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







Wake… by Greg Brisendine



In the room, gray hairs dominate by a factor of 10.

There is cheese dip with carrots, no crackers.

Flash flood laughter bursts across the conversation hum.

There are somber bottles of lite beer.

Carpet and hardwoods are studied blindly during shared silences.

There are photos in matching frames peppering a gray wall.

He would have liked this room better than
the one filled with flowers

we say.

We see him in each other’s eyes.

We see ourselves in the eyes looking back from framed photos.

We wonder where we keep the photographic evidence of our lives.

I wonder who I should tell about the box of photos
in the back of the closet
that will tell friends who I was.


Greg Brisendine (a.k.a. Greg Bee) is a poet, amateur actor, advice columnist, budding playwright, and chili chef from Seattle, Washington. His work has been online, in print and on microphones across North America. Greg continues to discover himself in his writing as well as other people’s writing.

Copyright © 2013 by Greg Brisendine




Due Tomorrow? …by Alexander Dang


Due Tomorrow?

From the very start, we were doomed.
Star crossed lovers on a messy sheet of bad math and eraser streaks

We weren’t meant to last.

We ignored all the signs and we blacked out our expiration date

with a Sharpie and tried to keep going

Driving along the coastline,
Giving ourselves completely to the sea and surf
We kept thinking

“There is so much ocean. This could never possibly end.”

It was like
The relief of hitting the snooze button on the alarm
or like

Knowing there’s a paper due tomorrow but there’s so much more important things to do today

Like the careless teenagers we are
We roamed the streets on a Halloween when we knew classes

Would resume in a mere 3 hours

I think
We thought we could beat the timer.
As if the sands of time didn’t apply to us because

Look at all that beach left to discover.

I’m left holding ice on a hot day:
It feels great in my hand but it’s melting so quickly.

I can’t save every drop.

Rushing into the amusement park an hour before the gates shut
Because, c’mon, let’s face it

We can get to every ride before it closes!

There’s so much shoreline left.

We were the bad choices you make
Even though you were acutely aware

Of the consequences to come.

Look into my eyes,

We’ll face those outcomes together.

But like how Sunday has an impending presence looming over
This time bomb of a relationship was reaching its end
Monday was coming soon

And we’d ignite.

Our alarm told us that we were an hour late for work and we got promptly fired
The teacher wouldn’t accept our rough draft and we should expect an email to our parents

We fell asleep in class and got sick from all the candy and the roller coasters in such a small time.

My hand is holding a small puddle and I let it slip


Finally the road ended for us

And the beaches stopped at a jagged cliff

You, my love,

my August in a finite Summer

Let’s sleep a little earlier tonight.
We have class tomorrow.


Alexander Dang is an aspiring poet from Portland, Oregon. He has four things in common with Hamlet: Words, words, words, and an affinity for stabbing curtains. In August 2013, he and three others represented Oregon at the National Poetry Slam.

Copyright © 2012 by Alexander Dang





Persephone Meets Hades… by Imani Sims


Persephone Meets Hades

He tossed a smooth coin in his hand. “So, what do you say,” he asked? I turned to face him, Acheron at my back. A black boat that smelled of sulfur and sweat bobbed in the water. A demon waited—shimmering like a labrodorite gem in the sun, an oar heavy in hand —for me to make a decision.

“What’s in it for me,” I said as raised an eyebrow and tossed a braid over my shoulder.

“An entire kingdom my love; you’ll be queen.”

I must admit, he was persuasive. I wanted the obsidian crown that rose to the clouds. I wanted the flowing robes. My twelve year old mind was filled with enchantment, rationalizing this decision. And he said I can have the dogs too!

But with pursed lips and a flounce, I said, “mmmm nope, maybe next year.” I turned on my heels and wandered back to the house.

This stranger never failed; he came every year around the end of August. He would bring me a gift. Bow and kiss my hand. Tell me how I was the fairest of Demeter’s daughters. Then the bargaining would begin.

Every time, my mother gave me the same advice: Stay Away From Him. Don’t get lost in his golden eyes and tilled earth skin. If you do, we will never see you again.

I couldn’t imagine why she felt this way. He was so nice. He treated me like I was his queen.

For three years, our little game of cat and mouse continued. Each year, his gifts got bigger and more extravagant. A trunk overflowing with jewels, satin robes as far as the eye could see; he even brought me a harp and notebook, so that I could write down my songs.


The fourth year came. I sauntered out of the house, ample breasts and curls playing in the wind. I knew today was the day he would be here. I always knew. It was like I could feel his breath on my neck and his arm wrapped around my waist. I shivered, remembering how great it felt to have him near me, how soon I would have him again. Only morning turned to noon and noon turned to dusk. He hadn’t shown up. I stood, from dawn until dusk, feet digging patterns into the banks of the river, arms crossed and my huff becoming more and more of a whine. Until my mother’s voice broke the silence, “Persephone! Get inside! Your dinner will be nothing more than coagulated gravy if you stay out here any longer.”

I silently turned to face her, let the first tear of rejection slide down my face and replied, “I’m not coming in mother, I’m going to find him.”

My mother stood in the doorway, shocked at first. Then she began to run full force towards me, enraged at the thought of me defying her and for what? A man? She couldn’t believe it. As her feet hit the earth, my toes were already in the water. I dove.

My head hit the cold water with a jolt and all of a sudden I felt nothing but sorrow and regret. I felt as though every tear I had ever wept were washing over me, trying to sway me to turn back. But the burn in my heart kept me going. My arms kept slicing the water, my mother’s wails somewhere in the distance, I drew closer to my love, my king.

The first yellow leaf hit the water, as my sorrows turned to lament. My fingertips splashing into the river Cocytus.


Imani Sims is a Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. Since then, she has developed an infinitely rippling love for poetry in all of its forms. Imani is the founder of Split Six Productions (splitsix.com) in Seattle, WA. Her book Twisted Oak is available on Requiem Press



Who Knows Best… by Morgan Collado


Who Knows Best

They thought
They had trounced me
Forced me
To relinquish
My secrets
Bent me
To their blood soaked
They thought
That their dun colored
Could subdue me
Their corrosive pigments
Reduce me
Their all-too-human desires

Consume me

But I am forever
Of days filled with rainbow
I am forever
Acorns of chaos-ridden
I am forever
The chaff of stupidity

From the wheat of sagacity

Those children that resist
In the marrow of my bones
Gathering hidden
In moist dark corners


When seasons shift
Regimes die
And Mother always
Knows best


Morgan Collado is a queer Latina trans woman who lives in Austin, TX. She has a degree in Philosophy and hopes that her writing inspires radical action. She’s been published in QWOC Media Wire, xQsí Magazine, The Urban Resistance, and Northeastern University Journal of Undergraduate Writing. Her blog is www.atriptothemorg.wordpress.com.

Copyright © 2012 by Morgan Collado