Narcan City, VT By Maranda Greenwood

Narcan City, VT

1.

School Street is now known as Narcan Road.
All the town’s twenty-somethings
have disappeared over there—

they pass out while walking.
Face first sidewalk burn,
nodded and frothing—

needle still in the bloodroot.
Why are their shirts always raised,
exposing abdomen flesh

in unflattering ways,
ankles twisted around
in unnatural positions.

2.

Look closely, under-eye concealers
don’t hide the black quarter moons
that make their bottom lids look swollen—
they can’t photograph like us.

Every holiday Facebook photo
has at least one whose pooled moons
tell us, this family,
chases death.

In the morning the children are told
what they lost. At night the children
ask if they can make a deal with Santa.

There’s a whole town out here
where all the spoons are missing.

3.

Heaven could be real. Where good selfless people go
to have painless picnics with other dead loved ones.
Angel wings shimmering in a disease-less garden,
gold-gated. Lions lick the heads of lambs in peaceful
greeting—God smiles.

Hell could be real. Where bad selfish people go
to be punished in a place of sorrow and torment—
tongues scorched with 1000 lies, flames licking
their lips—Heaven visible across the way—
God smiles.

Now I hear Opiate Angels could be real.
Pinhole pupils and dark crescent lids,
pocked skin—grey. Deep reds from elbow
to neck. Weightless and skeletal, flying high.
Thin leather dragon wings clearing the clouds,
an army of addict angles looking over
the orphans in shifts. Doing what they couldn’t
in the flesh.


By Maranda Greenwood

Biography:

Maranda Greenwood is a Vermont poet, she holds an MFA in Poetry from Arcadia University. Her work can be found in Sundog Lit, Eunoia Review, Crab Fat Magazine and other journals. In her free time she coaches field hockey and collects Zoltar tickets.

Denotation By Changu Chiimbwe

Denotation 

im•mi•grant
ˈiməɡrənt/
noun

1. my brown hand swallows five a.m. sunshine when i leave gaia’s body christened hope and halcyon. i beat the ground with glory, and dew collides with dream to build its home on my soles. i am too young to call this land foreign soil.
2. my grandmother’s prayers are steel blue: a color that makes the evening american sky light and soft on my eyes come september. five is an age that curls my hand with mercury’s flames, burns my throat with acidic curiosity. i am tired, i am poor, i am one from the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
3. my language sprinkles old rome’s embers upon my mouth; bambuya cannot mean grandmother on america’s tongue, and imbalala cannot serve as the nuts on her welcome table. i am slowly witnessing the death of the new colossus. liberty to ash, justice to dust.

By Changu Chiimbwe

Biography:

Changu Chiimbwe is a sixteen-year-old Zambian writer currently living in New York where she spends too much time indulging in films, philosophy, and politics in addition to writing poetry and prose.

Martha 3 By Ligia Berg

martha-3
I worked with Martha Saffo for several years. She is a Crossdresser. These images are a little part of a work that i was doing about her history, her thoughts, and her imaginary aesthetic. Being a Crossdresser is sometimes being that you really are but for ‘ours’ and ‘sometimes’ because the ‘regular people’ and society don’t admit this expression. I want to say to Martha that everything is ok, that she is a wonderful person and she have to be that she wants.

By Ligia Berg

Biography

Ligia Berg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1987. She loves visual arts and music, and does both of them. She is fan of mysterious images and the baroque composition and we can find that in her work. Her work was showcased in see me, xataka, inrocuptibles, so bad so good and other local publications. She loves the cinema aesthetic, creating characters and telling stories in images. She is really interested in gender issues and that crosses almost all her work.

Love Boat By Ligia Berg

love-boat-ligia-berg.png

I worked with Martha Saffo for several years. She is a Crossdresser. These images are a little part of a work that i was doing about her history, her thoughts, and her imaginary aesthetic. Being a Crossdresser is sometimes being that you really are but for ‘ours’ and ‘sometimes’ because the ‘regular people’ and society don’t admit this expression. I want to say to Martha that everything is ok, that she is a wonderful person and she have to be that she wants.

