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Exquisite Fantastic: Heather Moss

March 14, 2020

What is Exquisite Fantastic? See the full collection of Exquisite Fantastic projects here.

Contributor 10: Heather Moss, March 14, 2020

Twelve: The Conflagration 

Harlequin moms sheathed in tight t-shirts
slalom the sideline fathers shouting
their curly brackets at the field. Girls
run — remember the picture you drew
of her before she was born, her fists
like petaled sand dollars– a battery
of gemsboks over the grasslands. Which
bright cutouts by Matisse? Whose guitar
frets inset by mother-of-pearl? When
best to serve a chewable tablet
on a scalloped plate? An optical
illusion in billowing ink from
the predatory mollusk: do you
see the manta ray, or twin faces
staring hash marks into each other’s
dilated pupils? A depiction
of vertical bars speeds envelopes
through industrious machinery.
This morning on the bathroom tile: dried
red droplets, probably not hair dye,
question mark? More like interrobang.

Heather’s Inspiration: I spent a long time looking at Dervish Majorette by Juliette Goodwin and writing down the myriad images I saw there. When I had a list of 15 or so, I carried it around with me and thought about how those things could fit together, and on the third day of mulling, I wrote the poem.

See the work that inspired Heather here.

Heather Moss, who has never stopped being obsessed with adolescence, is a 2013 graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore. She’s saving up to be put into an Eternal Reef so that she may spend the afterlife amongst the sharks and other cartilaginous fishes, and anybody else who wants to hang around.

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