Tag Archives: reading

Blast from the past

An old reading with Mark Doty at the Library of Congree, 24 February 2000, when i was still married and so very stupid, before Higginson Mattered  much to me as he really does, when I was still preteding that my marriag had more meaning than it really  did.  There is absolutel y no better man fo rme that Thomas Robert Higginson

Mark Doty reading at the Library of Congress with Thylias Moss  February 24, 2000

https://www.loc.gov/item/00579848/

Later revised to “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia” because Thomas Robert Higginson Matters much More to me and always will.   

 

here’sHigginson Matters - The FiddleheadThis  poem as published in the Fiddlehead of Canada’

 

 “Higginson Matters in Magnifcent Cultture of  Myopia” being performed

 

 

 

This boyfriend and I happily divorced., and  now I have someone much, much better, someone I really Love, Thomas Robert Higginson Our “Usness” in Chicago (where I fell in Love with him)Thylias Moss (Dream Baby) and Bob Holman (Dream Lover

as seen here, the unbounding love: Me and my Thing always.  I Fell in Real Love with him in Chcago where anything is possible Thingdom and Usness

 

(and can he ever Kiss! I was so transformed I wrote a whole book about it: New Kiss Horizon)

 

NKH WITH BADGE

 

THINGDOM BY FAR

Also my son Ansted reading his poem, “Katydids Cross the Sky”  written when he was 8; he is now 26:

 

ansted with brussel sprouts copy

 

And I now have “Real Love”:

 

as in

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMX0eEWjJts

 

 

I am very thankful for this Remarkable Love.  I have been blessed every moment that he has been in my life.  I could not be more blessed than to have his love. Ever.  I probably had the best divorce Ever! Ever!

 

Until him, I  had no idea what Love really is and Can be.

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Mexico Poetry Encounter

On Wednesday I go to Mexico, for the poetry encounter!

 

This is the website;

 

http://data.cultura.cdmx.gob.mx/diverso2017/

 

I will be sharing a number of video poems, among them:

 

 

1. “Hypnosis at the Bird Factory”

 

 

 

 

2. In Your Face

 

 

 

3. LFMK (Looking for my Killer), a video poam that corresponds with a collection of prose poams  of the same title :

 

 

 

expected to be published in some form, likely in 2018, by Jamii

4. The Glory Prelude

 

 

5. Bubbling 

 

 

How I would like for these events to unfold, a basic plan, not a script:

 

 

I would like to project “LFMK (Looking For My Killer) in the Math of Emotion” 
In thinking now, although once there , I may realize that a different sequence is better; how flexible may this be?
I shall conclude with “LFMK (Looking for my Killer) —on Sunday.  
I would like to open with “Hypnosis at the Bird Factory”, on Saturday.  As I like for work  to respond to the moment, how much flexibility and deviation is allowed with this plan? Once I am there, interactions themselves may demand something different from this plan, and how responsive can I be with the environment, etc.  Are not plans made to change?   It is fine with me whatever happens, equipment failure and the like.   Flexibility is a huge part of my work, responsiveness to whatever presents itself, and combining  these events into some form of new-near—coherence, as my website: 
“The Midhudson Taffy Company”  <http://www.midhudsontaffy.com/>
is supposed to exemplify, a pinnacle of interaction and collaboration, in my opinion,  of “limited forking” 
.
An awareness of life happening and a need to participate and engage in events wherever and whatever  they are around  the globe. 
A goal is connection.   
One prop I will need is a fork of any sort, plastic is fine, and this object will be a necessary part of discussing and sharing my poetic sensibilities,  and I would like to talk about the purpose of the website a little bit, in  my poetic performance and it would be helpful to be able to refer to the website. An object is necessary, so perhaps a plastic fork for all participants? (tenedor de plástico) in addition to the fork(s) that those with hands or feet of any sort already have access to.
PINK-HAIR FORKER GRYLE
I will be able to explain.  
Will there be sign language translation, someone to  help include those with such sensory deficits?  Part of the reason that I need to re-define purposes of making, a need to embrace and make meaningful to those whose senses tend to prohibit certain engagements, and often  a better way to address this is via ideas about making itself.  If I must self-define, I prefer to be called a “maker” so that what I make is less-expected… Unfettered creativity that is responsive to the many forms and varieties of existence.  This is really what I do and is at the core of of reasons that I make stuff.  The seat of my beliefs.  Sometimes I make stuff that others find  easier to call poems.  
A poam for me can just be releasing a handful of water, sand, watching how something moves or doesn’t  as interaction with environment demands, responsiveness to situations, awareness, being part of events and not merely  an observer. 
No one and nothing makes alone.
“Bubbling” on Sunday, due to its shorter length, “2:53 minutes”.
I would love for “The Glory Prelude” to be part of my presentation, but at 7:04 minutes, it would need to be part of Saturday as there is more time.  
I fear that my response could be lacking, but I am not one for whom what is planned cannot or should not deviate.  I am a maker, indeed a person, of deviation as you will see very soon now.  I cannot wait to meet all of you.
——–

 

The main poem I will be sharing is my extension of  poem written by another poet,  friend of mine for  a number of years, about 40, Bob Holman,

 

“If You See Something, Say Something,”

If You see something, say someything

Postcard of Bob’s famous poem , to which I added an amazing addition

 

 

a little poem that packs a wallop.

