Tag Archives: Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities

ARC RECEIVED!

ALL OR NOTHING -

ME HOLDING the error-prone, not made for authors, but for reviewers, ARC (or bound galley)!

 

Now, some other phots oft he ARC itseld, remeber, this is not the actual book, some kind of plcaeholdr, thatI was so happy to get, ecstatic really, made my “All or Nothing” walk so much better!  –all those salsa footsteps, I felt that I was dancing!

 

This is what I listened to as I walked, as I danced along, oh my Salsa ways:

 

and this:

 

Nothing can take my joy away!  

Nunca!

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OPTION #20 BLUES

Just want to make it known that I am aware of what my “friend”, acting as both my publisher and my agent,  wrote into –and I signed, fool that I am, but no more as this is the official day that I wake up, the contract I signed, little fool, for my 11th book,

“Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code”

Option #20:

OPTION: 

20. In consideration of the covenants of this Agreement, the Proprietor agrees to give the Publisher the first opportunity to obtain book-publishing rights in his next book-length work.  The Proprietor shall submit the manuscript of such work to the Publisher before showing it to any other publisher, and the Publisher shall thereafter have thirty [30] days to notify the Proprietor if it wishes to publish such work, and if so, to propose terms and conditions (provided that the Publisher shall not be required so to notify the Proprietor until the expiration of ninety (90) days from the date of the first publication of the Work).  If within thirty (30) days after the Publisher’s having proposed such terms and conditions, the Publisher and the Proprietor fail to reach agreement with respect thereto, or if the Publisher does not wish to publish such work, then the Proprietor shall be free to arrange for publication elsewhere provided, however, that the Proprietor shall not enter into an agreement for publication of such work with any third party on terms and conditions equal to or less favorable than those terms and conditions offered by the Publisher.

 

Writers, beware of this, do not make the mistake I made; strike this from any contract; my publisher quite obviously is NOT MY FRIEND.  Worth it to hire someone else, a lawyer would be ideal to examine whatever it is before you sign; I am hoping that my former publisher –because never again, even were the world to end– never will I consent to any further book of any genre having to be published by this unscrupulous and deceitful publisher who liked to call herself my friend.  Hardly and never.

 

RUN AWAY FROM THIS, FOR IT IS POISON! –AND even worse when it seems to come from a friend, who is not MY FRIEND AT ALL –“WANNABE” is the last book, I intend to have published through you, and like that previous litigation, if you remember that, telling me, after so much had occurred, that you really didn’t want me to go to jail; why a lawsuit at all in that case?

"Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery f Reliries" Red Dress Code

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

 

I here post a couple of newspaper articles about that dreadful event of litigation:

 

 

just to refresh your memory.  I will not forget what was perpetrated by a pseudo-friend, and I will similarly tell my friends not to submit work to you if this is the treatment I can expect after an affiliation dating back to 1991, when I was a winner of the National Poetry Series Open Competition with that first collection of my poetry you published by Persea:

Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky

rainbow remnants

The start of our connection, and Wannabe is the last.  After the lying, “Remember, I am your friend?” –Hardly; friends do not treat friends like this; I’m sure you know that.  I was stupid enough to sign YOUR contract, and I realize now that “Wannabe” is more your book than my book, even with that naming of “black” truths behind “white” lies, even if this is not a “fair” or “just” characterization of me, but a better quote in your opinion than a quote I really wanted, 

this comes from your own website about MY book:

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

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 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.

 

–this seems the same as it was, what happened to the “no pigeonholing?”

and I will never forget this rejection of a quote I wanted for whatever reason, a rejection directly from KB:

“But it doesn’t address the work, or evoke it for the reader.  It did not persuade us to change our original decision, which as you know was to use only excepts from reviews on the book jacket.” –including how I “name black truths behind white lies” –I have not made, well maybe you have, a race book, for it is undeniably YOUR BOOK, not really mine though my name appears as author.

 

 I do much more than “name the black truths behind white lies.”

I am much more than “a writer who speaks bitterness”

I am  a multiracial woman, pigeonholded as the publisher’s assistant said I wouldn’t be. I am speaking only the “truth“, for that is who I am, and if you really know me, then you also know how much “truth” means to me.

And I also have not forgotten this:

We would rather that you not post the pdf.  They are made specifically for reviewers. We don’t want them to be pirated, sold, reproduced, poems taken, etc. etc.  All of these things affect your income (and ours), and contribute to incorrect versions floating through history….  Please don’t do it.

