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Sat Apr 1 10:48:56 2023
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Some writers have a voice. They are born with it, and they develop it, forge it with brimstone. They hammer it into shape over many years, thousands of words and sentences, while sitting behind the keyboard generating phrase after phrase, much like the singing canary. The canary’s song, however, is a existential matter and his entire life demands a convincing performance. All of his life, the ability to procreate, life’s essential movement (and the purpose of OKCUPID), depends on his song.
The human voice is both the same, but different. Dialog is our tool, much like the singing canary. But for people, there is that other wrinkle. Not only does the author have a voice but they also have contained within the practice of verbiage deep symbolic meaning. Drama and story formulate a memorable composition, be it over a campfire, or at the rail on a fishing boat. And beyond the drama and the story, those themselves are just a device for a deeper explorations of philosophy, morality, and self-reflection. This is the space where I hope our relationship grows. These are the truly great stories.
Writing, though, is an activity of the leisured man. Few of our working men and women have time to forge a voice, as they are simply to busy. There is never enough time in the day, and even the greatest among us in the modern era, have seemingly, no time. Our lives are hard, and we are without slaves or servants. The era when men of letters spent hours every day with quill and paper, writing their thoughts, poetry, and correspondence is centuries long gone. Instead we, the public, are stuck with memoirs written by ghost writers of the important people about us. Ghost writers are canaries who borrow someone else’s story and make is marketable, eventually in paperback and digital format, for our quick consumption. A man of leisure who has time to write, and determined to be an great author, what is he to do?!?
It is a perplexing question and so we have Hemingway trekking about the looking to broaden his life, spoiling for a fight, for opportunities for passion plays and torments. Robert Frost looking for the uncommon adventure, Herman Melville spanning an ocean and borrowing others adventures. Other writers reach into history, and others draw from their politics and theology, like Dickens, Orwell and Arthur Miller. My voice, however, is rough and scratchy, not a canary, but like an orphan raised in the ghettos of New York City. It can be impatient, insistent, dysrythmic, and even atonic. It takes a bit to get your ear toned to it, but it is authentic and not overly practiced. Words are not my friend, and written words, even less so. However, I do have an abundance of stories. And since it has been asked of me, this one I wrote here.
Some of them have been passed from previous generations through my grandparents. And others have come at personal expense and remorse. Others derive from my children. All of them are real, and compelling, worth hearing. I can raise my voice. Frustration can strain off this page you read. And my voice can cry, and sometimes laugh. It is like a slice of pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Canarsie. I serve it hot and without fanfare on a sheet of cheap wax paper and a small napkin. And it is to be gulped and not nibbled at. And when you are finished, you are holding that thick folded crust. It is tasteless, as all the cheese and sauce has been eaten. But that crunchy Brooklyn crust is the dessert of the slice, and we chomp on it with our back teeth, until finished and satisfied. And that is how my stories unfold. If you want to hear one, you can contact me and we will share a glass of wine, and we will talk
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