I am queer noir | Cipriano Ortega

Image: Cipriano Ortega

I am queer noir

I am queer noir.
The smoked clenched night.
The dark alley,
The pissed stained bathroom club floor.
I am the slammed door of rejection.
The constant rampant tapping to let me in.
The hot palpitation of a night.
The hookup line and sinker.

I am the low end speaker, the part of you that know’s something’s wrong.

I hold the light of morning inside my heart.

I am queer noir.

Cipriano Ortega (they/them) has been fortunate enough to have their work recognized and shown both nationally and internationally.  Cipriano strives to create works of art that probe the mind and make people question what they perceive as the normative. Whether that is shown in music, theater, visual art or some sort of culmination of all of the above; Cipriano enjoys blending all creative forms of expression. As a sociological artist, Cipriano deconstructs the worlds around them and observes it under a nihilistic perspective. As an indigenous POC, they also have no choice but to deal with colonialism head on by making it a daily practice to see the divisions we as a society create and continue to make the ‘normative.’

Let Us Pray | reb

Image: Justin Wilkens

Let Us Pray

let us pray: bow your heads:

my head is over my knees: metallic air: rust: dust: blood:

mother left in april: for san antonio: hail mary: hail rains:

i am double buckled in the backseat: of a truck: inches away from being swept: into a flood: this town will later remember as: fierce:

I used to live in the Cowboy Capital of the World: wake up with ladybugs all over the pillow:

our grief: our downpour: stickers in our bare feet:

ford escape escapees:

grandma sends me a chain email about loving god: how reading the bible makes satan sick to his stomach:

we float to the end of the river and hot asphalt burns our feet until they swell and blister:

there is no other way back:

there is no other way:

to return to the mouth:

reb (she/they) is not a girl but is a horse girl. their heart is on fire! 

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, 
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

A CONDITION WITHOUT GHOSTS | Abigail Chabitnoy

Image: The Dark Queen

A CONDITION WITHOUT GHOSTS

I hadn’t seen the woman from Chicago in months
though the guy still walked their hulking labrador.

But this was the city in sickness
and in health, it wasn’t polite to impose.

Under what conditions might a sheet by the road
not assume a body? The shroud

stained funereal so near to the point
of some levied labor.

Is there a condition in which a ghost
is not suspected?

Plastic bags trawl the landscape. Stone
beds wait for us to seed.

The clementines congeal into the grapes
shrink past sweetness and affix themselves

in the rot of last month’s spinach. Already dust
settles in the bedroom and piss from a recalculating cat

shadows the tile in the study
if you know where to look.

Last week I found a sand dollar with only a small hole
left of center, I reminded myself

even the winged rats had to eat, had to
play some part, so we’re told.

Even birds, requiring something solid to alight
have been known to thread the nest with our disposal.

This morning I saw the black spot
my left ovary a cavity

from which my ark had wrested in motion.
But what about the body

that might or might not have been
underneath the sheet?

The condition always the same:

Let me be some manner of ship
or yes, again, a fish

suited to these streets

Abigail Chabitnoy, member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak, is the author of How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), shortlisted for the 2020 International Griffin Prize for Poetry and winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award, and the linocut illustrated chapbook Converging Lines of Light (Flower Press 2021). Her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, LitHub, and Red Ink, among others. She currently teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Eastern Oregon University low-residency MFA programs as well as Lighthouse in Denver. Find her at salmonfisherpoet.com.

Your Current GPS Location | Jason Ryberg

Image: Jeremy Bishop

Your Current GPS Location

She tried to tell me that the past
could be simply abandoned like
unclaimed baggage at the airport
or bus station,

or even, one day, with the closing
of a door and the turning of a key—

left behind forever in the rear-view mirror
like a house full of someone else’s belongings
(not yours, not anymore) in a town full of strangers
who never did you any favors.

But, I say the past can slip
a microchip on you
when you’re not looking;

I say the past always knows
your current GPS location.

Jason Ryberg is the author of fourteen books of poetry,
six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders,
notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be
(loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry
letters to various magazine and newspaper editors.
He is currently an artist-in-residence at both
The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s
and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor
and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection
of poems is Are You Sure Kerouac Done It This Way!?
(co-authored with John Dorsey, and Victor Clevenger,
OAC Books, 2021). He lives part-time in Kansas City, MO
with a rooster named Little Red and a billygoat named
Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks,
near the Gasconade River, where there are also
many strange and wonderful woodland critters.