 

My extension of  this poem as published in “The Fiddlehead” (under the pseudonym Thomas Robert Higginson):

 

–in response to: “If you See something, Say something”

                                        –Thomas Robert Higginson

       

“If you See something, Say Something

Banana”

                      

white shadow

crescent moon

Wax (ing)

Wax banana

Wax grapes, apples

in bowls

On my mother’s dining room table

lunch

kitchen sink

I see this also

my father washing dishes

scalding water

his skin

down the drain

plates clean, heavenly,

full of banana water spots

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.

Buddha

in suds.

 

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

 

I will post plenty of photos and updates as soon as I arrive in Mexico City!

Forecast is for rain the entire time the I am there, and impact from  Hurricane Dora:

 

https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/video/hurricane-dora-forms

https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/video/hurricane-dora-forms

 

Going to be wet and maybe wild while I am gone!

 

and about a week after I return will be performing at the Bowery Poetry Center in Manhattan!

 

Title of BPC Event:

LFMK (Looking for my Killer)

Description:

Looking for My Killer (in the math of emotion)

I will be sharing

—decadent, malicious little vignettes as delectable as string cheese, refreshingly irreverent as you digest it, perhaps also blissfully irrelevant

—pure indulgent naughtiness

—splendid, if only for the wickedness

—ghastly!  bereft of redeeming values; mocks our most esteemed institutions, even life itself

—written by the light of hellfire; dazzling touches base with the base

LFMK  is a collection of  prose poams that may see publication in 2018 at the earliest from Jamii; what a fine bit of service to the community.

Here is a photo of me:

 

 PINK-HAIR FORKER GRYLE

 

Forker Gyrl

(the one and only)

 

 

most delicious beads     I have ever sucked.

 

Somewhat reminiscent of an episode of “Designing Women”:

 

THE WOMEN OF ATLANTA -May 1, 1989
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason 
Directed by: Harry Thomason

The ladies agree to be involved in a pictorial essay on the women of Atlanta, but are soon suspicious when the photographer requests poses that are purely sexual, including putting a strand of pearls in Julia’s mouth and asking her to “ever-so-slightly suck on them” — a big mistake.

 

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BPC reading

I now have my round-trip tickets for  my flight to LaGuardia for my performance at the Bowery Poetry Club, 9 July 2017, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, a week after my reading in Mexico City

 

Title of BPC Event:

LFMK (Looking for my Killer)

Description:

Looking for My Killer (in the math of emotion)

I will be sharing

—decadent, malicious little vignettes as delectable as string cheese, refreshingly irreverent as you digest it, perhaps also blissfully irrelevant

—pure indulgent naughtiness

—splendid, if only for the wickedness

—ghastly!  bereft of redeeming values; mocks our most esteemed institutions, even life itself

—written by the light of hellfire; dazzling touches base with the base

LFMK  is a collection of  prose poams that may see publication in 2018 at the earliest from Jamii; what a fine bit of service to the community. 

 

https://soundcloud.com/forker-gryle/olivia-pig-falling-zone-take-three-1

MY OLIVIA PIG

My very own Olivia Pig, sitting by my printer and an extermal hard drive.

I am eager for this but l am also terrified, and there are many reasons for my fear; I cannot express them.  Whatever happens happens.

 

I have purchased my ticket.  So it is definite now.

I will do my best, and Olivia Pig will help me.

Fb event page for BPC reading: LFMK (Looking for My Killer)

At my BPC (Bowery Poetry Club) reading / performance on 9 July  at 3:30 pm, my LFMK event (Looking for My Killer in the math of emotion) in which I will share;

–decadent, malicious little vignettes as delectable as string cheese, refreshingly irreverent as you digest it, perhaps also blissfully irrelevant

–pure indulgent naughtiness

–splendid, if only for the wickedness

–ghastly! bereft of redeeming values; mocks our most esteemed institutions, even life itself

–written by the light of hellfire; touches base with the base

You can hear one of the prose poems I plan to share, “Olivia Pig Falling Zone” from my LFMK collection of prose poems that could be published in 2018 at the earliest, by Jamii, right here (of course the version to be performed aloud at the BPC will differ from this version, a sneak peek as it were):

location of “Olivia Pig Falling Zone

(https://soundcloud.com/forker-gryle/olivia-pig-falling-zone-take-three-1)

From the author of “New Kiss Horizon” [a dense parcel of Genius] and twelve other books)

$10.00 in advance / $15.00 at the door.

Tickets at: <http://www.brownpapertickets.com/ event/3014365

<https://www.facebook.com/events/1020049661463350/

 

An episode of Olivia Pig from Youtube:

and:

 

My LFMK  (Looking for my Killer) video Music composed and performed by Ansted Moss, all vocals written and performed by Thylias Moss who also made the film, captured all footage and is responsible for the text choreography):

 

 

 

Thylias Moss -BPC

 

Well, here I am, apparently ready for anything!

