THE JEWISH CEMETERY, LENINGRAD 1986 By Nina Judith Katz

THE JEWISH CEMETERY, LENINGRAD 1986

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus
Dragged among peoples and waters, [I’ve journeyed]
Catullus

Through many lands and many peoples I have come
with many aims and many destinations,
but now I have reached this last of my goals
within these borders:
to pay you, unknown kinsman,
what little respect
you can yet be paid.
The floods of April have passed, the coats returned to closets,
the air is crisp and the nights are short,
here in this northern town.
It is late afternoon when I reach these few acres
set aside for the bones of my kin.
But how shall I know which bones belong to which of my kin?
(Does it make any difference?)
There are no paths here. Few stones. Almost no dry land.
The Russian graves across the street
stand, erect and tended, row by row, grass well mowed
and names distinct, paths maintained and flowers lately strewn.
Here the graves lie overwhelmed with mud
through which a few grey corners dare to show.
Some living Jews, armed with boots and cars,
tell me I cannot go and search for Shmuel Katz.
They go instead, but all is water.
Two days straight they search.
No such name is left.
If that name was once engraved in stone,
the stone has been destroyed
or else the carving has eroded.
Bones among bones cannot be distinguished.
Marshland offers much
to worms.
Those who remember you
have forgotten ‘El malai rahamim.
We who know the prayer
have no sign by which to remember you
or even to know that you existed.
No flowers in this mud and marshland.
The living men in boots ask how I like their country.
“I am a Jew,” I answer.
“What can I think?”
Shmuel: May you nestle beneath Shekhina’s wings.
I cannot drain this land.
I cannot make your resting place whole.

Your bones will feed worms
and the worms will feed birds
and the birds, perhaps, will fly
through many lands and many peoples
bearing your prayer in their beaks.

By Nina Judith Katz

Biography:

I am a writer and herbalist, among other professions. I have most recently published poetry on the Rising Phoenix site. My articles about herbalism appear regularly in Natural Herbal Living Magazine.

BURY ME IN THUNDER By Moira J.

BURY ME IN THUNDER

Turtle Island, 1492-2017

There are dances trapped in my tendons,
I run rivers around them, streams and dams
of blood run into stretchmarks like Nebraskan cornfields.
In my marrow there are wild horses,
they are running, they are on fire.
I am sent to the mountains, where grandfather
said Creator lived, to help us heal. I walk

to the center of our pain, in shoes made from
teeth—ones smashed by boot and gun barrel,
and none of them are mine, yet I am responsible
for them. An infection is oozing here, displacement

from dysfunctional decay. My grandfather said
that the people don’t know how to sing the songs
that can close up the wounds.

Even with my feet splinted, carrying the burden of ended
voices, my hands are still soft—absent from the dangerously
deceitful, I have buried ceremony under my fingernails like
remnants of defense wounds.

Even burdened by the myths of a wandering womb,
one that holds my ancestors’ memories, I have felt

phantom weights hung upon my hips, like a child’s arms
or a belt holding story beads, or hoops of rope waiting
to be thrown on the nearest mountain. I wish like in the
stories of heroic deeds, I could kill the colonial beast by

stroking its ragged ear, before opening my own jaw and swallowing
it whole—digesting the body of trauma with it.

By Moira J.

Biography:

Moira J., or Gaagé Dat’éhe (Quiet Crow), is an 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 Poetry Quarterly. They have upcoming publications with Sea Form Magazine and The Account. The titles of the pieces are The Grandfather Pyre, Bury Me in Thunder, Filleting the Black Snake (Act One and Act Two), and Edgewaters. You stay updated on Moira J. by going to moiraj.wixsite.com/home, or on Twitter @moira__j.

We are open for Photography and Art Submissions

In addition to our commitment to poetry as a way to represent modern social issues and marginalized populations, we at the Rising Phoenix Review believe in the power of photography and art. We believe in the evocative imagery of an abandoned building reclaimed by the wild, the heart-wrenching scenes of poverty captured across time and place, and the power present in shots of protests. Our team will consider sketches, illustrations, paintings, mixed-media collages, and photographs. We want to see the world through your eyes – what would you like to show us?

Submit your photography & Art to our submissions manager

Photographers and artists who have their work published by the Rising Phoenix Review will retain all rights to their photographs. Please feel free to watermark your photos in the bottom left or bottom right hand corner. The Rising Phoenix Review reserves the right to feature photography / art in promotions, in segments, and on social media, as long as The Rising Phoenix Review credits the creator of the piece. We pledge never to sell, distribute, or profit from the use of your photograph. All promotional use of the photograph / artwork will credit the original photographer or artists. By submitting your photography or art to the Rising Phoenix Review, you accept these terms and conditions.

