The Elixir

The Literature and Arts Magazine of Brenau University


May 2015


Neurotransmitters by Marissa Hewatt Stephens

So you say they’re close to discovering the origins of life,

something about creating algae from amino acids.

Amazing? How?

Continue reading “Neurotransmitters”


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?”

Mazda Memories

Mazda Memories by Abigail Paul

We’ve aged. Looking at his new thick-rimmed glasses, I realize if his polo wasn’t sugh a light shade of blue he’d look a lot like Clark Kent.

-This is Weekend Edition from NPR News.-

He’s grown into the man any mother would be proud of, no longer the dangerous bad boy who drew me in with his charm seven years ago. Everything about him has lightened; the boy I first met would never be caught dead in a loose-fitting baby blue shirt, let alone a polo.

-Russia has blocked the Security Council from any action.-

His cargo shorts blend into the tan leather interior of his new car. When did he start wearing khaki? As I twist the ring on my finger, I notice yet another fundraising campaign nagging from the speakers behind me. Continue reading “Mazda Memories”

Jante’s Law

Jante’s Law by Marissa Hewatt Stephens

If you fall in love with a Scandinavian,

you might become a Democrat.

It’s hard to resist the whole equality thing when he asks you to his apartment

while it’s raining

to discuss Thoreau, Continue reading “Jante’s Law”

Waking Up in a Park

Waking Up in a Park by Marley Elliott

I hear wind blow through nonexistent trees,

I open my eyes

To see clouds lazily drifting across the sky.

Children laugh on my left, Continue reading “Waking Up in a Park”


Reflection by Shana N. Toney

When I look into the mirror,

I no longer see the lines of my figure,

the fullness of my breasts, or the curve of my hips.

I see you.

Continue reading “Reflection”


Ana by Abigail Paul

I don’t know why you look up to me.

I haven’t done anything,

and I’m not that pretty.

Continue reading “Ana”

Reflections of a Journey

Reflections of a Journey by Karla Utterback

She gets in her car, turns the radio on, and sets the volume to an even number, or a multiple of five. She doesn’t know when she started doing this, she just does. Driving to the women’s clinic for her yearly breast exam seems like a regular event, she hardly gives it a second thought except for the slight dread of discomfort when the plates always seem to press harder than she remembers. Continue reading “Reflections of a Journey”

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