Or, Being As Wildly Coherent As Music

 

As soon as

you find your voice, you’ve lost it

                                                                   

 Jon Anderson

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Shifting the point of view is changing keys in the same clef.

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The subject is located in the treble clef while the subtext is in the bass clef.  Both are just as serious about an idea—fluid not fixed. 

A writer doesn’t have to know as much about a subject as they have to know about what they think about the subject.

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Writing is thinking about a subject and not deciding on its virtue.  The relationship between thinking and subject creates heat which creates voice.  The voice rings through the subject and the last reverberation harmonizes with the point of view.

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Only after María Irene Fornés wrote her play Abington Square did she realize that one of her characters was homosexual.  She didn’t plan on writing a play with a homosexual character in it but she did create an environment in which a homosexual would thrive.  Then, he thrived, which was how she knew he was there and who he was.

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The writer has to know what it is about the experience about being alive on the way to being dead that is representative of an original way of saying with words what made that life lived life.

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Whatever happens to your writing after you’ve written it is their dream.

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As much as a writer doesn’t know where the writing may take them, they are very clear about the beginning even when the writer didn’t write the beginning at the beginning.

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First thought, best thought?  Bad idea.  Last thought on first thought?  Better.  The last thought has your voice in it.  Or your voice’s regret.  The voice doesn’t conflict with regret, it identifies it as duende.

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The first sentence is the eye looking at the point of view.  Or it is the eye blinking to make sure.

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A writer’s voice is apparent from the very beginning.  The singer opens her mouth to sing and we know what she sounds like.

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The first sentence or line unlocks the writer’s unconscious mind and affirms that however wild the thought may be there is language somewhere that can make it coherent.  Coherent only means direction—which this year is usually from left to right.

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Sentences don’t merely carry information.  They carry inspired information.

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Voice is music.  Period.  Or music of a period.

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The writer is singing and then when she goes back to revise, she is listening to what she just said.

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Re-writing is like talking during a movie.  You are reconsidering something you have just seen after you have just seen it.

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My boyfriend doesn’t like it when I talk at the movies and when he’s had enough of it he’ll say:  indoor secret movie voice.  This was one of the first real understandings we had between us.  The indoor secret movie voice is a direction to lower my voice, of course, but it is also a description of a singular sensation: a quiet voice but also an intimate voice; a voice that is carrying a kind of information.  Only he and I can hear it.  And, not surprisingly, most of the literature I truly care about is written in an indoor secret movie voice:  Only the writer and I, the reader, can hear it.

The Indoor Secret Movie Voice
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MICHAEL KLEIN’s third book of poems, “The Talking Day” (Sibling Rivalry Press) is both a Thom Gunn Award Finalist and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. His second book, “then, we were still living” (GenPop Books), was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and his first book, “1990”, tied with James Schuyler’s Collected Poems to win the award in 1993. His new book, "When I Was a Twin" will be published in the fall of 2015 by Sibling Rivalry Press. He also has written a collection of short, lyric essays, “States of Independence” which won the 2011 BLOOM Chapbook contest in non-fiction judged by Rigoberto Gonzalez and was published in 2012 and two memoirs “Track Conditions” (Lambda Literary Award finalist) and “The End of Being Known”, both published by the University of Wisconsin Press. His poems, essays and interviews with American poets have appeared in POETRY, American Poetry Review, BLOOM, Fence, Tin House, Ploughshares, Provincetown Arts, Poets & Writers and many other publications. He has taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Binghamton University, Manhattanville and for the last 15 years has been part of the writing faculty at Goddard College, in Vermont. For many years he was on the faculty of the summer program at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was a fellow in 1990 and now teaches at Castle Hill Center for the Arts in Truro, Massachusetts. He lives in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts. Find him at: http://www.hauntedimportantly.com. @boypoet

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