oscillating | Jeff Stonic

Image: Jeff Stonic @jeffandtonic

oscillating

the heater whines like exhaled helium
skillet griddles shredded refrigerator potatoes
I am quiet enough to enjoy each individually because you are sleeping
in the bedroom where an oscillating fan barriers sound between us.
I nearly lived a careless life with sails billowed by lies I love to tell myself
when days were difficult and outnumbered the free form ones.
I unfolded myself face down into stovetop lavender syrup, salvaging
homework on a Sunday night, saving what I can for last
while embracing what is daily laid at my feet.
I love my life despite the overly dramatic gun I hold
by my head, pointed somewhere in between a direct
hit, a grazing knick of the skin, and a Catalpa tree
strung by bean-based icicles dangling from the branches
like wind chimes tuned to pitches meant for other creature ears.
Beside me are thin cushions that don’t stack well
enough to tend to my posture.
Yesterday I passed in and out of registers like large bills
in residence within a rich neighborhood’s mall.
This morning I am seven cents on a wooden window sill,
available to so much eyesight, yet left so unbothered.

Jeff Stonic (he/him) is a Denver artist writing poetry, performing and producing standup comedy, and image-making with photography and videography. His poetry has previously appeared in pan pan press and Eunoia Review.

The moon | Steve Anc

Image: Sven Aeberhard

The moon

She is the peddler at the end of our dreams,
With a beautiful surface.

The dance of the morning,
where gentle sight abides.

The feast of clear color
with smiling song and form.

The sight that sees beyond the sea
And the coming home of the fishes.

The song of the kindly living,
And the coming home of the lovely breeze.

Steve Anc is the son of Ajuzie Nwaorisa, a Nigerian poet. He is a poet with searching knowledge and deep meditation on universal themes, he is quite a modern poet in his adherence to language and his use of metaphor is soul-searching. Anc’s works have been published in Open-door Poetry Magazine, Poetrysoup, Goodlitcompany, Voice From The Void, Our Poetry Archive, I Become The Beast, Fire Magazine

Letitia’s Memories | Sylvia Byrne Pollack

Image: Keith Chan

Letitia’s Memories

are silent films    slapstick and melodramas
projected onto old white sheets   hung 
inside her skull    If she wants a sound track 
she has to create it herself

Memories blur   and   emulsion molds   
even on precious 35mm Kodachrome slides   
evidence of her family   her childhood   
her dogs   Lassie   and   Bambi

She squirrels letters   photographs   clippings   
opera programs   museum tickets   trip itineraries   
in 8 x11x 4 inch boxes on shelves in her study 
She can’t remember what’s in the boxes   

Who cares what’s in the boxes – 
a memento is not the memory    

Memory requires mind   electrical waves sweeping 
over the cortex   sweeping cobwebs from corners   
swapping one year with another   one face with another   
flux of memory trails through forests of fact and fiction

Memories do not stay stacked neatly in boxes 
but dribble   foam   seep   sublime onto the rug   
into corners   over window sills   flow down 
the clapboards on the side of the house

They trip her up when she goes outside to water 
the garden   Tigers of grief pounce when her back 
is turned    Sudden tears on the anniversary of her 
mother’s death even though it was more than fifty years ago

To look back is to flirt with becoming 
a pillar of salt    but   says Letitia   
with a shrug   it adds needed flavor 
to whatever I’m stewing in today

Sylvia Byrne Pollack, a hard-of-hearing poet and former scientist, has published in Floating Bridge ReviewCrab Creek Review, The Stillwater Review and many others. A two-time Pushcart nominee, she won the 2013 Mason’s Road Literary Award, was a 2019 Jack Straw Writer and a 2021 Mineral School Resident. Her debut full-length collection Risking It was published by Red Mountain Press (2021.) Visit her at www.sylviabyrnepollack.com

Editor Interviews | Josh Gaydos


Josh Gaydos (he/him/his) is a self-taught poet that currently resides in Colorado. He has been published in Barren Magazine, Door Is A Jar Magazine, The Lettered Olive and The City Quill. For 2023, he is releasing a poem a week on his free substack at https://joshgaydos.substack.com/ Instagram Twitter

Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.

Pablo Neruda

What does this quote mean to you?

Trite but true with some flowers is this Neruda quote to me. It’s stuck around since I read it and though I am finding that finding of self a great deal less static than this quote implies, it keeps me aware that I could wake up in a decade’s time and find what I’d been running for or running from had made me into something I despised. Sorry for rhyming so much.

What books have made an important impact on you and why?