I’ll confer with G– about the biography you sent, which, excepting a few punctuation changes, looks fine to me.  Let’s wait to hear G–‘s reaction.

 

Yes; for reviewers but not for me… Figures, doesn’t it as this is not my book. Affect my income? –seems that “Option #20” affects my income more than anything…

 

I am ready to receive my bound galley; your own copy is fine; I’m sure, but I have no proof, just as I am pigeonholed with that “black truths stuff”  that you reserved a copy of the ARC of YOUR book for yourselves, my “friend”

 

I was told this as explanation for why I will not receive an ARC or bound galley:

 

“As I wrote, you were sent an ARC, the first copy that went to anyone. However, ARCs are bound for reviewers at newspapers and journals in order to get attention for the book and for you. If there are no copies remaining, it’s because we have been active advocating for you and your poetry.”

 

Well, Option #20 does not advocate for me or my poetry! –so kindly, as I said, send me another ARC! –I will be waiting for it, and do not worry, I will sign nothing else from YOUR publishing house, and I do mean nothing.  And as I read from “Wannabe” I will preface my reading with “Option #20” –of course, as a warning to whoever else is there.

The mask is off.  I know the truth, also of my own stupidity;  for I did sign it, you will note at this link info against Option #2o, almost verbatim to what is in my “Wannabe” contract:

“The Option Clause”

http://www.freelancewriting.com/articles/FF-the-option-clause-in-a-book-contract.php

 

Here is the option itself extracted from the website above:

The Author agrees to give the Publisher a 30-day option on his next book-length work on the same terms as this agreement, which option period shall begin on the day the completed manuscript for such work is received by the publisher or thirty days after the publication of the book covered by this agreement, whichever shall be later.

Read more at: http://www.freelancewriting.com/articles/FF-the-option-clause-in-a-book-contract.php
Copyright © FreelanceWriting.com – All content on our website is copyrighted in the U.S. and internationally and may NOT be re-produced, or re-printed, online or offline.

What poison!

 

 

and of course, “Smiling Faces, Sometimes, The UNDISPUTED Truth:

 

 

and “Return of the Mack”  –you lied to me, you really did.

 

 

you know what you did, and I know what you did, so even I guess.  

BEWARE: DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT BEING SURE; DO NOT TRUST FALSE FRENDS; THEY ARE NOT FOR YOU! –ADVOCATING “MY” POETRY, WHAT A CROCK!

 

WHERE AM I ADVOCATED AT ALL?

YES, THIS IS HOW WE DO IT!

–and we will not fail.

 

You said “I hope you’ll find your original copy, so that you will feel certain.”

 

I do feel certain that I’ve been had, Option #20 makes me certain of that.

 

RUN THE OTHER WAY! –TEAR UP ANY CONTRACT WITH THS OPTION IN IT! –RUN! –HEAD FOR THE HILLS! –DO NOT LOOK BACK! –TEAR THIS UP, SPIT ON IT! BURY IT! STAND YOUR GROUND –THIS IS A BLACK TRUTH! –DO WHATEVER YOU CAN THAT IS LEGAL! –BUT YOU CANNOT SOFTEN A HEART THIS HARD! –DO NOT BOTHER TO TRY.

 

Now I can write to my heart’s content.  YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!  –it has never been more than a business relationship, and that is all that it is now.  I hope your BOOK DOES WELL; I WILL MAKE IT KNOWN WHEN A BOOK OF MINE, REALLY IS “MY” BOOK!

 

and this is no Family Affair; this is not friendship; if it were you would not have done this

 

 

 

Happy Option #20 to you!

Distress and Agony

Just when it seemed that everything is going as well as it can, I become aware of something that has been true for a very long time, but this time, perhaps more ruinous to my career as a writer, as a poet,  I mean…

Not my intenton to jeopardize my forthcoming book, about which I remain excited, but I do want it known that Thylias Moss is available for another publisher for my books of poetry; out of my 11 books, 9 of them are collections of poetry, counting Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code“, soon to be published in September 2016, by Persea, a publisher I’ve belonged to since winning the National Poetry Series in 1991, with “Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky“, a book that Persea published, and since then, all of my collections, in book form, of poetry, with the exception of “Small Congregations” published by Ecco in 1993.

