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

Large-Blue-RGB-National-Poetry-Month-Logo

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

GRAND THEFT (AFTER FALL OUT BOY) By Linette Reeman

GRAND THEFT (AFTER FALL OUT BOY)

where is your boy tonight? i hope / he is a gentleman.
maybe he won’t find out / what i know–
pete wentz writes songs about teenage girls when he is twenty-seven
when i am a teenager, there is a man who spreads me like
a sheet-music cold-read / fumbled awkward under
the pair of tight shorts i always wore because
i thought they made me look older
but i am still a teenager and he still
holds me the way a thief holds
contraband / too fast-grab to be legal
/ so pete wentz writes a song about fucking a teenager /
and this man writes a poem about my ears, or my nail-beds, or
some other part of me he becomes the first to find
/ and pete wentz writes another song about fucking a teenager /
then breaks a cradle in front of patrick stump and patrick
looks at the splinters in pete’s hands and says “i will find
a melody for this” /  and i am at a fall out boy
concert with my friends singing along to what i think
is a song about the duality of emotion or the
fragility of time / but every song
i grew into myself loving is written about
a twenty-something fucking a teenager /
so every twenty-something dude in this mosh pit
is  is screaming the phrase
“god-complex” / “teenage-vow” /
building a word-church of young-girls every
time they thrust something stained at
the stage / so they are just doing what pete wentz
made a billion dollars doing // stealing // by
fucking a teenager so loud
a generation of other teenagers knew the
sound her headboard made and nothing else /
and i am lucky because the man who wrote about me
is not famous / did not play a thousand sold-out shows
where he told  the version of the story where
i was a bitch and left / not the version where i
changed my mind / and i am listening to a fall out boy song
and it sounds like just another song but it is /
actually a song about / a mother learning
what the worst is / the act of being fucked
when you are not old enough to be beautiful / the act of
being so beautiful men will tell you how criminal
you make them / the crime of once being a teenager and
how fucked up it is that someone will probably call me a bitch /
for not letting patrick answer pete with “nothing”
when pete asks him “what have i broken?” /
how there is a teenaged girl who
is not a teenager anymore who i hope still wants
to be beautiful in someone’s backseat /
how sometimes i walk past the walls he stained me up
against / wake up the next morning to find–
where is that girl tonight? you know / you’re not a gentleman.
you hope we won’t find out / what you’ve done–

This performance was filmed at the Last Chance Slam by Slamfind.

By Linette Reeman

Biography:

Linette Reeman (they/them pronouns) is a poet from the Jersey Shore who is currently pursuing a B.A. in history from Rowan University. Linette has represented Loser Slam (Red Bank, NJ) at multiple national and regional slams and this is their second year representing Rowan at the college national slam (CUPSI). They have featured at the Philadelphia Fuze Slam and for D.C. Trans Power, have been published by places like Words Dance and Voicemail Poems, and probably want to high five you.

 

The Girl who Cried God By Kylee Bagley

The Girl who Cried God

1. You said your favorite game was
Playing God, so I let my body
Be Eden, my vagina the Tree of Knowledge.
“Ruin will happen here,” you said.
You eat the fruit.

2. You love creation and claiming
What does not belong to you.
You Christopher Columbus down the
Shores of my body searching
For India, but instead fall asleep
In the bend of my arm
Regaining your strength for the
Pillage that will turn me carcass.

3. You entered my castle and
Renamed it crack house,
Picked a mattress in the corner
And made your bed.
My body stinks of frankincense,
Formaldehyde, and myrrh.

4. Our love is a miscarriage of
Still-born words. We stopped
Trying to imitate Gods after
The maggots came and went,
The garden desolate.

5. I wrap my body around the world
Until calloused hands palm Judea.
How many times can I ask
Forgiveness for the same sin?
I say it again: forgive me Father,
I know of what I do.
I Lazarus,
I smolder,
Ignite, then
Lazarus.
I say it again.

By Kylee Bagley

Biography:

My name is Kylee Bagley. I am a 21 year old student who will receive her AA in Journalism in May 2016 and will be moving on to Rutgers-Camden majoring in English in the fall. I have previously been published by Lips Magazine, IthacaLit, and Poetry Quarterly. I view life as a poem in hopes to appreciate it more fervently and aim to show it through my work.

A Discovery of Bones (alternately, The Inventor) By Christina Im

A Discovery of Bones (alternately, The Inventor)

It began softly. She draped herself over them,
matchsticks of perfect wedding white,
and they counted her breaths, the first
and the next and the next and the next.
The whole, in truth, seemed less
than the sum of the moving parts.
Anatomy, mechanics, science, magic
—all cognates. All whispered secrets
under skin. But then she got up
and in that instant, I could’ve mistaken her
for a sonnet to a thunderstorm, a song that races
the lightning to the ground. Years later they ask me

“how did you do it?” (and I have no answer.)

She told me a secret once. It went something like
calcium and loneliness can bond, can make
the strongest substance we inherit
from biology and blood. That day I watched
but did not touch. I saw but did not speak.
I swear she wasn’t so tall at first. I swear
I stayed removed. No one will believe me,
but I didn’t forge her ligaments.
I swear I swear I swear.
No one will believe me, but here it is.
Her rise was of her own making. She lifted
her own skeleton off the ground.
No one will believe me, but what? But nothing.
I swear I only taught her how to stand.

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.