Here follows a list of those initial verbs that typically preface indirect statements: I hear, It is clear, I reveal, I say, I understand, I think, I see, I do, I tell, I consider, I attest.
Note that the verbs move across a limited spectrum. Some speak of acts of mind. Some speak of acts of body.
My favorite verbs do both.
The passive voice also appeals. That is when you are the object of the verb.
I’ve been told, for example.
that the body is a somatic fact, that the erotic troubles the known, that we cannot deny the body, that we think we can do many things we cannot do, that we think we can think, that the body needs to be touched for the mind to grow,
that technology doesn’t disallow ritual, that our phones don’t rescue us from ourselves, that the digital economy cannot cut the roots it undermines,
that magical rites still work to put our children to sleep at night, that power unsteadies the form that tries to understand it,
that the epochs of human thought are not advancements,
that the moment demands forms of attention we can only partially describe, that the lyric implies that each moment is so singular as to be many things at once, that the body itself is lovely because it is overcoded,
that the moment departs from being even as it is part of being,
that our distractions are forms of comfort, that our comfort doesn’t removes us from agony, that our distractions are also symptoms, that we must attend to our distractions,
that the imperative to create is gentle advice to play, that gentle advice is never gentle,
that our body commits us to our guilt, that our mind cannot rescue us from our guilt, that being good is a form of culpability,
that violence doesn’t end the patterns of life, that violence only ends a life, that violence ends lives,
that our behaviors are more than symptoms of our culture, that our madness doesn’t stop the sun from rising,
that the world ends for those who have had the world taken away from them,
that there is fact and it is mortal, that there is a thing called a body, that each of us live within one until we don’t, that the fact is a form of sympathy for a larger form called life, that the body among other troubles has ears, that “we cannot / stop hearing it”
Dan Beachy-Quick has new book of poems coming out this spring from Tupelo, gentlessness, and a chapbook from Omnidawn, Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs. He is a Monfort Professor at Colorado State University where he teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program.