 

Here are newspaper articles about this event, that came about because I dared to be honest; I told the truth! squabbling publishers-cropped copysquabbling publishersthylias_wall-street-journal

 

thylias_wall-street-journal

 

And here is the problematic bit of my current contract for my forthcoming collection:

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” September 2016, causing concern; this contract was prepared by my publisher, and  I did sign it without anyone advising me not to (I trusted the publisher who identifued herself as “my friend” (as she did with previous litigation to make sure that I would not go to jail; I recall that phone conversation distinctly; well, I am no longer that gullible child, and for another thing, I am resentful of “advice”  I was given but do not need, about “being careful in my relationships as long as they are not hurtful to me”, well my relationship with my publisher IS  hurtful to me, as my publisher wrote the contract, and I am dead set against maintaing that contract since that very relationship is the only “hurtful to me” relationship I have, I’m going to take the publisher’s own advice

 

OPTION:

20. In consideration of the covenants of this Agreement, the Proprietor agrees to give the Publisher the first opportunity to obtain book-publishing rights in his next book-length work.  The Proprietor shall submit the manuscript of such work to the Publisher before showing it to any other publisher, and the Publisher shall thereafter have thirty [30] days to notify the Proprietor if it wishes to publish such work, and if so, to propose terms and conditions (provided that the Publisher shall not be required so to notify the Proprietor until the expiration of ninety (90) days from the date of the first publication of the Work).  If within thirty (30) days after the Publisher’s having proposed such terms and conditions, the Publisher and the Proprietor fail to reach agreement with respect thereto, or if the Publisher does not wish to publish such work, then the Proprietor shall be free to arrange for publication elsewhere provided, however, that the Proprietor shall not enter into an agreement for publication of such work with any third party on terms and conditions equal to or less favorable than those terms and conditions offered by the Publisher.”

Some of that history of litigation here again:

squabbling publishers.jpg

thylias_wall-street-journal copy

I am seeking a publisher for my volumes of poetry after “Wannabe

 

Another poet friend asked me why hadn’t Norton  (of course, Persea is an affliliate publisher of Norton, as indicated)or Knopf gobbled me up, after so many books and so many awards, and all I could think of was the contract itself, when this dreadful passage was pointed out to me…   

 

Perhaps this will be addressed when my romance novel does indeed sell.  I know it will; I admit that I am impatient, but that book means even more to me now, and I cannot talk about it… Not yet.

 

 I hope that today will be the day…

 

One never knows..

 

But today IS the day that I announce that I am available for another publisher for my poetry.  Ideally the same publisher who oversees publication of my romance novel, but no clause like the option clause prepared by the publisher acting as BOTH my publisher and my agent. If this announced availability causes more litigation, so be it.  I have been down this road before… A road covered by the New York Daily News and the Wall Street Journal in 1994… 

 

I wouldn’t mind going to jail for poetry, something so dear to me.  Poetry tells a truth! Poetry is a truth!   My poems do not tell lies!  They never will!

 

I insist on such purtiy, even though that seems to be becomng so rare and precious, doomed by the injustices in which humanity festers, injustices such as Option clause #20, a clause I did not write and one I wish I had read better but the writer, my publisher, was also claiming to be my friend: 

a familiar or helpful thing, 

a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side

“Remember,” I was told, “I am your friend.”

 

But another publisher is essential.  I am not new to poetry at all!

I will not crumple under litigation should any happen.  I didn’t before when I was served a subpoena in my office where I was a professor until I retired, at the University of Michigan…

and I already have a couple of lawyers investigating that clause, seeking an honest and legal way to break it; my friend indeed.

but we all know this, “Smiling Faces Sometimes”

as it says on <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=friends#favorite-4924077&gt;:

 

 

friend

A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest, too. A friend is loyal.

A friend is someone who is happy to spend time with you doing absolutely nothing at all; someone who doesn’t mind driving you on stupid errands, who will get up at midnight just because you want to go on an adventure, and who doesn’t have to talk to communicate with you.

A friend is someone who not only doesn’t care if you’re ugly or boring, but doesn’t even think about it; someone who forgives you no matter what you do, and someone who tries to help you even when they don’t know how. A friend is someone who tells you if you’re being stupid, but who doesn’t make you feel stupid.

A friend is someone who would sacrifice their life and happiness for you. A friend is someone who will come with you when you have to do boring things like watch bad recitals, go to stuffy parties, or wait in boring lobbies. You don’t even think about who’s talking or who’s listening in a conversation with a friend.

A friend is someone for whom you’re willing to change your opinions. A friend is someone you look forward to seeing and who looks forward to seeing you: someone you like so much, it doesn’t matter if you share interests or traits. A friend is someone you like so much, you start to like the things they like.

A friend is a partner, not a leader or a follower.

The word “friend” comes from Old English “frēond”, which is actually the present participle of “frēogan”, which means “to love” and “to honor”.

I quite agree!  This post is for all of my true friends, and you definitely know who you are, and so do I, always.  There is nothing more sacred than a friend who can be trusted; a freind who will not cheat you, a friend who will not deceive you, and as far as I am concerned, there is no clause #20 in my contract.  

Still Waiting/Holding Pattern

Holding Pattern…

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!  

 

wannabe_front copy

Red Dress Code-02

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… 

Still Waiting for word about my romance novel & Believing in LOVE!

On this summer afternoon, I still wait to hear about the status of my romance novel.  Yes I guess I am impatient, still working on selling my house, and having the terrific life that a very good friend of mine, a Mystery Man  (with whom I am in love –ouch) told me I am going to have.

Whatever this post is, it is also a post to a Mystery Man

It is also  a post to you, whoever you are; I will never tell.

I have no idea where I am going to live.  Just that I will be moving –and I am looking forward to beginning this new life, with or without you, but preferably with you. Definitely my preference,  but I can’t say that it will ever  be yours. Wish I could say that.  Because I love you.

Because I want you to love me too.  I even told you that I know I am your “Side Chick” (at best –and I’m okay with that?  What is wrong with me? –willing to be the side chick just so I can have you?  Why don’t I want more for myself? –yeah; I already know you are the best possible lover, and I probably should not have told you that, but I did because it’s true, and I realize that I am too public for you, Mystery Man, but I don’t want the light of what I feel hidden under a bushel.  I light it just for you, light of my world.  Do not let the fire that warms you go out, already dimmed a bit by time itself, but I am making up for that. I am blowing on the flame; my hot breath is working that fire, fanning those embers, restoring the hot potential, living up to my blazing name… 

 

I also said some other things that the pressure of all this forced me into saying, trying to get my house prepared for sale, worrying about my sick mother…and taking it out on you.. I’ve been accusatory, saying things I know simply aren’t true… about when I was in the perfect world of your arms… I wish I didn’t have to apologize but I do.  Mystery Man, I didn’t mean it, what  I said about boats, especially.  I was, am under the duress of all of this; and I’m too afraid to tell you. I am not sure you would even listen to me, and this is my unadorned apology. I am sorry Mystery Man –I just ask you to please understand. My mind is going in circles, round and round your sweet clockwork face –you know I look at your face and love it, can trace every crease in both my mind and heart…

 

and this version:

 

 

but mostly it’s “If You Stay in my Corner” (The Dells):

 

 

I know I have a volume of poetry coming out every soon now, I can wait to see the galleys, my 11th book! “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Relities’ Red Dress Code” –and I am so excited about that! –words cannot begin to describe the joy I feel just thinking about that book, cracking the spine, smelling it, even licking some of my favorite pages, photographing myself holding it, traveling and reading from the book! –I cannot wait for such moments;

Here is the cover, and it is available for pre-order right now on Amazon dot com :

 

 

wannabe_front copy

and the author photo (taken by graphic artist Ansted Moss):

 

Red Dress Code-02

Now of course, I’m looking forward to Wannabe, but I do admit to being even more excited about just the possibilty of this romance novel, because I get to partcipate in such ideal love and passion through my characters, eveything I may want, the characters experience; how could I write it and deny the protagonist the experience I would want for myself?—if I could have it– maybe someday, because this writer believes in love..

 

I will always believe in what love can accomplish with that Mystery Man (you), or with any man; I am not the kind of woman who will be happy without a flesh and blood man –who  knows who  I am, a woman who wants a man who will be hers, and I will be his.

 

I sure hope it’s you. I know I don’t have to tell you again, but  I sure like saying it, get caught up in the refrain of it.

But even more disturbing right now, is the increasingly deteriorating condition  of my mother. She is losing her grasp of reality… Her diabetes is out of control; she’s been falling and not telling her doctor.  She’s not taking her medicine and using profanity the likes of which I’ve never heard her use.  Glaucoma, Thyroid trouble, Heart disease, Out-of-Control Hypertension 

Her situation is so exasperating, she is not taking her medicine, and this sick diabetic woman is now about the same weight I am, this has never been the case! –always since I can remember, 40 pounds heavier than me.  I understand that her backyard lawn has not been cut in a couple of months; my father died on 13 July 1980, and when I called to remind her that it was the 36th anniversary of my father’s death, she didn’t know what the day meant, nor did she know me –I had to explain who I was… 

 

(She is 86 years old, and I am 62 years old)

Thylias Rebecca Brasier Moss and Florida

 

A little later,  some pictures of my mother and my mixed race father, and my non-black paternal grandfather, with Caucasian, and Native American Heritage and Ancestry from India

(includes some artwork by my mother; she was born in Alabama, a tiny town not on most maps, and was very senstitive about her color; when she was more lucid she told me that she was always called the “Little Black One” –this casued her to use “Nadinola” all over her face, arms, legs, neck, to lighten her skin –this was very important to her! She hated being dark skinned, had high yellow dreams, I was not high yellow at all, but  did have the prize hair,  all my life, but even more so now –she encouraged me never to go into the sun; she is so embarrassed by her hair that she always wears a wig, and even did so for my wedding (you can  see that Nadinola glow [somewhat radioactive, it seems to me] in her face. My father was already sick; what was he really thinking?):

 

My parents at my wedding.jpg

Bride Thylias, with my father and just with the bouquet, 25 August 1973:

I had a tremendous amount of hair then, the teenager that I was.  

 

I made all the dresses for the bridesmaids and flower girl  in my wedding (sewing based on what I learned in a single semester of home economics in seventh grade):Wedding Party, women i the dresses I made.jpg

and if my mother  could understand it, she would be shocked that I walk in the sun, anyway, and yes, even flaunt my “good hair” –I’m glad I have it; I will not lie, and this 62-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis, who almost died on 29 July 2011 when a cranial aneurysm ruptured, and my head was partially shaved, but the hair has grown back profusely! –in a straighter and natural texture; I’ve even gone walking in the rain! (trusting that my hair would retain its length, and not revert (to what it never was):

–I have quite a thing for my hair, I admit that, and I also admit, in my mind, at least, that I walked to that elusive Mytery Man –but I fool no one, and certainly not you; I fear I will always love you, and you are certainly most deserving of love (there is no better lover; nothing compares with being in your arms –I admit that I just want you to love me back; that is all I want… I can’t even sustain any anger toward you… I’ve tried and it doesn’t last.  What is it about you? –I fear I’ll never be able to let you go! 

Mystery  Man, just love me back; that’s all; just love me back! –now I’m begging you… I liked much better when you were chasing me; you know how to persue better than most men..  What more do you want from me? –please don’t say nothing unless that is the truth

 

–I learned this from this Mystery Man, from you, that I am in fact beautiful, you always told me that, and no one else ever did, not even my ex-spouse, I was so lonely and hungry for compliments, just wanted to know that the man I was with liked how I looked, a shapely and sexy little package, and was happy to be seen with me; my ex-spouse said he didn’t tell me because “my head would swell”; Mystery Man , you didn’t care how big my head was; when I told you, Mystery Man, that you were the only man who called me beautiful,  you could not believe it, so I told you, which was true, that outside of catcalls, whistles and other unsolicited reactions,  it was only your opinions that matter to me, and this is more true now than ever (with what I’m experiencing with my mother and those well-meaning souls around her, I need “The Comfort of a Man,” the Comfort of you, Mystery Man. 

and I learned to believe you.  My ex never told me that I was beautiful, but now, I KNOW I AM –so even if nothing else happens between us, I learned valuable things from you, endless pasion; I was loved by you as every  woman, as every prerson should be loved, the heights of pleasure, heights of desire, there is no denying this, and if nothing else, I learned how to express this love to you… You were patient with me, realizing what I didn’t know and realizing what I was able to feel with you… and I have nothing but thanks for you for that, sort of similar to

this thank you  to my ex 

But I was older than the writer of that thank you to my ex ; I experienced my first real adult love afffair with you.   In most ways, I have to admit that you Mystery Man are my first love as the adult woman I am now, and there is no wonder that I want physical love, all forms of love with you again… Should come as no surprise at all. You are the Right Kind of Lover!  as in:

 

It is that good being with you whoever you are, a man of my dreams fully fulfilled   A man I will never forget and, truth be told, do not want to forget.  Ever. I just want you to want me so much that you won’t mind admitting it, that I won’t have to be a side chick or a friend with benefits.  I want the comfort of a man, the comfort of you Mystery Man  –there is nothing else like it, no one else like you….

