Bread in the air – Ashley Howell Bunn

Photo: José Pablo Iglesias

the greatest thing about dishes in the sink is that we have dishes and we have a sink and that I get to wash them when they get crusty and I hate that but there was food enough to be left behind and fungus enough in the air to make the dough rise and that you ate it with butter just like a victorian orphan and we laughed and then all played cards at the table and the greatest thing about the hole in the wall is that it is there and my hand made it and that there was emotion enough to propel it forward and that we are still here in this house and art sometimes covers the hole and sometimes it doesn’t and one time you put your little shoe in the hole never to be seen again and I laughed and I found some old shoes to put on your feet and the greatest thing about that moment is that you have shoes and you have feet


Ashley Howell Bunn is pursuing her MFA in poetry through Regis University where she is also a graduate writing consultant. She reads and helps develop community engagement for the literary journal Inverted Syntax. Her work has previously appeared in The Colorado Sun, the series Head Room Sessions, and others. When she isn’t writing, she teaches and practices yoga and runs a small personal business centered around healing. She lives in Denver, CO with her partner and child.

This poem is from the Thought For Food anthology,
a poetry collection benefiting Denver Food Rescue.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.

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HOWL – Charles Dalton Telschow

“HOWL” by Charles Dalton Telschow

When the echoes of your neighborhood fall silent, and the wind chimes stop ringing,

Breathe.

There is a time for inhalations and exultations.

Do not forget we are living in history, please make your contribution to the textbooks thoughtfully.

Scribble in the margins of love and hangman’s noises and spirals that go all the way past the page, and remember the process of history that has brought that page into your presence. The tree that fell and was peeled layer by layer and chemically repurposed, to hold your thoughts for you. The weight of its death as it holds the heaviest of your breaths. 

And your breath is so heavy these days. So heave it towards the moon and howl because it’s 8 PM, and this is Denver. We are the echoes that do not fall silent, the porchlight that does not burn out, the PBR that stays cold, even in direct sunlight. 

So carve your truth into the former flesh of your lungs, but do not think it is any truer than the air you would breathe because of these pages. 

How generous of the trees to give us air, just so we can cut them down and write about how beautiful they were. How selfish of us to not tell of how disgusting we were to the beauty of this world. How dare we rewrite the history of our horrors until it shines, but can’t see ourselves in it any more. Hoarding the grace under generic gentrified graffiti, and masks that do nothing to hide the fear in our eyes. 

Remember the imperfection of tree branches, and how they worry not of straight lines and sterile wounds. 

When the echoes of your neighborhood fall silent, and the wind chimes stop ringing, 

Breathe in.

And howl.


Charles Dalton Telschowis a 26 year old Colorado native who is set to release his third self-published book of poetry, “a constellation of sparks”. He has been performing poetry for over ten years and also has been in the local music scene for almost as long. He has a solo music project called “The Polite Heretic”

This poem is from the Thought For Food anthology,
a poetry collection benefiting Denver Food Rescue.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Thought For Food Promotional 1

Dawn as an Act of Survival – Paul Ilechko

Slurred croak    cracked collarbone

head shaved tight to the pinking flesh

a pure invention of street life

synthesized and wired for direct current

breakfast juddering under ultraviolet

charred and caramelized   with a blast

of woodsmoke as coffee is guzzled   syllables

sputtering from misshapen tongue

the stink of syrup    of hot sauce and vinegar

silence hanging heavy between

the throb of another morning    and the stale

breath of the previous night

no recollection pervades his damaged mind

of how     besotted    the leather drool

of survival staggered him homeward

through greased and gut-churning detour

steel-pinned and bone-plated    with memory

of smoke and gasoline    he lights his flame

in competition with the rising sun

a crimson sky     his furnace. 


Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbooks “Bartok in Winter” (Flutter Press) and “Graph of Life” (Finishing Line Press). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Juxtaprose, As It Ought To Be, Cathexis Northwest Press, Inklette and Pithead Chapel. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ. FB: pilechko Insta: njscattista

Genesis – Philip Matthews

NC048 © D. Johnson, courtesy of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center

Flutter at no wide open mind.

I did not think like an individual eyelash. 

I did not move in the hourglass house, 

perpetuating itself of flashes of quicksilver of fish-knives. My parents. 

When the sermon was streamed in the old South, it was creamy, a small amount amounting. 

Whatever I thought of / against me, little queer hook, I was writing on my centurial skull. 

Until something ovarian. A tucked testicle. I felt her tapping, almost at full plank: Petal.


Philip Matthews is the author of “Witch” (Alice James Books, 2020) and “Wig Heavier Than a Boot” (Kris Graves Projects, 2019), a collaboration with David Johnson. A poet from eastern North Carolina, he currently resides in Sauk County, Wisconsin where he is Director of Programs at Wormfarm Institute. Up to this point, his practice has anchored in site-specific meditation and performance: he is curious about what happens next. philipandpetal.com / @philipandpetal

The Colorado Photographic Arts Center has an exhibition Aug 14- Sept 23, 2020. The Space Between explores issues of queer identity, sexuality, and relationships through the works of three contemporary artists, including two photographers and a poet.  In “Through the Lens of Desire,” Kris Sanford uses vintage photography from the 1920s – 1950s to explore an imagined queer history. “Wig Heavier Than a Boot,” is a collaboration of poetry and images that reveals Petal, a persona whom Philip Matthews manifests to write about and David Johnson photographs. 

81 – Hilary Sideris

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Photo: Chris Zhang

She flaunts her pomegranate-
purple impulse-purchase mini-push
mower in her duplex backyard,
our mother of contradictions

from Depression-era Texas, women’s
libber, cheapskate even when it comes
to shoes, of which she has hundreds
of pairs. Why pay a man? Plus, here’s
a chance to show the shape she’s in

and get some sun. A younger, maybe
married neighbor suggests swinging
by on his John Deere. Tactical, tactful,

she declines. She knows the road
such favors lead a woman down.


Hilary Sideris has recently published poems in The American Journal of Poetry, Bellevue Literary Review, Free State Review, Gravel, The Lake, Main Street Rag, Rhino, Room, Salamander, and Southern Poetry Review. Her new book Animals in English, poems after Temple Grandin, is forthcoming from Dos Madres Press.

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I Will Wait For You, Little Strawberry – Shelsea Ochoa

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Photo: Andriyko Podilnyk

I will wait for you,
Little strawberry

I knew you when you were just a little flower
With your yellow belly to the sun
I watched you dancing in the wind
Beaming, being, feeding bees
Held by a beautiful mother plant
Her deep roots locked into the wet soil like a complicated code
Her sturdy leafs collecting light for your existence
You have always been almost pure existence

Now, you are a little green bloop of a thing
I love how you hold your seeds on the outside,
Making it very clear to the birds that may eat you
That being delicious comes second
To a purpose beyond a single strawberry

In this crazy world of squirrels and crows
Nothing in life is guaranteed
So I will not wait to enjoy you
Now, as you are
Hard and green and in-between
I enjoy the wait

Just as I enjoyed the idea of you when you were nothing but an idea
I will enjoy the memory of you once only memory remains
And *squeee* maybe one day I will get to take a juicy bite
Of something so sweet and sunkissed and ruby and dazzling and bold and wow and life and pop and slurp and drippy and mmm!

I will wait for you, little strawberry
Just in case I get the chance


Shelsea Ochoa is a creative powerhouse and community activist. She is an improviser, clown, actor, storyteller, howler, teacher, facilitator, and event producer. Sometimes you can find her on Mars teaching kids about space. Other times she is a sheriff solving a murder mystery. More often than not she is cooking surprisingly good meals with ingredients that can be best described as “questionable”. (Written by her friend and biggest fan Danny.)