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, 
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

The Dance Floor | Caleb Ferganchick

Image: Portuguese Gravity

The Dance Floor

if I die on the dance floor tonight
know that I did not go willingly

that tomorrow I had dreams
of morning breath kisses
from a boy I pray is left behind

if I die on the dance floor tonight
console yourself that it is how we wish

for I died doing what I loved
surrounded by friends and family
peacefully in muted gunfire

if I die on the dance floor tonight
please don’t stop the music

I cannot bare to hear the silence anymore


Caleb Ferganchick is a rural, queer, slam poet activist and author of Poetry Heels (2018). His work has been featured and published by the South Broadway Ghost Society (2020, 2021), “Slam Ur Ex ((the podcast))” (2020), and the Colorado Mesa University Literary Review. He organizes the annual “Slamming Bricks” poetry slam competition in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and serves as a board member to Western Colorado Writer’s Form. A SUP river guide, Caleb also dreams of establishing a queer commune with a river otter rescue and falconry. He lives in Grand Junction, Colorado.

SOLITUDE | Dee Allen

Image: Matthew Henry

Solitude

Lack of a lover
Lack of children
Lack of pets
Lack of flatmates
Lack of arguments
Starting out petty
Lack of partitioned space
Lack of visitors
Unless they’re invited—
Just me
In my little house
Two room
Inner sanctum
Where I could be
Just me—
A living
Situation
I seem
Condemned to
& somehow

Prefer—

Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on creative writing & Spoken Word since the early 1990s. Author of 7 books–Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, Skeletal Black [ all from POOR Press ], Elohi Unitsi [ Conviction 2 Change Publishing ] and from February 2022, Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]–and 42 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far.

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, 
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

Pansy to Pale | Liam Max Kelley

Image: Mohammad Naderi
Pansy to Pale

My books in our apartment
                                                       have faded a different color
Dark spines now shades of lavender
the titles have gone
                                         from pansy to pale
Even when she fingers the blinds
closed all day
                             light finds a way
to wear ink thin
                                 To combat excess
new vines dangle ubiquitous 
Over each shelf
                                a graveyard
with shadows tucked
                                            kitty-corner portraits
Sometimes I rotate the words
less direct sunlight
                                       spells a shared wear-and-tear
My toenails shine orange
                       after I’ve painted them
                                          with antifungal polish
and her paintings each are purple
after she combined
                                      cracked makeup
with acrylic medium
When we moved in
                                       we called it eclectic
Now I forget what my books look like
until she opens a window 

Liam Max Kelley is a Chilean-American playwright, actor, poet, and high school language arts teacher. He is the program director at Stain’d Arts, an arts non-profit based in Denver, Colorado, and the co-founder of RuddyDuck Theatre Company, a local absurdist theatre group. He writes poetry to avoid making an argument, to highlight life’s horrid ambiguities, and to turn the heads of those he holds dear.

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, 
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

strange, what fabric the body can be | Jade Lascelles

Image: 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič

strange, what fabric the body can be

the materiality, texture layered atop itself

bristling old wool shorn and barbed from so much wear. knitted with cheap

yarn, the acrylic kind that tightens too much, squeaks after

time and so many washes. a thick polyester clinging to the body

odor of the great aunt who first wore it. a light chiffon scarf

draped, artful but nonchalant. a coat patched too obviously.

stinking of the mothballs from a long-untouched winter closet.

how you are sewn into it


how you drive around a town you have not lived in for fifteen years. the

streets so foreign for the first few days. you, without clear compass or

signpost. home, a place of now-unfamiliar intersections. until on the

third day you feel a strange tug. a too-tight stitch pulling beneath the

muscles in your chest. a breath caught in the button of your throat.

because you suddenly know these storefronts, just with different

names. because you remember the shape and weight of who still

patterns the pavement below. who forever married a part of you to

this neighborhood. whose cord has been knotted to yours all along. you

have driven frightfully close to where something terrible happened. until

now you forgot the event even took place in a house at all. it existing

all this time only in the unnamable space of your hazy recollections.


and the stains it collects, the memory


every time you put on the shirt, your eyes go right to the small spot of

redness. you know the exact meal you were eating. how you were sitting at

a not proper dining space. how the sauce splashed when the pot boiled

over. how her homemade jam was thinner and dripped more. when the

brown corduroy got that conspicuous patch of dried glue along the front

most thigh. the leaking pen. the accident. the accidental. that which

you pick at and sniff at and rub in and soak with hopes of it fading more.


how you wear it, but also, how you are woven of it

you sense the distinct tastes inside your mouth whenever you look at the

photo. it is almost unbelievable now, teaching kindergartners to cook.

trusting such small and wild hands with knives to chop the radishes, a hot

griddle to fry up tortillas. you made butter as a class, taking turns shaking

the mason jar of cream. the excited aggression you all stifled around pet gerbils

and younger siblings having found an escape. a riot of children given task

and purpose for their agitation. you hold a photo of this day, see your own

smile as you chew a bit of buttered bread. see how you once delighted

so in it. how delicious it could be, the violence of so many hands.

Jade Lascelles is a writer, editor, musician, and letterpress printer based in Boulder, Colorado. She is the author of the full-length collection The Invevitable (Gesture Press, 2021). Selections of her work have also appeared in numerous journals and the anthologies Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism and Precipice: Writing at the Edge, as well as being featured in the Ed Bowes film Gold Hill and the visual art exhibit and accompanying book Shame Radiant. Several of her poems were recently translated into Italian for the journal Le Voci della Luna. Beyond her writing endeavors, she is a longtime steward of the Harry Smith Print Shop at Naropa University, a core member of the art group The Wilds, and plays drums in a few different musical projects.

