Tag Archives: Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities

New Review!

 

Received just minutes ago, a stellar review of “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code”  

in “american poets”, the Journal of the Academy of American Poets” 

Fall-Winter 2016 Volume 51, Poets.org

 

I am delighted to see this.  Every word.  Please enjoy.

 

 

Hear me read three poems for this new collection here:

 

Melissa Faliveno  of “Poets  & Writers” has uploaded my readings of poems  from “Wannabe” here:

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

  1. Blue Coming (in response to Bob Holman’s “What You Can’t Understand Os Poetry Is Connected to the Body Again“)
  2. The Glory Prelude
  3. Me and Bubble Went to Memphis

And related to poem #3 “Me and Bubble Went to Memphis” 

is my video poam, “Bubbling”:

 

 

Please enjoy, and Happy Tuesday!   Hope you have opportunity to read this book!

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HAROLD BLOOM ENDORSEMENT!

SO WONDERFUL to have Harold Bloom‘s endorsement of my work, on Charlie Rose!

 

Not the only praise I’ve ever received for my work, but I admit that Harold Bloom’s endorsement means a great deal to me.

 

 

A strong first review of Wannabe in Publishers Weekly:

http://www.digitalpw.com/digitalpw/20160815/?pg=50&pm=2&u1=friend

 

Melissa Faliveno of POETS AND WRITERS has loaded my readings of poem  from “Wannabe “ here:

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

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

 

Please enjoy! I know that I do! –especially now as I have  a new book! 

Wannabe Hooche Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code

 

"Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery f Reliries" Red Dress Code

Cover of “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” (used with permission, from th painting “New Orleans” by Gwendolyn Knight.

Very nice to have this interview!

Harold Bloom even spells out my name!

Title poem from “Wannabe”

Very happy to report that the title poem:

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code

 

wannabe_front

 

of my book: “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code

 

is now live on the Boston Review website:

(http://bostonreview.net/poetry/thylias-moss-wannabe-hoochie-mama)

 

Please enjoy! –I do.

 

 

and here is the video poem I made, wtith the same title, source of the title of the book, by the way, as this video existed before the book did:

 

 

Text from the youtube location of this video poem:

A REMIX OF EXPERIENCE that
…considers some of the poetry of existence, how ways in which things come together –how things converge in some way for some period of time are forms of poetry
(capable of overcoming barriers)

forms of poetry that occur on all scales and should be able to occur in some way in any form of reality

So this video celebrates beauty of the temporary, the limited bond of linking –of course things can and do fall apart, but such collapse does not overcome an ability to connect and build; yes –ways of meeting and the structures that meeting and interaction form

In this video: adoration of flexible framing systems of realities, adoration of patterns formed by interacting, these connections as extensions of possibilities, as kaleidoscopic symmetries (a form of fractal thinking)
(a form of system of infinitely shifting mirrors and reflections)

…a seeking of pleasing (for there are others); a search for an overwhelmingly pleasing iteration of an applied philosophical principle of Limited Fork Theory

…a necessity of looking for ways to connect and meanings of connections (none of which may be permanent) wherever they occur, in any reality, tiny or large, visible or invisible

…sometimes even stopping to make sure that what may be accessed right where you are is not as overlooked or as understudied as usual

…considers connections made right here, including the work of robertodedomenico in youtube reality (his channel: http://www.youtube.com/robertodedomenico)

the work of JohnTheMistyc (http://www.youtube.com/JohnTheMistyc)

and sounds from Strexxaudiolab –some of which are part of this video study of realities and connections and centers of existences (the Strexxaudiolab channel: http://www.youtube.com/Strexxaudiolab)

For outcomes of connections and opportunities tend to be collaborative; this video in responding to perceptions of realities is in a partnership with those realities. Each response is a perceptual remix of something noticed, something experienced; this video poam (product of act of making) explores some of what I am noticing and trying to understand about possibilities of possible realities

(including those that are possible in the quite real location called imagination –which is capable of generating and sustaining universes [on some scale for some duration of time] –universos magnificos).

Thank you for watching/reading/hearing/experiencing this work, for being willing to subject yourself to a possibility of a remixing of thinking, a remixing of perception, and than you for navigating some metaphysical traffic –some nature of realities.

This is (some of) the art that realities configure in the patterns of their interactions and intersections.

Art-full realities and art-full universes.

Window-shopping for realities; anything that exists –even lies and other forms of the imaginary– is real for being part of reality.

Realities as window-dressing.

