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

Thylias Moss. Persea (Norton, dist.), $29.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-89255-475-1
In this multilayered collection, Moss (Tokyo Butter) employs an array of voices—observant, insightful daughters and mothers, sisters and wives, lovers and friends—to create a kaleidoscopic reflection of race and racial identity as it intersects with the rites of womanhood. It’s a diverse collection in terms of subject matter and focus, yet still feels deeply personal. Moss’s subjects have pledged loyalty to the truth, even if it’s unpleasant or debilitating. In “The Barren Midwife Speaks of Duty,” a thoroughly unsentimental midwife reveals the truth in pain: “I have the best job, bringing them into the world/ then I’m through. Childbirth pains/ foreshadow what’s to come.” When the poet divulges her own experiences—living memories and past fears alike—her voice remains sharp, clear, and assured. There is always a sense of motion, even if that motion is repetition. She opens “The Root of the Road” with a cinematic scene: “My hem eats the dirt haunting/ my footsteps apparitions of flies./ The road is a tongue stretched speechless.” Moss navigates the finality of past and the uncertainty of the present with the determination of a rower that knows when to expect rough waters. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2016
Release date: 09/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-89255-483-6
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