Too many so I’ll pull the first five that come to mind. East of Eden by John Steinbeck, captures human nature and our interconnectedness, the fact he addressed it to his young sons and was saying “here it is, everything” and delivers. frank: sonnets by Diane Suess, for the “isness”, not answering the Sirens call on a happy feeling or ending, the ability to paint a landscape as big as a coast and also write a poem about the grout around a brick (I’m being figurative here). What Work Is by Phillip Levine, for laying out that blue-collar / American working condition with romanticism and disdain, to put himself in it, distance himself from it, and paint individuals like they were in the room with you. Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems, the ‘other poems’  in that just drop you somewhere and you’re immersed, it could be India and you feel the dense downpour with a herd of water buffalo walking by or New Orleans, or Compton. Robin puts you there in a way I haven’t been transported before or since. Another big one for me is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. My mom had given me that when I really went headfirst into this writing thing. That book helped me to make a point to find art and make space for art wherever I was. Watch a movie, read a book, spin some vinyl and pull feeling or a scene from everything.  

What is the value of writing and art in the current state of the world?

Sanity. Gelling and coming to terms with the cracks.

How has writing and art helped to form the person you are today?

I wouldn’t be here without it, and I don’t just mean serving a guest editing stint for this press. I’d be dead, or fishing with my hands and a line in the Gulf, or possibly I’d be a merchant marine. Most likely dead though.

What is something that matters to you?

Time. 

Untitled | Miriam Sagan

Image: Fr. Daniel Ciucci

Untitled

it’s no longer the Elysian Fields, this
barrio, but the shrine of the sinner is
still decorated in the pocket park
across from the elementary school
and the bakery

El Tiradito may be crumbling
but notes from the heartbroken still
decorate the grave of the unknown
some say a man
killed in a knife fight
over a woman
buried on unconsecrated ground
as doves wheel from the
cathedral

wishes on slips of paper
pushed between adobe bricks
a panhandler asked for
money but I refused
walking away from the great altar
of the Virgin of Guadalupe

I’m neither wholly good nor
bad I don’t even try anymore
to be myself
because I don’t know
who that is
although I did buy a slice
of jelly roll and two
doughnuts at Estrella’s

and all that is left
at the bottom of the paper
bag is crumbs
but whether for birds
or wind—
you tell me—
I can’t decide

Miriam Sagan is the author of over thirty books of poetry, fiction, and memoir. Her most recent include Bluebeard’s Castle (Red Mountain, 2019) and A Hundred Cups of Coffee (Tres Chicas, 2019). She is a two-time winner of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards as well as a recipient of the City of Santa Fe Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and a New Mexico Literary Arts Gratitude Award. She has been a writer in residence in four national parks, Yaddo, MacDowell, Gullkistan in Iceland, Kura Studio in Japan, and a dozen more remote and interesting places. She works with text and sculptural installation as part of the creative team Maternal Mitochondria in venues ranging from RV Parks to galleries. She founded and directed the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College until her retirement.

The Stars | Zack Kopp

Image: Zoltan Tasi

The Stars

The cold stars clicking their claws together like crabs in a tank. History changes and runs off the page like butter. The world has been dragged through me, and I’ve been dragged through the world. We’re even. Stars twirl over stinking trenches, beginning a subtle magnetic resurrection that will take all time and never end. The mind is a machine to move matter. The scenes are super modern. The earth has us, and we multiply. Founded in an impulse of wild lonely need, not serious planning. The stars dissolve in my mouth not my hand. Let this life not be a torment. Let the stars stop shaking. Please, God. I will turn my greatest tricks for you.

Zack Kopp is a freelance writer, editor, photographer, graphic artist, and literary agent currently living in Denver, Colorado. His informal history of the Beat Generation’s connections with Denver was published by The History Press in 2015. Kopp’s books are available at Amazon, and you can find his blog at the website for his indie hybrid press at www.campelasticity.com featuring interviews and articles and links to other websites. His improvised novel, Public Hair, was described by one critic as “simultaneously the best and worst book ever.” The latest chapter of Kopp’s “fantastic biography” (Cf. Billy Childish), Henry Crank’s History of Wonders is expected in 2022.

Delayed Homecoming | Jayati Das

Image: Philip Myrtorp

Delayed Homecoming

For Tina and Ra

There are quite a few miles that crevice you from home,

Like the zip of your suitcase that flies between hope and not-hope.

I can only imagine how the fridge door must be slamming, unlike the one back here—

Extended supplies shunting faster than Turner’s baby,

The one that cries but never comes.

Do you wake each day to a finite line

And trace back the rhino’s trail 

You had smiled about the other day?

Does Bishop speak clearer now

And blur your vocabulary?

I am afraid I will forget your smiling hair

And the exact shade of your red lipstick

(The traces are already starting to drift).

Lie to me when I ask about happiness

Or perhaps halt the track of my question

(‘Are you home yet?’)

With a whistle or a red flag,

For then I can at least begin to unmemorise

Your face greeting me in some departure lounge.

Jayati Das is a research scholar from Tezpur University, India, and holds a Master’s degrees in English Literature frotm the University of Delhi. Her areas of research include representations of the Vietnam War, masculinity studies, and queer cinema. She has won over a dozen prizes in creative writing at the college and university levels. Several of her poems and stories have been published in The Assam Tribune, The Sentinel, and e-magazines like The Golden Line, including a story in an anthology titled DU Love. Her published research includes essays on the Mizo poet, Mona Zote, race in Othello, and on Pedro Almodóvar’s cinema.

