The collection of poems by Thylias Moss is renowned for its many references to all different kinds of genres and the long winded, partly confusing sentences. The poems contain modern pop culture as well as ancient greek mythology, sometimes having run on sentences of up to 30 syllables. This concept will be described through the summary of two of the poems that appear among the 190 pages of the "Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler".
The first, "A Shoe in the Road", gives the perfect example for the stream-of-consciousness like sentence structure that goes on for lines. The poem describes a line of pieces of personal clothing scattered around the road. The reader is taken on the mental journey of a confused traveler, hastily walking down a road and finding the different items. The individual items create other pictures and references in the mind of the narrator, taking the story into different, unexpected areas. One item that is found is a shoe in a drainage ditch. The narrator is reminded of the passage of time, filling a human life with regret. After that comes a scarf hanging on a Vancouver, dancing in the wind. The narrator's mind wanders to how the world is connected and so apart, how small information can travel so fast and still take so long to reach anything. A third item is another shoe. The narrator wonders if it has been lost from a backpack that was packed carelessly. This charges a mental picture of a woman running away from abuse. The poem is made up of these long, stream-of-consciousness sentences, always going into different directions. The pieces of clothing found on the way only act as anchor-points to bring the reader back to the main story.
Another good example for the writing style, packed full of references within "Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler" is "After reading Beloved". The poem displays a similar stream-of-consciousness narration, however, the anchor that was present in the first example is lost. The narration takes the reader on a wild emotional ride. It starts with a reference to a mother killing her child, an infanticide that has been identified as seen on TV. The explanation of how the mother suffocates her child is described meticulously and almost caringly. The poem continues with a comparison of the garden of Eden and atomic splitting, as with atomic bombs. Eve, the first woman, split atoms with her biting the forbidden fruit, causing a chain reaction that destroyed her world. However, she survived, and so do many of her daughters to shun all the evil in the world. Here the author references atrocities like eugenics and politics. The poem continues after this with another vision of infanticide. However, this one speaks of caring, a mother wanting to end her child's life in a less cruel manner than the poison gas that fills the room would. The poem ends with a reference to Mary, mother of God, whose motherhood was ended with nails in a cross. Nails she had no power to bend away from her son.
In total, the poetry in "Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler" describes a wild ride of mental journey's through the depth and depravity of human society. The poems are mostly dark and thought provoking and rarely deal with anything but the human experience.