Survive Like the Water By Lydia Havens

Survive Like the Water By Lydia Havens

We are overjoyed to debut the newest member of the Rising Phoenix Press family. Survive Like the Water by Lydia Havens is officially available for pre-order! You may now reserve a copy of the full-length collection in our Etsy Shop! Creating this collection with Lydia was a life changing experience for our team. Working on this collection filled our days with courage and hope. Follow the link below for more details about reserving your copy.

Pre-order Survive Like the Water

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Read Poems from the Collection:

Cusp

Fine Print

Why I “Let it Happen:”

Back Stage at the Dance Show

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About Survive Like the Water:

In her debut poetry collection, Lydia Havens explores how mental illness, grief, and abuse have correlated in her own life, and in the patterns she observes in the rest of the world. Divided into four thematic parts, Survive Like the Water describes trauma using everyday occurrences and objects, and asks necessary questions about healing as a lifelong process.

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About Lydia Havens:

Lydia Havens is a poet currently living in Boise, Idaho. She is the co-founder and former Executive Poetry Editor of Transcendence Magazine, and the founder of Sapphic Swan Zine, a small publication for LGBT+ women and gender nonconformists. Her work has previously been published in Winter Tangerine, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and Words Dance, among other places. Lydia is the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam Youth Champion, and the author of three self-published chapbooks. Survive Like the Water, published by Rising Phoenix Press, is her first full-length collection. She currently works as a teaching artist for Big Tree Arts Inc.

 

AMERICA KILLS By Ji Strangeway

AMERICA KILLS

Mary was not his mother.
Virgin was not her breast.

Hands, darkly supple
holding suspended breath.

His eyes are life as grave.
His grave is wide as life.

His skin, both child, yet worn, like seastone,
My father, a soul who ran from home.

I called to mountains west.
The sun fainted slowly into night.

I called to the mountains east.
The moon smiled yellow and bright.

I called to the sea of south.
Monks left leaves bitten to dust.

I called to the sky of north,
angels flocked with fright.

I called within and found my father.
His face was blue like a rock dipped in somber.
The world suddenly collapsed like a weak lung
as my father wept emotions

he had never felt before.

I have but a long, fast journey,
arriving at the soul that spat three quarters of his blood
adjacent to my heart.
I find a life that left him narrow,
turned him blind,
blindly turned him,
turned he blind.

This is a song about sadness,
a melody of remorse,
a hoarse voice hollow,

an immigration discourse.

America grey almighty,
star spangled nothingness.

You have stolen the man who wore Beauty
and made him a refugee.

Remember Eddie Adams
as he shot American’s face white,
white face at night,
night worn with American white.

Remember his picture as a picture of father,
father of all fathers.

When my father was shot,
America killed itself.

By Ji Strangeway

Biography:

Poet, novelist, writer-director: Ji Strangeway transcends categorization, embracing beauty wherever she finds it. She has made it her mission to capture this invisible beauty and share it with the world. Writing from the margins of gender, orientation, and circumstance, her work is an unconventional call to action. Her words are for the dreamers and the idealists. When she’s not beating deadlines, you can find Strangeway in Los Angeles, riding the crashing waves of electronica at a club, basking in the Santa Monica sunset, or reveling in the full spectrum of life experiences in her travels. Follow her on Twitter @jistrangeway or Facebook ji.strangeway

PART TIME STORE CLERK By Damian Rucci

PART TIME STORE CLERK

It’s 3am
and my feet are sore

the hundredth box of
raviolis broke on the floor

and I couldn’t care
less

the guy I work with—
his thumbs are numb

from swiping lonely women
on Tinder.

I want to breathe Pacific
backpack to Katmandu

leave this grocery store
in flames

so I can have something
to write about.

I need to leave home.

By Damian Rucci

Biography:

Damian Rucci is a writer and poet from New Jersey whose work has appeared recently in Eunoia Review, Beatdom, Yellow Chair Review, and Indiana Voice Journal. He is the founder and host of Poetry in the Port, one of the Damned Poets, and the author of Tweet and Other Poems (MDP 2016), Symphony of Crows (2015), and The Literary Degenerate Blog.

Survive Like the Water Cover Art

Survive Like the Water Cover Art

We are thrilled to reveal the cover art for Survive Like the Water, the forthcoming full-length poetry collection by Lydia Havens. Our deepest gratitude goes out to Bristy – Pagli Rajkonna for designing and creating the illustration for this collection.

In our current political and social climate, we need brave voices. We need individuals who will resist in simultaneously bold and tender ways. We believe Lydia Havens is this kind of poet who supplies good medicine for the heart, mind, and soul with her poetry.

