Summer 2015

// About the Authors

// Nicole Hebdon’s (The Power of) Quietness

// Nicole Hebdon’s Witch Hunt

// Nicole Hebdon’s (The Power of) Words

// Andrea Lopez’s Witch Hunt

// Jodie Matthews’ Girls Get Love

// Jodie Matthews’ Little Girls and Boys

// Jodie Matthews’ Love, and where it belongs.

// KT’s Family Body

// Stephanie Watson’s Multiverse Block

// Stephanie Watson’s Powerful Times (Haiku Collection)

// About the Next Issue

Nicole Hebdon is a writer with a penchant for literary fiction, fairytales, alternative fashion and occasionally poetry. She has degrees in communications, multi-media journalism and magazine journalism and plans on starting her MFA in creative writing this next fall. She has been published in The Saranac Review, DoNorth Magazine, The Springville Journal, Strange Beauty Magazine, Fembot Magazine, Gothic Noir and several literary magazines.
Andrea Lopez is an undergraduate at the Ateneo de Manila University from the Philippines. 18 years old. She thinks people who shun cartoons as something solely for children are horribly missing out. She loves cats, technopop, chai lattes, and japanese mayo. 2015 will be her brave year, and although she worries she won’t have enough time or talent for all the things she plans on doing in life, she’s decided she’s going to try anyway.
Jodie Matthews is a writer with a penchant for the bittersweet. An art school drop-out, Jodie ran from the beautiful Cornish countryside and found herself in the smoggiest city, Stoke on Trent, where she works as a nine to five Technical Writer and a full time creative. Her number one aim when writing is to be self-questioning, honest, and invoke a feeling of nostalgia. She enjoys coffee and romance (both bittersweet) and dislikes writing about herself in the third person. You can find her work online, or in her new collection with I Came Here Looking For A Fight Press.

KT graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a BA in English with a focus on Nonfiction writing. When not working full time fighting child sex trafficking, she enjoys large glass of wine, thinking she’s talented at DIY projects, live Dave Matthews albums, and spending time with her boyfriend Mike and their adorable kitten, Lenny.

Stephanie Watson, co-founder of Fembot, joined Fembot in 2010, and since then has gotten an honors degree in Psychology, and an HNC in Professional Writing. She also contributes to HelloGiggles, and hopes to make her way further in the journalistic world. As well as her love for opinionated journalism and social media, she also writes romantic prose and cryptic poetry, dabbling in minamalist painting too. Stephanie’s goals are of a personal creative kind, however through her articles and poetry she hopes to provoke change and discussion of social justice issues.

 

By Nicole Hebdon

WitchHuntBy Nicole Hebdon


By Nicole Hebdon

By Andrea Lopez

 Fear like a festering rot like bitter wine

like the bloodless cheek of the moon as it turns

to eclipse your house so pray to your god on this

Walpurgis night. Mortals like you have a penchant

 

of making monsters out of myths like

me; how easy you take to trembling bones, how limited

of thought. So cry, The devil is among us, as phantoms

giggle on the lawn, sing in unfathomable shapes; name

 

your storms when you cannot weather them

as you could not weather me so you say,

Beware of the witch, her carnal eyes, her siren

song, lilting spells as you sleep, the cold spill

 

of sin in her. My departure left you prayerful. How your

knees begged for the floor by your bed, how quickly

I grew out of myself. And how vast, brimming out past

the fences, where you could not stifle me; how bright,

 

the flames I left dancing on your porch; they danced

across the floorboards the roof the garden

where you meant to keep me and you wonder

about miracles. Was I not there in the beginning,

 

before Eve, before the fall, punished by your god for

not wanting to lie beneath your breast? Was I not the first

sinner? You forget the desert, the blistering winters,

our hands grew hardened in the soil where we buried

 

our children, and did we not burn. Were our bodies not fuel

for your meat. Were we not birthed in blood-wombs,

forged in the iron of war before you even knew thirst

and you wonder about my howl, my belly of thorns,

 

sharpened teeth and deadly nails hidden in the loveliest

of silk, my sweet mortal man, am I not the moon’s pull itself?

Am I not born of the tempest, of ancient hunger?