A parade of realities

(that a system of reflections on windows of an art gallery and surrounding retail shops and restaurants
presents to someone who in observing patterns of a system of reflections becomes part of that system of reflections)

(even a parade of deeply-embedded red dresses: red dress, after red dress, after red dress –so many vivid chances for incredible tailoring)

A shuffling of what’s possible (including identities) (the hand that’s dealt) as stuff interacts (on State Street). Red Dress as perceptual illusion (illusions exist, are real) in the GALLERY OF REALITIES. Explores a flexibility of realities that allows anything to come together –on some scale, even if just for the briefest, immeasurable amount of time. As things appear to come together, here and there somewhere for some length of time (not that time must be or is best represented as length) RED appears to succeed in its pursuit of dress, and a Hoochie Mama moment occurs, is tailored (in the reality [temporarily] supportive of that reality mix): a Red Dress moves in, on, through her, or hovers (sunset remix) or remains (just) out of reach (may the devil always be just so).

That Red Dress moment is also code for extended Euphoria of Reality.
The Immersed Life.

(spoken words by Thylias Moss)

This video poem is the title of my forthcoming volume of poetry: Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code”, my 11th book from Persea (details at the Persea website) http://www.perseabooks.com/detail.php…

Please enjoy this world, life, and opportunities to ba part of whatever you are part of!

I know that I am glad to be here, no matter what, loving every moment! –the delights of existence! How wonderful to be able to experience anything! 

I tell myself this every day, every hour, every minute, every second.

Trying to look my  “Hoochie Mama” best!

 

 

 

 

WANNABE PUBLISHED!

WANNABE HOOCHIE MAMA REVISED BOOK JACKET!

REVISED WANNABE JACKET!

 

VERY HAPPY TO REPORT THAT I HAVE RECEIVED MY COPIES OF MY 11TH BOOK: “WANNABE HOOCHIE MAMA GALLERY OF REALITIES’ RED DRESS CODE“! — beautful book, copy of the book jacket above.

 

The ten copies that arrived in this box:

 

 

 

 

 

As beautiful as the book is, doesn’t mean that it is flawless.

In the table of Contents, “aneurysm” (correct, as it appears in the poem, “Aneurysm of the Firmament”, pp. 231- 235,

 

and on the Amazon website where you can purchase “Wannabe” says:

 

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

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

However, “each” previous book is not represented.  Absent is “Small Congregations“, a previous collection of New and Selected Poetry.  So, could say “some” previous books are represented, could say “many” previous books of poetry are represented”,  could even say “most” previous collections of poetry are represented, but one is indeed missing! (oops)

06-small-congregations

 

 

 

Now for a picture of me holding “Wannabe“, I had already tasted the pages! and walked seven miles through my neighborhood with it!

book-walk-08

 

Photo taken by Doug Grayson as I walked seven miles through my neighborhood, so happy was I to receve the book, smelling it, licking the pages, 247 pages including “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia”, my signature poem, that I will be reading at Columbia University on 30 November at 7:00 pm EST:

 

 

 

Here are the details:

 

Author photo .png

 

 

Poetry Reading: Thylias Moss

Series organized by Timothy Donnelly, Writing

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 7 pm

Dodge Hall, Room 501

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thylias Moss’s most recent collection, Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code: New and Selected Poems, will be published this fall by Persea. 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 the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” grant and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors. She is is Professor Emerita in the departments of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan and lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

This event is presented as part of the Fall 2016 season of Public Programs. To learn more about upcoming events, download a PDF of the complete calendar, view our online calendar and sign up for our mailing list.

Author photo .png

 

 

There will be grapes as there were when I read “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia”, last poem in this book, at the Pulitzer Fine Arts Center in St. Louis, MO, 15 April 2015  (photos  by Carly Ann Faye):

 

elipsis-254.jpggrapes-from-the-pulitzer.jpgelipsis-250 (grape dissenmination).jpgelipsis-263 (grapes).jpgelipsis-266.jpg

 

My collections of Poetry, dating back to 1983:

 

 

My other books:

 

 

Please stay tuned for my information as I have it, including announcements of readings…

 

Columbia University is only the first of many.

 

And now, the video poem that is source of the title of this just released collection:

 

 

 

Other video poems related to print poems in “Wannabe“:

 

“The Glory Prelude”

“The Glory Prelude” was also published as a print poem in “The Offing” but was a video poam first; its original and natrural form seems to me; I always saw this poem, rich visuals, my mother, my own voice singing, you will hear that also.  

 

“Hypnosis at the Bird Factory”

 

On youtube as  “Green Light and Gamma Rays”

thr title of th pem in which the excerpt appears is: “Green light and Gamma Ways”

 

“Green Light and Gamma Ways” as well as this next video segment, “9:08” were part of “The United States of Poetry“, great 5-part film, shown on PBS, and I was lucky eough to be part of that.  

