Title

JOPAPPY & THE SENTENCE-MAKERS PRESENT: PARATACTICAL SYNCOPHANCIES

Year of Publication

2022

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/School/Program

English

First Advisor

Frank X Walker

Abstract

The prose poem form exhibited herein, the unit, is my own lyrical invention to explore the boundaries of language, syntax, form, and musicality in poetry. It was inspired by virtuoso pianist Cecil Taylor’s groundbreaking 1966 album, Unit Structures, in so far as it desires to embody the feel of collective improvisation encountered in Free Jazz as a poetics. The unit form attempts to imitate (or model) the musical conversation the instruments enjoy in Free Jazz as it is not bound by corresponding rhythms, same time signatures, conventional melody, or harmonics. Thus, there is a marked polyvocality to poems in this form, and speaker, subject, meaning, and even tone are constantly shifting. This work consists entirely of poems in the unit form numbered between 1-129, units numbered between 90-129 were created with a JavaScript program I wrote to randomly arrange text from a database according to the rules of the unit form as an injection of a heightened sense of improvisation. The rules for the form abide by these strictures: sixteen New Sentences, some of the words in the first New Sentence and the sixth are combined to make up the twelfth New Sentence.

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