Am I not made of hellfire, of dragon-lore, am I not all of

 

your God’s seven plagues so do not speak to me

of destruction. Find your faith in this gathering

night. For what is a man before a storm, whether he

trusts in its coming or not so drain the glare

 

from your torch, brighter than your unbelief,

still your hands from weaving me another name;

instead, learn the careful geometry of folded hands.

It is okay to be afraid.

By Jodie Matthews

‘You’re too classy to smoke,’

each boy says,

as his nicotine curdles on my tongue,

‘down with the system’ scrawled on the wall

of his mother’s five bedroom family home,

‘you don’t know how lucky you are,’

they say, whilst tracing my scars –

 

‘my dada left when I was thirteen,

and when we go to bars,

you drink for free, I get other blokes starting on me.

it’s so hard to live this life as a guy, don’t you know

all the things they expect from me?’

 

I start to pull my t-shirt on and a hand stops me-

‘no stay still love,

you’re a work of art

listen to me

it doesn’t matter how you feel

not when I feel for you.

you’ll be fine living on the street,

everyone’s nice to The Girls,

think about what would happen to me.

Oh, it’s so hard living this life as a guy.

…why are you leaving me?

I gave you all

I could be bothered to,

I even sang for you!’

 

‘be quiet, little girl,

let me tell you true hardship’

they say, as they pick up their fenders

and jump into their cars

ready to sing about

how girls get love for free.

 

And I wonder if their mothers ever taught them

that projection isn’t acceptance,

grown women

don’t need to be taught self-respect by boys

who don’t buy their own underwear,

the ones who can’t cut their own hair,

force you into single beds,

and proclaim themselves Tortured Artists

because women have been smart enough

to leave them without saying goodbye.

‘You owe me that’ he says.

He means he wants you owned.

And you know

that hands too small to hold your big heart,

could never nourish your smart mind.

 

By Jodie Matthews

I love you.

It’s been said, sighed, slapped.

It’s been whispered into my neck,

my belly button, my cunt, my eyes.

I’ve felt it blown into my mouth,

spat at my back, fallen at my feet.

It’s been tearful, angry, laughing.

The first time someone told me

that they love me, his wet breath

hit the back of my neck, stinging

like the scratch marks he’d left on

my thighs, after I told him ‘no, stop’.

When love is taught as rape, tell me

when do you learn what those words

really mean?

Friends have cried, held, stroked

I love you, for me – they have given

I love you to me – gently and caring

watching a baby take its first steps alone.

Lovers have handed me I love you, shaking fingers

tying a piece of string around the words, one end

attached to their wrist, keeping it safe, to snap back

once they have eaten enough of me

and I have found I will not be full.

The last time I heard I love you

was from a stranger on the internet,

two at a time, messages tell me that they know me,

they love me, they care.

They see my words, they see my eyes,

and then they think they see I love you.

I love you, it is placed, projected, performed.

I love you, I think it needs more protection.

When I love you, it will be quiet at first.

When I love you, it will burn to a crisp

before I grasp the embers,

place them over my heart,

let them burn my skin,

light my scars with glowing sparks.

When I love you, my whisper will

burn a house down.

Your breathe will cause an earthquake.

When we love, the world will see

the activism in our peace.

 

By Jodie Matthews

Inject me,

with slugs and snails

and puppy dogs tails

because that’s what little boys are made of.

Tell me,

that I must be strong,

and proud and

seep sexism from my pores

because that’s what men are made of.

 

I will tell you

to inject me

with fresh blooms

and bird song

because my veins are lined with cursive.

From where you stand

I do not fit your definition of a man,

because I bleed once a month.

Let me,

take a knife

to any human

and show you,

that anyone can bleed.

 

By KT

Society and families brutally permeate the way

girls view themselves, their bodies, and their minds.

She’s a brilliant girl but her power

only comes from outside rather than within.

In my youth, I realized that my looks could make up

for what my brain allegedly lacked,

and it didn’t seem then

such a tragic hand to be dealt.

I poured over women’s magazines

for ideas on how to find self-worth in sex tips

and a man that would complete me with his intelligence

because mine wasn’t sufficient enough.

How to choose the right starvation diet for you.

How to make him forget that I am a girl

with a brain, a heart, a soul.

A human being worthy of equal respect. Partnership.

My mom is the product of her mom,

and her mom the product of her mom,

generations of women raised to hate themselves.

When you know better, you do better.

Raised to believe that an ugly girl had no value,

an ugly, chubby girl was not worth getting to know,

sometimes girl, families are what’s ugly.