Pre-orders for Survive Like the Water will officially begin on Sunday, January 22nd. stay tuned for more information.

More about Survive Like the Water:

In her debut poetry collection, Lydia Havens explores how mental illness, grief, and abuse have correlated in her own life, and in the patterns she observes in the rest of the world. Divided into four thematic parts, Survive Like the Water describes trauma using everyday occurrences and objects, and asks necessary questions about healing as a lifelong process.

More about Lydia Havens:

Lydia Havens is a poet currently living in Boise, Idaho. She is the co-founder and former Executive Poetry Editor of Transcendence Magazine, and the founder of Sapphic Swan Zine, a small publication for LGBT+ women and gender nonconformists. Her work has previously been published in Winter Tangerine, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and Words Dance, among other places. Lydia is the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam Youth Champion, and the author of three self-published chapbooks. Survive Like the Water, published by Rising Phoenix Press, is her first full-length collection. She currently works as a teaching artist for Big Tree Arts Inc.

 

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Front Cover


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Back Cover

 

Suffering of the People By Gary Beck

Suffering of the People

I often ask myself
where do we go from here,
the nation conflicted
at home and abroad.

Once desperate for Mid-East oil
foreign policy twisted and turned
invading some countries,
trying to convince our people
we were building democracy
in lands wanting theocracy.

Our leaders spent soldiers, treasure,
so the oligarchs profited
as gasoline profits went up,
leaving us just enough money
to purchase assault rifles
to use on our neighbors,
and by some strange coincidence
the rich are never victims
in senseless rampages.

Consolidation of power
was accomplished long ago
by those deciding our destiny,
drafting or recruiting our youngsters
to obey and carry out orders
to protect national interests
that don’t benefit the nation,
only the lords of profit
and their obedient servants.

I often ask myself
why no one seems to notice
that the lunatic killing sprees
occur in schools, the workplace,
all kinds of public spaces,
never mansions of privilege.

As long as the rich are shielded
from the threats of day to day life
they will retain complete control
over our daily existence,
determining what groups prosper,
who remains trapped in poverty,
who lose homes, jobs, security.

Yet we still believe in the system
that no longer guarantees
life, liberty, the pursuit of….,
equal opportunity,
deluded into accepting
the illusion of democracy,
instead of the covenant
promised by the Constitution.

I often ask myself
how to change an unfair system
tilted against ordinary folk
who just want a decent life
and are willing to work hard
for the future of their children,
but are callously abandoned,
betrayed by our greedy masters.

By Gary Beck

Biography:

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 3 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions (Winter Goose Publishing). Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) and Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Acts of Defiance will be published by Dreaming Big Publications. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

Gas Patch Dawn By Aden Thomas

Gas Patch Dawn

The shadows web their winter light
across sagebrush the size of men.
The mobile homes concede their deaths
one frostbitten panel at a time.  A ballistic
wind beats their rooftop wounds of tin.
In the distance the white mountains
slither along the glow of the horizon.
A truck door barks shut.
An engine growls and chokes
on chunks of icy diesel
before fading down the gravel road,
unsatiated, to devour whole
the gas fields in one giant swallow.

By Aden Thomas

Biography:

Aden Thomas grew up in the blue collar communities of central Wyoming. His work has appeared in The Kentucky Review, The Inflectionist Review, and Third Wednesday. He now lives north of Denver, Colorado.

This is not forgiveness By Michelle DeLouise

This is not forgiveness

my skin is brown, a nice shade
of kissed by the sun and my mother tells me
that i should be celebrating my skin,
that there are women who would kill
for my skin, but all i can feel is my skin,
on fire.
the first time i learn that i am not white,
like my parents i am eight years old
and my neighbor’s son is burning
a white cross in my family’s front yard
i put the fire out and i bury the cross
before my parents come home
and i do not tell.

two years later, i am riding the bus home from school
and the boys on the bus take turns seeing
who can reach their hands up under my skirt.
one of the boys tells me that my lips
are too big for my face but they remind him
of his favorite pornstar and he asks me how much i charge
per hour as he grabs my head
and pushes my face towards the crotch
of his purple and yellow basketball shorts. his friends laugh
as tears well up in my eyes and he spits on my lips
and shoves my head into the window of the bus.
i get off the bus and walk to my house
and clean myself up in the bathroom

when i am twelve years old,
i become friends with the quiet boy in my english class.
we share our snacks on the playground,
pass notes back and forth in class,
and he laughs at my jokes when no one else does;
i tell my friends that i think i might like like this boy.
when he hears this he tells them
that he thinks i’m kind of funny sometimes
but he only dates white girls.
when i get home i grab the container of bleach
from the laundry room and i fill the bathtub:
two parts hot water, one part bleach.
before i can dip my body into this brew,
my mother knocks on the door and asks
if everything is alright.
i am not sure how to answer.

