// 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.
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.
‘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,
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.
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
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.
with slugs and snails
and puppy dogs tails
because that’s what little boys are made of.
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.
take a knife
to any human
and show you,
that anyone can bleed.
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:
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.
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.”
Maybe thinking about it, writing about it, will make it stop.
Maybe it’s started working.
Maybe I can take back control.
#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.”
What we’d love to see from you:
– Short stories and vignettes
– 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.