All posts by jmardis2014

Poet, Writer, Quilter and Storyteller. Coordinator @ the Family Story Project. Editor of KenteCloth: Southwest Voices of the African Diaspora (UNT Press). Winner of The Pushcart Prize for Poetry. Winner of multiple NABJ GRIOT Awards for Radio Commentary. Jas. Mardis is a 2014 Inductee to The Texas Literary Hall of Fame.

Jas Mardis: Selected Works

My exhibition: Jas. Mardis-Selected Works at Dallas Love Field Airport (baggage claim area entry) is up! If you’re traveling thru Dallas stop thru and see a few fabric art pieces, leather burning framed and sculpture art. The images on leather are from a new series: Just A Crown—(on leather, paper, wood and fabric). Thank you Hortencia Rubalcava for the invitation. Now-thru-February 29th.

“My I’m In-Charge Crown” from the Just-A-Crown Series by Jas. Mardis

Title: My “Child, Please” Crown from The Just-A-Crown Series by Jas. Mardis

Love Field Airport Exhibition

The Love Field exhibition: Jas. Mardis-Selected Works is being installed and the Lord sent me the gift of passengers stopping and photographing the works, commenting and connecting! THEN, I get the joy of seeing homegirl Songstress Rhonda Nicole Tankerson swinging into town as I’m installing!!

If ever there was a co-sign of my Artist’s Journey Sistah Tankerson is it. She was a student at Booker T. Washington School of The Performing Arts when I was orating and workshopping with a fading afro and flat stomach. Circle completed. God is good!

Phase Two starts later and full exhibition up Monday morning-thru-February 29th!

Poem: Now That It Is Gone


now that it’s gone
I’m wondering if you’re actually smiling
as you leaned away from the camera
wondering if your shoulders are bare
wondering when I will see it again

wondering how much you thought
anybody would miss those few images
would regret not saving them among others
would say to strangers on a train,
“Bruh, you ever seen the way she smiles?”

I wanted to tell you secrets
before I met you
wanted to see your eyes brighten
to see if your ears pointed
when you shook your head while grinning
wanted to have you
come back toward the camera
to watch your shoulders rising
to catch the light in that room soften
around you
swallow up the warm colors and
pour them into your dress until
the black of it became a shadow
and there was ochre in the curl of your hair
and yellows running over the curves of your breasts
and three hues of blues racing the lengths and grooves of your arms
and white as you smile
and white as you stare

and budded roses
coming from the ends of your fingers
as you appear to say,
“Help Me Up…”
and me adding in the word:

“from this picture and into your arms”






Opening Dallas Exhibition

There were about 80 folks who fought through the “BLIZZARD OF 2020” to the opening of “Let The Tablecloth Speak” at the Main Library Downtown Dallas and each is embedded in my heart forever and a day. New faces and friends as well!

We talked and, as this exhibition tends to do, the stories and remembrances abounded. Laughter and a few eyes were wiped over the four hours. Faith Brown -Black Girls Quilt- made the two hour drive! Laura Casmore had made her stop with the grandkids early in the week.

The exhibition is always open and will actually talk to you! YES, there is an area that plays one of six story snippets when you pass! Come thru and tell the Library why you’re there! 4th Floor. Bring or SEND A FRIEND!

New Exhibition Jan. 11

Fabric Artist & Writer, Jas. Mardis, presents “Let the Tablecloth Speak: The DNA Storytelling within Heirloom Linens”. 13 Quilts made from a cut work tablecloth that explore family memory, storytelling and history. A worn spot. A cigarette burn. A coffee stain. A crease. What does your spot at the table evoke in the stories of your family?

Poem: Your Very Own Way


        Your Very Own Way

      there is a way
     that your eyes welcome me
   a way
       that you stop doing what you do
    and sweep your body toward me
         a way that you tilt your head into
      the sound of my footfalls
          a way that we agree
       to be alone in the crowded room
       I like those ways
          there is a way that your eyes
      take flight
  a way that you want me to look inside you
      a way that you’re soft and moist
     a way that you press your lips into
   a practice kiss… a want… a delicious way
          I like those ways
      there is a way
    that I allow myself to want you
       allow my eyes to be clear for you
    allow my stomach to tighten in case of your touch
      allow my name to come out from your mouth
    allow my soul to be swallowed by the sight of you
     and I want you to like those ways




Jas. Mardis is a 2014 Inductee to The Texas Literary Hall of Fame

Poem: Did You Know…

AUDIO: Did You Know…

Did you know that

tonight in your face
     between the opening and closing 
    and pressing together again 
           of your lips
        in laughter   and saying what you like
      in smiling   in smirking   and silliness 
    in   being beautiful and funny 
      in spite of your hiding it
     I saw every ounce of your desire
        It was in the way you drank
    your request for the red ménage 
   and the way of your unabashed hand
       delicate and firm and certain 
    your palm 
       against the crown of my hand
     warm      like the fountain of wanting 
   carrying you through the unmanned hours of the new house nights
       the air pressing against your skin
    the towels falling away 
       your hair damp and dreaming of gray
   it was in the way you sat
perched at the head of someone else’s table
    me   to your right hand
   others   watching through the door frame
       seeking out the lifted eye of your invitation to the laughter and chatter
     waiting on the red river of your lips 
   to break into an ocean of white toothed welcoming 
      and me 
wanting more and even more 
         of them   at the gates
                even now
 that table   long emptied and wiped of joy
       even now
     I find myself looking to my left
        hoping for just your laughter 
      or the delicious surrender of cashews
  riding melting salt crystals  onto your tongue 
crossing that red parted pillow of your lips 
    being caught    as any fool would desire 
  in the white pressure of your first teeth 
    surrendering  like prey
        to the succulent science of 
     such a small bite
           of such a delightful desire
       to satisfy your late and getting later
    night hungers





Jas. Mardis is an awarded Poet, Writer and Fabric Artist living in Dallas/Ft. Worth Metro area.