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Record for a UF thesis. Title & abstract won't display until thesis is accessible after 2099-01-01.

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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022262/00001

Material Information

Title: Record for a UF thesis. Title & abstract won't display until thesis is accessible after 2099-01-01.
Physical Description: Book
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Creative Writing thesis, M.F.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Thesis: Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Logan, William.
Electronic Access: INACCESSIBLE UNTIL 2099-01-01

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022262:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022262/00001

Material Information

Title: Record for a UF thesis. Title & abstract won't display until thesis is accessible after 2099-01-01.
Physical Description: Book
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Creative Writing thesis, M.F.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Thesis: Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Logan, William.
Electronic Access: INACCESSIBLE UNTIL 2099-01-01

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022262:00001


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PAGE 1

1 A NARROW VISION By CURTIS DCOSTA A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FINE ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Curtis DCosta

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3 To my family, friends, and teachers

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank the poetr y faculty for providing direc tion through their teaching and, especially, their writing. My developm ent as a poet has rarely preceded my ambition, for which I must thank my childhood hero, Horace Gree ley, whose famous advice (Go West, young man!) I am greatly honored to have defied.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................7 CHAP TER 1 HOW SHE WANTS TO WAKE UP........................................................................................ 82 GEORGE ADE AT THE NILE HILTON..............................................................................103 MANETS OLYMPIA........................................................................................................ 114 MY SISTERS ROOM........................................................................................................... 125 COLLOQUY: CLOWN MIRROR.........................................................................................136 BUSTED.................................................................................................................................147 NARCISSUS PRACTICES HIS CURSIVE.......................................................................... 158 GETAWAY............................................................................................................................169 A FIRST MATCH.................................................................................................................. 1710 COMPLAINT...................................................................................................................... ...1811 PANGUR-SAN.......................................................................................................................1912 SOPHIST................................................................................................................................2013 SAY NO MORE.................................................................................................................... .2114 A SLEEPDRINKERS GIRLFRIEND................................................................................... 2215 THE VARIAN DISASTER, A.D. 9....................................................................................... 2316 DECEMBER 30, 2006............................................................................................................2417 DIATRIBE AGAINST A MANSION.................................................................................... 2518 FIRE........................................................................................................................................2619 NOCTURNE FOR THE PRINCIPLE OF NON-CONTRADICTION.................................. 2720 ELECTION NIGHT...............................................................................................................28

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6 21 WISHFUL THINKING.......................................................................................................... 2922 A LATE REPLY................................................................................................................... ..3023 VALEDICTION.....................................................................................................................3124 A RAKES PROGRESS......................................................................................................... 32BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................34

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7 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts A NARROW VISION By Curtis DCosta May 2008 Chair: William Logan Major: Creative Writing When I try to figure out how this thesis relates to its title, two views come to mind. According to one of my favorite poets, poetry is about noticing things; to anothe r, its about mentioning things. (I like these poems best when they mention art, music, and literature; least, when they merely notice that theyre noticing things.) This thesis is a narrow vision insofar as its a flirt, revealing a long range of subjects from a blinkered coign of vantage.

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8 HOW SHE WANTS TO WAKE UP On the Occasion of the First Perf ormance of the Siegfried Idyll 1/ W agner Stray light gilds the papered walls, blotting her out of lesser lives. Ex cusable, and pretty, too, shes sleeping like the poplars, gentlemen, with a big white comforter weighing her down. Take your places on the stair. 2/ Von Blow The dampness soldiered me to bed. Frost sparkled on my rooms windows in that house. Laughter, a shout Why lie about their sacred affair? How she wants to wake up, I never knew. 3/ Cosima Christmas, 1870. My ears woke up before I did. He sent me flying in a swing so high, I nearly fainted. Tulle with gold stars for the Christ childs dress, a Drer engraving, toys and games 4/ Nietzsche I said, Tomorrow, almost every day. Enfiladed doors opened to the lake, a dock. Snow collapsed on the poplars. Little Eva called me over. Fressor, was machst du fresst? I ignored her. 5/ Cosima The bird that chirped Fidi into my arms fluted around. I lay back down. Each breath, drawn with that withdrawing song, will never reach such devotion he earned from me, words I cant find now.

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9 6/ Von Blow I figured she would come to herself and capture our divorce like a blindfold. I, a favorite of the favorite of a king, wish them well and am now leaving Munich to its bastard newspapers.

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10 GEORGE ADE AT THE NILE HILTON A brass sign by the concierge desk reads: Egyptian citizens (either male or fem ale) may not share a room with a foreigner if not married. Not worried. The effects of the lobbys fountain, its shushes are working a quiet spell. Management has it all down pat. This hotel is a Tremendous Go, with the bar, the size of a news room, right next to Beauty Services, where a black French woman in huge sunglasses sprawls still as the Sphinx. In the octagonal Lounge, a dumpy brass flamingo with both its feet on the pedestal suggests a subject for one of my fables. MORAL: Flightless birds should avoid good and earnest questions like those this American pumping the elevator button must ask over and over Id give his wife the Quiet Wink, but her blond-horned, barefooted, dripping cretins make such a general Smash-Up, how can I hear myself think?

