November 13, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

AFP photo



Elissa Jane Mastel




Enemy of the People




(a man coated in orange dust, squinting his eyes, standing at the podium, the center of attention)


Shut your goddamn mouth,

shut it right now, you rude, disgusting man.

How dare you challenge me?

Do you know who I am?

I am terrific, the best leader to ever lead this land, and I know leaders,

I love leaders, no one loves leaders more than me, OK?


Mr. Acosta:

(a journalist stands up, he is the truth, he demands the truth, he wants an answer, he stands there, for me, for you, for integrity)


I am the voice of the nation, and I told you I was challenging your views.

You knew when you called on me, that you were not going to answer me,

you wanted to insult me, but I will not be silenced.

Mr. Dictator, why do you vilify brown people?





You are a disgrace! How dare you question me. I am your dear leader!


Mr. Acosta:

(stands strong, security is coming for him, he hands on tightly to his microphone)


The people deserve answers, we want to know why you lie.

Please, not so dear leader, answer my questions, because

I am not just asking for me, or for ratings, or for one news story,

I am standing here representing your people. We do not believe you,

you don’t make sense. Why do you lie to us, why do you turn one thing

into something else. Do you think your gaslighting is working on us?

Sadly, it works on some of them, those die hard believers that the

tonic you take on the road will make them rich, grow hair on bald heads,

cure the very sick and make our lands fertile for crops.

Why do you lie, sir, you lie, and we need to understand the logic.



(pointing at Mr. Acosta, angry, smoke coming out of his ears)


You shut up, you shut up right now, I will not have the likes of you

ruining my ruse. I will tell you my truth, and you will report it,

or I will scream “Fake News” and deny your blatant refusal to

honor me. You are the enemy of the people!

That is why your ratings are so low.


Guards, guards, take away his voice!


Wicked Witch:

(spinning potion in goblet)


Don’t worry dear leader, I have a plan. I will take doctored videos

created by your angry men, and spin it as truth. When I’m done with this

potion, your people will believe you and not the free press.


— Posts InfoWars Doctored Video on Social Media —


Look into the video people, believe us, not the reporters. We are

your truth, we are crying victim. Hail your great leader, hail, hail!

I will deny that reporter his right to report, you should believe us, not him!


— She plans a civil war, which makes the Dictator very happy —


The people argue, they cannot take much more.

Why can’t the truth be paramount, it must prevail.

The angry men raise pitchforks and torches,

they march yelling hate in the name of the Dictator.

We must cleanse the nation, all browns must go!

Kill them! Shoot school children, women in yoga studios,

kill the gays in their nightclubs, and young people at the concert!

We must shoot them in movie theaters, when they are

not suspecting and unarmed.

They rise, send bombs, continue to kill those who do not

follow their Dear Leader.


That is the day the civil war broke out, the Rights vs the Lefts.


The Dictator:

(in an interview on his private news station)


There are good people on both sides.


The People:

(screaming, angry, afraid, determined, in colors like brown, blue, green, rainbow, christian, jew, muslim, educated, young, old, older)


There is only one right side of this argument Mr. President,

and we will fight until it is done. Your civil war will not deter us.

We will not yield.






Dysfunctional Relationship with Fear



My stomach has been agitated

Vibrating, jittery in my gut

caused by undeniable anxiousness,

uncertainty….. FUCK

Fuck, fuck… fuck, it is fear.

If I shut up

I have to be in my head

and if I’m quiet, like I am, right now

I’m identifying, labeling and sitting with this

nervous, uncontrollable fear.


Fear, fuck you fear.

We’ve been here before


I have sat with you

again, and again.


You are a friend and a nemesis.

Fear. This dysfunctional relationship

that never ends.


I cannot control you.

You come and go as you please.

Fear, you tell me things to bring me down,

pull me apart, kill my feelings of self worth.

You won’t let me break up with you.

Going out of my mind.






Elissa Jane Mastel

Elissa Jane Mastel may be best known as the infamous chillEmpress, a former publicist who has worked in entertainment, music, culinary and technology industries. After twenty years of running in the New York City rat race, she turned to academia to embark as a non-traditional student at Bard College where she received two degrees in one year. The first was her BA ‘16 in Written Arts with a minor in Experimental Humanities, and MAT in Language Arts and Education. These days, you can find her teaching high school business in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. In addition to writing incessantly in her mountain home, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her dog Scoob, cooking up meals for strangers, snowboarding, hiking and camping in remote spots deep in the woods.

Expressing herself through the written word has been a passionate endeavor since she was a little girl. She has written several novellas, numerous short stories and more recently she has reignited her love of writing poetry, but never published any of her work, until now.

Read more of her work on her new blog “Gratitude for the Boredom” – https://gratitudeforboredom.wordpress.com, or explore her photographic adventures on Instagram @chillempress.

Editor review

1 Comment

  1. Lynne Zotalis November 14, at 13:59

    Such an interesting and clever angle. So well timed and perfectly iterated. Two corrections, I believe in Enemy of the People:hands on, hangs on and die-hards believe


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