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SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

[Two Poems]

by Alexis Rhone Fancher

June Fairchild isn’t dead—

she’s planning a comeback.
she’s snorting Ajax for the camera.
she’s landing a role on I Spy.
she’s writing her number on a napkin and
handing it to me at King Eddy’s Saloon.

June Fairchild isn’t dead—
she’s just been voted Mardi Gras Girl at Aviation High.
she’s acting in a movie with Roger Vadim.
she’s gyrating at Gazarri’s, doing the Watusi with Sam The Sham.
she’s mainlining heroin in a cardboard box.

June Fairchild isn’t dead—
I saw her tying one on at King Eddy’s Saloon.
she’s making Drive, He Said, with Jack Nicholson.
she’s selling the Daily News in front of the courthouse.
she’s snorting Ajax for the camera.

June Fairchild isn’t dead—
she’s relapsing in front of the Alexandria Hotel.
she’s working as a taxi dancer, making $200 a shift.
I saw her vamping with Hefner, frugging on YouTube.
she’s naming Danny Hutton’s band “Three Dog Night.”

June Fairchild isn’t dead—
she’s living at the Roslyn SRO on Main.
she’s giving up her daughter to her ex.
she’s snorting Ajax for the camera.
she’s planning a comeback, needs new headshots.

June Fairchild isn’t dead—
she’s Up In Smoke, getting clean.
she’s sitting by the phone.
she’s falling asleep in Laurel Canyon
with a lit cigarette in her hand,
waiting for me to call.


Former Gazarri’s dancer/starlet June Fairchild, a self-proclaimed “angel in a snake pit,” died of liver cancer on February 17, 2015. She was 68 years old.

Photograph of June Fairchild’s signature on a napkin, by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Photograph copyrighted by Alexis Rhone Fancher. All rights reserved.

—Poem and photograph were first published in Cleaver magazine (June 2016) and appear here by author’s permission; both are forthcoming in the newest of Rhone Fancher’s books, Enter Here (KYSO Flash Press, May 2017).


Every Day Is Mother’s Day

If you had only
one child and he died, are you 
still a mother?

“I was but he died.”
Hard to say, harder to hear. 
Someone feels like shit.

“Yes, a son. Just one.”
or: “No. I have no children.” 
That’s unthinkable.

Like he never was.
Say it and then catch yourself: 
Such cruel betrayal.

I could say he died.
How each day he dies anew. 
How I fell apart.

Broke into pieces.
How I grew old, and how the 
wind blew right through me.

—First published in Gyroscope Review (Issue 17-1, Winter 2017); republished here by author’s permission


SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

Alexis Rhone Fancher

is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart-stab poems (Sybaritic Press, 2014) and State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (KYSO Flash Press, 2015).

Her poems appear in more than 100 literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2016, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, Hobart, Cleaver Magazine, Poetry East, Fjords Review, Rust + Moth, Plume, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Askew, and Nashville Review; and her photographs have been published worldwide, including spreads in River Styx, Heart Online, and Rogue Agent, and on the covers of Heyday Magazine, Chiron Review, Witness, and The Mas Tequila Review. Her writing has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

A lifelong Angeleno, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly, where she also publishes a monthly photo-essay, “The Poet’s Eye,” about her on-going love affair with Los Angeles. From the S-curves of Topanga and the sprawling beaches of the Westside, to the stunning views of downtown L.A. from her 8th-floor loft studio, her beloved city can be construed as another character in her work.

Find her at:

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury