Aubade after The End By Emily Vieweg

Aubade after The End

I put you on a pedestal even Gods wouldn’t reach –
couldn’t reach
You’re gone and just memories stay:
when you wooed me with your silly smile

your musical charm and every time I said yes
to your beer night I meant yes to you.
But you didn’t date friends and now

you bequeath to me an occupation:
wondering who you really were
and why I didn’t know your pain
or maybe I just ignored it.

Seventeen gathered at Dan’s house,
another twelve online to take turns
offering memories of you

shooting Black Label in your honor
passing the glass as we did
so long ago.

My six a.m. internal clock woke me from deep sleep – too deep
to dream. But you crept in like always,
wooing with your memory, sweet-talking
with a shot of Jack until I woke to the truth.

The sun was breaking through the snow clouds
Dan was shoveling the walk and I remembered

we weren’t twenty again and
you were really gone
singing off-key with the blue jays
that left a mess on my windshield.

Aubade after The End was originally published by Linden Avenue Literary Journal.

By Emily Vieweg

Biography:

Emily Vieweg, MFA is a poet and playwright originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, WritingRaw.com, Soundings Review and more. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she is a mother of two, pet parent, data processor and adjunct English instructor.

National Poetry Month Prompts

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In celebration of National Poetry Month, we posted one new writing prompt every day on our Tumblr blog. We thank every poet who used those prompts as inspiration for new writing. Our team greatly enjoyed the opportunity to read your work! We encourage each of you to consider submitting your new poetry for a future issue of Rising Phoenix Review.

If you missed the prompts, and you are looking for inspiration for new poetry, here is the complete list. We hope these prompts prove to be a launching pad for your creativity!

Prompts 

April 1: Write about your superpower.

April 2: Write about breaking the silence.

April 3: Write a love poem to your hometown.

April 4: Write about how you survived.

April 5: Write a poem that is a self portrait.

April 6: Write about what makes you whole.

April 7: Write about abandoned buildings and what they were before they closed.

April 8:  Write about the people you see on public transit but never meet.

April 9:  Write about taking a road trip and the discoveries you made.

April 10: Write a poem that is a family portrait.

April 11:  Write a poem to get rid of fear.

April 12:  Write a poem from the perspective of a national landmark.

April 13:  Write about a personal ritual.

April 14:  Write about the best advice you’ve every gotten from your therapist.

April 15:  Write about birthmarks.

April 16:  Write a poem to your favorite poet.

April 17: Write about window shopping.

April 18: Write about how you rage against the dying of the light.

April 19: Write about your favorite tattoo.

April 20: Write about something that makes you feel loved.

April 21: Write about why April is the cruelest month.

April 22: write a poem about your favorite band.

April 23: Write a poem that is a creation myth.

April 24: Write about your origin story.

April 25: Write about what aches today.

April 26: Write about the worst storm you’ve ever experienced

April 27: Write about the dreams that keep you up at night.

April 28: Write about a family ritual.

April 30: Write about the thing you miss the most.

When you are ready, please consider submitting your new poems to Rising Phoenix Review.
submit

Heliocentric By Darshana Suresh

Heliocentric

sing, o muse,
of the pain of
watching a loved thing fall.

of daedalus, hands reaching down,
down, down,
hands extended as far as they
could extend, hands
turning to claws in frustration —

of daedalus, able to create
anything, but unable to bring
his own son back to life.

of phaethon, back arched in a
final bow, ground rushing
to meet him, hands hands hands
burning / burning.

of helios, laughing.

of apollo, chasing and chasing
until a girl is no longer a girl
but a laurel tree.

of the sun and its heat,
its scathing, of fires
ravaging through troy,
through houses, through
people
(screams in the air, along
with the stench of flesh).

let me tell you of the sun
and how it burnt me down
from the inside out,
how it makes my knees
knock like they’re filled
with a dozen wasps.

here is another myth:
girl wakes and sees the sun /
girl goes back to sleep.

By Darshana Suresh

Biography:

Darshana Suresh is a 19-year-old Indian born poet residing in New Zealand, where she is currently studying Psychology and English Literature. In her free time, she can either be found planning novels that are never written, or dreaming about all the places she has not seen. She’s not okay yet, but she’s trying to be.

On Loving Helen By Christina Im

On Loving Helen

one. All of this was written in the stars.
Don’t think for a moment that you are the one
holding the pen. Don’t think for a moment
that the skies aren’t already laughing.

two. When you first see her, she will be light
refracted, splintered divinity, some unlovely portrait
of a goddess misremembered. Go home.
Ready the ships. Practice swallowing the sea.

three. You won’t remember much about the war.
All you’ll know for certain is that now and forever,
every word you say will be a battle cry.
Every day you will be careful with
your earthquake hands.

four. She will not let you touch her
at first. Instead she will ask about
the city, burning. The men turned to ash.
She will ask you if you remember their names.

five. Your voice does not drown out
her beating heart. Your words do not muddy
her pulse. Come to terms with this quickly—
no, it doesn’t get easier. Lay down. Be still
for once in your life. Let her tread over your chest.

six. Love will arrive unannounced
on a Friday night; love will catch you trembling.
Love will take the golden apple from your hand
and into its mouth. Love will smile.
Love will bite down.

seven. You will bleed.

eight. When you watch her sleeping,
as you’ll no doubt do, convince yourself
she is a statue. Tell yourself
the swan’s egg she was born in never cracked.
Call it marble. Call it pure. Someday
you will stop looking for the lie.

nine. Recall that you are being watched
and the fates are getting bored.
At night you think you hear them,
passing the scissors back and forth.
Don’t let them fade you to black just yet.
You owe her at least that much.

ten. On the bad days, show her your hands.
They haven’t unlearned the cataclysm
that they are and will always be.
The ground beneath your feet
will still bend for them. Tell her
here I am.

eleven. And remember: you will bleed.

