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  • Hot Flash Mama


    Yo! There!

    You at the back of the room

    rolling your eyes

    at the title of my poem

    and looking at me

    all grey haired and flat shod

    not giving a damn

    yes you, I’m talking to you.

    Don’t look away

    because you don’t like

    the subject I’m giving you

    the subjective treatment

    I am a hot

    flash mama!

    That’s right!

    I’ve got heat

    rising up up up


    and it’s not on account of you.


    Hot Flash Mama.

    I am burning up

    with things to say

    things you’re going to

    have to

    listen to

    because this is my poem

    my body

    my work

    and if I want to get all worked up

    about something that is


    going to happen to you,

    that you’re


    going to truly understand,

    well then,

    you’d be the woman

    in the poem

    in the books

    in the canon


    I fired that shot.


    You don’t get to

    read me

    like you’re the man

    and I’m the woman

    in some old Leonard Cohen poem.

    No sir.


    I am a Hot Flash Mama.


    Read it and weep

    because in this poem,

    you’re the man.


    Notes from the Unknown Poet:

    Read this like it’s a musical like Hamilton.  Underline denotes emphasis, like a dotted quarter note.  I am currently at work on an alternate way to punctuate some of my poems as the usual commas and so forth do not reflect the actual breathing and breath of the poem.)




    Notes on the old English:

    Hamilton seems to be a favorite American father figure who preferred political involvement and song over familial involvement.  Here again, the poet seems to be trying to transcend the deeply embedded male basis of her society and its obsession with their own fluid based bodies.  With that came this strange casual denial of the female body and experience except as it applied to the male sexual experience.












    Poet’s reading notes:  This is a reversal stanza, read seductive instead of urgently, then next one return to voice of power and Hot Flash Mama voice.


    Notes on the Old English:

    Leonard Cohen seems to be unusual in this youth obsessed era as he earned greater acclaim in his sunset years and was known for his considerable strengths and popularity as a poet and ladies man, once again related to the human populations seemingly endless obsession with themselves and their concepts of love and sex.Our scholars surmise that the human obsession with body fluids must originate in the fact that most of their mass, is indeed fluid.


    Globe at the Curb


    Oh honey how hard it is

    to have a round brain

    in a square world

    and be pegged to death

    by algorithms that commute

    curves to straight lines

    without a simple understanding

    of the elements, a factoring in 

    of circumference not diameter.


    Oh honey your sums

    will never match up

    meridians, and equators,

    and the lines they made

    to crisscross you

    and divide you into known places.


    You are the globe

    and you






    while the math whizz


    snaps the















    Oh honey how hard to be

    the circle who spins

    into the unknown

    fighting darkness,

    infinity’s abyss,

    the anxiety of the unknown

    and unknowable.


    I took you home and put you on my shelf

    lovely blues rain crinkled,

    greens cracked and parched,

    and peeled from the crust

    the countries a mess,

    names forgotten and left

    all alone now that

    the estate sale’s over.









    I’ve been holding it

    for a while when I ask

    for a pit stop.

    “Can’t you wait?”

    He’s always asking

    that of us.

    Like we can control

    when we have to go

    if we just put our minds to it.

    But really, that’s all we do.


    The monthly saga

    of being responsible,

    a moment’s slip,

    the wait too long

    and everything’s a bloody mess.

    We have to be clean and clean up everything

    that’s messy and dirty and somehow our fault

    we inherited these bodies.


    If only they were really restrooms.

    Places of respite

    instead of this soldiering on

    man up, we’re taught.

    (Sing a song here of overcoming

    glorious women that we are)

    We shall oh we shall:

    pop pills

    avert pain,

    “deal with”

    our bodies

    and the aftermath

    of your pleasure.

    (Amen.  His song ends)

    when we’d rather just not deal

    in the face of the constant

    pressure to pretend

    the uterus doesn’t exist.

    No matter.  I will

    still need to pee.





    Notes on the Old English


    The human predilection for wasteful behavior indicated by their blatant abuse of the natural world was also inherent in their own structural integrity and their inability to recycle the nutrients they ingested.  They eliminated the excess into holding tanks, waterways, and any other place outside of themselves.


    The culture, obsessed with efficiency and a machine model, rewarded the male subspecies for having an out of body appendage for this activity and held the female subspecies hostage to her own body’s design as somehow flawed. Culturally men were allowed to eliminate outdoors while women were forced to use special huts designed for the process and thus were at the mercy of the hut buildings.

    About The Author

    Karen Faris


    Karen Faris holds a B.A. in English Literature from McGill University.  Her work is informed by many jobs in many places, tenure on the Irondequoit Conversation Board, and a lifetime of thinking and searching for the things that matter most.  Faris is the author of the cheerful dystopian novel, Grumbles:The Novel (Whimsical Publications, 2015).  Her short fiction has appeared in the on-line journal, Empty Sink Publications, and other short fiction, book reviews, and essays also have appeared on the website, RewritingMarySue.com.