Trigger Warning

Let’s hear it for what Kingdom
Welcomes hard pruning. The country too, held

Answerable for people withdrawing from the sun,
Within the same year saying in the face

Of drought: some plants, they diminish themselves.
Within the same month the promise of two vaccines

And two jumps: one completed from the fourth
Floor of the mall, another held back by rope and beam.

In the cold too—unable to move—they tuck it all the way in,
Eating themselves another day.

At ating itinatangi
Ang daluyan ng pait.


Nagtuturo ng mga kursong pampanitikan si Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo sa Departamento ng Humanidades. Naging fellow siya ng mga palihan para sa malikhaing pagsusulat: sa AILAP, UST, UP, at IYAS. Inilathala online ang kaniyang mga piyesa’t collab sa Daluyan, Gnarled Oak, hal., Kritika Kultura, , Plural, Softblow, at iba pa. (May ilang imbak sa kaniyang blog: tekstongbopis.blogspot.com.) May-akda siya ng mga aklat na Shift of Eyes at Bukod sa maliliit na hayop.

Magnum Opus

In San Fernando, May
has become hotter and hotter
every single day and Ice cream
would not suffice
to quench my thirst and worst
this city’s burning waves is peeling
off my dried scarred skin.
I desire cold water
under water like a baptism,
submerged and almost frozen,
the cold and its bitter bite
at the bottom
like an ancient ruined city,
Here, before I dive,
I wonder how long I’ll lie
with the dolphins because
if and only if somehow
the god of death makes a mistake
and puts my body
in the rebirth file section,
I’ll embrace this scorched soul
like a religion
or perhaps or I hope
like Atlanteans, my body is desired
to be discovered by aliens
when my race is extinct
then my bones are to be exquisitely hanged
on the walls,
be sold and sought after.


Jeff William Acosta is a culinary student doubling up as a poet. His earlier works are in Scarlet Leaf Review – November 2020 issue (forthcoming) and The Dribble Drabble Review Issue 3, 2021 (forthcoming).

Sashimi

This morning, I wrote a poem,
an elegy, with a mind of its own
a love letter for myself, my epitaph.
I am slowly filleting the body
out of the skin
beginning from the left
of an almost dead salmon
carving the cheap yanagiba I bought
at the near Japanese warehouse
horizontally angled across
its not so subtle scars
and slice into thin sliced cut
when it’s still awake
against this burgundy
blood-stained board
so he can taste better, this
is true to all animals
they taste better
when they’re hurting
while trying to wag their crucified tails
off of the nail that holds them,
circular and in the rhythm of their gills
like some kind of diabolical
ritual of dancing witches
for stirring cauldrons
to make poisons out
of daffodils and dahlias
that doesn’t smell
of my neighbors


Jeff William Acosta is a culinary student doubling up as a poet. His earlier works are in Scarlet Leaf Review – November 2020 issue (forthcoming) and The Dribble Drabble Review Issue 3, 2021 (forthcoming).

Red

not in rust,
or orange,
or an aftermath.

of scratching budding bug bites.

Clearly,
not those unwanted cells
from your mom’s
spit, still sitting on your belly.

colliding with blood spilling
from bitten skin
creating cobweb crevices on the surface.

I say, it is not coral undertones,
It is even brighter
than burning charcoal from the barbecue stand
on the street.

Warmth.
Not of wildfire,
Raging in my chest, because I
may do something stupid
again, before meeting you.

Under the marmalade skies of San Fernando
where the stop sign lingers,
For a moment
before it turns green.

I did expect to see you there
With those strangers, patiently
holding their bindings despite
the traffic officer’s
reluctance to compromise.

They spoke
in tongues,
while you bit your upper lips plump.

waiting
and wanting


Jeff William Acosta is a culinary student doubling up as a poet. His earlier works are in Scarlet Leaf Review – November 2020 issue (forthcoming) and The Dribble Drabble Review Issue 3, 2021 (forthcoming).

2018 State of the Nation Address

A highlighted transcript of Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s 2018 State of the Nation Address created by Myrtle Antioquia. Due to its format, Revolt Magazine will provide the full creative piece on a separate downloadable file. You may download the file by clicking the download button below.

Excerpt from Antioquia’s black-out poetry:

the Filipino people
I can only shudder at the harm that
have reached the streets
They know the consequences
— slow deaths.

our law enforcers and this administration
are criminals, terrorists, corrupt officials,
and traffickers [of] contrabands.


Myrtle Antioquia is a Comparative Literature student in the University of the Philippines. She is a regular fiction and nonfiction contributor to the UP Writers Club and has been published as an academic writer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature Journal.