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11 MANETS OLYMPIA To see what disturbance it is, first, pull the cur tains until sunlight surrenders the room. The half-tucked sheet thats whiter than her skin, snared by two huge pillows, reveals the burnt-siena mattre ss beneath her elbow, a gold-tasseled blanket and th e sure, naked form. She was just softly, persistently knocking, the old black servant paid to be patient creeping in, unveiling a sloppy bouquet. A puzzled cat alights on the unmade bed. One salmon peony above her pearl earring, sad Victorine, the odalisque whose skin is paler than the thought of being paid to sit, not screw, tied that black ribbon around her neck herself. In 1862, publishing this secret, Baudelaire bet that his friends doom was evidence of modern life. This friend, a painter, suggested that as a boy he had seen dawns taupe light gush on his fathers neck while the man was dressing.

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12 MY SISTERS ROOM How to get here, no one knows. Mom still calls it mock Tudor, our pink brick gingerbread house. Red vines, hand-painted, tortuous, barb a little white china-bull beyond the dollhouse windowsill. Im creaking on spotless carpet, a tabula rasa of warped light, looking for what, Ive forgotten. An antique wicker rocking-chair faces the open closet-door next to an empty dresser, heels against the wall, tilting forward. Im staring at the telltale girdle around the waist of that red maple rotting outside, though lavender unicorns smile on a calendar and the music boxs Pierrot dances buck-and-wing behind scratched plastic, because I said cerebral palsy for the first time in this room.

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13 COLLOQUY: CLOWN MIRROR Chromogenic development prints, Roni Horn, 2001 Stop looking at m e. Im talking to you. The circus is empty. Well put it behind us. The gorillas connive. Lead them up the tightrope. Im afraid of heights. But you balance well. My heads in a cloud. She was a cannonball. Albuquerques fuzzy. You cant abandon a desert. My Yield -sign smile! You look like how I feel. Stop looking at me. Im talking to you.

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14 BUSTED Chelle found som e pot on me and now shes pissed. Thats another one for her lis t, the third or fourth fucking time shes put up with that shit. Its starting seriously to disgust her, my putting her constantly in danger. ( You know how anger adores an adverb.) The rainbow array of lighters stashed in my console begs the question, beer-spills smelling like breadsticks reek of ungraspable lies: Id better believe in myself before I trust her. It doesnt help Im no Gram Parsons and wont plug myself like a slide guitar into her druthers and whine that love hurts. Next time you run into her, save my tabooed muse, quote old Justices quip, Practice forgetting.

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15 NARCISSUS PRACTICES HIS CURSIVE Coached not to look at the keyboard, I fell into the screen, where a cursor copied words flawlessly as bubbles purling from a jet: sauna, cold plunge Jacuzzi I found myself imprisoned in a spa where old men seemed like stars, simmering, and the pools splashes sounded like newspaper being rifled through. I came to in this bathroom whose walls are fields of daffodils. Perked up in the bathtub, I write straight ahead, grimy slimy, why me long loops like a rising incense that smothers the rosy stink of towels out of reach.

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16 GETAWAY They were hornemad, as if the diuel had bene am ong them; and then the soules of those poore Purgatorian s for whose sake they had song such a short and silly requiem, returned backe Henri Estienne, World of Wonders The purgatorians say, Allow me when opening doors for women. The vixens at the bank wearing black suits and white su nglasses are courteous enough not to thank them for their places in line. Mooning like baby giraffes, the purgatorians shuffle indigently, tuggi ng at their cufflinks. A neatly damaged composure native to steamrollers plants their ears against imaginary walls during a pause between ballads. They dont notice the clocks gold hands reach beyond a sign commanding: Please wait for the next available teller.

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17 A FIRST MATCH You pull your racquet back. You dont care how you beat her. Forty-love. She nails the serve. The foul she called is her advantage now. The same wrist you pinned early will allow your closeness to the net to wake each nerve. You pull your racquet back. You dont care how the ball jets past your bum knee, you vow prompt vengeance on her momentary verve. That foul she called is her advantage now. The chain-link fence behind you clinks. You plow the fake grass with your Nike s. Her shoulders curve. You pull your racquet back. You dont care how inelegant your form is. The swan-stern bow she lets rip unleashes, and you swerve. The foul she called is her advantage now. The score that you forgot is even. How? Just out-of-bounds, shed hurried to observe. You pull your racquet backyou dont care how. That foul she called is her advantage now.