 

 

 

Not part of The United Staes of Poetry, and from earlier collections, the following video poems related to print pieces in “Wannabe”:

Tornado Pi

 

You may hear me read the following three poems from “Wannabe” as they were recorded for “Poets & Writers”:

 

Melissa Faliveno, senior editor at  Poets & Writers, has loaded my readings of poem  from “Wannabe “ here:

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

  1. Blue Coming (in response to Bob Holman‘s “What You Can’t Understand is Poetry Is Connected to the Body Again“)
  2. The Glory Prelude
  3. Me and Bubble Went to Memphis

I hope that you enjoy hearing them.

 

Here is some footage of me reading “Higginson Matters in agnificent Culture of Myopia“, what has become my signature poem,  largely becase of my own extreme myopia, nearsightdness diagnosed when I was in ninth grade trigonometry class,  last poem, and fittingyly so, in the Wannabe Collection.

 A total and through reconfiquration of Myopia as conceived in a previous collection, when my relationship with myopic seeing was very much dfifferent.  Not just the ophthamological deficits  and departures from norms (that everything departs from just being norm-al) that casued me to have to wear glasses, I still wear them, but the benefits of the distortions themselves, the beauties in that, beauties too often concealed by 20/20 vision which, in my opinion, practically no one has.  

 

Here, then,  is footage captured of  sharing, a reading of this poem, that I plan to read at Columbia  University on 30 November at 7:00 pm, EST (without the unnatural emphasis placed on “Moss” as two days before this reading, my ex’s niece explained to me how retaining the name , “Moss” their name, indicated that I had not moved on at all, [I have been divorced since 2013, “moss” my name since 1973] I am 62 years old, and the featured image is how I look right now,  without any enhancment.  My own hair. No weave, no relaxer, no extensions; waist-elength, butt-kissing hair, 98 pounds without ever having to diet. Just how it goes):

 

 

Well that’s it, please buy the book, available on Amazon, probably other locations also, and please enjoy it! 

 

Link to my Amazon author page, so that you may see all of my available books.

 

and here are photos of the covers of all of my published books:

(this will change, of course, as I have more and more books):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still Waiting & Seeking a Poetry Publisher

 

Hello all who follow this blog!

 

I still have yet to receive my ten copies of

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

 

wannabe_front

 

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

 

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

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

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

06-small-congregations

 

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

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

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

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

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

Where Things Are Today

love-of-life-walk-39

 

After “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” is published at last, this week,  available on Amazon right now! my 11th book!

Don”t forget to check out my Amazon Author Page!

 

"Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery f Reliries" Red Dress Code

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

 

Video poem of the same name, source of the title of the book:

 

I will be officially without a poetry publisher, and will need one in the future.  

 

In the meantime, please enjoy Thylias Moss reading three poems from “Wannabe” in the Poets and Writer’s podcast at this URL:

Melissa Faliveno has loaded my readings of poems from “Wannabe” here:

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

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

I hope you like them…  I do and consider them very special for various reasons.  

 

At the following URL, you may expereince “Blue Coming” as orginally published in “Colorado Reivew” in response to Bob Holman‘s “What You Can’t Understand Is Poetry Is Connected to the Body Again”:

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/586291

“Me and Bubble Went to Memphis” may also be both heard and read here at the poetry Foundation:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/54118

origainally published in The Oregon Literary review Vol 2, no. 2 in 2007:

Thylias Moss, “Me and Bubble went to Memphis” from The Oregon Literary Review, Vol 2, No 2. Copyright © 2007 by Thylias Moss.  Reprinted by permission of Thylias Moss.

Source: 2007

You can experience aother “Higginson” poem from this new collection, in this YouTube video of me reading, “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia

 

and here on Vimeo:

If you want to know why there is such an emphasis on “Moss” I canexplain that.  The reading interacted with external events affecting me on the day I read, and my poetry reveals the TRUTH, and so it did, so it does.  

