Problem Child | Jesse Lee Pacheco + Lillie Fischer


Lillie Fischer is a storyteller and director. Her work explores loss, honesty, our relationship with the earth and how to reach out to our inner child. Currently she is prepping for several experimental short films on an artist commune in Northern Colorado with her husband and dog. @lilliefischer


Jesse Lee Pacheco is a Performance Artist from Denver, Colorado. Life is wonderful. Life should be positive. When it’s blown to pieces, that’s when it becomes art. @jesselee_sent_ya

Ripe Apples – Jessica Rigney

Photo: Oxa Roxa

You make of me a magician—
a laborer supplicant and servant
as I bring the corners of the cloth

together and know you see—
know of your marveling at my hands and
how they come together. It is I

who fashions a new heart each morning
awake to ripe apples which appear
inside the curve of my arm as though

I’d gathered them in my sleep.
Reveries write themselves upon the day
I say. Prefiguring every kindness falling

at my feet. By night they are siphon
for the sorrow tonguing my boots.
You make of me a witness—

stalwart bearer of deprivations
of sleep as I peel carrots at midnight
and know your eyes follow the line

of my shoulder to elbow to wrist and
how they work together still. It is you
who with your arms unloosening

‘round the waste of me lost beyond
these endless unnamed days—you
who magics the seasons back from before

the stay.
Name not I, but the it which is this.
I say.


Jessica Rigney is a poet, artist, and filmmaker. She is poetjess on Instagram.

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

The Kind of Diner – Samantha Steiner

Image: Ricky Singh

The kind of diner where the benches are turquoise vinyl, where the tables are edged in steel and there’s a tin full of half-used crayons by the register. Maybe there’s a jukebox. Maybe the jukebox actually works. Maybe it swallows your nickel.

The kind of bagel shop where half the walls are exposed brick and the other half are glass, where all the furniture was bought at an estate sale. Orders are handwritten on a notepad with a ballpoint pen and strung on the laundry line that spans the counter. There is no bathroom. Even the employees have to duck into the office building across the street on their lunch breaks.

The kind of bakery where the ceiling tiles can be poked out of place with a broom handle, where the chairs and tables are white wire. Help yourself to a pair of tongs, a serving tray. A cashier will give you more napkins than you could possibly need, and you will surprise yourself when you use them all.

The kind of cafe where there’s a corkboard. Someone needs a babysitter. Someone teaches guitar. Someone is selling a used croquet set. Each flyer ends in a fringe of phone numbers. You reach for that fringe and your wallet tumbles from your pocket. Someone picks it up and hands it back to you.

The kind of New York where you still live, though you don’t eat out much anymore.


Samantha Steiner is a Fulbright Scholar and two-time Best of the Net nominee. Her 2019 essay “To the Current Tenant” appears in the print anthology Coffin Bell 2.2, and other works are published or forthcoming in The Emerson Review, Apple Valley Review, and The Citron Review. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Steiner_Reads.

Eve – Amy Wray Irish

Photo: Louis Hansel

When I reach to select the fruit
appearing most plump and ripe
my thumb plunges in, straight through
skin, meat, seeds, core
until it meets my fingers
creating a perfect circle.

Its all beautiful pulp in my palm.
No mold or rot here. I hold
a handful of sweet stickiness,
a shock of soft flesh. The surprise
forces a small ha of breath
to escape me, a moment of delight
that I then extend to you.

Not as temptation. More
as proof. Reflexively, instinctively,
I share this sensation
and offer you connection—
thinking that we share a rib,
a mythology. Any knowledge
for or against this is a fruit
I have yet to bite.


Amy Wray Irish grew up immersed in Chicago’s diverse arts scene, then traded Midwest winters for the Rocky Mountains.  She has been published both online and in print journals, most recently with Punch Drunk Press and Waving Hands (forthcoming).  Irish is a member of Lighthouse Writers, Columbine Poets, and Turkey Buzzard Press; her chapbooks include Creation Stories (2016) and The Nature of the Mother (2019).

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

Vested Cognizance, Dealt – Laura Carter

She was dealt a war. She was dealt a civil war.
She was dealt a rooftop only rain knows.
She was dealt crimson and pronomial sea.
………….There was nothing but brackish there.
Do you want to be held? Do you want to be held apart from
………….a working world, or a willing world?
Were you built by a window?
Were you built by a window where spires were first?
Did you ever find that you needed your neediness there?
………….Did you?
Were you built from a first Palatine knowing?
And how? When you first delighted in yourself, did you think about the others soon there?
………….Did you heat up a tenement of souls?
What did she first find? A new house?
Was a house built of beauty, or was a house cut down?
………….Which one were you? Possible?
Were you built from a window, where there was nothing?
………….Are you she who was dealt a civil war?
Are you she who was dealt a retrieval?


Laura Carter lives in metro Atlanta, GA, where she finished her MFA many moons ago. She has since then published many poems in individual form and also a handful of chapbooks. She continues to teach writing classes to undergraduates.


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. 

South Broadway Press: Call for Full-Length Poetry Manuscripts

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We are a publisher of books that matter.


South Broadway Press is now accepting submissions of full-length poetry manuscripts. We are specifically requesting socially impactful pieces. Yes, all art is socially impactful in its own way, but we are seeking strongly conscious content with undeniable vision. Artists from underrepresented and marginalized populations are especially encouraged to contribute their diverse beliefs and perspectives.

We care about publishing and promoting a safe, inclusive literary community and believe we can positively influence the world in this way. Send us your compelling narratives, your concrete imagery, your similes and metaphors…your truth. 

Please send us your truth only if it is a poetry manuscript between 60 and 100 pages!

Please email a 10-page sample and 250-word description of your book to

submissions@soboghoso.org

along with your picture and a brief bio.

Please put “Poetry Manuscript 2020 – – ” in the subject line.

Manuscript submissions will be open through November, 2020.

Please email your manuscript sample as a .doc or a .pdf.

Please include a brief bio including social media / links.

What We Look For

South Broadway is in reference to the South Broadway region of Denver, a long-wide strip of road that dives straight towards downtown Denver. South Broadway is lined with eclectic shops ranging from sex shops, to anarchist book stores, to local craft breweries, to dive bar concert venues. South Broadway is gritty, it is alive, it’s the kind of neighborhood where you will see the same faces again and again. This sense of inclusivity and eclectic attitudes has been a large influence on the tone of our journal.

Writers and artists of color, as well as LGBTQIA+ folx are highly encouraged to submit. As a journal, we understand that the United States, as well as much of the developed world, has been created as a white patriarchal Christian heterosexual capitalist landscape, and this has been oppressive and violent for a long time to many groups of people. Part of our mission is to challenge these doctrines for better ones. We believe in love, and that love often looks radical during its time.

We believe one of the most important parts of the human experience is storytelling. That storytelling is a major vessel for human growth, one which fosters compassion and empathy. We like pieces that are intimate, pieces that challenge the status quo, pieces that our readers will be thinking about when they are driving home late at night. We believe in creating a rich journal and a space where most everyone feels comfortable sharing their experiences. We like humor, especially when that humor serves a bigger purpose.

What Publication Means

Being published by South Broadway Press means distribution online, at many bookstores throughout Colorado and occasionally outside of Colorado. We will promote your book through our social media outlets, distribution at local Colorado bookstores and have your book for sale at any expos, events, etc. that we attend. Your book will not be available for sale on Amazon.

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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