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October 1, 2015
Enlarged Pic for Blog

I don’t mind
’cause in the flawed I know
I could be wrong
could be leaving my good sense behind
though that’s cool with me
As long as I feel right
in the wrong—
Good sense never trumped
the high of

I’m stroking
treading B’s waterfalls
trying to leave off thinking about you
in the soft darkness of cerebral schemes
where I can still feel you
a curvaceous Venus
redefining my consciousness
in a mall dressing room.
I got no place in your life now
not even a camouflaged wink
among your friends.
So how
might I do this?
Release these dreamed schemes for one.
Eavesdrop behind
virtual distance
and if that’s not enough
I replay your messages
reread your texts
ever alert for the perfume of your
You got a girl.
I respect that.
No pretense.
But the future happens.
So if break-up turns up,
I’ve gift-wrapped memories,
a spotlight to light our way back.
And if you ever want to chuck it,
say fuck it,
you know where to find me. You ain’t
even got to seek
us in
your Canon’s memories.
Take your time but—
don’t think too long.
A head’s equivalent to a closet.
I could guide you outta shit,
be your strapped Amazon
to bring you back to you and me
where we can get it right
this time in the light. Hear me?

Reign beside me.
You can be the girl.
I just wanna be your world.
C’mon, baby.
Monsoon my desserts.
Overflow this painted smile.
Smear sugar-water in my palm, down my thigh—
That’s all?
As a lagniappe,
I’ll climax stars in your favorite dust.

Envision us
meeting, my come-on—
this three-year-old kiss
preserved so long
my tongue must bow to bliss
even if
this whole fantasy is
a fast and furious
Alicia’s “Unthinkable.”
No matter.
I’m already fucked.
Can’t leave
Can’t stay

F L A W E D….

(c) Claudia Moss 10/1/2015

Flawed Image

I See You: a snippet of a poem

May 23, 2015

photo (47)

I see you
You see me
We two can be one,
Can be true
If daily we make love anew
Say, “I do”
Passion to exalt us
This lifetime through

(c) Claudia Moss 5/22/2015

She Taught Me

May 19, 2015

She taught me many things
How to kiss was one

Satin lips brushed my cheeks
in greeting
in parting

Could be she knew how frayed I’d have been
had her lips pressed mine full-on

She taught me about electricity
I learned how current short-circuits speech
I felt the surge of energy
intense enough to suck the sea from the beach

If these things she didn’t intend
I’m the richer for having been
within her reach

(c) Claudia Moss 5/19/2015


I Am Utopia

May 19, 2015

Fun in Summer Sun

I am Utopia
I am the day’s ecstasy
I am the bane of misogyny
never chasing
the Moment’s progeny

This chill smile on my lips
stick you to my singing silver pipes

You disappearing in the breeze, still glaring
wondering if the shield’s air-brushed beauty lost
her raiment by design
No apology. Shame got left behind

I am Utopia

I defy the typical notion of nasty
Call me Ms. Webster
I not only define, I personify
I am Nasty with Janet Jackson eyes
Am Dirty Diana on the side

I ride straight through slit gazes
sending “Check yourself” hazing
I love the wind in my hair
You’re welcome to stare

I’m Nirvana
Just fine with the frame
the Universe chose as a skein
to house my Soul in

So go on and wave
I’ll wink
You blink
There I go

    (C) Claudia Moss 5/19/2015

There is Nothing More Beautiful

Did I mention how much I love interviews?

May 15, 2015

Greetings Beloveds!

An artist loves being interviewed so that our art is before others, our gifts ever on the lips of others. Denise Turney, the host of the Philly-based Internet radio show, Off the Shelf, recently sat down with me to enjoy an artistic exchange. Here is our link. Hopefully, you will share this captured moment with me!

Enjoy! And as always, please feel free to comment. Wordsmiths adore shared energy!


In Memory of Nikki Rashan…

May 9, 2015

Greetings Beloveds!

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon, and this is my first post since my posts from NaPoWriMo last month for April, my first time participating in the widely popular poetry initiative. It is a wondrous feeling to be here, sharing these moments in my life with you.


Today I have chosen to write a blog in memory of a woman I met a few times, perhaps less than a handful. Yet be that as it is, this person was beautifully memorable, was simply spectacular. Each time I encountered her she was attending a lesbian gala in Atlanta, signing one of her huge-selling novels. Once or twice, it was a Ladies At Play event. She was sitting behind a cloth-draped table exquisitely decorated with her novels, their covers colorful and eye catching, like the author herself. Her style was impeccable. On another occasion, I remember her drifting through a mansion-type building in which another lesbian party was taking place, perhaps it was a Pride party, and she was accompanied by her gorgeous partner, Brandy Jenkins, who would later become her wife. In the main ballroom of the building, her books graced a side table off the dance floor, and Nikki and Brandy stood and chatted with some of the event’s organizers, I gather, as they smiled and welcomed Nikki’s adoring fans.

