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. 

Floor Bare | Jessica Rigney

Image: Tim Huefner

Floor Bare

And here you are standing
two feet bare on the floor of
your kitchen turning back
to the wall behind as though
he were standing bare-footed there
with you again as he did
those years prior. Before
the days dissolved into the rising
of time immemorial and you
who had just kept your head
above water now live
in the after so far below you have
come to know the nocturnal
creatures who in quiet habits roam
from shore to shore only under
all the weight of dark stars.
What can you do but let
flow through your fingers—the now
and him too though he was yours
for a time and gave you
such happiness.
The distances between
keep widening and soon it will be
that you cannot recall his eyes
or the scent amongst his thick curls.
Turns out you knew—had known
all along this was coming. It was why
you held him close for so long
why you saved him in dreams
so many times you lost count. It was
the one sure thing you held
in your heart and though you knew
it to be true you gave him
everything even so—even though
you knew in the coming years
he would be gone from you.
And here you are standing
two feet bare on the floor of
your kitchen turning back
to the wall behind you as though
he were standing bare-footed there.

Jessica Rigney is a poet, artist, and filmmaker. She is the author of Follow a Field: a Photographic & Poetic Essay (2016), Entre Nous (2017), Careful Packages (2019), and Something Whole (2021). Her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2022. She lives and wanders in Colorado and northern New Mexico, where she films and collects feathers and stones. www.jessicarigney.com

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

A Special Place | Norbert Góra

Image: Birmingham Museum’s Trust

A Special Place

There is no such
second place in the world
where so many noteworthy
moments have been saved.
How many of your breaths
flickered on the walls,
how many of your tears
soaked the floor,
nobody knows.
A part of your heart
will stay here forever,
no matter where
the wings of fate take you.
It’s a magic point,
the mind remembers it
as the heart longs for it,
one and only—home.

Norbert Góra is a 32-year-old poet and writer from Poland. He is the author of more than 100 poems which have been published in poetry anthologies in USA, UK, India, Nigeria, Kenya and Australia.

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

House of my Heart | Taylor Jones

Art: Taylor Jones

House of my Heart

I’m airing out the house of my heart.
All the cobwebbed corners,
the shelves of knickknacks,
are being dusted
unmercifully.
I’m opening the shutters
letting the wind blow out
the musty smell of disuse.
I’m putting flowers
in all the rooms.
Even the basement, the attic
ignored for so long
are getting a going over.
All that old junk has got to go.
It’s just shelter for spiders
that tap away when the lights
come on.

I’m trying to put the house of
my heart in order.
“Smarten up,” I say,
adjusting the bowties of my fears.
“Stand up straight,” I say,
brushing off the jackets of my doubts.
“Everyone be on your best behavior,”
I say to my wants and needs.
“We have a guest coming.”

Taylor Jones’ fiction and poetry has appeared in Spit Poet Zine, Smoky Quartz, South Broadway Ghost Society, and Barren Magazine. Her website is: tjonesportfolio.wixsite.com/taylorjones. She was born and raised on the East Coast, but now lives in Denver, Colorado, in a house full of plants. Twitter: @I_heart_fungi. Insta: @tjonespainting

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

Pots & Pans | Zack Kopp

Image: Alexander London

Pots & Pans

The nt. is cold & flesh is sold   in galleries just down the road

       Long spaces of silence are speech   & the stars are knives 

      that stab @ your eyes

You stumble home past churches & brick shit-houses  

  all the pots & pans hating the buildings they live in

        All the houses are heads   & the windows are eyes

                 each house has a different haircut

       @ home, 

this is goddam 

serious business, lazy

electric red lilies asleep in the window, your eyes

playing tennis w/ stars & light 

       in a glass frying pan

               all nt.

Other times it’s a joyride,

                        exhaust pipes flashing in the sunset—zoom—

You get there. You have dreams. You love someone.

The only certainty infection w/ illusion. Some people are there. You 

try to make plans. It breaks down. You keep going. It hurts.

There are books, statues. It breaks down again. You keep going.

You’re the only one there. You’re the only thing real.

A storm of light on the plane of time. 

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.


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

The Mother of the Oxford English Dictionary | Allison Maschhoff

Image: Quino

The Mother of the Oxford English Dictionary

mother, n.

definition a.

The female parent of a human being; [2]

as in the one who feeds you with her chest, the one who housed you next to her most sacred innards, the one your eyes search for as you cry.

a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth; [3]

            the unparalleled truth of motherhood: only one person will ever birth you.

the unbearable truth of motherhood: no world she births you into will as be as safe as the one she made.

(also in extended use) a woman who undertakes the responsibilities of a parent toward a child [4]

every place that has ever felt like a second home to me has had the influence of a woman who houses the strength and presence of a whirlwind framing everything from the door to the walls to my heart.

[2] [3] [4] from the Oxford English Dictionary

Allison Maschhoff is a creative writing MFA student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Her poetry has been published in The Blue Route, Green Blotter, Windfall, and Better Than Starbucks. She also writes fiction. You can find links to her work at www.allisonmaschhoff.com or follow @allison.maschhoff on Instagram.

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

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.

