The Bass & The Boogeyman

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Virginia Tech

The Bass & The Boogeyman is a manuscript of poems that explores issues of sexuality, gender, and identity. The poems also attempt to reach an understanding of what it means to be a member of a largely marginalized social group (homosexuals). In this explorations and a attempts the poems are also engaged in finding the origins of fear. The poems follow one narrator from childhood into adulthood. While the poems do not provide the type of clear narrative and story arc one would expect from a novel, they do offer a sense of trajectory and reward the reader for reading from cover to cover. This manuscript is very aware of itself as a book and strives to exist as such (rather than as a stack of poems who happen to be in the same place at the same time). The manuscript features several connected poem series that work to provide cohesion to the collection. The poems Boys, Men, and Fags are an example of this connection between poems. Each of these three poems can be read as individual pieces, but when taken together they offer a commentary on all three groups that cannot be gained by reading them separately. The manuscript also employers a cast of repeating characters (the boy & the boogeyman among them) to give the collection the sense of narrative trajectory mention above. Lastly, the manuscript combines numerous traditional poetic forms with a wild and unruly use of pop culture and humor. The end result is proof that funny and serious are not always contradictory terms.

crown of sonnets, poetry, lyric essay, creative writing, poem, free verse