Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled,
Are you willing to be made nothing?
dipped into oblivion?
If not, you will never really change.
The phoenix renews her youth
only when she is burnt, burnt alive, burnt down
to hot and flocculent ash.
Then the small stirring of a new small bub in the nest
with strands of down like floating ash
shows that she is renewing her youth like the eagle,
A pacifist quarterly, The Phoenix was noteworthy for the willingness of its editors to publish material that the mainstream media would consider countercultural, radical, and revolutionary. The writing of Henry Miller, which could find no outlet elsewhere in the United States at the time, was featured in all of the initial issues, as were excerpts from the diaries of Anaïs Nin. The works of writers such as Hervey White, Kay Boyle and Jean Giono were printed in their entirety, as well as the poetry of Robert Duncan, Rayner Heppenstall, Derek Savage, Thomas McGrath, J. C. Crews and William Everson (Brother Antonius).
Thirty years later, in 1970, as the Vietnam War spread to Cambodia (and the pacifists grew in number), The Phoenix rose again. Cooney announced the rebirth of his publication in The Massachusetts Review in the following advertisement:
ANNOUNCING THE REAPPEARANCE OF THE PHOENIX
The Phoenix last appeared in Autumn 1940. Since then the suffering
of this country has deepened. Freedom withers. Tyranny flourishes.
Joy, gone underground, is led forth with a queerly frantic air at
festivals taking place while far-off flashes of napalm transform
remote peasant villages into instant crematoriums.
The Phoenix is appearing again to offer itself as a medium of
communion for those who keep faith in mankind and Creation: a
Promethean faith. Manuscripts are invited: completed novels,
portions of novels in progress, stories, poems, diaries, letters,
wood-blocks & line drawings. Publication will be quarterly and the
first new issue is now in progress. Subscription rate is $7.00 a
year. Single issues: $2.00. A pamphlet relating the past history of
The Phoenix is available on request. Little magazines are always
announcing themselves. They come and they go. The Phoenix first
appeared on the scene in Spring 1938. Through its pages Henry Miller
had his writings published for the first time in the United States.
Among other contributors were Anaïs Nin, Robert Duncan, Kay Boyle,
William Everson, Thomas McGrath, Derek Savage, Kiedrich Rhys, Jean
Giono, Raynor Heppenstall, and D. H. Lawrence. A two-volume
facsimile edition of the entire original file of issues, long out of
print, is now available in a handsome hard-cover set priced at
The Phoenix will resume where it left off. Opposing war. Refusing
obeisance to tyranny. Rejecting violence as a way to freedom.
Welcoming voices of affirmation, intercession, and reconciliation.
Receptive to reports from the demonic underworld of irrational
consciousness where the healing alchemy of reconciliations must