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.

Book Review | Glass Bikini by Kristin Bock

Reviewed by South Broadway Press Editor, Brice Maiurro

In Glass Bikini, I want to say that Kristin Bock throws us smack dab in the center of an endless-seeming funhouse. Funhouse feels incomplete though. Riddled with everything from angels to monsters, robots to ghosts, Bock has strewn together many worlds, funhouses, haunted houses, universes, and open fields alike.

Bock has a knack for quick, weirdo storytelling the likes of James Tate, but Bock separates from Tate when her words turn down darker roads, often leaving the reader with a profound feeling that something substantial has just occurred. I found myself reflecting on the absurdity of my own experience. In the lawless land of a universe where snowmen cry tears of fire, I was given permission as the reader to reside in whatever strange corner of the ether that called to me.

Monsters are probably the most common image of the collection, stomping around at the intersection of childlike whimsy and our collective trauma. This is aided by a selection of quotes throughout by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of Frankenstein. In her second poem, “Creation Myth”, the poet herself creates a monster. “The ideal monster is 8 hands tall,” says Bock establishing her authority on the creation of these terrible creatures. The poem continues on to place together the ornate details of this monster before ending with “Then, find the ribbon within the figure, the gesture at its center and pull.” She seems to advise us how to make a monster, just to show us then how to dismantle one. “Sometimes monsters are so big you can’t see them,” Bock reminds us in “The President’s Dream.”

This theme continues throughout the collection. A matter-of-fact building of a surreal world, if only to figure out how to escape it. A looking-in-the-eye of the ugly and scary, then blown away as soon as Bock decides to send in the hurricane.

At times the world-building is devastatingly quick. In “How Rabbits Finally Took Over the World”, Bock says, “Sometime after the extinction of whales,” as if it were just a throwaway line. I want to stop, and grieve this loss, but in what feels like a mirroring of our own modern world, I’m left with the deep feeling that there is simply no time. There is too much to do and say, and my longing to process all this change will have to be placed on the backburner, possibly to never be revisited. 

Where so many poems in existence might feel like a warm hug, or floating down a river, with Bock’s poems, I often felt I had found myself in a bear trap, or perhaps a wormhole between universes. She wonderfully works with dark matter, as if she is acting as the great organizer of the animalistic floats and mannequin musicians in a parade of the shadow self.

One of the turns I found astounding in Glass Bikini was the occasional page turn to something romantic and incredibly present. In “Barn Burning” the poet comes home to a barn on fire, and in an undoubtedly spiritual moment shares with us,

“Out of the smoke / a mare walked up to me / slowly, as if she knew me— / as if we weren’t on fire.”

Moments like this were the highlight of the collection for me. In the middle of so much frenetic chaos, an undoubtable and slow encounter with beauty held so much weight to me as the reader.

Bock is well-aware of that reader, and the relationship that she is engaging them in. Her poems in the second person had a strong “you” to them, as if Bock were reaching her hand out directly to us to belong here, come hell or high water. With the same insistence as John Lennon’s famous “picture yourself on a boat on a river,” Bock presents the reader with less of a request to come along, and more of a sudden and total immersion.

I’d have to say my favorite poem in the collection was “Pluto”, where Bock casts a spell on a laundry list of all of the bigots, abusers, racists, and misogynists of the world, sending them to the cold recesses of space. “[T]here’s a place for you here,” says Bock, “ inside my vacuous core of ice and ash.” Bock firmly draws a hard line in the sand against these all-too-real monsters and monstrous ideologies that persist on the main stage of society.

Bock’s poetry is a magic I want to see more of. In Glass Bikini, she is resolute to fall as deep as she can into the rabbit hole, prepared to make and unmake the cruelest of monsters and reform herself in the shade of whatever strange color she can. This is what I want of poetry, the humility and power of a collection like Glass Bikini. One section of the book is introduced with an Emily Dickinson quote “’Tis so appalling—it exhilarates—“. This appalling exhilaration finds home in the words of Bock to remind us that these fever dreams are a masterful mimicry of our sober reality.

Glass Bikini was published by Tupelo Press and is available for purchase here.

Transplanting | Lillian Fuglei

Image: Matt Artz

Transplanting

Prune the leaves- pluck
the crisp ones that no longer
serve her, watch them
hit the floor with a bone crunch.
Gently untangle
her vines from their previous
cage. Dislocate her
from one pot,
descending to the next.

We place her
into the soil. Pearlite
and peat moss, spilling past
the edges of her new shelter, dusting
your Pine-Sol purified floor.

Pat her down, our hands meet
under the dirt, a brush
of unearned domesticity.
Specks of soil, line
the ridges of your fingertips,
granting anonymity
to your palms.

Sitting
knee to knee, surrounding
her dwelling. I gaze
into your eyes
and wonder, will this be her final
resting place? Or will we uproot,
disrupt her growth, push her
past the point of no return?

Lillian Fuglei is a Colorado based poet. She began writing poetry in High School, after a lifetime of attending open mics thanks to her mother. She currently bounces between two of the highest paying jobs possible, substitute teaching and freelance journalism. You can find her on Instagram at literary.lillian.


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