returning to the page // an attempt

Stephon Lawrence

i’ve decided to show up
a long stint of ////not much, if at all////
a random line
from a random thought
just what i had
very few thoughts actually
but head still very much full
to bursting??

in 2019 ((maybe even earlier)) i put down my pen. not intentionally i just think in 2019 i was too uninspired and burned out and then in 2020 i was too anxious and burned out to write. i felt like i had nothing to say, or that the things i had to say were tiny. for me, a large part of writing involves reading, and i couldn’t do that either. i tried reading severance by Ling Ma but couldn't finish, i tried reading america, mine by Sasha Banks but couldn't finish, i tried reading wild peach by S*an D. Henry-Smith, but couldn't finish. i read most of all of these, but couldn't focus enough to finish. and the frustration of that felt endless. compounding on all of the other endless frustrations of—everything.

me page stephone

above, a visual representation of approaching the page, and post-approach stuck just far enough away
i tried to pour myself into other activities as far removed from writing as i could bear. instead of poems, i made outfits out of all the clothes i hadn’t gotten the chance to wear. i showed up online because i couldn’t in person. i thought if i found a different creative outlet, my brain would allow me to write again. there was still a nagging in my head—a voice demanding that I write but never telling me what. a feeling like my life wouldn’t go anywhere otherwise, persists. 

//a list of personally unsuccessful writing methods:

1. apply to fellowships ((rejected, a finalist of one, not to be confused with a recipient))
2. apply to residencies  ((rejected))
3. consider a phD ((considered lying down instead))
4. teaching? ((?????))
5. cbd? ((yes, but it didn’t help me write))

stephon selfie

((my most dramatic notes app poem draft))

stephon note poem

at some point i tried to write whatever, whenever it came up. not towards a second book, or even towards a complete poem. just showing up.


i wish i was out of the woods
i’m still very much stuck
maybe if i buy a new notebook…

stephon 5

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