Our team will consider sketches, cartoons, illustrations, paintings, mixed-media collages, and photographs. All photographs must be original and taken by the individual submitter. You must own all rights to your photograph / artwork in order to submit to the Review.

You may submit 1-5 photos / works of art during any one month submission period. Title all of your work before submission. Please include a short bio of 100 words with your submission.

lamb for slaughter & other fairy tales for wicked girls By N.L. Shompole

lamb for slaughter & other fairy tales for wicked girls

November comes
with the suddenness
of yellow leaves
thick with morning
frost.
An entire year autumn-ing
between breaths.

December finds me
mid-metamorphosis.
A lamb,
ribcage & full-wool gusset
to hold in the blood, to hold in
the beating heart.

January dawns,
stalactites & ice white skies.
The bone-cold chill of dusk
turns me
wolf.
Bloody mouthed,
hungry.

By N.L. Shompole

Biography:

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
Goodreads.com/NLShompole
KingdomsintheWild.com

On Googling how+to+tell+if+HRT+is+working & signs+of+lycanthropy By torrin a. greathouse

On Googling how+to+tell+if+HRT+is+working & signs+of+lycanthropy

i shut my laptop     eyelid the neon moon
stare up into the blindfold night     these hands graze
my body—animal & half-foreign

dig past skin     root for unborn
buds of breasts      i gut     [fluorescent pill bottles]
like sheep     spill their insides

across black sheets     rough constellations      i memorize their design

[my body]    a celestial/skeletal structure
a dull ache     crooke
mismatch

of sinew & wishbone    already snapped

[i am least crippled with my back pressed into the floor]

gravity & disability are grown together     tangled
as tightly as muscle & spasm

i am alone & naked     when bed & body creak     both things named frame
pushed to the edge     of breaking
hungry palms

howling over every inch of skin     shadow shape-shifting

in the changing light


By torrin a. greathouse

Biography:

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.

Dear Mary By kmp

Dear Mary

there’s a girl made of smoke who
leans against the front window of the
corner bakery and calls after me when
i pass by:

do you dream of the stars? she asks and
i say yes. yes, her name is mary. and what
i mean is this: i dream of mary sprawled
out next to me in the bed of my truck, her
hair like a river & it makes my heart stutter
and my breath catch but she doesn’t text me
back//what i mean is this: i dream of a girl
whose fingertips, like starlight, would blister,
though i will never get so close as to feel it

the smoke-girl scoffs without elaboration and
what she means is this: dream higher.
i would tell her that i can’t but she’d know it for
the lie it is. mary calls me when she has no one
else & i like sitting in her passenger seat while
she drives nowhere & astrophil wrote a hundred
sonnets about a star that burned out five centuries
ago so what reason do i have to dream higher than
this luminosity which is already unreachable?

by kmp

Biography:

kmp is a southern californian poet and aspiring lit major work two jobs to put herself through college. she wants to know everything, feel everything, be everything; she won’t settle for less. kmp has recently had poetry published in The Wall and the Spring edition of Werkloos, “In Limbo,” as well as in her chapbooks “UNBOUND” and “Ask Me a Question//I’ll Write You a Poem.”

Sad Girl’s Guide to Being Vulnerable By Schuyler Peck

Sad Girl’s Guide to Being Vulnerable

Strip down,
all the way down.
More, give them your skin;
you’ll know it’s enough
when you don’t realize panic.
Throw away every diary you’ve ever had.
Start telling your stories to strangers on the street.
Roll up your sleeves.
Talk about everything that hurts you
and put it into poems.
Post them on the internet, where everyone can see,
and use your real name.
Talk about your childhood; the fears
you weren’t taught to grow out of and the dreams
you were told to drop.
Take pictures of your nakedness and leave all your clothes on.
Always make the first move, even if it breaks you.
Run the risk of never knowing what went wrong.
Give and give too much.
Donate your lungs to a sick man in Germany.
Hand over your gratitude to whoever
hurt you most.
Tell your parents about the drugs you did in college.
Tell them about the days
you almost died.
Unbury your burdens.
Call it recovery.
It will make people hopeful.
It will leave you terrified.

By Schuyler Peck

Biography:

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 feels, nature, and all around loneliness, she’s likely gardening. She loves you. SchuylerPeck.tumblr.com