as told to the poet by SGM
by Alexis Rhone Fancher
It’s 1984. A board member at the L.A. Library Association pushes me against the Xerox
machine, forces his tongue down my throat.
It’s 1977 when I watch the musical director at Lincoln Center jack off under his desk. Over
dirty martinis his assistant confides it’s her job to wipe up the semen splatter each night before
she goes home.
It’s 1985. I’m raising money for medical research when Dr. Abdul R.H. greets me at the Saudi embassy. When my shoe catches the hem of my dress, exposing my breasts, he claps.
It’s 1978. The Brooklyn Academy of Music. Six of us girls lunch at my boss’s flat in the Village. Before dessert he leans back, unzips his fly.
It’s 1988. My boss, notorious ladies’ man James ‘Jimmy’ R., president of Cal State L.A., propositions me, my sister, and every woman under the age of thirty. Afraid of retribution, no one reports him.
It’s 1971. Six of us cheerleaders at Blair High watch a man in the stands masturbate to our practice routines. I’ve never seen a penis, up close, erect. What ‘cha lookin’ at? he smirks.
It’s 1985. Board member David M. asks me out in front of the entire board. His masculinity’s
It’s 1986. Dr. Abdul R. H. invites me to discuss the research budget at his L.A. hotel. His suite is filled with roses. He’s naked under the robe.
It’s 1972. Dr. Lusk, university physician, palpates my breasts as part of a sore throat exam. You
have nice, German breasts, he exclaims. He prescribes a spanking, lozenges.
It’s 1973. Danny hits me in the face for calling him a male chauvinist pig. Later, he holds me
outside of a moving car until I agree to fuck him.
It’s 1978. I tell the president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music we’re all resigning as a group.
Who is“we”? he asks. I realize I’m on my own.
* * * * *
"Old School" was first published in Diode (July, 2018).
Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in The Best American Poetry 2016, Verse Daily, Plume,
Rattle, Literary Mama, Diode, Pirene’s Fountain, Tinderbox, Nashville Review, and elsewhere.
She’s the author of four poetry collections; How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and
other heart stab poems, (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), Enter Here, (2017),
and Junkie Wife, (2018). A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.