The House We Build Together | Christopher Clauss

Image: Katherine Cavanaugh

Christopher Clauss

I do not ask her
if she believes
that the fairies will really come,
that they might be searching for a tiny backyard house
in which to dwell.
Even if they were,
no magical creature would choose
to live in this tangle of sticks
over which we have fussed
for far too long.
It doesn’t matter
that the bed of moss
will go un-slept in.
I will not worry myself
with exactness or proportions
of bark chair to mushroom table.
The fairies will never complain
about such things.
We busy ourselves
with flower petal carpets
and arranging decorations
of shiny quartz pebble just so.
The final product
is never quite what she envisioned.
The furnishings are rustic
and the roof keeps falling in
each time it is adjusted
by little fingers with the best of intentions.
She will remember
building everything herself.
When it is gone,
when the rain
and breeze
and rot have scattered the remnants
she will remember it
as a jeweled palace,
a luxurious home.
She will sleep comfortably
in her own bed
knowing the fairies
are well cared for,
imagining she had tucked them in herself,
kissed them gently on the forehead
the way Daddy does
before he whispers
good night.

Christopher Clauss (he/him) is an introvert, Ravenclaw, father, poet, photographer, and middle school science teacher in rural New Hampshire.  His mother believes his poetry is “just wonderful.” Both of his daughters declare that he is the “best daddy they have,” and his pre-teen science students rave that he is “Fine, I guess.  Whatever.”

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

August A Place | Lori Brack

Image: Nick Kaufman

August A Place

The front was sand and yellow wheat and brown horseflesh and night whistle of a train. The back was a gate unlatched onto summer – flower patches and sprinklers, blue television windows floating in the dark. Before builders poured foundations down the block, I ran there between rows of corn. Sunsets blazed or whispered and disappeared past railroad tracks at the horizon, the distance I could figure going under my own steam, the faraway I imagined growing up to find.

Lori Brack is the author of A Case for the Dead Letter Detective (Kelsay, 2021), Museum Made of Breath (Spartan Kansas City, 2018) and A Fine Place to See the Sky (The Field School, 2010). She lives on the prairie two blocks from the Garden of Eden and 14 miles from the geodetic center of North America.

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.

A CONDITION WITHOUT GHOSTS | Abigail Chabitnoy

Image: The Dark Queen

A CONDITION WITHOUT GHOSTS

I hadn’t seen the woman from Chicago in months
though the guy still walked their hulking labrador.

But this was the city in sickness
and in health, it wasn’t polite to impose.

Under what conditions might a sheet by the road
not assume a body? The shroud

stained funereal so near to the point
of some levied labor.

Is there a condition in which a ghost
is not suspected?

Plastic bags trawl the landscape. Stone
beds wait for us to seed.

The clementines congeal into the grapes
shrink past sweetness and affix themselves

in the rot of last month’s spinach. Already dust
settles in the bedroom and piss from a recalculating cat

shadows the tile in the study
if you know where to look.

Last week I found a sand dollar with only a small hole
left of center, I reminded myself

even the winged rats had to eat, had to
play some part, so we’re told.

Even birds, requiring something solid to alight
have been known to thread the nest with our disposal.

This morning I saw the black spot
my left ovary a cavity

from which my ark had wrested in motion.
But what about the body

that might or might not have been
underneath the sheet?

The condition always the same:

Let me be some manner of ship
or yes, again, a fish

suited to these streets

Abigail Chabitnoy, member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak, is the author of How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), shortlisted for the 2020 International Griffin Prize for Poetry and winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award, and the linocut illustrated chapbook Converging Lines of Light (Flower Press 2021). Her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, LitHub, and Red Ink, among others. She currently teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Eastern Oregon University low-residency MFA programs as well as Lighthouse in Denver. Find her at salmonfisherpoet.com.

SOLITUDE | Dee Allen

Image: Matthew Henry

Solitude

Lack of a lover
Lack of children
Lack of pets
Lack of flatmates
Lack of arguments
Starting out petty
Lack of partitioned space
Lack of visitors
Unless they’re invited—
Just me
In my little house
Two room
Inner sanctum
Where I could be
Just me—
A living
Situation
I seem
Condemned to
& somehow

Prefer—

Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on creative writing & Spoken Word since the early 1990s. Author of 7 books–Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, Skeletal Black [ all from POOR Press ], Elohi Unitsi [ Conviction 2 Change Publishing ] and from February 2022, Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]–and 42 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far.

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

Apartment | Wheeler Light

Image: Nathan Dumlao

You open the apartment door and it is just wood. Wood behind the door. You need to enter your apartment. To sleep. To work. To clean. You burrow into the wood with a small drill bore. You carve a desk inside the wood. You leave legs of the wood in each corner of the room so the wood roof doesn’t collapse on you, crushed by mahogany in the night. You wake one day and it is raining paper. A hole has split in the wood from all the paper where it was leaking from the bathtub upstairs. The paper is covered in all your upstairs neighbor’s poetry. Your upstairs neighbor is always so loud, crying for whole weeks at a time. Your neighbor is so loud the sound bleeds through the mahogany. The mahogany is now spilling into your bed, your bed you carved yourself out of the desk, the desk which appeared behind the door, the apartment which was drowned in poetry. The future that is always words.

Wheeler Light is an MFA candidate at the University of Virginia. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Pretty Owl Poetry, The Penn Review, and Broadsided Press, among others. His work can be found at www.wheelerlight.net


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

Poetry Anthology Partnering With Village Institute

South Broadway Press is partnering with the Village Institute to raise money for their operations. To do this, we have created an anthology of poetry entitled “Dwell”, which we will be providing copies of to supporters who donate $20 or more.

You can find the link to the fundraiser here!

The Village Institute is a live/learn/work center designed with and for refugee families in Northwest Aurora. As it says on their website, they “help families build wealth, worth, and wellbeing by bringing housing, language learning, job readiness workshops, and mental health services all under one roof.”

“Dwell” is an anthology of poems about our personal and collective identity of home. It is a full-length collection of over 35 poets meditating on themes of love, immigration, grief, homelessness, and impermanence, among other topics. The anthology features the work of such poets as Caleb Ferganchick, Abigail Chabitnoy, Crisosto Apache, Aerik Francis, Wheeler Light, Said Shaye, Liza Sparks, Zack Kopp, Jessica Rigney, and many more.

Thank you to LiveWork Denver, who provided a generous grant to make this anthology a reality. In line with the mission of this book, LiveWork Denver does incredible work to create access to homeownership for folks who may otherwise feel ownership is out of reach, including facilitating opportunities in community housing, co-buying, cooperatives and live/work spaces.

Thank you for your support. All donations and shares are very appreciated!