 

Side chick 

 

 

and ideally not just secret lovers, though I cannot lie to myself I would take that; you are such an exquisite lover, well, Atantic Starr can say it better:

 

No secret to that wonderful, dammit! Mystery Man that as Luther says, I came here for you to love –for you Mystery Man, all for you! 

 

Luther Vandross, “For You to Love”:

 

 

 

So “My First Love“, and “Comfort of  a Man” for you, everything for you… –“I Will Always Love You

 

and I will Always Love you

 

Mystery Man, I just pray that you will Love Me back; that’s all, Mystery Man –and I am not as high maintenance as I must seem to you.  

 

 

Lord help me, I so love you, Mystery Man,  and Lord help me, sometimes I wish I didn’t, but I keep wishing and hoping, as in this Dionne Warwick rendition –I am yours,  but are you  mine?  –are you kidding? I know you like long hair, and I didn’t buy mine; if hair were all it takes, you would be mine… but if even the long hair fails, this 100% natural butt-kissing hair, you can play with my hair all day, all night and it will not come off, I do not have to worry about “weave sex” as discussed in the film good hair what can I do?  And if my hair won’t do it, nor any of my other natural looks that I so want you to desire… My tiny waist, my shapely hips, those peachy breasts that ripen whenever you are near, if these things don’t entice you, what will? –and why do I care so much? it isn’t as if you’re the only man in the world! –but you are the only man I want in my world.  

 

Trailer from Chris Rock’s “Good Hair“:

 

 

 

 I do want to be in your heart! (so embedded that without me, you’d have no heart)–no lie there!

 

 

So there you have it, waiting for “Wannabe“(that’s definite), hoping like crazy for my romance novel in which the female character is loved back, and then some, my dying dementia-ridden diabetic mother with hypertension that would have already killed the more ordinary; she has already given up on life, and is just waiting to go home to Jesus, while her house that my father bought in 1963, and where she still lives rapidly deteriorates… Oh I remember being in the south, and my father able to go into stores that my mother could not enter; I remember hiding in the car, being so frightened, because in that tiny Tennessee town, there were some who did not feel that the races should mix…

I cannot explain exactly how my paternal grandfather could even exist… Caucasian, Native American, and Indian (as in “India”) and my own problems with not only finding the right man –which I’ve done– but having you willing/able to love me back… Unless you have married… I do not know.  

 

If you are that deeply in love with somone other than me, I would like to know so that I can begin to adjust, but let me tell you, there is no man on this earth I would rather kiss, and there is no man on this earth I woud rather touch, and there is no man on this earth I would rather have kiss me, no other man on this earth I would rather have hold me, and no other man on this earth I would rather hold —

 

But I do need a love of my own!  as in:

 

 

If you think I’ve confessed to you Mystery Man how much I love you in this post, I assure you that I’ve confessed this to you even more in texts… I so want you just to notice me… I so want things you said in the past to still be true… This is not the first time I’ve said any of this, and I fear that sometimes I should keep my blabbermouth shut, but if you can love me for what I am, I should be able to say anything to you… I even asked you to tell me if you thought you could ever love me; I asked you to tell me that you’re sure you never want to hold me again, to never touch me again, to just tell me,  because I can’t wait for you forever, but if you know you can’t ever love me, I want to know that…

 

but if it’s possible, as much as I say I wouldn’t, I would take you back–not you you’re gone, still BFFs–, so rather elevate both of us from BFFs to lovers… –which is what I want, but if you don’t?  Too bad for you, but, for now, I love this Mystery Man! –I love you–even if I shouldn’t.

 

I have never loved a man the way that I love that Mystery Man: you:

 

Now some pics of how I look right now, and what this Mystery Man  (you) seem willing to give up.  My hair: no wig, no weaves, no hair pieces, no extensions, 100% natural hair, waist-length and rooted in my scalp; 98 pounds, no plastic surgery anywhere; I have never had to diet.  Everything about me is natural except for some hair dye from time to to my hair.  No bleaching or skin whitening creams.  My own “yellow” teeth (I will be going to the dentist). I was told that I have dense breasts in my most recent mammogram (a week ago), but no abnormalities detected dense breasts –as I’ve had since I was a teenager in triple D cups –really got me noticed, and may have helped that deacon decide to rape me, but they are natural, no implants –never,   As that you Mystery Man, know better than anyone…

 

I love you, Mystery Man.  I honestly love you. You know I do.

 

For the record, this is just too much for me, trying to prepare to sell my house, a son I love dearly who isn’t that cooperative, and then his partner who lives with him in my basement (so far, I haven’t received even a penny from my tenants [who aren’t that tidy]), the romance novel, trying to find my way on my own, without a car, too difficult for me to feel that I can drive safely with my optic neuritis, a consequence of my MS–but I can walk six miles most days, three miles to a  locaton where often I find so many geese, and amazing sunsets:

–and yet I must still shop for food, and I want to do these things for myelf, and see what might happen (don’t I hope) with that Mystery Man (you), and if not you, then someone else.  I hope it can be you   –please “I say A Little Prayer”

 

and this version of saying a little prayer:

 

First task is to sell this house and be free of a house too big for me to take care of by myself, without help from my tenants, as it currently is, one of whom is my own 25-year-old son who has psychological problems, that I don’t believe he inherited from his Bangladeshi sperm donor paternity.  Such donations and family backgrounds are screened.  Sperm donations are kept for six months before being used.  I was lucky in that one visit was all it took for me to conceive… the difference a good sample makes, I was told, by the fertility clinic’s doctor.    

 

I recall that when my ex-spouse found out about this pregancy he did not want me to have; I remember that he said, “Didn’t I consider AIDS”? -and he would probably say that my son’t psychological problems stem from the donor.  I do not know.  I want the best possible outcomes for everyone.  

And yes, you better believe that I want you, Mystery Man…   But, I want you to want me too.

Do I really ask for too much in asking for love? 

So this is my crazy life right now, but it is life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way… 

 

Thank you for reading this.  

Sorry that I rambled on and on… I have so much on my spilling plate… And that Mystery Man 

is not here.

I am never giving up on love, even if that makes me a fool for love, fool, fool , fool for that Mystery Man ; fool, fool for you.

I hope I am able to report something better about you, that one day, you are no longer a mystery man because we enter a better relationship, one that isn’t all me, for now, my impossible dream, but I really pray for more than that…

And here’s Frank Sinatra, saying it better than me, The Impossible Dream becoming possible:

 

This is more than enough for one night; I love you   Mystery Man enough for a thousand and one nights, for a million nights, for every night. –I can’t help what my heart feels, one thing that is for sure, Mystery Man, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine

 

(Lou Rawls can help me with this one, and I do need help, loving this Mystery Man [you) as I do):

 

Good Night, Mystery Man; don’t let the bedbugs bite

 

Update

Happy to report that progress is being made on my book, my 11th book, a collection of New and Selected Poetry, September 2016, Persea (no doubt soon to be on the Persea website:

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code

(jacket copy from the book: “As if the muse of Wallace Stevens were transplanted into the body of a black-Indian, female pop-culture maven.”—Village Voice

This career-spanning volume by Thylias Moss, “a permanent American poet, canonical in the old, authentic sense” (Harold Bloom), conveys the full extent of her dazzling poetic innovations over the past thirty-five years with substantial selections from each previous collection, as well as over fifty pages of 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).

Thylias Moss, Professor Emerita of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan, lives in Ypsilanti.

$29.95 hardcover (CAN. $38.95) |
Territory  World | ISBN 978-0-00000-000-0
7×9 POETRY
September 2016

 

 

wannabe_front

I added “Indian” in the quote from Village Voice because I do not want to omit my father.  Such an important man to me and source of the name “Thylias”.  He didn’t name me immediately but had to wait until he met me to be sure that he was giving my the correct name, and then he created “Thylias” because he told me that “since there had never been a presence like mine in the world, I needed  a name that also hadn’t been in the world”‘

 

Calvin-tight crop 1950 copy

my father (died the year before I graduated first in the class from Oberlin College)

 

Frizzell Brasier copy

my paternal grandfather (I never met him alive; sure wish I had)

 

available for pre-order now on Amazon

Possible author photos (by Ansted Moss, photographer and filmmaker):

Red Dress Code-01Red Dress Code-03Red Dress Code-02

(I still don’t know for sure which image will be used on this book)

I am increasingly excited about this book, and really look forward to having the galleys, those indications that publication is not far off.  September! –have to have summer first, and whatever summer promises!

