Publication Date

5-2012

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Department

English

Major Advisor

Martin Corless-Smith

Second Advisor

Janet Holmes

Third Advisor

Jacqueline O’Connor

Abstract

The poems in Bound Toward Them Are the Course deal with the issue of lyric obscurity, the transmission and failed reception of messages. Toward this end, the desire of the lyric to convey despite its veiled nature, the poems' methods of translation serve as an attempt at self-correction, location through triangulation.

The lyric is also a circuit which, at a certain point, closes. Once it has taken in what it needs, the poem becomes its own referent, feeds on its own vibration, a repositional energy. It takes its constitutive elements, rearranges them, forgetting itself (and its transmission) as it continually stumbles forward into new modes.

Words themselves attempt a similar repositioning:

STUMBLE/SEMBLANCE/ASSEMBLE

TRANS(-FER, -LATE, -MISSION)/MISSING/MISSIVE

The word is a node, a garbled radio reciting both itself (what it appears to be) and its desires (what it wishes to be). In this, the receiver of the missive is implicated equally in its construction. But desire misnomers—the speaking apparatus (the throat/tin-can-on-string/walkie-talkie/beam/buoy/etc.) lacks the agency of "I" or "you" yet somehow partakes; the word, "GUN/MAN," despite its conflation, is fact—is, in fact, thought.

And thought is simultaneity—both movement and non-movement. The poem field in which the message moves and doesn’t is decayed and blooming, the same flower. The transmitter, broken but still powered, is awash with static. And since one can’t be spoken to one listens, overhears, in as many voices as he can muster.

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