November Call for Submissions

The Rising Phoenix Review is a monthly ezine dedicated to modern social commentary and social activism. Our mission is to build a sacred space for marginalized individuals to share their voices. Our goal is to publish writing that actively engages some of the most challenging issues of our time.

We believe the creation of socially conscious art builds communities, and allows us to reconcile the errors of our world. We ask every writer who is willing to join our quest.

We are currently seeking submissions for our November issue. Click here for submission guidelines. If you are wondering what we look for in a poem, read some of our past issues or our publication philosophy.

If you would like your poetry to be considered for our November issue, please submit by October 31st.

When you are ready, please submit your words here.

Manic Depression in Five Parts By Taylor Pavolillo

Manic Depression in Five Parts

i.
my mom is on the other end of the line–
she’s sobbing. my throat inflates with rage
and I start chewing on my cuticles again.
I imagine tackling my brother to the ground
and slapping him with every insult he’s ever pitched at her.
instead I call him twenty-two times.
he only answers once to call me bitch
and then hangs up.
I just want him to go home.

ii.
we thought we had this under control. now
I’m 500 miles away and my mom weeps in her car.
she says, this burden is strapped to my back
and it’s getting too heavy– my legs are going to give out.

she doesn’t stop crying when she crawls into bed at night.

iii.
I’m glad my dad isn’t alive to hear
how my brother talks about growing up
afraid of his own voice,
convinced he had no shadow.
he said he thought he was a ghost
that people saw right through.
I don’t think my dad could have understood.

iv.
my brother hasn’t slept in three days.
he tore down the ceiling fan in my mom’s room,
and he’s convinced we want to get rid of him.
my mom’s voice is heavy when we talk about hospitalization.
she just wants him to get some sleep.

v.
my brother calls me distraught, says
everything that has turned to rot in his palms
is because I was not a good sister.
he mocks me when I start crying.
I can’t breathe because I know he’s right.
I wake up at 3:46 AM to a six-page apology text.

By Taylor Pavolillo

Biography:

Taylor Pavolillo is a 21 year old poet living in Oakland, California. She studies Creative Writing and Women and Gender Studies at San Francisco State University, where she can always be found with a cup of coffee in hand. She is the estranged mother of an adorable cat and dog who currently reside in San Diego with their grandmother, and that’s where you can find her heart. She hopes this poem finds you unashamed. She has work featured or forthcoming in Persephone’s Daughters and The Fem Lit Mag, and you can find more at taylorpavolillo.com.

Dionysus Skips the Party By Alessia Di Cesare

Dionysus Skips the Party

They see you as party and wine, mixing grapes and holy ecstasy
all for ruby nights and a god-like sense.

They see your hand is steady
as it goes for the drink.

When the crowds form, your heart swallows itself,
opening your stomach like a hearse welcoming a coffin.

You’ve heard of the beetles found in the mouths of strangers
who thank you for the pleasures you pore them,

for the vines you plant that bear the fruits
needed too fill the bottle.

They crawl out from their cheeks as a memory of the empty cup
that quickly turns into seven empty bottles and a fight.

But you continue to boast about your indulgences,
like an art,

because even if the liquor burns it isn’t poison when you drink it right,
or when you’re empty enough to hold it.

You say this,
and you drink yourself further away from your body.

Your guilt tries to convince you that next time,
you’ll drink a little less.

Next time,
you’ll stay home.

But when they call, asking where you are, how will you tell them
about your fear of being found in the woods

belly up
from booze.

By Alessia Di Cesare

Biography:

Alessia Di Cesare is a self-proclaimed poet based in Canada, and an undergraduate student studying English Literature at the University of Ottawa. In 2014, she received a Silver Key for her poetry submission in the Scholastic’s Art & Writing Awards. Her work can be found in literary magazines such as Persephone’s Daughters, The Ottawa Arts Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, in the first volume of the “Prose.” Anthologies, and on her personal blog, http://www.featherumbrellas.tumblr.com

A Change of Climate By A. S. Maulucci

A Change Of Climate

In the morning when the birds are chattering,
I wake from dreams both wild and strange.
My taste of contentment is but a smattering.
My thoughts come into focus on a world of change.

Weeks have flowed by on the current of illusion.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and so to bed,
The world in chaos and life passes in confusion,
Many come to birth, and many more are dead.

So go the cycles of our spinning Earth.
The masses labor to get hold of what they lack,
And spend their meager dollars for an ounce of mirth,
While the rich fight to keep their business in the black.

What can one make of all this struggle and striving?
Populations explode and humanity keeps on working.
Like billions of bees whose instinct is for hiving,
Our goal is survival despite the doom that’s lurking.

More and more of Nature do we plunder,
The storms are lashing fiercer, the seas are rising,
There’s anger in the cry of her deep thunder,
And every morning fewer birds are singing.

