(Said • I • meant)
Larson, Haley, author
Steensen, Sasha, advisor
Beachy-Quick, Dan, committee member
Sommer, Peter, committee member
This project began out of a struggle with spatial anxiety, as a project in boundaries of ecotones and memory. This gradually and rather elaborately evolved into an investigation of boundary definition, specifically those of a Self or an I, and the anxious instability inherent in recognizing those boundaries, consciously and unconsciously, breaking them or redefining their divided matter. In the realm of boundaries, the I lives in a physical body, necessarily preoccupied with its soundings, often its echoing or dissolving against its reaches. At some point, it seemed unreasonable to continue announcing "I anything" without pressuring the self that is suggested by an "I" to the edges of its boundaries, seeing if those boundaries hold or further contain or consume. Specifically, my practice up to this project grew increasingly uncomfortable in the assertion of "I," or at least in its assertion without a more sustained examination of what it is to utter an I that suggests wholeness. The written I became nervous for the body that tried to contain it. The written I became nervous for the voice that uttered in ownership its relation to the world. Its singularity and suggestion of lens, its singular apparatus of seeing, continued to unearth the impossibility of singularity, or at the very least, to urge a teasing of the multiplicity inherent in any being. I've previously likened this project to an investigation of awareness--awareness of one as a whole self and as a part, where the construction of parts completes a larger self (even an us) or where the destruction of self diminishes into smaller and smaller selves, even selves of particular music or earth. With that, this project aims to explore not just the boundaries but also what the spaces between these fractures and deconstructions allow--simplicity, music, truth, or identity. These poems ask questions of definition and wholeness, whether one is inherent in the other, whether either is possible.
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