Last chance for the Tarzan holler : poems /
by Thylias Moss.
New York : Persea Books, 1998.
117 p.
0892552298 (alk. paper)
More Details
New York : Persea Books, 1998.
0892552298 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
This item was nominated for the following awards:
National Book Critics Circle Awards, USA, 1998 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1998-02-15:
For all its references to Scripture and its fervent evocations of religious symbols and rituals, Moss's sixth collection is a massive, acid-edged tribute to mortality in all of its contradictions and wrenching ironies. In a series of dense, page-wide meditations, Moss uses poetry "to finish knowing herself/ in time to begin to know something else." No sensitive subject resists her scrutiny, from the sexuality of motherhood ("A group of lactating women assemble in a suburban park, get high together as their babies nurse") to racial identity ("Must we clamor to descend from queens more notorious than gracious?") to faith in salvation ("lucky Lazarus; alive/ to fear God again"). But most striking is her sense of spirituality tossing restlessly within the agonized, blood-and-guts existence of its human hosts, refusing to be domesticated or defined by metaphor and idealization. Loquacious and impassioned, precise and ragged, willing to risk even boredom in its drive to get at the heart of humanity's conflicted, necessary obsessions, Moss's voice finds a pitch of uncommon empathy and strength.‘Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, N.Y.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1998-02-23:
With titles like "Ode to the Cat-Headed Consort in a Painting by Bosch" or "Splitting a Double Life," the poems of Moss's finely wrought sixth collection immediately draw us in for a closer look. Moss pulls no punches in giving voice to progenitive biblical myth ("Did Hagar not have Abram eating from her hands as well as from her thighs?") or, chillingly, to Dr. James Marion Sims's gynecological observations of 1845. Throughout, Moss meditates, starkly and unsentimentally, on death and motherhood, on God, and, beneath them all, on sex and power, as in "Heads": "John's head arrives on a platter, knife/ and fork come later, in a civilized moment/ when the kiss tastes funny, when she sucks/ the lips so white she is sure it is talent." Media-swollen cultural debris like Susan Smith's cold-blooded murder of her two sons or the tragedy of recent African American church fires are made to yield their moral crux: "Since fire is power" she concludes of the torchings, "both the supreme good and supreme evil are entitled/ to it." If Moss has largely replaced the more personal voice of books like Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky (1991), she has here removed to more difficult, more powerful ground. (Mar.) FYI: Moss, a 1996 MacArthur Fellow, has a memoir, Tale of a Sky-Blue Dress, forthcoming from Avon in August.
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Booklist, February 1998
Library Journal, February 1998
Publishers Weekly, February 1998
Library Journal, April 1999
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Table of Contents
Beauty, The Beast; Those Twop. 1
A Way of Breathingp. 5
In the Pit of Crinoline Rufflesp. 6
Beginning the Rock at Abbot Schoolp. 7
Passing the Rock at the Phelps Schoolp. 8
Those Who Love Bonesp. 9
Juniper Tree of Knowledgep. 13
Last Chance for the Tarzan Hollerp. 16
Ant Farmp. 21
Ambitionp. 24
Earp. 26
A Shoe in the Roadp. 28
The Right Empowerment of Lightp. 31
For Hagarp. 32
Crystalsp. 34
A Hot Time in a Small Townp. 36
Gloryp. 38
First Grade Art: What Meets the Eyep. 41
The Limitation of Beautiful Recipesp. 42
Second Grade Art: The Stunning Chancesp. 47
A Walk Through the Dark Embracep. 49
Easterp. 54
Headsp. 55
Tea Bagsp. 56
Overseeing the Cherryp. 57
After Reading Belovedp. 59
In the Unholy Land of Sleepp. 60
A Manp. 61
Decisionp. 63
The Saint and the Modern Equivalent of the Miracle of Lactationp. 65
Lines for a Wet Nursep. 67
Saint Anthony's Ecstasyp. 68
Splitting a Double Lifep. 70
Ode to the Cat-headed Consort in a Painting by Boschp. 72
Two Thingsp. 77
Those Immortal Axillary Animalsp. 82
King Kongp. 84
Macaques Checking Each Other for Lice: A Public Displayp. 85
Cheatingp. 87
Sour Milkp. 90
Advicep. 99
Not Sufferingp. 104
Accessible Heavenp. 107
The Lighter Side of Shadows of Monstersp. 111
Notesp. 114
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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