Séance with Lavender & Bleach torrin a. greathouse

Séance with Lavender & Bleach

this is an undressing : body dissolving : like a pill
on the swollen tongue : beached & blood heavy : whale
suffocating on the gravity : of its own chest

mix this powder into paste : mud thick scent that burns
chlorine turning : ghost dance on the breeze : sting
that crawls : dirty fingers down the back of throat

coat your hair in this paste : & how you phantom
a part of you : slow burn body : into belonging
skin peeling back : like abandoned layers of glue


mama, i am trying to give your
son a proper burial, but you are
dredging him up, swollen & blue
from the river of your throat.
& how lucky we are, that my
name has not curled, wounded
animal in my throat. clog of
gray-brown blood & matted
hair guttered into shower drain.
this [crippled/queer] body is
a collection of disappointments.
wrong answers. body named
boy/girl/ghost. in the winter i run
the water & the pipes scream
louder than i am willing to, drown
out my voice & i become the
sound of summer rain.


strip the bleach from your hair : acid rain : drenched skin
drown the scent : in lavender & orchid pulp : stain
everything : the color of blood : before it abandons you

i run a razor across my thigh : soft rain cracking
against tiles : split the pale blue : tributaries of skin
nick my knee : watch the red gather & drip

watch myself pool : in the bottom of the shower : thin ribbon
of red winding : cigarette smoke in a still room : momentary
afterimage : of emergency flares : before it slips away into the sea

By torrin a. greathouse


torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer, schizophrenic, cripple-punk from Southern California. They are the Editor and Co-Founder of Black Napkin Press. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in 3Elements Review, Assaracus, Heavy Feather Review, FreezeRay Poetry, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Polychrome Ink, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, The Thought Erotic, Emerge Literary Journal, & The Feminist Wire. torrin’s work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Rust + Moth. When they are not writing or editing poetry, they are trying to survive in america long enough to earn a degree.

When I Used to be a Little Girl By Juliet Cook

When I Used to be a Little Girl

Sometimes I would just walk around in circles,
tell stories inside my head. I went downstairs into the basement,
so that I wasn’t interrupted by the noises.

The basement was a big concrete floor with boxes
and old clothes and unorganized storage bins
filled with letters and ripped out hearts.

I was in that space where it was just the floor
and my mind and my legs and I was walking around in my circles,
telling my story, focused on what was going on inside my brain.

When I finally glanced down, there was a circle shape
of blood on the floor. It was dripping from in between
my legs, brightening the cold concrete surroundings.

By Juliet Cook


Juliet Cook’s poetry has appeared in a small multitude of magazines, including Arsenic Lobster, DIAGRAM, Diode, FLAPPERHOUSE, Hermeneutic Chaos, Menacing Hedge and Reality Beach. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks, recently including RED DEMOLITION (Shirt Pocket Press, 2014), a collaboration with Robert Cole called MUTANT NEURON CODEX SWARM (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2015), and a collaboration with j/j hastain called Dive Back Down (Dancing Girl Press, 2015), with two more forthcoming. Cook’s first full-length individual poetry book, “Horrific Confection”, was published by BlazeVOX and her second full-length individual poetry book, “Malformed Confetti” is forthcoming from Crisis Chronicles Press. Her most recent full-length poetry book, “A Red Witch, Every Which Way”, is a collaboration with j/j hastain published by Hysterical Books in 2016. Find out more at www.JulietCook.weebly.com.

In Search of More Human Proof By Emma Bleker

In Search of More Human Proof

In time,
the scream will move
to animal.

In time,
they hear no more
human voices

under our words.

We bleat
and hope to still
be seen the same.

In time,
we are told,
we will learn

to cut our throats.

We prove
it, for them, they
need to see it.

We bleed
and they know
that we are.

By Emma Bleker


Emma Bleker is a 21 year old writer working for her English degree in Virginia. She has previously been published in Persephone’s Daughters, Cahoodaloodaling, Yellow Chair Review, Thought Catalog, Rising Phoenix Review, and Skylark Review, among others. She probably wants to be your friend.

funeral for crows By N.L. Shompole

funeral for crows

Cry, cry black feathers down your back, demolish
the moon and spit back a mouthful of blood and
entrails when they come asking for your sons. Cry
disaster, cry calamity, cry a mourning song in
octaves only the dogs can hear. Cry a long dead
river back into being, cry fire, cry panic, cry light
burning through coal-black-skin and demand the
dawn, demand the dawn with all its hope and none
of its rain. Cry, cry the molasses back into the body,
cry the stutter back into the heartbeat, cry, cry the
blackbirds back into flight, cry the blackbirds back
into the morning sky.