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

Days of Red and Gold | David Estringel

Image: Jakub Dziubak

Days of Red and Gold

Sittin’ at the kitchen table—cup of black coffee in one hand, cigarette in the other—I look past catches of blue paint and the remains of flies on screen door mesh, toward the sorghum field just beyond the ranch gate. Death’s stillness—a gravity all its own—has seeped into every corner, permeated the grout of tiled countertops and spaces in between fruit magnates on the old, white Frigidaire like the smell of rabbit in the oven or hints of storm riding out on the breeze. Life’s left the room—no pulse under these linoleum tiles—it seems, leaving it darker, a bit colder, despite morning’s come to call through the window above the sink. I take another sip—bitter on the tongue—then a drag (or two), finding myself—absent-minded–fingering the contents of a chipped, pink and white bowl of green stamp china (of which she was so proud). Four pennies, two dimes, and a nickel. Two rusty paper clips. A half-used packet of B&C headache powder. A dead fly. I remember eating from it—sweetened raspberries, red and golden, from bushes in the garden—when I was small. How I’d toss them back in grubby fistfuls, between chokes on the juice, as honied explosions—sour and sweet—took me to Heaven and back then ‘round, again, while she looked out the screen door, tossing hair from her eyes—cup of black coffee in one hand, cigarette in the other—staring at my father working in the field, beyond.

David Estringel is a Xicanx writer/poet with works published in literary publications, such as The Opiate, Azahares, Cephalorpress, Lahar, Poetry Ni, DREICH, Somos En Escrito, Ethel, The Milk House, Beir Bua Journal, and The Blue Nib. His first collection of poetry and short fiction Indelible Fingerprints was published April 2019, followed Blood Honey and Cold Comfort House in 2022. David has written five poetry chapbooks, Punctures, PeripherieS, Eating Pears on the Rooftop, as well as Golden Calves and Blue (coming 2023). His new book of micro poetry little punctures will be released in December 2022. Connect with David on Twitter @The_Booky_Man and his website www.davidaestringel.com

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

Dingle Bay, Summer 2012 | Sean Woodard

Image: Xulong Liu

Along the cliffs of Ceann Sibéal
herds of sheep graze, weighed
down by crimped fleece.

Rough-hewn Celtic crosses,
slathered in dust and moss,
peek out from brittle underbrush.

A boat slices through still bay waters,
inboard motor stirring up foam
as the throttle is revved.

A gray dorsal fin approaches the vessel.
With a barrel roll and flick of his flukes,
Fungie the bottlenose dolphin launches

into the air, slips back under the surface,
and reemerges to nuzzle starboard
and port sides with his rostrum.

The Ring of Kerry is bathed in gold
as Dingle’s red and white lighthouse guides
Fungie back to the bosom of the Atlantic Ocean.


Sean Woodard (he/him) is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington. He also serves as the film editor for Drunk Monkeys. His creative works has appeared in NonBinary ReviewThe Cost of Paper Vol. 4, and Found Polaroids, among other publications. You may follow him at http://seanwoodard.com, Twitter @seanwoodard7326 and Instagram @swoodard7326.

Trying to Explain America to My In-Laws | Keri Withington

Image: Specphotops

Yes, Florida’s also in the South.
Yes, we’ve been there.
Yes, we’re planning to go there again,
maybe this summer;
no, we didn’t know anyone in that school,
but yes, we all know someone in that school.

Yes, the kids are safe…well, not really safe.
I talked to M this morning about what to do:
whether to wait in the first fire alarm,
how to listen in hallways,
where to hide if she needed to.

Then I sent her to school
with her cello
and packed lunch
as if this were normal.

As if I should be talking to her about survival,
instead of test scores and school dances.
As if any of us know what 6th grade is like
when you’re worried about making it home alive.
Yes, I say, I realize this is not normal. Yes is to say,
I know the rest of the world doesn’t understand,
and neither do we. No, I say, it won’t make anything change.
It won’t end America’s love affair with guns
because we’ve seen that we’ll let children die over and
over again and that’s what it means.

I stop and think and almost finish.
We’ll let children die before we run background checks.
We’ll let children die before we stop automatic
and armor-piercing and the hard-on for the NRA.

But I realize all those are just conditionals
to the central fact, and the fact of the matter is
America let’s its children die.

We’ve been letting them die.

I remember Columbine;
I remember Sandy Hook.
I remember all the stories in between
and all the schools since.

Yes, I say, America.


Keri Withington (she/her) is an educator, vegan, and pandemic gardener. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Wild Word and Blue Fifth Review. She has published two chapbooks: Constellations of Freckles (Dancing Girl Press) and Beckoning from the Waves (Plan B Press). Withington lives with her husband, three children, and four fur babies in the Appalachian foothills. You can find her in Zoom classes for Pellissippi State, trying to turn her yard into an orchard, or on FB (@KeriWithingtonWriter).