Sex Poems


Cian Doyle

Date of Award


First Advisor

Wesley Brown

Second Advisor

Karen Beaumont


Reading the stories now, it occurs to me that they are all united, but incomplete – each of them patches apart of the larger quilt that is this period of my life; a sort of record, but not in any chronological or factual sense. To quote Lawrence Durrell: “What I most need to do is to record experiences, not in the order in which they took place – for that is history – but in the order in which they first became significant for me.” (Justine) Among the stories, there are various narrators, and between them, they address (and I think nothing more than) the circumstance of their conception – the mind of the author at that time. By working with different narrators, I tried to give a multidimensional aspect to the project as a whole, to create a shape with many sides as opposed to only one face. I’m not sure if this can be achieved by a single author – where all narrators spring from the same source, where they are all inextricably tied to my version of events. Ideally, I would leave my body and inhabit others, and work from there. But, that is what I tried to do; here is what I’ve done: I wrote, for lack of a better word, a collection of stories and essays. The stories do not address anything in particular, or at least, it was not my intention to do so – they are simply a record of sorts; the essay addresses what did not make it into the stories, with more - if not direction - clarity. To v i this end, I hope the thesis is read and taken on its own terms – that is, as a development of thought, not a product, and so as incomplete. None of the stories are modeled after actual persons or events - any inferences made are just that. If you are looking for yourself, then you are from the outset choosing not to read this - you are not examining the literature on it's own terms, but imposing your own on it. The title, Sex Poems, is a parody of the content and so a reflection of the central thesis of this project: “[…] being able to clutch tightly and release in the same breath.” (Weak Thought) I wrote this thesis for myself. More than anything else, it is a record of failure – but only in the most optimistic sense. It has been a wonderful excursion: I am now ready to throw it away and start again.

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