Tag Archives: DOE


Sometimes at the end of the workshop, we have time for one more short-short write, a stream-of-consciousness free-association write, a pour-it-out-on-the-page-as-fast-as-you-can-cause-we’ve-only-got-2.5-minutes write — usually I just throw out a word or a short phrase, and then we *go* into it, whatever pops into our heads. This is what came for me in response to the word ‘pierce’ at the end of Tuesday’s Declaring Our Erotic workshop:

pierce: stick the needles just under the skin / there/ where no color or sharp is supposed to be and / run your tender weaponry there against the swell of flesh / staining me with ache and art / asking for my steadiness in the face of assault / and in return you offer me the glory of your creation / but before that art has healed / while it is still coming hard on my canvass / you’ll pause / lift the device / you’ll spray me with cool water and you’ll brush away the blood / you’ll wash me with adrenaline and tell me how good I’m being / and I’ll / then / I’ll want / I’ll want to open my legs and my / every bit of my / self / to you, a blessing for the stopping / the starting again / of such a wash of pain

Upcoming workshops with Jen & Writing Ourselves Whole — August 2009!

Read on for more information about the upcoming Declaring Our Erotic and Write Whole workshops with Jen & Writing Ourselves Whole!
heart power!

Declaring Our Erotic-Reclaiming Our Sexuality
Eight Tuesday evenings, beginning 8/11/09
Open to queer women survivors of sexual trauma!

Have you been thinking about exploring some new edges in your writing? Are there longings you’d like to find language for?

Now’s the time: Changing our language can change the way we understand ourselves and our desires! Once again, I’m opening this workshop explicitly to queer women survivors of sexual trauma who want to continue the process of reclaiming their sexuality.

In this erotic writing group, we write in response to exercises that engage or invoke various aspects of our erotic, sexual and sensual selves, in a safe and confidential group of peers. Get more comfortable writing about sexual desires, receive strong and focused feedback about your new writing, explore the varied and complex aspects of sexuality and identity, all while trying your hand at some explicit erotic writing!

In these 8 weeks, you’ll create an exciting body of fresh and (often) surprising new writing, and my very well find that your experience of your erotic voice/erotic power has been transformed.

Write Whole: Survivors Write
Eight Monday evenings, beginning 8/10/09.
Open to all women survivors of sexual trauma!

Transform your relationship with your writing — and with yourself. For survivors in particular, writing freely in supportive and attentive community opens us up to the possibility of being fully heard in all of our expression, creative and otherwise!

In this workshop, write in response to exercises chosen to elicit deep-heart writing, and deal with such subjects as: body image, family/community, sexuality, dreams, love, faith, and more. We create new art and new beauty out of the difficult and complicated realities of our lives.

You’ll be encouraged to trust the flow of your writing voice, and receive immediate feedback about the power of your words!

All workshops held in an accessible, downtown San Francisco office, near Powell Street and Market – close to Bart & Muni.

Spaces are limited and pre-registration is required.

Fee for each 8 week workshop is $250.

To register, email: jennifer@writingourselveswhole.org.

About your facilitator: Jen Cross is a widely published freelance writer. She’s a queer incest survivor who used writing as a transformative and integral part of her own healing process. She’s a certified AWA Facilitator and is currently leading workshops at UCSF for folks living with cancer.

More info: www.writingourselveswhole.org.

Note: These workshops are open to individuals who identify on the woman/female spectrum and who also self-define as survivors of sexual trauma. Categorizations of gender can be highly problematic and I believe that both “women” and “survivor” are self-defined! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re wondering whether you should attend or not.

wearing nothing but my words


I met her at the door wearing nothing: wearing, I guess I should say, nothing but my words.

The night before I had taken myself out again, finally, to the fancy art supply store in mid-town, the one covered in wacky paint smatterings, asymmetrical sculpture spelling out its name, a forefront of allegiance to the madcap struggling artist but that solidarity ended once the starving reached the store’s front doors — the prices were so high that it was difficult to imagine anyone I knew (all folks trying to stretch ends to meeting) actually being able to afford anything in there.

It was my favorite porn shop.

I’d visit with some guilty regularity, smoothing my hand across the ragged faces of hand-made papers hanging from the rafters and the silk onionskins, pale and aching for a pen’s wet tip to stroke its surface. Then I’d linger, loiter really, in front of all the pens: the multihued variety, the different tips, the fat permanents, the sharp faint fade-able colored pencils, and more and more.

The cute butch thing who worked behind the counter tried to make eyes at me when I came embarassedly sidling in (cuz what if one of my friends saw me in the bougie joint? they’d think I was hiding a trust fund for sure), but I walked fast past her every time, cheeks flushed, hands clasped together at my front on the days I was in poka-dotted tulle skirts, or shoved deep in my pockets when I’d donned the tweed trousers.

She finally figured out the best way (the only way) to get my attention, and started holding back recently-arrived writing merchandise behind her cashier station. She had a vibrating Hello Kitty pen the first day (ballpoint, though, hardly wrote at all, and she shot the half-grin from her face when I handed it back without a single salacious innuendo) and, the next time it was a real Javanese green peacock quill that got dipped into fine ink — but the third, the final, was when she set some of that onionskin out for me, and handed me a just-filled fine-bone fountain pen, and I set it to the page and began to write. The ink flowed like my own thoughts were being exactly gentled directly from brain through blood to words.

My cunt ached a little then, the snap of a throb, and I had to set the pen down and ask her where the bathroom was. She pointed, one eyebrow raised, didn’t follow me. After a few minutes of ministration, I let myself out the shop’s back door, to avoid any inquiries about my flushed face.

So the day I finally got a check from the freelance gig I’d finished several months prior, complete with a bonus for the work finished early (go figure), I knew just what I had to go back for — and what I was going to do with it upon acquisition.

the physicality of it


This is what I love about writing: the physicality of it and the mess, the rush of words and the trying to keep up with the flood         how I got a new pen with fresh ink and so I’m trying to reclaim my wrist         this fat fast smooth ache —

what I love about writing is harnessing what’s intangible, impenetrible, the desperation to get inside         fully         the thing that has no words, not really, the truth is writing is a chase, trying to catch the breath of the words, the thought, the fist thing that flashed across behind the tongue of my imaginings before it’s snipped away by loss or ego or don’t say that or reconstructive tendencies.

What I love is this reaching, teaching myself to breathe, to drink, to eat while I write         keep the wrist aching, move through that burn into the true good stuff, how the words aren’t more important than the race, and they are.