But now you know better.

We needed to start identifying what this really was:

Control.

Self-hatred.

We’ve identified it and now we consciously strive for better.

I am flawed and that’s what gives me power.

I am desirable. I do not need

affirmations from the size tag on my lower back,

on the inside of my collar,

the wiring of my bra, or

your loud mouth on the street, stranger.

I am authentic and that is just fine with me.

Because when I close my eyes,

I see myself with explosions and fireworks

and glitter on the inside.

Smoldering, matches in my hands,

allowing for healing and renewal,

reborn in fire.

By Stephanie Watson

I have power over the keyboard, at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

I have 26 letters, an infinitive combination of numbers, more punctuation than I can count, and an almost endless amount of formats to choose from. My brain, like the numbers, can give me an infinite amount of ideas, of stories, poems, and facts; I can use my mind to weave words like an equation to create limitless possibilities, to be it’s own multiverse theory.

My mind should have power over the keyboard, because the keyboard too is limitless.

Yet I sit here, and I can’t think of a single combination to use. I can’t think of a single story, a single voice to use.

Why, with every possible outcome, is my only output a blank page? A flickering caret that mocks me?

Writer’s block, that’s all they call it, but the name is far too tame for what it really is. It’s a temporary rotting of the mind, emotionally and mentally. For something to be able to actually kill creativity like that, it deserves a far harsher name.

Where is that creative power when I need it? What have I done to deserve this blankness?

I suppose I didn’t do anything, maybe it’s the artistic equivalent of having a cold; you didn’t welcome the virus in, and you can’t cure it, all you can do is comfort the symptoms and wait for it to fade.

But holy crap that doesn’t help. I want to have caused it, because then I could cure it.

Maybe the only way to beat the block, is to write about it, maybe that’s the way to give me back some power.

Maybe in some other universe I’m typing away like I’m paid per letter, maybe my multiverse isn’t as silly as it sounds; maybe somewhere else I’m sitting thinking to myself “God, imagine if I couldn’t write anymore?”

“Imagine those 26 letters, formats, punctuation, and numbers are somewhere leading me nowhere.”

“Just imagine…”

Maybe thinking about it, writing about it, will make it stop.

Maybe it’s started working.

Maybe I can take back control.

Maybe.

 

By Stephanie Watson

#1: Like a b̶o̶s̶s̶ bitch

It’s usually said

that women are powerful,

till she’s called a bitch.

 

#2: The difference

There is power in

our weakness, and weakness in

their so called strength.

 

#3: True strength

Give yourself credit

for the games you refuse to

play, you are the strong one.

 

#4: Intersectional strength

Back-up your sisters

of color and listen to

the strength in their tales.

 

#5: Your power

Did you think you’d be

strong enough to get

here? I never doubted you.

 

#6: Infinitive brutality

A blinding light from

a cop car, leads the way to

a mis-use of power.

 

#7 You have the power to save, part 1

Heat lines blaze across

the clear blue elderly eyes,

of the homeless soul.

 

#8 You have the power to save, part 2

You pass them by with

a choice; use your privilege

to help or ignore.

 

#9: Illness of the mind

Red hot coals lay on

the road of this race,

but it can be won.

 

#10: Triumphing over evil

We are outnumbered,

But what is that old saying?

“The good always win.”

 

We encourage you to submit your creative writing for consideration to be digitally published in our new monthly literary arts zine, Cyberrriot.

What we’d love to see from you:

– Short stories and vignettes
– Poetry
– Scripts
– Fictional and non-fiction monologues
– Fictional and non-fiction letters
– Art (photography, drawings, collages, etc.)
– Open letters/personal narratives
– Mixed media (Vlogs, Instagram pictures, Vimeo, YouTube videos)
– Conversations & Social Media Text (Text message, Twitter replies, Tumblr blog posts, etc.)

The deadline for all zine submissions is September 10th and will be published digitally on our site September 15th.

We’ll announce next month’s theme within the next few days, on our official Facebook page, so stay tuned!

If you wish to submit a piece of writing to Fembot’s Cyberrriot, please submit your writing to this form. Then, send a picture of yourself to cyberrriot@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you within 3-4 business days. You can find more information about rules and regulations here.

If you have a piece other than writing, please send us an e-mail with your work.