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This poem is from the Thought For Food anthology,
a poetry collection benefiting Denver Food Rescue.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Thought For Food Promotional 1

Fuck Yes! Souffle – Kevin Quinn Marchman

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Photo: Angel Sinigersky

1. One big ole frying pan. Not just big, but special. You need to decide what shape you want this to come out as. Maybe a stage, or easel or maybe a you-shaped frying pan, but it has gotta be big.

2. Add one cup of vision. Imagine this delicious, gleaming, steaming hot soufflé as the centerpiece.

3. Like, 73 parts preparation. Have each bite, individual flavor and texture of this tasty ass creation mapped out. This ain’t just food, its architecture! Mise-en-place!

4. Vigorously mix that with a dose of expectation and realization. It ain’t gonna look, taste, smell, feel like the picturesque shit you just envisioned. It’s gonna be great, but unexpected. Maybe even better than the meal you had the capacity to imagine at the start of this process.

5. Now you gotta cook. You need a lot of heat. And regular ass fire ain’t gonna cut. No electric, butane, propane or charcoal is gonna cut it. You need some powerful kindling to feed this flame. Pressure, passion, fear, desire, divine inspiration, bullshit, clarity, fun, more fun, frustration, drugs, and love. So much love. Alla dat.

Tip: Cooking time is trickier. You can cook for 1 second or 30 years and still can’t be sure it’s made to satisfaction. Time depends on what you need and when you need it. You can be assured however, that you can always pop that bad boy back in the oven and the flavor is maintained.

Hunger is a gift of priority.
It is felt. It is addressed.
No analysis or doubts are required.
Do not accept morsels when a meal is desired.
Craving is a delicious motivation.

Nourishment is achieved in many ways through many means.

Food for thought or food for soul or simply sustenance.

This dish is garnished with blessings.

Be sure to give thanks.

Most importantly, regardless of shape, ingredients or time…
You must decide the place

and people you wish to share this masterpiece with.


Kevin Quinn Marchman is an actor, producer, teaching artist and writer. He is Co-founder and current Director of Education with the Black Actors Guild. He misses the Denver Nuggets very much and hopes they miss him too.

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This poem is from the Thought For Food anthology,
a poetry collection benefiting Denver Food Rescue.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Thought For Food Promotional 1

In Our Own Small Bodies — Violet Mitchell

sad rainbowphoto: Dewang Gupta

your breasts hang in a fog & you can no longer see the ceiling or clouds & can no longer
feel your (   ) you do not know where they are

his jeans ripped at the knee showed hair (   ) & dried scraps he says unreasons says hair says bodies says sweat says it won’t matter once it’s done

a pear split so that you could dig out the seed to see what you’ve always wanted to rid (         )

hexagon breath turning like a wheel up your throat clunky like (          it was man-made          ) the air was yellow & glittering sharp a fast sun was it always so full-bodied

until then you had always loved yellow

it was like a side stitch after running too far it pierced that you looked to the stars & ran to find thread sew sew sew it tighter

your opening is gone it is red & songblue it wasn’t firework it wasn’t a redred balloon it was a dried puddle

set of drawers with kids’ clothing the shade of moths’ wings holes absorbing the mahogany grief this is the morning you decide your new outfit

it was late late light loose hair clinging to plastic rose petals       quiet & dry

(       ) you kept wanting to close the shades to stop the light to just know the lick of darkness to just be in it & not be talked at about pointed stars & wishes they made

if you are caught in quicksand you have to lay down flat spread your limbs hold your weight in your chest you must face palms up & open like the sky you watch who is blue & counting ( close) your eyes (think) of water (think) of the year the flood came & swept your home away

he said he found a ring it was diamonds cut from earth just like you how you were born he slipped it over your ankles, thighs, hips (   *   ) & when he reached your stomach rock after rock fell out of you & became the ring became a gift of the earth’s ground


