Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Michael Castro

Second Advisor

Glenn Irwin


This culminating project contains sixteen friction poems and sixteen friction stories. The format places the poems first, followed by the story. The story and the poetry are matched. The poems are not written to tell the story. They are written to strike an image, a friction image. The reader supplies lubrication as required.

The stories take the reader on a trip that lubricates the story to filet out the imagery. The author writes about incidents that have occurred during his life. Simple stories. about eating a potato chip, or rolling up your senile grandmother in a carpet. The writer solves several of the mysteries of life. Why there are ten hotdogs to a pack and buns are eight to a pack. If you are from Wright City how do you ask an attractive young lady where she is from. Is a human female able to pee forty feet with any accuracy? Does fresh snow lie? Why Charlie Manson smells so bad.

The collection features stories about birth and death and everything in between. The writer covers birth in a skinny Persian hospital. In one story we meet the plate glass preacher in a hospital burn center. In another we attend a Scottish funeral and wake.

World travel is written into the stories. The writer discusses sperm counting techniques in a military hospital in Japan; the repercussions of "whoring" while armed with bad whiskey in Ubon, Thailand; the staffing of harems in Persia.

The stories are told from the of a four year old and ramp up along a spectrum of fifty years some dealing with a grouchy peckerwood character. In all of the stories the reader will be presented with learning. Either the main character is learning something or is attempting to pass on acquired knowledge or skills. The writer explains new concepts: merge learning, and myth merging. The writer also covers every day subjects. What the hell is an acre? Why is George Washington called the link? The writer promises his readers that they will learn something. He does not promise what it will be or when it will happen.

Many questions are answered by the writer in this collection. Is haggis really food? How agile is an elk? How do aviators get down? Why men have two hands? Why a baby's first word is usually "baba."

The number eight is the theme for this culminating project. The writer's lucky number is eight. The writer's unlucky number is eight. It's a number that works both ways, positive and negative. It's a lazy eight. This is easy to visualize think of two writer's hammocks facing each other joined by two other opposed facing poet's hammocks. That wasn't easy to visualize. Take a minute and draw it out. How about the symbol for infinity it appears as an eight on its side taking a writer's pause. The lazy eight, without the writer/poet lying in the hammock.

If any of the resulting friction poetry and friction stories are so well matched that the reader can't determine which came first, the poetry or the story, or the story or the poetry, the writer got lucky using his number, which of course is infinity.