By Christina Im

Biography:

Christina Im is fifteen years old and attends high school in Portland, Oregon. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Rose Red Review, Words Dance, Strange Horizons, and The Adroit Journal, among others. In addition, her work has been recognized by Hollins University and the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

One Round By Schuyler Peck

One Round

The wild, green hand,
stretching its pine thistle palms out to you,
and curling its fingers closed;
asking you,
reverently,
to come look.

The gentle daisies with the sunlight
in their eyes,
rustling their bodies across a deer trail;
and from here,
you can feel them shake and flicker
the flies off their skins.

These are your brothers;
the bear track beyond the birch trees,
the squiggly snooting pig tails by the barn.
These are your sisters,
the aspens yawning in the wind,
the bullfrogs bowing their voices back
to the moon, barber-shopping
their song across the lily pads.

What a waste this wonder would be
if we weren’t one circle,
one unending round.

By Schuyler Peck

Biography:

Born of college-ruled notebooks and the smell of lemon grass, Schuyler Peck was raised in New Jersey, but she’ll never tell you that. Instead, she’ll tell you there are pieces of her everywhere; planted in trees and shipped off to the moon. Her poetry, however, can be found in her book, A Field of Blooming Bruises, Words Dance Publications, Literary Sexts V. 2, Rising Phoenix Review, JuxtaProse Magazine, and schuylerpeck.tumblr.com

Kamakhya By Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

Kamakhya

To Amruta Patil, for coincidences

Spiral roads take you up
An occulted hill
The glacial river flows by,
Your spiralling eyes
Are full of green water,
You breathe
A vertiginous air,
Trees laden with monkeys
Greet you anciently,
You hear bells
Tolling against bad spirits
Sinisterly pious –
Welcoming scared gods,
Priests, sheep
Vie for attention,
Flowers are food, mantras
Money,
You remove your shoes
Walk on old stones
They erase your presence
You are footsteps
With eyes of forgetting,
Divinities on walls
Pose – to stall your path
Tempt you,
Their bodies, counsels
On stone –
Telling you, go break
The stones in your body
Become body
Spread your organs,
Branch out like flowers
Flower, branch,
Go, turn into verbs
Look, beside you
Goats are slaughtered
They wait, then –
Executed by a syllable
Their blood
Is our feast, we feast
On death,
Our mother bleeds –
To birth us,
Blood is birth, death
Regeneration
Kamakhya,
Dark spring,
Invites us below –
We go with careful steps
Where it bleeds
Water,
Blood is water,
On our forehead of water
A mark of blood,
It marks our fate,
Fate, marked by return
To roots
Of vanished, deserted
Homes,
Where we were born,
Will never die,
We die elsewhere,
Without roots
We are homeless figs
In the pyre,
In a fit you see –
Temple walls
Hoisted by pigeons,
Why do birds
Die clinging to walls,
What attracts
Feathers to stones,
No one knows
Inside the garbhagriha
Dark rumbles,
You go inside your head
Deeper, down,
Walled by fear, desire,
Touch the yoni
Waiting since ages
To remind you
Where you come from,
Kamakhya,
The orifice of origins,
Performs a ritual
Of blood’s regenerative
Cycles,
Man sacrifices his animal –
For he lacks the blood
Of a woman,
Goats are muted spectators
Of self-annihilation
Or of delirium,
Of what man cannot hold –
In Kamakhya,
Stones bleed myths

By Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

Biography:

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee is a poet, writer, translator and political science scholar. His poems have appeared in The London Magazine, New Welsh Review, The Fortnightly Review, Elohi Gadugi Journal, Mudlark, Metamorphoses, Modern Poetry in Translation, The Postcolonialist, George Szirtes’ Blog, The Missing Slate, The Indian Quarterly, The Little Magazine, and Coldnoon. His first collection of poetry, Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems (2013), was published by The London Magazine. He is currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Culture and Creative Expressions at Ambedkar University, New Delhi.

My Khala is an Honest Woman By Orooj-e-Zafar

My Khala is an Honest Woman

Being an educator is in her blood.
Her school was rechristened after Khaula
so she would live thirteen-hundred-and-
fifty times more after she left us.

My khala put half of her life teaching girls in a village
till it stood eighty thousand square feet off the earth,
unhinged from all the revolutions she started.

She made history in the quietest of places
for the brightest minds to shine colors
while she handed them a glass bottle.

She made the news once, when her school
was renovated after thirty years of its standing
but I pray–

I pray for the day I turn the news on
and don’t see human natural disasters
disguised as reporters.

Those fifteen minutes of fame not once asked for,
not once appealed,
tore down her hammock-dreams
off her whitewashed walls,

spit in her new cooler-filters,

questioned whether her nurturing was enough
for these “village girls”–

my khala is an honest woman.

“Our kids have ambition. I dare you to find
a private school that can breed our discipline,
our morals. We sit on carpets and partitioned halls taken for a library.
I dare you to teach your star-children
humility sitting on a cushioned chair.

Our girls are equal.
Our girls are learning.
Our girls
deserve better

so thank you for stopping by.”

My khala is a grateful woman;
not one story can ever do that justice.

By Orooj-e-Zafar

Biography:

Orooj-e-Zafar writes to ventilate and is confident only in her ability to try. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan, studying to become a doctor on the side but focused on being a spoken word poet. Most recently, she was a runner-up in the Pakistan Poetry Slam 2016 and is a poetry reader at cahoodaloodaling. She can be found at:http://facebook.com/oroojezafarwrites