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18 COMPLAINT I rake at m y dinner with a plastic fork until the sound of scratching the plate berates me into taking a bite. Fortune cookies do not comfort me. Two of them after lunch today accused me of being illiterate. I threw the third away. Even the food court here is too loud. Yesterday, I cornered a teenage thief whose eyes were tagged Made in Japan. While we waited for the Security Office police, she threatened to call her lawyer. Now Im being sued by Lost and Found.

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19 PANGUR-SAN The cross-eyed Siam ese scowls, hoists one leg, and licks his black balls that dangled where a poem leaves off, smugly reposing on the enter key.

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20 SOPHIST Its easier to write about Socra tes than about a young woman Chekhov After our second beer, her copper eyes turned green. Twice she bragged that they do that when she cries. Her death wish was so mild, she read my betrayal like a horoscope in our tables red globe lamp whose shallow light, tinting a bird of paradises petals, fidgeted beside her prurient fingers. I had said, You never know what not to ask. Last night I called her Socrates for fun.

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21 SAY NO MORE Beginning with his assholes keenness, a hot bath chagrins the enchanted day after he paid for sex Even the standing water seem s to wax pensive, troubled by the soap-smeared faucets pick pack, pock, puck, the hyperbolic series of Icaruses plunging to his feet.

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22 A SLEEPDRINKERS GIRLFRIEND Man has created death. Yeats The thought of our kiwi-color ed granite countertops pulls oblivion aside. Steel drum s gush into the next phase of the cycle; the dishwasher jolts like a carousel. Every time, trying to fall back asleep, I stage a rehearsal for reasons that might act as excuses. Im pregnant I told him. Caribbean music tinkles while clumsy college girls go wild on the screen. A rolling-pin maneuver in the oceans darkness; the sperm whales twenty-pound fear of an orca pod; octopuses sidling their three heartschanneling it, in his sleep he drinks straight bourbon from my coffee mug. A frayed book by Yeats lies open on the stai nless-steel island always to the same poem, barred owls gurgle through the black diamonds in our bay window, and nothing moves in the mimosa trees; I will fall back asleep. Were not proud of inventing death, just silence.

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23 THE VARIAN DISASTER, A.D. 9 The savages captured the standards and two eagles; the standard be arer tore off the third one, before he w ould fall into the hands of an enem y squad, fixed it to both sides of his holster and carrying it, he submerged himself in a bloody bog. Florus On our way from summer to winter quarters, the dim sky was a great pinecone crackling beneath Arminius boot. Our column was strung out. The German routed all of us in his flooding forest, including women, servants our injured horses. We burned wagons on the second day. Varus, dropping to his knees in the hideous rain that slid down the trees black stakes, beheld a first-rank centurion crucified. From a useless fosse I watched him parley with his dagger. A hazy priest lifted more smoke over his mossy altar, while warriors settled with hard blows whose turn it was to carry a legions eagle. Its mouth sewn shut, a head nailed to a tree trunk woke to our winter quarters. Once a famous lawyer, Decimus Gallus said the night was over. In Rome, Augustus banged his head on the limestone walls, groaning, Varus, give me back my soldiers .

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24 DECEMBER 30, 2006 I was born in 1984, in a self-professed hub of Ne w York where copper machines inject blown-glass bottles sporting red stars with Dutch beer: from there I was dragged to Houston where the beltways overpass sputters you from downtowns labyrinths on autopilot. I was the son of a tour ope rator, born under the punkahs of small business in a torrid climate of terror. Stashed away with my Afghans afghan, I was whisked around on feeders by a nervous mother. Today, beyond the funeral home I thought was the White House, brandishing a trombone-sized trumpet from the tip of a temples green spire, the brass ange l Moroni poses. Today, after being shunned for so long, a friend always of a friend, Saddam swung.

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25 DIATRIBE AGAINST A MANSION Crepe m yrtles dangle their lavender clusters, and tulip poplars nuzzle stop signs, power lines slack in places, framing the Historic District. A hunk of moonlit intrigue cradling the night, you cling to your bluff a bove the Kentucky River. The blacker the car, the slower it passes the paired-off Ionic columns, which stretch as wide as your drive, rising higher than your roof. Through wrought-iron bars, cement lions perch, yawning off their pedestals. I wont count each tall, stiff window tempering your faade, nor how many corbels crash over your portico; you practically sell yourself. The White House in miniature, at best youre just another mansion remote, glorified, condescending, unbelievable and probably perfectly mortgageable. Glass volleys past your nearly priceless paintings. The courtesan taken with black fur, Viennese ease, her hairs thick blond frost, stays unfazed. Among those ormolu mountings shell be fine. Sirens are already sweeping up the darkness. Wind rushes to her lips warm precipice, gliding by her gated in, stoned eyes.

