Poetry, lyric, narrative, collection
Instant Conductors is a collection of poems meant to engage the reader in conversation about the imperfect nature of the world in relation to the imperfect nature of readerly experience. Walt Whitman wrote, “I have instant conductors all over me whether I pass or stop / they seize every object and lead it harmlessly through me.” And so the things on these pages are intent on transmitting what one experiences in the minutiae of memory and routine: the sounds that surround a blackwater tidepool, what one imagines happens behind the closed doors of the friendly neighbors, or what's heard in the whispers of an elderly man sitting in a waiting room. These pieces are situated along the spectrum of narrative and lyric, between self and other, around various speakers and listeners. They flow through the sensors of Florida swamp, pray to the train ride of some nebulous god or lack thereof, and comment on the artifice of social media. They visit the transient nature of relationships and interrogate how one comes to know, or not know, the self. These pieces speak to old form and new verse. They touch on place, and time, and timelessness. They attempt to reimagine the negative space of individual, sometimes muddled, histories, into some understandable or at least familiar, organic, whole. Universal truths or no, these are the electric currents of language. They are hazardous. They are harmless. They are instances and instants.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Petralia, Mary, "Instant Conductors" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1466.