Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Noah Eli Gordon

Second Advisor

Ruth Ellen Kocher

Third Advisor

Martin Bickman


In this project I wanted to challenge myself to write a poem that conflates the act of reading with the act of tightrope walking. It started when my wife and I saw a picture of a tightrope walker. I was hooked about thinking how funambulism is like poetry. The most obvious connection is that a tightrope walker walks along lines, and a poet walks along lines. The name of my muse, my funambulist, is Ivy. He is my local muse of lines. I bring together an imagination of him as a voice and as a presence of someone who walks along lines.

he strongest influences on my work are: 1) the inspiration of funambulism to poetry; 2) Barbara Guest's poem, "Freed Color"; 3) César Vallejo's poem, "The Intrinsic Movement of Matter." I believe that the above influences have encouraged me to walk around in the space of the local, and encouraged me to write poems that branch out from here to places in language and in the mind. The last thing I will say is this: I suppose when we write poems there is not a right way to walk a line, so long as you stay on just try to stay on.

Included in

Poetry Commons