By N.L. Shompole


N.L. Shompole was born in Kenya. She is a multi-platform artist whose written and photographic works have been featured in various print and online publications including Two Cities Review, Words Dance Publication, Maps for Teeth, Invitation Annual, Kinfolks Quarterly and The Rising Phoenix Review. Lace Bone Beast, her most anticipated poetry collection was released in January 2017 and has received outstanding reviews.

She can be found on
Instagram @NLShompole


When We Both Spoke In Alters: A Case Study on Love By Linette Reeman

Linette Reeman (1)
We are ecstatic to announce that the immensely talented poet Linette Reeman is the newest member of the Rising Phoenix Press family. Our team is honored to have the opportunity to work with them to release their collection When We Both Spoke In Alters: A Case Study on Love. Pre-order for the collection begin this evening. All orders will be shipped by the officail release date of the collection, which is April 28, 2017. This collection is a daring participant observation of different varieties of love and how that love impacts personal identity, and personal relationships. Linette is fearless with their social commentary. The emotional honesty of these poems is fearless breathtaking.

Stay tuned for more updates about the collection. We will reveal the official cover image and testimonials over the next few weeks.

Pre-Order the collection here.

About the author:

Linette Reeman (they/them) is an Aries from the Jersey Shore, so they’re not sure what you mean by “speed limit.” They’re pursuing a History B.A. from Rowan University, are the reigning Grand Slam Champ of Loser Slam, and were recently nominated for Pushcart Prizes by Rising Phoenix Press and Crab Fat Magazine. In Linette’s spare time, they occasionally sleep a full eight hours.

Read poems from the collection:

Virginia Woolf Walks Into My Apartment

Facts About Tigers

I Shotgun a Five Hour Energy Just to See if I Still Can



I will fold us into the washing machine
and wait until the rumbling stops.
I will grab the essentials: the coffee pot, the potted plants,
the wedding blanket your mother quilted us,
and all the love letters I wish you’d write.
We will scuba through the lava flows,
swim across the stars, and for formality,
we’ll tell the world
we were so sad to see our city go.
We won’t tell a soul I set the dryer
on heavy spin every day,
just to get the Earth flirting with the idea
of shaking, or how we both practiced
holding our breath when we’d kiss.

Whatever happens,
I hope we’re not here long enough
to taste the ash.
I hope, when we go running past the Tetons,
so close to a sweet escape,
the buffalo won’t be able
to keep up with our stride.

By Schuyler Peck


Schuyler Peck holds a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing and she’s hoping to soon move to the rainy daze of Seattle. Her work has been featured in JuxtaProze Magazine, Literary Sexts Vol 2, Rising Phoenix Review, Persephone’s Daughters Magazine, and Words Dance Magazine, as well as her own book of poetry, A Field of Blooming Bruises. When Schuyler’s not writing about existential sadness and all around loneliness, she’s likely gardening. She loves you. SchuylerPeck.tumblr.com

Sinner’s Gospel By kmp

Sinner’s Gospel

there’s an angel who loiters outside the
liquor store, all wings & eyes & too many
limbs; darkness drips from her like honey,
and she tells me stories in exchange for
cigarettes & tootsie pops.

i was the one who struck paul down on
the road to damascus she says from her
left mouth; i tell her my bible is a blackout
poem and if i ever get to heaven i’ll knock
him down a second time.

her mouths twist indignantly around an
orange lollipop and a handful of cigarettes
but she says nothing about the blasphemy,
the hypocrisy in the patron saints strung
around my neck and my nightly prayers;
she understands.

there was a time i wanted to be like the
water that coursed through the river jordan,
baptizing all i touched, but i have known too
many men who rinse their hands in fluidity,
unrepentant. now i would be as stone:
unyielding to the dust.

the angel understands this, too. there was
a reason Legions could live in a man’s body
when even the pigs wouldn’t take them. we
are both of us among the fallen, now.

it’s all that anger. all that belief, but only in the
parts we like; she likes the liquor store and i
like when john says there is no fear in love; i don’t
know how these fractions can mean more than
the whole, but they do.