By Ligia Berg

Biography

Ligia Berg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1987. She loves visual arts and music, and does both of them. She is fan of mysterious images and the baroque composition and we can find that in her work. Her work was showcased in see me, xataka, inrocuptibles, so bad so good and other local publications. She loves the cinema aesthetic, creating characters and telling stories in images. She is really interested in gender issues and that crosses almost all her work.

When Love Is Not A Feeling But A Color By Anita Dutt

When Love Is Not A Feeling But A Color

My father was black and my mother white,
and I, somewhere in between.
I witnessed a love that was not bound by
dichotomous thinking, so in first grade when
the white girl in my class would not sit with me for lunch,
I did not understand why love was not a feeling, but a color.
In ninth grade I read a poem about a girl that
shaved her skin in the bathtub so that she could be
the color of acceptance: white.
Instead, she learnt from the bloodshed that hate
was the color red.
One day in twelfth grade history class, they spoke about
racism. When I told them of my experience, they told me
It does not count because you are not even black.
When I dated my first boyfriend in college, I feared
meeting his parents because of my skin and not because
I did not want them to learn that I could not
cook, nor sow, nor iron their son’s clothes.
When I graduated, I applied for a job.
Anxiety swelled in my lungs like a cup full of water
threatening to spill on to a desk of important papers.
I wasn’t afraid that I wasn’t qualified enough.
I was afraid that I was not good enough.
I had assigned my value to the hue of my skin.
I had learnt that the product of black and white is grey.
And that grey,
is the ashes of love.

By Anita Dutt

Biography:

Anita Dutt is not a musician but that has not stopped her from trying to play the heartstrings. Her composition of poetry can be found at ww.aribcagesymphony.tumblr.com. She is an Australian university student studying so that one day she can be a part of the healing.

June Publication Announcement

We are proud to announce the new lineup for the June issue of The Rising Phoenix Review. Our editors are extremely excited to publish the work of these talented poets!

We will post our second issue from June 4th-June 30th. Check our site for a new poem every day at 5pm Eastern Standard time.

The following poets will be featured this month:

Ashe Vernon
Kailey Tedesco
Dana Rushin
Anita Dutt

Anthea Yang
Patrick Condliffe
Rebecca Dutsar
Reina Adriano

Meggie Royer
Thira Mohamad
Sade Andria Zabala
Victoria Martinez

Congratulations from our staff and welcome to the nest!

IMG_20110629_194020

Be a Woman By Lydia Wang

Be a Woman

We are still unlearning what our mothers taught us:
to be a girl is to be something soft, something without teeth.
We grow into our mouths later, but we never learn how to use them.

“This is what it means to become a woman,” our mothers tell us,
voices dripping with syrup because they understand.
(I was a woman the first time a male teacher made a joke about my body.)
(I was a woman the first time a stranger on the Internet said he wanted to fuck me.)
(I was a woman the first time a boy touched me when I wanted him to touch me.)
(I was a woman the first time a boy touched me when I did not want him to touch me.)

Men become men when they are right and smart
but we are something different;
women become women when we have been experienced by men.
There is the talk about pouring our own drinks at parties and there
is the talk about walking home alone at night and there is
the talk about how to reject a man, how to let him down easy.
We are always on the defensive. We are always please, sorry,
thank you, but no thank you, always swallowing teeth
because we bite our tongues with too much vigor.

“This is what it means to become a woman,” I will someday tell my daughters
as they forgive themselves for their soft parts and their edges,
forgive themselves for the bleeding and the hatred
and not knowing what to say when he leers at you from a car window
and not knowing what to do when he touches your thigh.
If I have daughters someday, they will be fire.
They will be brave. They will unlearn what the world has taught them,
to always cross their legs and always sit up straight,
twist their Chapstick lips into smiles even when it hurts.
They will unlearn that they are small casualties.
They will unlearn how to swallow.

By Lydia Wang

Biography:

Lydia Wang is a writer, feminist, and caffeine enthusiast. Originally from Boston, she now lives in New York, where she studies creative writing and topics in social and cultural analysis at NYU. In her free time, she likes to spend too much money at the bookstore, rant about feminism, and fall in love with strangers on public transportation. Visit her online at poemsbylydia.tumblr.com.