Violet Mitchell is a Denver-based writer and artist. She earned a B.A S. in cognitive literary studies and is completing an MFA degree in creative writing poetry, both from Regis University. Her work has been published in Heavy Feather Review, The Blue Route, Sixfold, Word for Word, ANGLES, Furrow Magazine, and several other journals. She received the Robert A. O’Sullivan, S.J. Memorial Award for Excellence in Writing in 2019.

violet

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Tomato Red – Sophie Cardin

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Photo: Daniele Levis Pelusi

 

give it to me tomato red
spread out like
flour all over the counter
cold on my back

mouths burning with
salsa and impulse

cover me with thyme
and brown sugar

dip your fingertips
in the spice jars and let me guess
what is what and which is which

I am gasping, caffeinated, like
the flame marked moka pot,
older than you, than I,
than us both together,
older than this dance, older

than the mothers, and their
pleasure, and their kitchens
filled with smells

leave me someplace warm
so I can rise, in the sun

want feasts on the body
like yeast, souring
as it chews through wheat

the basil is growing from seed
alongside salvaged potato eyes
which watch our backs

I cover everything in cilantro
but you soap-tongued screw
up your face at the taste of it
so I smear honey on my lips, and
bid you lick it off

I sink my hands, up to the elbow
into containers of rice and beans
fancying rain that won’t come till summer

cool like dried legumes and
fine like grains

I draw pictures
in the coffee grounds
spilt at breakfast

run hot water over my hands
until they are red and pink knuckled
wet and clean


Sophie Cardin is a second-year student studying political philosophy and nonviolent theory at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She was born and raised in Denver. Sophie fell in love with poetry during her early struggles with dyslexia. She is a regular at the Friday Night Poetry Open Mic at the Mercury Cafe and the author of Lust Poems For No One In Particular.

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This poem is from the Thought For Food anthology,
a poetry collection benefiting Denver Food Rescue.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Thought For Food Promotional 1

FOR THE WANT OF YOU – Liza Sparks

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Photo: Alexis Fauvet

I am shaking for the want of you
I am sweating for the want of you
I am biting my bottom lip

I am casting spells for the want of you
I am planting seeds for the want of you
I am drinking love potions

I am sewing & mending for the want of you
I am writing heart songs for the want of you
I am kissing trees

I am dancing in meadows for the want of you
I am spinning silly for the want of you
I am howling at the moon

I am eating honey & dates so you’ll be sweet for me
I am lighting candles so you’ll burn for me
I am writing your name over & over again
I am sipping spirits to intoxicate you with me
I am tying strings together to connect you with me
I am tracing your name on my skin

I am chanting your name into my garden
I am whispering your name into the wind
I am drumming your name into the mountain
I am throwing coins into wells
I am making wishes on stars
I am praying to any amulet, any symbol, any god that will listen
all for the want of you


Liza Sparks (she/her/hers) is an intersectional feminist writer, poet, early childhood educator, and creative. She is a brown-multiracial-pansexual-woman living and writing in Colorado and is currently an editor for Dirt Media. Liza holds her BA in poetry from Colorado College and attended on an El Pomar Scholarship for leadership and civic engagement; she also holds an MA from Goddard College in community education (with a concentration in early childhood). Liza was a finalist for Denver Lighthouse Writers Workshop Emerging Writer Fellowship in Poetry in 2020 and 2019; and was a semifinalist for Button Poetry’s Chapbook Contest in 2018. She has been published with Spit Poet Zine, South Broadway Ghost Society, Tiny Spoon, Stain’d Arts, Suspect Press, and Cosmonauts Avenue. You can find more of her work on Instagram @sparksliza534 or lizasparks.com.

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Photo Credit: Nick Velharticky @nvthepix

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This poem is from the Thought For Food anthology,
a poetry collection benefiting Denver Food Rescue.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Thought For Food Promotional 1