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26 FIRE The toilet papers backwards, and the m icrowave is crusty lamps, furniture, keyboards, screens, even the walls are dusty. My roommate Oseyande drains the shower water through his palms. He holds a note with puckered lips behind our curtains limpid frogs. Spinning in Codys swivel chair, his girlfriend hiccups, then she laughs and, in a random sentence, types: But Zenos tortoise was too fast . Steaming on the bolted glass, rings become our fingerprints. Cody opens the balcony door. The Pre-Socratics pages skip. The Tough, Smart Texas Lawyer howls that hes the Sledgehammer on TV. The fire alarm flashes blue and red, and Oseyande screams. Im digging for a proper quote. (They said the drill was TBA.) The keycards magnet has no soul. Two RAs yell, Its time to go.

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27 NOCTURNE FOR THE PRINCIPLE OF NON-CONTRADICTION The bulldozer park ed across the street, loaded with darkness, menaces my required reading, but theyre fine therapists, calm nights, provoking the caged cygnets of feeling selfish. Cover that woman whom Kurtz painted blindfolded with a scapular, critic. Im tired of your proses wood-stained porches, tiki torches, and foreign beer who can help thinking that narratives dominated by liminal pull drip like an espresso machine? Around the dog-ear, dizzy lovebugs revel on the next page where Matthew, Luke, and John scandalize Aquinas. Seeds of parables under deconstruction can crack all night: His last words were grains of sand.

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28 ELECTION NIGHT Viewing an Etching by Jack Levine while Listening to Earphones During the announcement, why the long faces, crowded brandy glasses, champagne flutes smeared by the haste of unreliable gossip, waterfall chandeliers spattering beams on crenulated black art-deco wallpaper, bowties, prissy hands, tuxedoes, empty pewter trays, women, why, girls, girls, andinstead of this whole scene mezzotinted adagio as Mozart might preferwhy, every limp effect shocked into allegretto glitters for you in your late honor, though you will never be Glenn Gould for whom this doddering bourgeoisie ache like partitas, tornadoes spitting staffs, clefs, sixty-f ourths, thirty-seconds.

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29 WISHFUL THINKING Curse and show off the new chrom e finish that you once assumed aloud death brushes a voice with, Professor. I open my eyes and your glasses winged with short tufts of ashen hair are gone. Use the dusty silence as a podium. The Alley Theatre opens Friday with Long Days Journey into Night in your honor. Your best lecture was on silence as acceptance on stage. Come, play the fog, which is Marys angry ghost waiting before she appears dragging her wedding dress to the piano downstairs. Youll find morphine beneath a drivers license in the bottom drawer of my desk, in tinfoil. I cant remember whats so great about ONeill. The rumbling cliff of a voice your fifty years of acting had piled up crumbled behind the always invisible desk. You said his plays broaden when performed and improvised Lazaruss long laugh. Go ahead, fog. (Crucial lines would be missing for thirty-five years, the manuscript whispering in the Random House vault .) The before-and-after curtain dividing an audience from the bare stage plays a part no actor in his right mind wants. Use me.

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30 A LATE REPLY Every tim e you come back from another clinic, a stack of overpasse s obstructs the sun like a migraine coming on. It never fails: Cars honk when you imagine what comes next. Before you can reach your apartmentwhose door, I assure you, has been red for years Thorazine smears soap on your face with its loofah. Springs last omen, bees terrorize the stairs. Squirrels scribble up a magnolias branches outside my window, screaming, then halt and titter. Though your email doesnt have a subject line, you say you look forward to being caught up in the late-blooming clematis, its white vines patching the clapboard houses youll drive by in this calm humidity that would recall you to us, not with your past, not too soon, not with me.

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31 VALEDICTION From the bed of the pick-up we had loaded pro bono I saw thousands of buffalo and chestnut trees whose branches candelabra continued north, lifes rich pageant that much richer in reverse.

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32 A RAKES PROGRESS Hogarth engravings, Harn Museum, 2007 1 At Toms first soiree in London, poets loiter in front of bay windows, reading quietly above the avenue. 2 In the adjoining rooma flustered rake Tom has mislaid his Ramillies wig! 3 Tom guffaws approval at the French horn. 4 Towered over by portraits of roosters, artists in apricot petticoats reason to themselves, conscientiously bored. 5 Nick Shadow sits the pianist in front of The Rape of the Robin. 6 Matadors are trump cards in ombre spadille manille and basto two are black aces. 7 Colorblind-crazy, Tom reels at the matadors. 8 Propped in Bedlams matted hay, the decrepit cross leans back: a pole to vault with.

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33 9 Breathe in. Cash out.

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34 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Curtis DCosta studied litera ture and philosophy at the Univ ersity of St. T homas in Houston, not the Caribbean. He serves on the advisory board for Texas Nature Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmen tal education, and is six-foot on a good day.