If You See Something, Say Something

Wow.

I just had my interview with Roberto Eslava Chavéz, and among the things he asked me, which of the books I’d written was my favorite, and I told him the truth, “New Kiss Horizon”, all about Thomas Robert Higgnson and a character named Vashti Astapad Warren

 

Cover of NKH

He asked me how did I feel about collaboration and I told him that no piece belonged exclusively to any one person; that senses are portals allowing access to information that, as feeble as we may be, we translate something into something; does not have to be words, but we receive information and give information back to the world, and we are all changed for the exchange.

I explained that collaboration is the only way, that nothing belongs to any individual; only though sharing –for instance the poem I sent, “If You See Something, Say Something” a collaboration with Thomas Robert Higginson, and all of this made

If You see Something, Say Something-02The Fiddlehead Journal in which "Higginson Matters" was first published

 

 

“If You see Something, Say Something” as published in “The Fiddlehead” (issue 268):

 

–in response to: “If you See something, Say something”

                                        –Thomas Robert Higginson

       

“If you See something, Say Something

Banana”

                      

white shadow

crescent moon

Wax (ing)

Wax banana

Wax grapes, apples

in bowls

On my mother’s dining room table

lunch

kitchen sink

I see this also

my father washing dishes

scalding water

his skin

down the drain

plates clean, heavenly,

full of banana water spots

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.

Buddha

in suds.

Book About My Father

A book about my paternal heritages is well underway.  

A book I have needed to write for many, many years.  A book that is rvign to be the most difficult book U have ever tried to write because of how important it is to me, and that importance is interfering with my ability to write.

No secret that I miss him, and I am forgetting the sound of his voice.  

I can see for myself that he was considered a catch, and my mother caught him, little southern vixen with the semi bowed legs, who played basketball and didn’t get that far in school, but with a man like that, what else could she need?  

Children guaranteed to be beautiful, catches themselves; exactly what she needed for being ostracized as “The Little Black One”  Too bad she got caught up in a need for bleaching creams, Nadinola, her favorite making her skin leathery.  

nadinola-at-walmart

My father’s father was an immigrant I never met, Caucasian, and Indian from India, “Uttar Pradesh” born in 1882,  died in 1939. A builder of railroads in the south, and a farmer. 

Frizzell Brasier, father of Calvin Brasier, a farmer

Finally my father in his favorite kitchen chair; he was already so sick… Barrel-chested, soon to die.

CALVIN THEODORE BRASIER

New Agent!

Not much to say, except that I will be talking tomorrow with a new possible agent for my romance novel.

 

Third time is a charm,

 

or so I’ve been told.  Ever hopeful, that’s me, Thylias Moss, a regular hopeless romantic.

 

 

Coming up “Other” and more

Tonight, Good Times Writer’s Buffet!

 

at:

PUBLIC POOL ART SPACE

3309 CANIFF AVE, HAMTRAMCK, MI, 48212

313.587.9572

FROM PUBLIC POOL’s about us page:

About Us

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

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

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

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

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

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

wannabe_front copy

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

Thylias Moss

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

Praise for Thylias Moss

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Cream in my coffee

he calls me, among other things the: 

Cream in my coffee” 

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

(my current Facebook profuile image): 

UNITED AGAINST HATE CRIMES

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

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

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

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

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

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

“When you look at me,

know that more than white is missing.”

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

that contains and ends with:

“The easiest thing was to keep looking east and west

and hating girls who couldn’t control ancestry.

On the wall, all we ever want is easiness.

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

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

out of slavery.

My life on the wall is anything but easy.

I want to but can’t hate Heidi well.

I can’t maintain tragic responses to breaking eggs.

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

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

gold as Heidi.”

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

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

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

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

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

What we can’t teach ourselves….

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

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

walking out of a wolf named Dachau.”

 

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

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

in their illicit transmission of tapeworms and parasites

to quail, and Guinea fowl,

in all the black calendar days that are supposed 

to indicate the ordinary.

In operating rooms body parts black with gangrene

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

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

some around eyes, most on streets where blood dried

into its own monument.

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

the forgetting to sleep, the solidarity with anytime troubling,

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

spirituals, sequestering herself in her widow’s bedroom

praying for women unable to pray.

And what of Asians and Latins who are irreversibly 

damaged, whose gangrened minds should be excised but who are

  not black?

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

and had given me spirituals and lullabies.

I sang them when baskets of black clouds dumped

their transparent flowers over the convent

and the nuns’ basic black didn’t get wet

and they carted the flowers home in wheelbarrows

and arranged them like lullabies

and wept silently

as we were weeping, mother and daughter together

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a little clip of the TV series:

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

She was totally rejected.

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

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

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

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

oth·er

ˈəT͟Hər/

adjective & pronoun

adjective: other; pronoun: other; pronoun: others

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

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

verb

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

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

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

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

 Diary of a Young girl

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

There is no mystery there.  

All his descision.