t even know for sure that I should say this, but as it is the truth, I am willing to take a chance. I am sure he knows anyway, whether or not he wants me to say it, but just a look at a photo of him, and I fall to pieces.
Just what it is about this man? –I am beginning a series of poems to help me answer that… “more poems” I should say, not as if I haven’t written about him before… even this blog post…
Here’s to his Highness Higgs –and every Higgs boson everywher.
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!
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…
Although, I still await word from a prospective agent about another book for which I have very high hopes: “Looking for Forker Gyrl in NKH (New Kiss Horizon”)
I am embarking on another project, and lack, so far even a working title, but a book about my father…
Caucasian, African-American, Native American, Indian
my paternal grand-father
Caucasian, Native American, Indian
Just recently, my mother examined a picture of me, and claimed that she could not find herself; indeed my parents met in the south, and my mother had the task of “lightening up the family” (1949 in Tennessee; such things were important then). Or at least seeing to it that her child had “good hair” –the very thing she despises me for now, the “good hair” that she doesn’t have. The “good hair” so much better than the tightly coiled, very Africanized hair she has (under the wig); well, I have exactly the kind of hair she wanted me to have.
Thylias Moss, 61, with “natural hair” ”natural “good hair
My “natural hair” is waist-length now, and I don’t mind at all if it continues to grow. 6 more inches will do me just fine, and my “good” hair will take me further and further from my mother.
My mother; she doesn’t know I captured this picture of her converting the garage into the: “Prince of Peace Teaching Ministry”
Contrast to her daughter:
No weaves, no wigs, no extensions, no hair pieces.
“I Wake up like this”
also me now
I woke like this today, and I will wake up like this tomorrow.
Exactly what you wanted; but you didn’t get it for yourself. Nothing I can do about that, except be who I am, whatever I am, as mixed (up) as can be, and maybe one day, you’ll be able to accept your hair which is dead anyway. Look at all the death sprouting from my head...
me now, right now, even as I type this, little old lady with “good hair” the hair she always wanted, and has been wearing wigs for the longest to get that coveted texture, coveted length.. Wigs that are too shiny, too straight, obviously artificial, but she wears them with pride, and won’t even venture onto her front porch to retrieve the mail without one. All those cans of Hair Rep, and jars of Dixie Peach still didn’t give her what she desperately wanted… Royal Crown
hair grease also. Even Crisco. Blue Magic
hair Mama desperately wants.
—I’m a regular Cameroonian stink ant with that hair exploding and cascading from my head (wrote about this in my poem “Ant Farm“)
She both hates and envies my “Good Hair” –and yes; I’m watching the Chris Rock movie: “Good Hair” to help put everything in context.