Wings of a Bird

The gust of wind lifts the dust
Off the streets to make the wings of a bird,

That once flew over the crowds,
Under the clouds, and perched on boughs

Singing a song no one has heard,
Save for the trees, whose leaves

Blush in green, and wilt in brown,
Falling softly and slowly to the eaves

Or to the ground, where another
Bird rests among the blades of grass,

Gently spreading its wings at last,
Waiting for the gust of wind to pass.


Nicolo Nasol, born and raised in Cebu City, currently working as a freelance writer and editor.

A String of Night Haikus

A gust of wind
travels across the downtown—
a lamppost shuts off.


Traffic lights,
headlights, eyes—
all blinking.


Along the cable
perch a flock of birds—
a rain of shit.


The sirens blare
incessantly—a girl sobs
among the crowd.


Flashlights hover
over the curled body—
a pair of eyes


From behind the bars
a wisp of smoke
drifts up to the moon.


The sheets of rooftops
look soft and white
under the moonlight.


Candies burst
from the cotton cloud
where the child sleeps.


Flooded city…
A rat’s body
floats belly-up.


Half-awake,
in the dark—
pouring rain.


See how smooth
the soap slides down
the girl’s wet breasts.


Let me trace
that spine of yours that tempts me
like a devil’s snake.


The hanged man
swaying around the room—
a pendulum.


A dog whimpers
overnight
behind a closed door.

Deep pool of the night sky—
a black mirror upon
a million faces.


Treading softly…
Our shadows cast as one
onto the moonlit road.


Nicolo Nasol, born and raised in Cebu City, currently working as a freelance writer and editor.

To the Messenger

Who has nothing to say
When he takes me away:

I won’t ask you
For a few more days
Or a few more years.

Only tell me
If there is something
More than this?

Or this is it all?
This is it all, and nothing more?


Nicolo Nasol, born and raised in Cebu City, currently working as a freelance writer and editor.

Pluck

To Jorisse Gumanay

I

You pluck
a leaf from a tree
as we walk
into the deepening dusk.

Somewhere out there,
the red sun falls into the sea,
—a warm, viscous
drop of blood.

In this burnt evening,
the wind blowing dryly of dust,
we tread the streets
with our tired feet.

Let me
once again listen
to that fragile leaf weep
in your hand.

A leaf
which you fold
then roll into a scroll
—to whatever whims
your beautifully frail
fingers may have.

II

Hand me over
the wrinkled leaves.
Show me again
how you are a god of death.

Tell me once more,
with that somber voice of yours,
how all life will come to an end.

That nothing matters.
That everything will be
eternally forgotten
like the withered leaves
that fall and rest at our feet.

Somewhere out there,
the dead moon rises into the sky,
—a pearl of light glimmering
behind thunderous clouds.

What is life then
but a fleeting flash of light
amid the darkness
that knows no bounds?

III

I wish for God
not to blindly
pluck you
among the houses
of leaves.

Somewhere out there,
God’s capricious hands
sweep the earth.

My dearest, hide well
within my bushes
as if I were a forest.

Root deeply and freely
anywhere across
my humble lands.

Hold on tight
to my branches
as tightly as my roots
hold to the ground.

Let us stand
through the most vicious
of storms.

Let us bask
in the cool sunlight
of dusks and dawns.

And may God
not pull me out
from the earth just yet.
Nor you dry out and wilt.
Do not even fall
when I am finally
in my barest form:
being nothing more
but a skeleton of branches
sticking out into nothing
but the empty space.
With all my beloved
leaves gone, but you,
only you, in this only time
and this only place.


Nicolo Nasol, born and raised in Cebu City, currently working as a freelance writer and editor.

Look Around

Staring out with my perfectly yellowed eyes
I observe the sky, a greying foggy beautiful.
Rolled smoke covering soil mounds,
my lungs take in the welcoming chalk ash.
Fills me with the dust that we become
as I cough a thank you, and tread onto the
black tarmac.

Melted in the heat it sticks to my
bare foot, making me new shoes as it
cools in the arctic winds that blow
beast-from-the-east
snow in the sun.

It wasn’t always like this;
I remember a time when green was
a god. But that colour
washed out with the
pale of my cheeks
and the dust in my eyes
saying

Hello World: this is what we are now.


Bethan Rees lives in Swindon, Wiltshire and has appeared in Fly on the Wall, Atrium, Persephone’s Daughters, Domestic Cherry, Daily Drunk, Fresh Air, The Poet’s Haven Digest, I am not a silent poet, Lonesome October Lit, Amaryllis, and Three Drops Press. She currently studies MSc Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, runs Wellbeing Writing groups and can be found sharing wellbeing work on: http://www.safeandsoundpress.com.