The Stranger


I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the intensely-creative writer/poet, Tamara Woods, over to play today. I just got her book of poetry, The Shaping Of An “Angry” Black Woman, and am blown away by its complexity. I think you, dear readers-o-mine, will approve of the subject she’s chosen to share with you here, AND the best part is revealed through video because she freakin’ rocks like that! Without further ado, here’s a little taste of Tamara.


When I was growing up, I tried to picture who my perfect man would be. Talk, dark and handsome? A culinary wizard who also paints and likes to watch football? A cross between Jordan Knight, Christian Slater (circa Pump Up the Volume mixed with a bit of Heathers) and Johnny Depp (circa Benny and Joon)?

As I grew older, I realized I’m attracted to the misfit toys. This extends to friendships as well as lovers. I want the ones who are a little left of center. Not necessarily fixer uppers, because I don’t think they’re broken. I think they’re different, which makes them special. If I wanted normal, I’d turn on my dryer and have a seat. (This is going to a weird place. Let’s bring it on back.)

I’m also drawn to mystery. The unknown. If he’s got a brain like a puzzle, then I’m going to try to figure him out. What is his motivation? My current boyfriend, or as I like to call him, The Mathemagician is a man of few words. But when he speaks, I’m either laughing or learning-a heady combination for me. Going into year four, I’m still wondering where he comes up with this stuff. Utterly fascinating.

Back in my foot loose and slutty freed days, my roving eye would unerringly find that stranger across the crowded bar who wasn’t talking to anyone. He’s the one I’m going to sidle up to and give the sexy eye.–Though I’m not really good at being sexy, so it would more likely me doing a parody of the sexy eye, which looks like I’m having a twitchy fit. I rely on humor to bring the boys to the yard. They have to get their own milkshakes. I’m not Betty fucking Crocker.–

Anyway, what was I saying?

Oh yes, mystery. Intrigue. The guy who is smoldering in a corner, not really speaking. He clearly has something on his mind. And I want that something to be me.

Here’s a poem about meeting that perfect stranger.

Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia, where she began writing poetry at the age of 12. Her first poetry collection is available at  She has previous experience as a newspaper journalist, an event organizer, volunteer with AmeriCorps and VISTA, in addition to work with people with disabilities. She has used her writing background to capture emotions and moments in time for anthologies such as Empirical Magazine, her blog PenPaperPad and writing articles as a full-time freelance writer. She is a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathemagician.

You can stalk her in a non-creepy totally internet way here:



  1. I had this on my to buy list when I had no money to buy, but today was payday. I’m adding another book to my shelf!

    Tamara, I love the boys you choose. I have never leaned in any direction, more like all directions, but the most interesting boys to come to my yard were the quiet ones like your mathemagician. In fact, I married one. He’s my surfer/scientist, my Dr. Gellar, and he makes my life so much more interesting with his trivial knowledge. Here’s to choosing the road less traveled (actually in my case, he had been traveled more than I’d like) but bygones, right?

    I haven’t watched the video. Will wait til 3 year old isn’t in hearing distance…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice to meet you, Tamara.
    I have one friend who describes me as his normal friend.
    I keep telling him he needs to hang out with a saner crowd.
    But not til after this round.


  3. I love the guys you choose as well and for many of the same reasons. I’m married to my introverted soul mate and it’s fantastic. I love just the way you wrote your intro so looking forward to reading more of your poetry. Sadly, I couldn’t play the video, but I’ll try again later. 🙂 And don’t worry, it’s on my end. Germany had crappy internet sometimes.


    1. I hope the internet lets you watch the video. I liked making this one.

      Something about an introvert that just makes it so wonderful when you finally get one to open up.


  4. Fantastic poem! I like your style! Look forward to more from you 🙂
    I also love your choice in boys..I am the same way but with girls 😉 It’s what makes someone different that is their true beauty.
    Thanks Beth for introducing us to this wonderful woman! 🙂


  5. Happy to see you here, Tamara! The poem is really good ( I love poetry—Lizzi can attest to that) and I love the sound of your voice when you read—very soothing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks MemoMama! i didn’t know you were into poetry. When I would read my poetry to my Mom, it puts her to sleep. She says it’s because my voice is soothing….but I’m not so sure… *gives her Mom the side-eye*


    1. I had a guy come up to me once when I was walking home from the bar with a group of friends. He said, “You’re the one I’m meant to be with. You’re my destiny!” His blue eyes seem to burn with madness. I gently told him that I wasn’t the one, but he would find her. Cuz he’d scared the crap out of me.

      I figure as long as you’re not scary, you’ll be alright.


  6. OH WOW EDITING. Tamara you ROCK the vlog, dude. And I love how you describe liking people ‘slightly left of centre’. I don’t know if that echoes with me, or whether I resonate better with people who’re a bit broken – I find myself much more comfortable there, most of the time, because I understand it.

    And also *whines (a little)* I want my copyyyyy. And I want to pay you and I GOT MONEY and am awaiting your email…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with that. In fact, my teaser on my blog, I wrote about broken people and such.

      And the book is on its way! Promise, promise, promise. I needed your whining. I haven’t been on the ball as much this past week. Out of town guest threw me off. I’m back on my slightly wobbly game!


      1. Oh, well, I’ll have to find your teaser then! DAGNABBIT I did this backwards.

        And THANK YOOOOOOOUUUU! I can’t wait. I don’t usually read poetry books but having read what I have of yours, I KNOW it’s gonna be awesome. And I hope your time with your guest was fun and worthwhile 😀


  7. Bethie…never ever change who you are! Cuz who you are is the stuff legends are made out of!!! That was one freaking fantastic poem! It’s always a pleasure to meet Authors, Poets who have such passion emanating from their work!!! Another phenomenal post!! Sharing now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had to break out of a “type.” They all had these same, ultimately destructive traits. Once I stopped putting myself through that bullshit, and seeing the negative signs, I was single for a time. I guess I needed to regroup. Then I found this guy. He’s a misfit toy, but he’s not abusive. I hope you find someone who treats you well, too. ❤


    1. Hey thanks Katie! I’m glad I made you laugh. It’s always scary to write stuff that’s supposed to be funny. Sometimes the shit that’s funny in my head does not fly in the real world…


  8. OOOH the mysterious stranger! Reminds me of my own old slutty freed days (awesome way to put it). Thanks for giving me more about Tamara Beth!! Cool video, too. I was wondering what was going on with it, and was thinking “Hawaii has internet connectivity, why’s her video all muddled?” Then BOOM! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, Kristi, I thought the same thing with her video! Actually, I kind of thought it might be something she deliberately did, but didn’t understand until the end. That Tamara….she’s sneaky. 🙂


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