If You are Stuck and the Words Won’t Come by Jen Violi

Get back to the pen. Get back to the page where you know your own name.

Not the math worksheet where you struggled to fit the whole letters of you in the assigned space, desperate to fit but not lose yourself.  To get the top line of your J not to blend into the top line and disappear a crucial slice of you forever.

Get back to pen and the unlined paper.  Or the paper with a million lines that you write over and through, that you read between with your fingertips.  Where you sniff out the words, follow the scent of jasmine and ripe peaches, where you track the tinkling of wind chimes, the onomatopoeia of a ping or a click, the way the purple nail polish looks like grapes on his ghost-white hands, how the silver necklace stung cold against your chest and you gave thanks for a second that you weren’t a werewolf after all.

Get back to the pen and the paper.  Forget the keyboard and the chat box and the scant screen with even less space than those lines on your math worksheet.  You’re bigger than that.  The world is, too.  And it breathes, just like you.

Get back to the pen, your pen, the paper, your paper, our paper, the page and your true name—the one no one has dared to say aloud, the loamy one from which all of your letters stem and bloom.  Write from the sticky inkwell of tears, sweat, and blood.  Write something that no one can control

or alt

or delete.

Write something that can’t be Shout-ed out.  Write something that will stain and leave a mark.  Kilroy was here.  So are you.


About Jen Violi


Want to see more inspiration from Jen Violi?  Have a piece you can’t figure out what to do with?  Check out her website!