By kmp


kmp is a southern californian poet and an undergraduate student double majoring in comparative literature and anthropology and double minoring in gender and sexuality studies and archaeology. their work has previously been published in The Wall, Neon Anteater Renaissance, New Forum, Rising Phoenix Review, L’Éphémère Review: Issue IV, Disquietude, and Werkloos Mag: “In Limbo”, as well as on their blog https://ashandabstraction.tumblr.com/.






“Kill the Indian and Save the Man” –
Capt. Pratt, Founder of the first Indigenous boarding school in the US.

People will take advantage of your gentleness,
to make large towers of metal,
cars whose smoke blackens out the stars—it reminds you of the
fish you cooked for
your grandfather, its skin cracked and
flaked beneath his teeth. He ate bones
like the images of witches he had
showed you,
how before we came
from logs into the fourth world,
there was bad medicine.
He said it smelled of gasoline and when laundry
does not dry all the way on the line, still holding remnants
of the person you tried to wash off of them.

Come here, he said and grabbed your face so tightly,
the green veins in his hands bulged.
Your blood is like egg whites,
it can be used to make a meringue.

Grandfather, smelling of coal and bourbon, kissed your cheeks.
Once he told a story of running from boarding schools, not having
time to find his shoes, young unprotected feet became shredded and bone,
from February snow. You never see grandfather without socks on.
Your cousins’ whisper, about his feet still broken, scarred,
Grandmother would brush your hair, pulling and pulling
until it was sleek and your scalp bled,
she rubbed tree sap along your hair and kissed you, body full as a wax doll—
sealed with stories rolled in leather belts, pressed into your belly.
When grandfather died, you imagined him with
a pyre of flames to consume him: though his socks
would survive to cover his feet, fish bones might
scatter the ashes. Grandmother stood beside you
speaking in a language long since buried behind her tongue.
You could not understand her—men had stomped the children’s mouths,
until bruised closed long before you were born.
Grandfather must have kept many things secret, you told her.
Her fingers pressed warm silver rings against your knuckles.
she said,
it was that no one could hear him.

By Moira J.


“Moira J., or Gaagé Dat’éhe (Quiet Crow), is a mix’d Indigenous writer who explores the messy world of being agender, queer, and biracial. They explore sexuality, spirituality, trauma, displacement, and kinships in poetry, origin stories, and creative nonfiction. They have their Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. They currently live and write in Oregon with the support of their spouse, and the family pet: Dana Scully. Moira J’s work has been featured in Girls Get Busy zine, i-D Magazine, Toe Good Poetry, Naugatuck River Review, Bayou Magazine, and more. They have upcoming publications with Sea Foam Magazine and The Account. You stay updated on Moira J. by going to moiraj.wixsite.com/home, or on Twitter @moira__j.”



The curtains are not bodies, but we love them like bodies.  We close them as we open our dreams.  We see the faces we need to see.  We are disconnected from the carnage.  It is selfish of us, but it’s keeping us alive and in love with what it means to be alive.  If we have that, then we can be the fists we need to be the rest of the time.

By Darren C. Demaree


I am the author of six poetry collections, most recently “Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly” (2016, 8th House Publishing). I am the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.

Erwin Schrödinger Speaks on Dead Fathers By torrin a. greathouse

Erwin Schrödinger Speaks on Dead Fathers

hypothesis: a father’s funeral, unattended, is only a gathering

of bodies. agitated particles confined to a space. maybe grief
is liquid. consider, liquids take on the shape of the container
in which they are placed. the church is flooded with tears,
sunday best drenched in salt, all the light refracted
stained-glass blue.

hypothesis: a closed casket funeral bears the chance of resurrection. if you

seal any animal in a box with the word death, they maintain an infinite
capacity for survival. i have never killed an animal, but i dream
in a language of their bones, black soil & spill of corpses, chalk white,
a field of blurred equations.

hypothesis: any child who has named their father in the hard mathematics of

gravestones knows the body’s infinite potential for decay. maybe if
you blink at the right moment, death is only waveform collapse.

experiment: take your father’s potential for disease, wicked inheritance,

call this radioactive isotope. when you open a bottle do you
hear his voice? when you open a bottle is he casketed inside?

By torrin a. greathouse


torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer, schizophrenic, cripple-punk from Southern California. They are the Editor and Co-Founder of Black Napkin Press. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in 3Elements Review, Assaracus, Heavy Feather Review, FreezeRay Poetry, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Polychrome Ink, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, The Thought Erotic, Emerge Literary Journal, & The Feminist Wire. torrin’s work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Rust + Moth. When they are not writing or editing poetry, they are trying to survive in america long enough to earn a degree.