PoetryJennifer Sternitzky – The Press

About the poem:

“Writer’s Block” is probably self-explanatory.

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember, and like any artist, I run into blocks.

But I’ve always said they felt almost physical, or like a cramp or itch, when I felt like I couldn’t get the words out.

And that’s where this piece comes from.

Not during a block, of course.

About the poet:
Jennifer Sternitzky, 36, was born and raised in Green Bay.

She graduated in English and Psychology from UWGB.

She worked in mental health for seven years before returning to retail. Once a month, she attends Cujo’s Spoken Word Poetry Night at the Tarlton Theatre, and she has been a part of this event for several years.

She also participated in the St. Norbert Poetry Slam on Thursday, October 13.

Writer’s block
I haven’t been able to write, and it feels like visceral pain
A punch, a gut twist
The hand is left dead
lifeless for lack of blood
of words held somewhere above my throat,
though cramped to hold a perpetual fist.
The hand remains soft,
posed and ready to hold the pen, my sword
But put on paper, it’s suddenly empty
Not even a touch of anything alive and moving below
Is it a blood clot? Or an ink clot?
Words and ink refuse to pass the heart
Passed the wrist joint and into the fingers, stuck in the pen somewhere

It’s a deep, painful itch that I can’t reach
I may need a screwdriver or an ice pick
A trans-orbital lobotomy
to open it
Rub some sticks together in there,
From flint to stone, against the eyeball
ignite a spark

I have nothing
No motivation, no energy, no appetite
No more words for the world we live in
Weariness and fear took them away from me
All I can really do these days is write my name
– the only thing I know for sure –
again and again for reassurance, for something to cling to
I try to rework old fragments, but nothing sounds good
Wedged and stunted, temporarily – I hope – paralyzed,
The blocked neural route from head to hand

About Christopher Rodgers

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