Here you may experience a print version of  “The Glory Prelude” also in “Wannabe”

 

https://theoffingmag.com/poetry/glory-prelude/

and here is a video poem of the same name:

 

Also a video version of another print poem in “Wannabe” “Hypnosis at the Bird Factory”:

 

 

Since “Wannabe” is a collection of New and Selected poetry, here are  some video poems are in “Wannabe” in print versions:

 

Tornado Pi -video poem:

 

Print poem  in “Wannabe” “Tornados“: from “Rainbow Remnants on Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky”

Rainbow Remnents in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky

Winner of the National Poetry series Open Competition

 

And from the same book, “Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky“, two video pieces from The United States of Poetry“an excellent film I am very proud to be part of:

 

9:08 excerpt from the poem “The Linoleum Rhumba” in Wannabe“:

also “Green Light and Gamma Ways”

in “The United States of Poetry” as “Green Light and Gamma Rays” but the actual poem form which this is an excerpt is “Green Light and Gamma Ways”, in “Wannabe” correctly:

This five-part video series was shown on PBS,

perhaps you saw  “The United States of Poetry” there, 

This print poem, “Interpretation of a Poem by Frost” (a poem with an interesting story that I will be happy to tell), is also in “Wannabe” and also appeared in “Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky”

may be experienced on the Poetry foundation website here:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47597

This poem was also “Poem of the Day” on 15 March 2015, 

and may be exeperienced here in that context:

http://livefriendie.blogspot.com/2015/03/poem-of-day-interpretation-of-poem-by.html

Ant Farm” one of my favriite poems from “Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler” (a nominee for The National Book Critics Circle Award, by the way) origiannly published in Keyon Review, vol. 20, no.1Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler

may be read here:

http://www.jstor.org/stable/4337641?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

I include this video of me reading poems, from a previous New and selected collection, “Small Congregations”  from Daniel Halpern and Ecco Press,

Small Congregations

Small Congregations“, new and selected poetry by Thylias Moss, a collection, noted by Harold Bloom, mentioed in his book “The Western Canon

you can find this book listed under great books at this URL:

http://sonic.net/~rteeter/grtbloom.html

no doubt not respresented in “Wannabe” because of previous litigation, but I am only speculating about that, but I am reading versions of my poems, some of which are in “Wannabe” te video is, from my time in San Diego,  at the invite of Quincy Troupe and Margaret Porter Troupe, so here it is:

 

My first scheduled reading from “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” is scheduled for 30 November, 2016 at 7:00 pm, at Columbia University, organized by Timothy Donnelly.  Hope to see many of you there.  I will be reading “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia”, no peaches this time, but, as I understand it, there will be grapes for this interactive reading, as there were at The Pulitzer Fine Arts Center; here are a few pics, some of them by Cary Ann Faye, from when my video piece, “The Glory Prelude” was on display at the Pulitzer Fine Arts Center in St. Louis, MO, from 15 April 2016 until 2 Juky 2016:

and now some video stills of “The Glory Prelude” by me:

 

Read more about this upcoming event here:

http://arts.columbia.edu/events/fall-2016/moss

Trying to also arrange a public reading while I am in Manhattan at the Bowery Poetry Club,   a place I’ve long wanted to read.  

Will post more as events become more definite.

 And as soon as I recieve my copies of “Wannabe” I will post many photos of the book!  and photos of me wth it.  A radio podcast in Ypsilanti, MI, ahould be happening in October, and I will be discussing my new book: “Wannabe

More updates coming and more photos as soon as I have them.  

Look for me on Facebook!

Twitter also.

Excitement reigns!

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

wannabe_front

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

 

Tokyo Butter

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

 

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

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

casket roseHILDA 2

 

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

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

Images I captured with my Proscope Digital microscope:

:

 

 

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

 

wannabe_front

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

 

 

 

Also, please check out my Amazon Author Page!!

 

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

 

 

 

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

The three poems I read:

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

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

 

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

(my mother is unaware that this footage was captured)

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

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

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

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

 

Mama in wheelchair

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

BUY THE BOOK!

READ THE BOOK!

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

about Pyramid of bone, Langdon Hammer says this: 

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

Pyramid of bone

Book by Thylias Moss

To Eliminate Vagueness”

 instructions: substitute  irreversible damage for blacwherever it occurs

 

 

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

in their illicit transmission of tapeworms and parasites

to quail, turkeys, and guinea fowl,

in all the black calendar days that are supposed

to indicate the ordinary.

 

In operating rooms body parts black with gangrene

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

 

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

around eyes, most on the streets where blood dried

into its own monument.

 

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

the forgetting to sleep, the solidarity with anyone troubling,

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

spirituals, sequestering herself in her widow’s bedroom

praying for women unable to pray.

 

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

     irreversibly

damaged, whose gangrened minds should be excised but who are

   not black?

 

 

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

and had given me spirituals and lullabies.

I sang them when baskets of black clouds dumped

their transparent flowers over the convent

 

and the nuns’ basic black didn’t get wet

and they carted the flowers home in wheelbarrows

and arranged them like lullabies

and wept silently

 

as we were weeping, mother and daughter together

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

 

                                            for Gary and the English 401 staff

 

                                                       Thylias Moss

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

 

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

 

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

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

___________

Included for someone special 

all  for him

 

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