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

Walking | Jozer G

Image: Leonides Ruvalcabar

I got that special type of walk

The type of walk your

Daddy used when he first talked to your 

Mama type of walk

Yea!

I got that special type of lean

So smooth you’d think I’m cruising a low-rider

On Cinco de Mayo 

See, I’ve been waiting on my walk for a while now

Ever since I was a little chavalito

I can recall my father walking me through the process

At an early age, he would say

Walking is one of the simplest ways you could show someone

Your freedom

“See, the first step to being enslaved is to actually get caught!

Why do you think Martin Luther King Jr and Cesar Chavez

Spent all that time marching!?”

“You have to stay on your toes, Mijo

This system has interesting ways of turning a man into a slave”

If you asked my father for a ride

He would tell you to

Walk

After crossing the desert for a better life

My father sees my walk to any Open Mic

As an easy stroll through the park walking

In my father’s footsteps has taught me that

If you love something you will do anything you

Can to get to it

Your feet will get you there if you allow them to

My father walks with the determination of an immigrant

Like his children will starve if he doesn’t walk fast enough

Like there are immigration agents chasing after him

He is America’s worst nightmare

A bad ass in a foreign country and I

Always wanted to walk just like him but

I always seem to take the wrong steps

Walking in and out of Jail

Pacing in my cell like a caged Ocelot

These must have been the ways you get

Enslaved my father talked about and

It all started in the seventh grade when doctors

Explained to my parents why I walked with a slight limp

My right leg was shorter than the left

Forcing me to apply most of my body weight on the right side

I developed a walk that would quickly label me a thug 

I guess the inequalities I was exposed to finally

Drenched through my clothes and into my bones

So now I walk like I got a wounded knee

Like the structure holds me down by my back pockets

Saggy jeans are one of the side effects left over

From my oppression and

When you walk with this much weight at an

Early age your steps

Begin to sound like ticking bombs

The type of walk that’d make a motherfucker

Move out the way the type of walk

That’d make a cop want to follow you

In 2012 Trayvon Martin

and all the years after

Mike Brown

Eric Gardner

Jessie Hernandez

Sandra Bland

George Floyd was murdered for

Having the same walk as me

Trayvon was only 17

They asked me why I cried

Because he walked just like me

Because he was just like me!

Still perfecting his own walk still getting use to the

Feeling of walking in a black man’s shoes

This is the reason why boys like us

Never achieved social mobility

How can we climb the ladders of class if we can’t even

Walk through our neighborhoods without feeling like

Someone is chasing after us

But I’ll risk it all to show my son and the rest of the

Chavalitos in the world that we can walk to a

Better future instead of having to walk away from everything

That we can walk across the stage and graduate

Instead of having to walking in front of a judge

That if we all walk at the same time

The weight of our steps would force the world to flip its rotation

So stand up and walk with me

We have the world at our feet I think it’s time

That we exercise our freedom

Jozer G is a poet, musician and actor based out of Denver, Colorado! Jozer’s work has been featured on American Theater Magazine, HBO, PBS and Univision. Jozer released his debut EP on June 24th, and a new book at the end of the year! 

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

Moonlit Slabs of Light on a Hernandez Church Floor | Crisosto Apache

Image: Robert Linder
Moonlit Slabs of Light on a Hernandez Church Floor

a cemetery
                                is lit by the light 
                                of the moon, while time
                       stands seemingly still,
                     lamenting a
             timeless value,
which covers the empty floor
             in a shape 
                                of a dying face,
the hollow bell knells solemnly
                       for the dead to linger there,
                       to be buried again
hollering is the reason for
                                      the isolation of solidarity--
                                             a tragedy
that befell the dead,
               the decaying reason has taken their chance
beneath a standing tree made into crosses,
the mountains are alive
                                      yet they appear dead,
                       there is no willful purpose,
while a fly sit humming on the sill
               and ants gather,
to confirm the time is still ticking, 
that light gleaming on the floorboards,
never ends the ceasing shadow	—but it does
                                                                —but that light 
                                                                   is beyond the dead

Crisosto Apache is from Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico (US) and lives in Lakewood, CO. They are Mescalero, Chiricahua Apache, and Diné of the Salt Clan born for the Towering House Clan. They are Assistant Professor of English and Associate Poetry Editor for The Offing Magazine. Crisosto’s debut collection GENESIS (Lost Alphabet) stems from the vestiges of memory and cultural identity of self-emergence as language, body, and cosmology. Crisosto is an Associate Professor of English at the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. They hold an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Their latest collection of poetry, GHOSTWORD, is available now through Gnashing Teeth Publishing.

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.