A Great Beast has come up from Nature’s bowels,
A grendel who lives to open its jaws and devour.
We can smell its foul breath and hear its howls,
Without a doubt we’ve reached the final hour.

Yet we dance forward oblivious of these facts,
So determined are we to get our pleasure from consuming.
Self-destruction drives our thoughtless acts,
And annihilation of our race is darkly looming.

Awaken to the danger, Humanity, rise and take heed!
The times compel us to make a fine distinction
Between what we want and what we truly need!
Our race is racing recklessly onward to extinction!

By A. S. Maulucci

Biography:

A.S. Maulucci is a playwright-poet-novelist and world citizen. Author of 15 books and 6 full-length plays, he holds an MA from Wesleyan University, and currently makes his home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he writes, paints and enjoys exploring the local culture with his Mexican wife, a book designer. His work has appeared in publications throughout North America. Maulucci’s books are available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon.com.  You can find more of Maulucci’s work on Blogpot

svalbard global seed vault By Rishika Aggarwal

svalbard global seed vault

i. they say we’re the safest
we’ve ever been in history.
but –
– let’s talk about the wars.
the deaths.

(can you see the
shadows crawl forward?)

ii. today, more children
will have learnt how to kill.
more girls who still can’t
count to ten
will have given birth

(the darkness, it burns
and soothes your pains away)

iii. ayyan has become a calling card
for a generation under attack
but
we still don’t know the names
of the hundreds of other children
welcomed by rán’s net

(dance in the darkness, sweetheart
it’s all that’s left for you anyway)

iv. today, syria opened a vault
that was meant to protect the world
in case of pandemics
or nuclear wars.
neither has come upon us
(yet)
and still, seeds of hope
have gone missing

(tell me,
do you see the blades yet?)

By Rishika Aggarwal

Biography:

Rishika Aggarwal is an aspiring poet from India, currently studying for her master’s degree in English Literature. She’s been reading for as long as she can remember, and dreaming of being a writer for about as long. You’ll be able to find her (and more of her work) at rishwrites.tumblr.com

 

What I Wish You Would See By Michelle Gordon

What I Wish You Would See

Instead of calling me, “Exotic,” look at the maps on my ankles that tell you where I am, where I will go, and where my roots have grown

Instead of asking “Do you dance like the girls in the video?” notice the movement in
the wave of my fingers when I reach for God
Notice the sway of my hips when I walk with the pride that others try to strip me of

Instead of asking “Can I touch your hair?” watch how it outshines
the amber waves of gold
Listen to the stories of the hands that belonged to the women and men who have brushed,
braided, and styled this hair

Read the lines on the back of my hands
The freckles on my back
The eyelashes that flutter around my dark brown eyes

I’m so much more than the boxed stereotype
I don’t fit the picture frame of a black woman you molded

So, instead of saying, “I wish I could be tan like you,” understand
that women like me share so many hues
We make a rainbow look dull

By Michelle Gordon

Biography:

Michelle Gordon is a New Yorker who loves old school R&B, Jazz, black and white movies, bookstores and of course writing. She is a contributor for Germ Magazine.

Calling Names By Do Nguyen Mai

Calling Names

Park. Lee. Kim. Chang. Wong. Yee. Sakurada. Matsumoto. Nagasaki.

These are the names that have authored every word of what we must be. Dark hair, pale skin, cherry lips. Limbs like fragile, flexible bamboo sticks. Steps bound quieter than summer crickets. Like Shanghai Girls. Like Madame Butterfly. Like Memoirs of a Geisha.

But we do not see our faces playing part in the tragedies they’ve painted of their opulent, romantic East.

Where are the girls, black hair bound tightly beneath bamboo hats, running on slick, muddy roads with fifty pounds of rice on their tanned, burned backs to the market to try and make five U.S. cents for the herbs they need to heal their bloody, bruised wounds?

Where are the girls, over-sized guns in their malnourished hands, leaping from tree to tree like leopards ready to pounce on the next American soldier that tries to call sweetly for them, only to leave them wailing like children in a matter of hours?

Where are the girls, hair braided tightly with whispers of expectation, crying for their mothers beneath bright red veils dyed just a shade from the color of freshly spilled blood?

Where are the girls, calloused soles wading through leech-infested, waters, breathing pure, melodious song from lungs rotting with the smoke of war?

Where are the black haired, dark skinned, plum lipped girls with limbs like strong, unyielding rosewood and footsteps as loud as the river rapids?

Where are the Nguyens, the Bahris, the Phas, the Albertos, the Soms, the Ahmads?

Where are we?

Where am I?

By Do Nguyen Mai

Biography:

My name is Do Nguyen Mai, written last name to first in the traditional formal style, like the way most Vietnamese poets sign their works. I am a Vietnamese-American student living in the Los Angeles area who spends too much of her free time singing old, war-era Vietnamese songs. More of my poetry can be found at lotuscrowns.tk