That author was the incomparable NIKKI RASHAN. Below, she is pictured with the love of her life, her wife, Brandy.


(This photo and the others came from the World Wide Web, when I googled Nikki’s name.)


I felt inspired to honor Nikki here because she touched my life, even if we did not share a friendship. She crossed my path this lifetime. Going beyond the peripheral, she and I shared commonalities. She was an African-American lesbian who was once married, before she came out to live her life in the light and cease struggling with that reality. I am an African-American lesbian, once married and struggling, but who now lives her life as an out lesbian. Nikki was a writer. I am a writer. She was a mother of three daughters, two biological, one step. I am the mother of one son. Nikki wanted to write and wrote lesbian romance novels. I am writing my first lesbian romance, unlike my first two novels with lesbians supporting a straight protagonist. (Better now than never, right! My poetry collection, Soft Tsunami, is openly lesbian.) Nikki self published her first two novels and was later signed by Kensington Press under the Urban Books branch. I self published my second novel, If You Love Me, Come, my Wanda B. Wonders short story series and my poetry collection and am thanking the Universe to be signed by a traditional publisher. While reading, I also learned that Nikki gave encouragement in a gentle and loving way, like I strive to do when I am encouraging others.

This past week, I learned of Nikki’s passing via an email from SistahsontheShelf, a site that honors African-American lesbian authors. Instantly, I felt sadness, though I knew the Universe cradled us all. I was in allowance…to feel the beauty of her life, to know of the legacy she left behind in her relationships with her wife, daughters, family and fans. I had her novels on my Kindle, and I’d already loved and read Double the Pleasure Double the Pain, which I enjoyed. In short, I chose to allow the good to course through me.

But, somehow, I couldn’t stop there. As I continued to work in my sister’s store during the rest of the week, I knew there would come these quiet, tranquil hours I just passed, learning more than I already knew about a beautiful Woman Warrior.


I opened this trusty laptop and skipped from link to link. On my virtual journey, I followed Nikki’s web footprints and what a fascinating journey. I learned of how she and Brandy met and fell in love on Create Love!For Women Who Love Women blogspot, a lesbian group to which I belong on Facebook. The Happy Couple Highlight was an elixir to my soul. There, Nikki and Brandy narrated how Spirit, a “something” as Nikki put it, brought them together. After her uncle died, Brandy asked for somebody to love her unconditionally, who would be a true friend and a partner. Not long afterwards, she was inspired to enter a chat room one evening, and in that room was the love of her life, waiting, she herself guided there, divinely. Their love story kept me reading voraciously and put me in remembrance of how imperative it is to ASK, BELIEVE and RECEIVE.

On the site, I saw Nikki and Brandy’s wedding photo, one I’d seen before on the web. Breath-taking, it invited me to pause and be Present to know what happened for them could happen for me as well. I loved how the Universe handled their transition from living in two different states to living together in the same city, how Brandy received a job interview just before she flew out to visit Nikki. Theirs was a story alive with Lady O’s, as Nikki lovingly referred to Oprah, Aha moments.

Nikki (1)

I discovered Nikki’s blog home from the Sistahsontheshelf site. Of course, I visited it before today and realized that it, too, was a joyous yellow brick road into Nikki and Brandy’s love story. It offered an amazing rendering, in Nikki’s well-written and beautiful prose, of Nikki’s cancer journey. In her posts, I realized her strength, her indomitable faith and her enduring, endearing capacity to love while her body was in a state of dis-ease…and through it all, she remained absolutely gorgeous, even, in some pictures, without a strand of hair, proving India’s line, “I am not my hair. I am the soul that lives within.”

From the various links I will list below, I learned that Nikki was a focused writer. Yes, she read other writers, some her favorites, though she wasn’t consumed in reading more than she was in writing her stories. I respected that, even if I enjoy a balance of reading and writing. It’s just Nikki’s way is a clear road to getting the writing done, less margin for self sabotage. I loved this quote from her Sistahsontheshelf interview, in which she was asked to give advice for young writers:

“Get in tune with the truth of who they are and uncover what motivates and inspires them. When people are focused on that which has meaning to them, staying positive comes naturally.”

I was in awe that Nikki Rashan appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, like one of my local ATL greats, Lakara Foster. On a 2004 show, Nikki shared her coming out story in hopes of inspiring other women who faced a similar, inner crisis.

Despite having to learn more about Nikki Rashan posthumously than I did while she was here, the time I’ve spent has been well worth the sunshine. I wish her wife and family peace and serenity at this time on their journey, and I am grateful the world has known NIKKI RASHAN.

The links are posted below for your venture into a lovely luminary:







You can find her books on Amazon and other places books are sold.



“Shanghai Afternoon”

April 30, 2015

In honor of every woman stripped and shamed at the hands of women

The day hung somewhere between an icy pop and a cool glass of milk. Mother dressed me in white tights, my favorite shirt and my lavender jacket that covered the top of my skirt. We were going downtown, the afternoon an adventure, one of those special days Mother and I spent together each month. No cousins. No aunties. Not even Mother’s Mister, who always seemed to make his way to our house when the day slid into shadows and Mother kissed my cheeks and whispered that she was going to her room now, where soft music would drift through the wink in her jarred bedroom door, two doors down from mine. She would leave my door open just enough to permit a sliver of the hall night light to enter so that I would know that she was nearby, but more than the comfort of the white light, my nose waited to fill with the reassuring scent of the sweet agarwood oil wafting down the hall to me from Mother’s oil burner on the wall outside her bedroom. “Mou chan, where are we going first?” I wanted to know, grabbing her soft hand, peering into her pretty face, the lips red, like I dreamed of mine being the same color red each morning when I rose from my big-girl’s bed and sat before my mirror looking camera-ready, as her Mister said she looked each night and morning. “It is a surprise, Guan-yin. You must do only one thing besides enjoy. Take everything in: the sights, sounds, crowds, voices, foods, traffic, sun, birds. All of it. Same as always, okay?” I caressed her with my eyes and bobbed my dark pigtails up and down. The car pulled up before our front door, in its usual spot, and a man with admiring eyes bowed and opened the door for my mou chan and me. On the back seat beside her, in air that smelled of new luggage, I stared out of the window, excited by the passing colors and noisy traffic, while Mother stared straight ahead, as if she were preparing herself to bow before her Mister on a Sunday the meal decorated the long dining room table just for him. On Nanjing Road, a street that must have been the center of the Universe, the car stopped and the man with adoring eyes bowed to us as we stepped out of the big shiny car and he and Mou chan spoke softly and then we walked into the pressing crowd. There were one thousand things inviting my attention, too many for me to focus on only one. Mother’s perfumed hand tightened on mine as she pushed toward a huge glass window filled with giant ladies posing in beautiful clothes. Behind her, staring at her bright red jacket, I was yanked backward. Suddenly. My heart jumped, my breath left my mouth. I stiffened and gripped my mother’s hand so tight I could see specks and tiny dark blurry shapes dance in front of me.

Under a bright sun, other big people, girls, like my mother, some young, some old like my Mother’s mou chan, came out of the crowd. Loud screeching voices scratched at my ears. My screams for Mou chan got swallowed in their anger. I struggled to stay on my feet, in my black patent leather shoes, but everyone was pushing, shoving. Around my Mother, the big girls made a circle. They were not smiling. I knew this was not a big-girl game. Like the white-bellied green pigeons that silenced the music of the day whenever Mother and I tossed handfuls of feed into the grass, the shouting girls squawked and screeched, drowning the day’s happy music. Screaming, too, I yelled at them to stop. Hands pulled at my Mother’s clothes. I stumbled from the bumping, but I could still see the big girls peeling my mother’s coat and dress and underclothes and shoes away, until she was leaning over and struggling on the sidewalk with another girl. Eventually, Mou chan got her red coat from the girl and covered her body. My tears made it hard for me to keep Mother in front of me. Again, I hurled my small body toward her. Again, another roaring girl jerked me backward. That day I did not live up to my name, Guan-yin. I knew, watching as nobody tried to help my Mother. I was five-years-old, yet I had been given the wrong name. I was not a goddess of mercy, as my Mou chan claimed I was. With no fu chan to help Mother and me, I, in my head, hurt all of the big girls stripping my Mother. I erased them from the ugly sheet of paper the day became, took my scissors and clipped then into slivers and scattered them into traffic, like trash. While I paced and cried, a word, “concubine,” boxed my ears, but I kept kicking and scratching a path to my Mother over the big girls’ smudged faces.

(c) Claudia Moss 4/30/2015


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