at sixteen, i find myself
standing in the parking lot of my father’s church
digging in my purse to find my keys so that i can drive home
after wednesday night youth group.
one of the boys still hanging out
in the parking lot asks me why i won’t go out
on a date with him and he pushes me against
my car and he plants his lips on mine
and forces his tongue
down my throat as his hands begin
to explore the rest of my body
that he wants to claim
as his own. his friends walk out
of the church and they cheer us on.
after he removes his weight
from my body they pat him on the back
and smile knowingly at me. i find
my keys in the bottom
of my bag and i get in my car
and i drive home and i do not tell.

and today? where am I?
I am nineteen years old, learning about the word forgiveness
for the first time. so -what is forgiveness, then?
it isn’t surrender, blood pact, or bible verse. i am not sure,
but i think it is something like resting your head
on the pillow at last. it is taking off a pair
of poorly fitting jeans after a long and trying day,
pressing on the imprints left in your skin
(the places that are still bruised, after all these years)
it is a deep breath out when you didn’t even realize
you were holding all that in.

By Michelle DeLouise

Biography:

Michelle DeLouise is currently an undergraduate student at Hendrix College, studying English – Creative Writing. She can often be found tripping over her own feet and spilling coffee on everything she owns. She is currently working on finding her footing in the world of literature.

Knowledge By Kevin Risner

Knowledge

We succumb to voices
wandering along edges of
our clicking brains
itch in response
to constant calls
through invisible
indivisible megaphones
be pleased at extra time devoted

to rumination and illumination
to tear away at base comfort
to rip apart contentedness
to shreds

with signs laminated and animated
many people are speaking to us
our hearts
clearly
respond with more than fawning nods
simple and easy ideas
uniform teachers gave us as preteens.

We know that they know that we know that they know.

The hope now is to advance,
not be that blasé driver
who merges into roundabouts
doesn’t know how to exit properly
stuck in circles with cinderblock feet

no brakes

By Kevin Risner

Biography:

Kevin Risner is a product of Ohio and has lived there for most of his life except for brief stints in England and Turkey. At the present, he resides in the Cleveland area where he is ESL Coordinator at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His poetry can be found in The Mill (University of Toledo), Red Paint Hill, Red Flag Poetry, and Silver Birch Press.

The River in The Morning By Amanda Oaks

The River in The Morning

hugs the sun, burns off her fog
in one breath, asks how she got
so wide overnight, remembers
all the fish, remembers
how they said that the ocean
refuses no river but she knows
better now, knows that she cried
herself into existence, she self-made,
not born from bog or lake or spring
but came down from mountain top,
she says, fuck that ‘seven morning rituals
that will change your life’ shit, all that tea
& meditation used to cloud up her rill,
she a Gully God now, she want sturdy
& steadfast, she not soft but solid,
kissed the sky & brought the sun down
with her to the ground, her waters deep,
all sizzle & sear, she built the bridge, she says—
cross it if you dare.

By Amanda Oaks

Biography:

Amanda Oaks is the founding editor of Words Dance Publishing, an independent press, literary blog + biweekly online poetry journal. Her works have appeared in numerous online & print publications, including decomP, Stirring, & Thought Catalog. She is the author of four poetry collections: Hurricane Mouth (NightBallet Press, 2014), her co-authored split book, I Eat Crow (Words Dance, 2014) & her series of free music-inspired eChapbooks which can be downloaded here : WordsDance.com + you can connect with her here: AmandaOaks.com

Sabak amoz kahaniyan By Yusra Amjad

Sabak amoz kahaniyan

my life has always had so little room
for my own mistakes, I learned
to live without margin for error.

my life has been building bridges,
dry-eyed, over other people’s spilled milk
and calling it success.

my life has been an aggressive state of All Right
my life has been survival as resistance.
my life has been straight As as armour.

my life has had so little to do with me.
my life has been all cautionary tales
and none of them have been mine.

I waltz barefoot over the broken glass of someone else’s life.
I pretend the bloody footprints are not mine.
I didn’t make this mess,
so it can’t hurt me,
right?

By Yusra Amjad

Translation of title: Tales with a moral/fables

Biography:

Yusra Amjad is a lifelong student of literature, poet, and writer in Lahore, Pakistan. She has been published at the Missing Slate, Crossed Genres, Cities+, and was a finalist for the 2016 Where Are You Press manuscript contest. She occasionally writes for Dawn.com and does some literary ranting at www.awallettokeepyourpovertyin.tumblr.com