Margaret Elysia Garcia… Negotiations



I put on the red dress
and the leopard fur collar
and I know already
it’s for me, it’s not for you,
but it’s Friday night
and Mom is watching the kids
and we’ll go through this charade
of working on it
whatever it is that’s suppose
to keep us together
to keep us a family
for how much longer
til they have diplomas in their hands
and resentment in their hearts.


We keep looking to make it work
but the engines are running
the wheels are turning
the lights are glowing
it’s just that no one’s home
it’s just that no one’s here.


I meet up with you and you’ve
showered and cut your hair.
It looks romantic and sexy
and the dinner won’t be bad:
We’ll eat from each other’s plates
and pay from each other’s bank account
all things equal; all things fair
all things sleepy; all things square.


I want to tell you that I quit looking
I want to tell you to keep on—
You might find her yet,
whomever she is that can look
you straight in the eye and sigh sweetly.


My love is tainted;
but you should have known that
a decade plus,
you should have known that.


If you wanted to find
the good time
the good mother
the good lie
the good truth
the good house
the good home


well I’m your woman, I suppose.
But you want the heart, the wife,
the everything I can’t.


Pushcart nominee Margaret Elysia Garcia is a fiction and creative non-fiction writer and poet based in Northern California. She’s a contributing editor for the newly relaunched Hip Mama Magazine. She also does private writing coaching as well as a memoir writing workshop in Quincy and Chester, California.

Copyright © 2014 by Margaret Elysia Garcia







Rachel Rosenberg….Fantasy Girl


Fantasy Girl

I have arrived.
I am what I have always wanted to be;
the fantasy girl of a man

with a cult of personality.

So while everyone gathers around him without even realizing they are doing it,
turning to him like iron shavings to a magnet,
I can sit smug.
I can lounge on the other side of the room,
secure in the knowledge that while every one of those people think they have a special bond with him,

I actually do.

But it is to both of our advantages to appear single,
playing on the hopes of those who think our sexy is something they could get
so they will give and give
for the privilege of pretending,
for the privilege of not knowing they are pretending,
because we are pretending.
I am the one he winks at from across the room.
I am the thought he touches himself to
when he is finally, blessedly alone.
Notice, he hugs me just a little bit longer than you.
Notice, he’ll make sure I acknowledge him before I leave.
He won’t do that

for you.

But now that I have arrived,
I start to wonder;
when fantasy becomes flesh,
does it make me any less
of a strong, independent woman
to want this?
Shouldn’t I want my own following?
Shouldn’t I have the self-respect

to wanna be equal?

I don’t want to be equal;
I want to be better.
I want him to visit me,
to come to me begging
to show someone the real him and he wants that,
he wants someone to force the truth out of him,

someone to whom he can show


Truth is, sometimes he amazes me…and I want that.
I want a man I find impressive,
because then it’s respect when he calls me impressive,
not the slavish devotion I have come to despise from weaker specimens,
those boys I end up chewing up and spitting out
because even when we both know I’m wrong,

they will not stand up to me.

I want a man with his own life,
not one who’ll make me his
because love is the icing on the cake
so don’t make me your insipid cake.
I will blow off the boy that does that like a candle;
he is the birthday.
The man will sneak into my room to share the tub of icing bare-handed,

making me giggle when he tells me about the party games.

I like being the lighter behind the flame,
not the fuel, but the spark.
I like having all the power
over all the power,
having him look at me
the way they all look at him.
I am the top of the food chain.
I am what I have always wanted to be;
the fantasy girl
who lives up to the fantasy
of the man
with the cult
of personality.


Rachel Rosenberg is a 25-year-old lawyer/recent graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School and an alumnus of Kenyon College. She has been writing poetry for 17 years and performing it for the last two. Her poems have been published in a number of online and print journals.

Copyright © 2014 by Rachel Rosenberg







Don Comfort… Rights of Spring


Rights of Spring

Who will endure the sacrifice,
A price named by the gods
For renewal of the cycle,

A year’s circle once rewound.

The living owe a blood-debt,
And it is paid in full
When fetid blood reeks on the ground

Of newly planted fields.

And those may call it wasted
Who will not taste the harvest,
The wise will treasure blessings
From unborn sons and daughters.


Everything you need to know about Don Comfort can be found on page 98 of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.”

Copyright © 2014 by Don Comfort



Weldon H. Sandusky… The Salvation Army


The Salvation Army

A huge van picks us up, secures our
Money buckets and tapes the ringer
On our little bells.
Competition is fierce. I come in Sixth.
A fat Santa Claus man first.
We’re congratulated, almost elf like.
Giggle. And go home.
Like hungry lions we’re
Careful next day and don’t get
Too close. We keep an eye on our bucket.
And it gets cold. Depressing.
Facetiously displaying joy.
Scrooge like counting pennies and nickels.
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Then oddly we all really laugh.
When several ringers
Are gone one night. Bucket and all.
A skeleton tripod remains.
A crew of martyrs and misfits.
Waiting outside a door.
A driver who is at least
A Captain in the Salvation Army.


Weldon graduated from Texas Tech University in 1968-a B.A. in English. He then got an M.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin and a law degree (J.D. l975) from the same school. Divorce followed as did commitment to , first, the private psychiatric hospital, Timberlawn, in Dallas, and , later, the State Mental Asylum in Terrell , Texas. Mr. Sandusky petitioned for habeas corpus claiming a conspiracy to unlawfully commit him existed in violation of his constitutional rights. Upon release, Weldon got a job at Exxon/Mobil where he worked twenty years as a cashier-nightman. During August, 2005he underwent open heart surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital in Dallas and have since been declared totally disabled. He has coronary heart disease.

Copyright © 2014 by Weldon H. Sandusky




Christopher J. Jarmick… Poem Starter



If you insist
on pretending to be someone else,
then you’ll never know
who you really are.



Her poetry: technical mathematical formula perfection
without a trace of sentimentality in dull metaphors
obscurely connected to emotions
resonating as if written by extinct languages
known only as Yonkalla or Rumsen.
Applause, applause.



When the eye of the needle
I can’t make the words
go through.


POEM STARTER       90210

Like depressed delphiniums in vivid blue
who never succumb to their own toxicity
the young Hollywood starlets
at an industry cocktail party,
dream of a Beverly Hills Housewife
middle age.


Christopher J. Jarmick published poem at 12 Born East Coast Los Angeles writer/producer award-winning PBS Documentaries, Hard Copy, Entertainment Tonight. Re-located to Seattle; co-wrote novel The Glass Cocoon, Former PEN USA board member, Latest Poetry Book: 2010’s Ignition: Poem Starters. . . Hosts/Curates Poetry Readings. Articles/Reviews: Rattle, Raven Chronicles etc. and online.

Copyright © 2014 by Christopher J. Jarmick