 Another highlight was my interview for National Poetry Month in the “Huffington Post” by Jonathan Hobratsch

And I must repeat how wonderful it was to have my video, “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” in the Ellipsis exhibition at the Pulitzer Fine Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Boulevard,  St. Louis, Missouri, 63108  314.754.1850  I had the pleasure of seeing Treasure Redmond at the opening of this event, and my video shared company with videos poems by John Bresland: “Mangos”, and John Lucas and Claudia Rankine, “Whiteness, INC.”  –What an honor for my work to share space with their work.   You have until 2 July to see this exhibit, and I also must add how wonderful to have my work represented with work by my favorite artist, Felix Gonzalez-Torres (“’Untitled’ (Placebo-Landscape-for Roni),” 1993) –also interactive as visitors are to take a piece of the candy that forms this installation.

Images from the poetry reading in the Pulitzer courtyard, just outside the  Ellipsis exhibit I read the poem “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia” (grapes correspond to  lines in the poem , that actually refer to peaches, two peaches on the speaker’s body, and when the reader says:”when he finally lifts it electrified to his mouth,” all lift a “peach”
(in the poem, but peaches were not in season in St. Louis on 15 April, as they were when the poem was read in Detroit, MI at N’Namdi’s, so everyone lifted a grape to their mouths; for the interactive part of the reading, I lifted and bit a grape also, of course, and turns out that “grapes” were even better… more about the appropriateness of grapes when the book is actually published and when “Higginson Matters” appears this summer in “The Fiddlehead):

Art meant to be touched and consumed. 

My thanks to all at the Pulitzer who helped realize this essential part of the poem; not the same at all, loses too much meaning if this indulgence is omitted…

grapes from the pulitzerelipsis-251elipsis-260elipsis-250elipsis-248elipsis-208elipsis-216elipsis-208

 In this last photo, I am reunited with Rafia Zafar, a professor at Washington University who had been a colleague at the University of Michigan; what a pleasure it was to have this reunion, and I’m so glad she was able to attend.  Also in the photo, Aaron Coleman, former student of Rafia Zafar, who was able to inform her of my reading and the exhibit when he picked me up at the airport, and Treasure Redmond, poet, with her father — pleasure to meet both of them!

A few video stills of “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” by Thylias Moss:

 

THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_11-2THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_13-1THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_15-1STILL FROM MY VIDEO POAM: “THE GLORY PRELUDE TO A WIDOW SHRINE SYSTEM”

STILL FROM MY VIDEO POAM: "THE GLORY PRELUDE TO A WIDOW SHRINE SYSTEM"

STILL FROM MY VIDEO POAM: “THE GLORY PRELUDE TO A WIDOW SHRINE SYSTEM” Thylias, age five with her mother and as part of Ankor Wat, with my hair growing wildly, and part of what is natural, unstoppable growth

Piano Hair, video stilll from "The Glory Prelude"

“Toy Piano” on which “Piano Hair was both composed and performed.

THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_01-3

 

Music for “The Glory Prelude“, still on exhibit through 2 July 2016, was composed and performed by Ansted Moss (as Strexx Motion Lab on YouTube), with Thylias Moss, who captured all the footage, including my mother who still hasn’t grasped that she is in this video; she would never have consented had she known, and that really is such a shame, as the video is flattering to her and other women.  

A print version of “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” (also to be in “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery  of Realities’ Red Dress Code“) may be experienced here, as it appeared in “The Offing”:

The Glory Prelude

 

Other news that I hope is exciting, it is to me, is completion of a draft of my romance novel, only completion of a draft, not acceptance for publication,  but that is coming soon! –I feel it, a book so special for many, many reasons, and I will persist until I have it right, which I may have right, now… I will hear something sooner or later.  

Yes, a romance novel about love and intimacy, the kind I dream about, and hope for every day… 376 pages; 76,086 words –I am pleased with just having written so much,  but I hope I’ve achieved quality also.  

 

Looking ahead,  I can say that the author photo for this romance novel will be taken by Tony Smith

 

I, for one,  look forward to this. 

 

As soon as I can, I will say more, but please join me in a most fabulous and, well, erotic dream system…

Thank you very much for reading this, and lets keep in touch!

Possible Author Photos:

I attach here, three possible author photos for “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code” (available for pre-order from Amazon)

 

Red Dress Code-01

Red Dress Code-02

Red Dress Code-03

 

(I am 62 years old! –and proud of it. No makeup in these photos, by the way… No enhancements of the hair –have to say it, because I’m proud of this while it lasts! –no weaves, no hair pieces, no wig and no extensions, not even any relaxer! –only genetics! -and we all have that)

 

Almost done with reviewing the PDF of the book!  how exciting all of this is becoming! 

Photographer is Ansted Moss, his assistant was, is the wind..

 

Please stay tuned!