Tyra Banks smize mask courtesy of WENN
Tyra Writes a Novel That Is (Also Maybe) a Theme Park
by Sarah B. Boyle

Ok so,
I’ve been writing Modelland for five years.
Modelland, this fantasy world that I’ve created,
          if you find one of these
                    (which I call a “smize”)
it increases your chances
          —by 91%!—
of getting into the school that creates Intoxibellas.
The models have magic in the school,
          most definitely,
so it’s a total fantasy adventure novel.
This is something that I know.
                    (I don’t know about magic
                    but that just comes from the creativity
                    and there’s no rules
                    and you just kinda make it up.)
I’d write until four o’clock in the morning.
          I spent so much time in libraries.
I got carpal tunnel because I type with two fingers
like this           loolooloolooloo.
Yeah, so this was
          my heart
          my baby
          my soul
          mm hmm.
I look up to Walt Disney.
There was a man with a message,
a very very clear objective of what he wanted.
Ooh ooh ooh, yes.
The message of expanding the definition of beauty
is bigger than me.
Like, I want years from now for people
to experience Modelland
          (or whatever it is),
          and for the mom to go,
                    “You know that was a girl named Tyra that started that,”
          and the girl is like,
                    “Who cares? Let’s go on this ride!”
I want to make you feel special.

SOURCE: “Tyra Banks Reveals Cover of New Novel,” Good Morning America (7/21/2011).

IMAGE: Tyra Banks sporting a smize (eyebrow jewelry),  xposurephotos.com (July 2011).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: It started as a joke, writing collaborative poems about America’s Next Top Model. And then my friends and husband were also jazzed about the idea. So, we’re working on that in our spare time. And I haven’t written so much in ages. It turns out Tyra Banks is my muse. Watching ANTM, and looking at her various projects across the media landscape, it is clear that no one says no to Ty-Ty. And when no one says no to you, you do all kinds of crazy stuff. And all that crazy stuff is pretty compelling, even if it isn’t exactly “successful.” Here, I just tried to stay out of Tyra’s way—as if there is any stopping the woman—and let her manic energy speak for itself.

Sarah B. Boyle thinking

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah B. Boyle hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she writes and teaches high school English. Her work has appeared in Menacing Hedge, Storyscape, and elsewhere. She has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.