Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Clare Goldfarb

Second Advisor

Stuart Dybek

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



People ask how I could love a man with Arthur Payne. They say he was cruel, he sold out, he never loved me, that he thought no more of killing a man than a housefly. They're right. All Arthur cared about was the message he was created to deliver. Our shared days--the September afternoons we walked alone the shore at Cape Ann with our pants rolled up, and the fringe of the Atlantic foamed between our bare toes, or the city hours when Arthur followed me as I took pictures of black kids in scuffed British Knights trying to outleap one another for a dirty brown basketball--were simply Arthur's way of marking time. What people fail to realize is that their question contains the false assumption that Arthur Payne was a man. He was an avatar, as different from the human animal as an elephant or a grasshopper.