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by Peter Koronakos

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Jeanne Rosen Sofen

The Small Pleasure of Ink on Paper

Just the simple feel of a good pen on a sheet of paper. I’m not talking about the ubiquitous pens, such as the BIC pen with its practical ballpoint, though that first experience of the tiny rolling ball of ink gliding easily over the page, marking an even blue line, must’ve felt like a revelation! I’m not talking about your hotel pens, your souvenir pens, not even your art store pens with their fine felt tips scrawling loopy doodles and letters on the page. All of which are wonderfully convenient, but sometimes you don’t want convenient, you want the real deal.

In this case, fitting a carefully-selected pen nib onto the curvaceous pen body, then delicately dipping the tip into the squat bottle, the well of darkness, and transferring that impenetrable black onto the sumptuous, subtly-textured cotton rag paper, as though the pen and paper have waited all their lives for each other, and now embrace. Well, okay, maybe not embrace, maybe just the tender touch of a finger on the sweet smooth skin just behind the ear lobe. And that’s where you start on that expectant sheet—an ear lobe, with the space behind it…continuing the line up around the top of the ear. Yes, that’s it…lovely. Now a delicate strand of hair, with just the gentlest of curves indicating a slight breeze that lifts it just so.

Okay, now the crucial part: the curve of the neck. Trust the pen, it knows the way. Moving down, over the crest of the nape like a hiker victoriously striding along the ridgeline of an alpine mountain range, the line eventually tapers into nothing, into the fullness of the billowing white space. Now back at the delicate lobe, sweeping the jawline forward, curving up around the chin and ending with the concave form that nestles just under the lower lip. Yes. Just enough--not a pout, but an assurance. Now tracing the slow ripe fullness of her lower lip, followed by a quick flick for her concise upper lip.

You recharge the pen, dabbing it, testing it on a scrap, then gently sweep a few brief curving lines, and her eye is dreamily gazing down...making you wonder what she’s thinking. Another sure line, flowing down, pausing, then rounding the tip of her nose. And now, another critical path, from jawline slowly down the throat, sliding along like a tongue, tasting the subtle presence of her Adam’s apple, pooling into that pocket nesting on her collarbone. One last dip of the pen, one last joining together for the exquisite elegance of her collarbone. That’s enough. Stop now, set the pen down. Don’t give it all away, let there be murmurs, a question, even a slight yearning for more. It’s abundantly enough. Eloquent curves of ink forever embedded on the sumptuous soft white sheet, a sublime union.

Jeanne Rosen Sofen - I've been fortunate in my life to pursue my passions: raising my two kids, who make me incredibly proud (with my husband); making art--painting, drawing, and collage that's inspired by nature (my web site); practicing Aikido, a non-violent martial art, for 25 years, and finally, traveling and hiking in amazing places. In my younger years, I faithfully kept journals. My love of beautiful language and the desire to be more articulate led me to the Writing SalonMy writing practice is concise: Wednesday evenings spent with an inspiring encouraging teacher and eloquent imaginative writers, for whom I am so grateful.

Salon Fiction
Kit Anderton
Jo-Ann Birch
Paola Bruni
Dixie Cox
Diane Craddock
Pat Charlotte Grayson
Clifford Henderson
Duke Houston
Helene Simkin Jara
Nancy Krusoe
Jory Post
D. L. Sansone
Jeanne Rosen Sofen

Morton Marcus Poetry Contest:
First Prize
Danusha Lameris

Morton Marcus Poetry Contest:
Dane Cervine

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