Date of Graduation
Restricted Thesis - USF access only
Master of Fine Arts in Writing (MFAW)
College of Arts and Sciences
Thomas Sayers Ellis
Bullet Whenever is a collection of poems that investigates the self in relation to a loss, and the accompanying feelings of grief, ambivalence, and helplessness. Throughout the manuscript, this loss evades definitions, despite the speaker's attempt to come to terms and rectify the loss. The loss is spiritual, physical, metaphysical, psychological, and detrimental to the speaker, who tries out many forms to make sense of himself and the world around him. There are a number of ghosts, both deceased and alive that appear, impact, and haunt the manuscript: muses, lovers, poets, family members, celebrities, as well as other writers and artists. The speaker sees himself in relation to these ghosts and speculates about his own existence and mortality. The title refers to the unexpected nature and behavior of this worldly outlook. Something disastrous may occur at any moment: the death of the speaker, a loved one, or a startling other. There is a violence coursing throughout, but one that is harnessed by the speaker's observations, awe, and love of the world around him, both visible and invisible. These phenomena prevail in some poems, but are defeated in others. The strength of these two forces is what charges the book with a kinetic energy and strives to make every line break, moment, and page both risky and insightful.
Gibbs, John H. Mr., "Bullet Whenever" (2014). Master's Theses. 99.
Available for download on Thursday, August 10, 2017