A stoplight at night. A dim bedroom. The smell of smoke and loss in summer. In winter, the crackle of snow underfoot, the city cold as a lavender planet. These are the settings within Fractures, and it is to these backdrops that the conflicts of the poems' speakers bare themselves. In the glow of these places, the truth of fractures, the gaps and slivers within us all, are illuminated. Below the visible wholeness of life lies a masked truth, the truth of a world that exists as a collection of fragments, of lives, of stories that connect, intersect, and sometimes overlap to create the tapestry of life as we know it. Each of us, in our own way, is fractured: in our minds, bodies, families, or relationships. And yet we live with these breakages, embrace them, even, because these splinters--personalities, moments, obstacles--are what make us whole. Fractures is a collection of poems that examines these pieces that characterize human life. The events and speakers in this manuscript are fictional, yet, like all fiction, they reflect some remnants of reality, some recognizable truths of ourselves stitched throughout. Each section of the collection can be viewed as a separate fracture, and each poem may also be a fracture. Some poems are broken even further: within stanzas, within lines, sometimes within the mind of the speaker. The poems do not tell a linear story, but rather tell bits of stories that often overlap. These narrative gaps too are indicative of a fracture as they mirror the disconnect, both physical and emotional, that frequently occurs in the stories of one's life. The sections of Fractures address different topics, ranging from loss to love to self destruction. The speakers are linked by a sense of searching, a self-awareness of being splintered, and, as one poem states, of recognizing a "hunger" for something more. One has lost a dear friend; another destroys her body in a quest for beauty. Some reflect on their families. Others mourn for lovers past, while one clings to a fleeting moment of love in its perfection. Just as the body suffers its broken bones that heal with time, so too these speakers suffer rifts that mend but are not forgotten. In this way, Fractures is a dissection, an X-ray of its speakers, each break a lit scar, fluorescent on the page.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Hastings, Elizabeth, "Fractures" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 3195.