The Elixir

The Literature and Arts Magazine of Brenau University

Georgia’s Best Emerging Poets

Congratulations to all Elixir alums who were published in the recent anthology Georgia’s Best Emerging Poets!

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Inside you can find:

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Clifftop by Rebecca Jarrett

(cover art winner)

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition

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Pink by Rebecca Jarrett

Pink was her favorite color; the very pink that had colored his cheeks in slumber. She despised grey. It reminded her of storm clouds and smog and spoiled meat. Looking at his suit, she revised her complaint. She didn’t merely hate grey; she hated all dark colors. With a new resolve, she turned from his casket and strode out of the church. When she got home, she threw out half of her clothes.

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2015-16 print edition

-Photo credit to This Creative Girl

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Rasputin by Samuel Roper

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2015-16 print edition

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The Cliff

The Cliff by Tahimi Perez-Borroto

She sways on the cliff, sea pink flowers wrapped around her fingers, faint traces of tears carved on her cheeks. There’s a storm coming, the foam from the sea below her gurgles in anticipation, pity drops from above. He rode away ten days ago, Continue reading “The Cliff”

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Owl of Owls by Britney Powe

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2015-16 edition

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The Bird Man by Monica Sanchez

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2015-16 edition

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Sin by Emily Bruce

In the beginning there was God, and in the end there will be God, but in the middle all I know- the heat of your breath.

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2015-16 edition

-Photo credit to Made

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What is Aspartame?

In Response to Amy’s Question: What is Aspartame? by Marissa Hewatt Stephens

(3rd place poetry winner)


It is a sweetener,

an artificial, addictive, non-saccharide sweetener,

rapidly hydrolyzed in the small intestine,

and it breaks down, somewhere between saliva enzymes and piss stream,

into components, one of them being formaldehyde,

the stuff that coats those dead sharks you buy in glass jars,

and those dead people you find in coffins, Continue reading “What is Aspartame?”

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2012-13 Editor’s Notes

Dear Readers,

I am thrilled to share with you the works of Brenau’s talented writers and artists. This year, our collection draws from a diverse group of students who utilize multiple mediums and genres to explore everything from the impassioned to the mundane. Each woman included in this collection has shared with us a unique rendition of life as a Brenau Woman. It has been my privilege to work with these creators, and we hope that you will find as much joy, intrigue and fascination in seeing our works as we did in creating them.

Warm Regards,

Chloe Golden



Tough by Marley Elliott

Now she’s single,

but she never complains

because she knows that sometimes

a girl needs to suck it up.

On her back

is a dragonfly tattoo.

Her heart is harder to get to

than Fort Knox,

they key is buried

under miles of concrete.

Her heart has been stamped on,

tilled battered and barely beating,

she thought it was tough love,

and would cry herself to sleep every night.

Now she flits away from guys

as nimbly as a dragonfly,

and to any guy

who thinks they have a chance with her,

she says,



-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2013-14 print edition

-Photo credit to Tattoo Journal



Velcro by Zoe Scheffrin

I sit here

my gaze fixed on my feet

wondering if I’ll be able to reach

this time,

if the rigid muscles of my back

will release far enough.

They hold me in place,

remind me of

the spasms from charlie horses of my youth

and the mornings after marathons.

I doubt the necessity of shoes anyway

because I won’t be doing much today,

at most walking to the kitchen

just like every other day.

Without my shoes I

“will trip and fall.”

My nurse has instilled this

in my tired mind,

but sometimes I wish

I could ignore her encore of threats;

I think of the simple act

of pulling the strap over,

and wish

it were really

that simple.


-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2013-14 print edition

-Photo credit to Know It All Nanna


Watermelon Watermelon

Watermelon Watermelon by Ashley Lee

Alice sat in the car, her tiny frame pinned to the seat by the imposing mesh of the seat belt that was too big and almost sashed over her china-doll neck. Having just graduated from a car-seat, though, she was not about to complain. The weight of the fast-food burger in her lap, with its clammy wax paper encasing the greasy pile, sat untouched. Continue reading “Watermelon Watermelon”


Try as We May to Make Silence

Try as We May to Make Silence, We Cannot by Arielle Crumley

Amid the haze of smoke and musk, I join the crowd eagerly awaiting the show. The buzz of anticipation clashes with the sound of passing cars. Clad in pressed suits, polished shoes, and pearls for the ladies, all of New York’s finest musicians and artists have shown up for the event. “Can’t wait to see what this bastard has come up with this time,” a cigar- Continue reading “Try as We May to Make Silence”


a series of seed poems

a series of seed poems by Rebecca Jarrett

This poem is called “things I shouldn’t have bought at the grocery store.”

An orchid that I don’t know how to take care of.

Two spice brooms that give me a headache.

Halloween candy, not for trick-or-treaters, for myself.

Continue reading “a series of seed poems”


Expectations of a Black Girl

Expectations of a Black Girl by Brya Colomb

(1st place poetry winner)

I am expected to:

be docile as you try and take from me my basic rights

be sweet, easier to make me a fetish, a “ Chocolate Queen”

keep in mind what makes you comfortable, no confrontations, no scenes Continue reading “Expectations of a Black Girl”


Simple Beauty by Kaleigh McIntyre

[Featuring Tahimi Perez-Borroto]

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition


Ms. Friedman’s Stroll

Ms. Friedman’s Stroll by Nina Siso

(2nd place prose winner)

“Now spit,” she said mechanically for the fourteenth time that afternoon. She watched the elderly man lean to the side of the chair and nearly expectorate into the metal bowl. She wiped his face with a cloth, dabbing moisture out of the wrinkles and grey beard. She gave a tight smile and promised him that the Dentist would arrive in a few minutes.  Of course it would be longer than that; the office had been short- staffed for a while. Most of the women in the office, herself included, only had this job because of the absence of male hygienists and doctors.  She walked out of the room quickly, eager to get home and relax with her favorite radio program.  It had been an unusually rough day. Continue reading “Ms. Friedman’s Stroll”


City Lights by Erin Henderson

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition


About New York

About New York by Kory Stringer

I’ll never tell you I hate it,

Everything about it.

16 hours in a civic isn’t fun.

Although… Continue reading “About New York”


Judgement Day by Lexi Hohmann

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition


Ariel in Real Life

Ariel in Real Life by Rebecca Jarrett

She’s been sick for so long that she has almost forgotten what being normal feels like.

It feels like all she knows now is death, and dying. Her parents dishing out too much money on endless medical bills. Having no hair and getting stared at in public. Being told no, you can’t take Pilates/get a tattoo/pet that dog/go to that concert, you’re too sick. Continue reading “Ariel in Real Life”


Psalm 19:1 by Kirstin Ray

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition


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