Suburban Garden Evicts Vegetables | Wendy BooydeGraaff

Image: Alexander Sergienko
Peas zigzag through weeds, scaling borage instead of trellis. 
Tomatoes stagnate, grass and clover thrive, tender beets

sprout alongside dandelions tubers. Uprooting one hefty weed 
evicts the fledgling vegetables. It all grows, though the weeds 

grow best. My own roots reach back to clean plow lines and blooming 
rows: eighty acres of fruit farm plus a rectangle of Ontario’s Eden 

beside the old garage: all-you-can-eat green beans, snow peas, cherry 
tomatoes, rhubarb for pie and stewed berries over ice cream.

I grew up knowing a weed is a weed and a plant 
is sacred. Behold my upscaled quagmire—Royal Burgundy Beans, 

rainbow chard, heirloom Spanish radishes, yellow pear tomatoes—
mingled with timothy, dandelion, broadleaf plantain. A feast of colours 

descendant of rain-scented soil spread down a long laced 
table, paired with a leggy wine. Inside, I hear the garden 

call. Dillweed whispers and waves, its delicate imitation 
fern summons rusted canning rings while blue morning 

glories drown everything by mid-August.


Wendy BooydeGraaff’s poems, stories, and essays have been included in Critical Read, Not Very Quiet, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Meniscus, and elsewhere. Originally from Ontario, where she grew up on a fruit farm, she now lives in Michigan suburbia.

This piece is a selection from South Broadway Press’ March issue, Language of the Earth.

Four Poems | Margarita Serafimova

Image: Paweł Czerwiński


The Witnesses

We were observing ourselves colliding
with ourselves as if in a dream,
as if on a king’s road,
with horses, with dogs, with spears,
the air tinted in red,
the age-old branches between us and the hidden stars.
We were keeping a record of proceedings.


Underneath the skin, upon which the devastating battle for tenderness
is being played out,
there is a cocoon.
In a cocoon of blood,
I am bathing –
a red egg,
a red butterfly –
in full safety
behind the curtains of the bloodfall.


Yes, I brought my shield down.
My breasts were bared, elongated.
Around my ankles, there was dust.


The roads wept.
I gave them my eyes.


Margarita Serafimova is the winner of the 2020 Tony Quagliano/ Hawai’i Council for the Humanities International Poetry Award, a 2020 Pushcart nominee and a finalist in nine other U.S. and international poetry contests. She has four collections in Bulgarian and a chapbook, “A Surgery of A Star” (Staring Problem Press, CA: https://bit.ly/3jDU793). Her digital chapbook, ‘Еn-tîm’ (Wilderness), is forthcoming by the San Francisco University Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange in 2021. A full-length collection, ‘A White Boat and Foam’, is to be published by Interstellar Flight Press in 2022. Her work appears widely, including at Nashville Review, LIT, Agenda Poetry, Poetry South, Botticelli, London Grip, Steam Ticket, Waxwing, A-Minor, Trafika Europe, Noble/ Gas, Obra/ Artifact, Great Weather for Media, Origins, Nixes Mate. Visit: shorturl.at/dgpzC.

Pretzels | Danny Mazur

image: jose aljovin

Every night before bed
I would wander into my Dad’s kingdom
Laying on his king-sized bed
With a book and pretzels scattered across his hairy chest
His trusted steeds (10 lb. twin toy poodles)
Intently waited for treats
A low static from AM talk radio filled the room
He removed suit and tie
Donning blue converse shorts, no shirt

I remember the way his toes would wiggle
How he would tell me what he was reading about
How crumbs would fall from his lips
As he laughed at his own jokes

My mind was much quieter then
No concerns of burning forests or abused children
I wasn’t stressed
By the weight of earning paychecks and paying off loans
I didn’t find myself overwhelmed
How my dreams often feel like the Amazon River
7 miles wide
And I’m on the bank
I can’t swim and my boat is on the other side

On good days,
I’ll remember the world isn’t about me
That dreams come and go
That I live with my best friend
In some sort of Earth fort
That I get to walk to work
And spend my days with kids

And when the night comes
I lay in my bed and give thanks to tired legs
I open a comic book and my toes begin to wiggle
It’s in these moments
I find my hairy chest full of pretzels


Danny Mazur’s fascination with the human experience led him to founding Soul Stories, an organization that facilitates conversations for personal healing and social change. Over the past six years, Danny has produced and facilitated over 100 Soul Stories events in the Denver community, ranging from community dialogs to live performances. Danny collaborates with members of the Denver community to create events that unpack challenging topics such as consent, personal identity, relationships, race, and even the political divide of 2020. Soul Stories events are unique spaces where people go to practice authenticity and find connection. 

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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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.

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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.

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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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South Broadway Press: Call for Full-Length Poetry Manuscripts

South Broadway Press 5

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.

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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.

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