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Contents: Issue 12: Spring 2015

Steve Kowit Memorial Edition


Essays and Creative Nonfiction

Duff Brenna Beginnings and Endings
Walter Cummins How I Became a College Professor
Steve Davenport Race & Place 1968
Skip Eisiminger Housing Missiles Better Than Humans: Defensive Conundrums
Squaring the Circle with the Philosopher’s Stone: Divine Numbers
Sarah A. Odishoo Women’s Sentencing
Megan Vered The $10,000 Offer


Featured Author

Laurie Pepper ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman
[Excerpt + Reviews, and More]


Featured Poet

SHJ Editors In Memory of Steve Kowit
[Poems + Books + Tributes, and More]
Steve Kowit Stolen Kisses [+ Kiss]
[Essay on his poem “The Kiss” and on filching shamelessly from other writers]
Steve Kowit Portfolio One: Nine Poems:
202 East 7th
A Betrayal
If she denies it she is lying
Let the flame of my passion
The Black Shoe
The Blue Dress
The Prodigal Son’s Brother
Will Boland & I
Steve Kowit Portfolio Two: Ten Poems from Lurid Confessions
[+ An Introduction by the Author]:
Crossing the River
Cutting Our Losses
Hate Mail
It Was Your Song
Lurid Confessions
Out of McHenry
The Poetry Reading Was a Disaster
Wanted—Sensuous Woman Who Can Handle 12 Inches of Man
Steve Kowit A review of Radicals, Rabbis and Peacemakers: Conversations with Jewish Critics of Israel
[edited by Seth Farber]
Steve Kowit Two Essays, from issues 4 and 5 of SHJ:
Mystique of the Difficult Poem
The 97,000-Mile-a-Minute Poetry Machine
[from Light Years: an Anthology on Sociocultural Happenings (Multimedia in the East Village, 1960-1966), ed. Carol Bergé]

  Tributes to Steve:
Deborah Allbritain Sappho Learns of Your Death
Peter Bolland [A Pillar of Our Own Reach]
Duff Brenna Something About Steve
Tim Calaway The Poetry Teacher
Brandon Cesmat Dinners To-Go
Rebecca Chamaa [Two Tributes to Steve Kowit]:
The Last Act
The Most Meaningful Memorial
Anna DiMartino A Cricket’s Prayer
William Harry Harding [A Genuine Treasure]
Jackleen Holton Hookway The Poetry Lesson
Jewish Voice for Peace Brilliant Poet, Ardent Activist, and Founding JVPSD Member Steve Kowit Dies at 76
Peter J. Lautz Dear Steve
Sylvia Levinson My Steve Kowit
Bill Mohr [Two Tributes]:
Steve Kowit (1938-2015)
Steve Kowit Post-Script: Walt Whitman’s Butterfly
Lynda Riese [Two Tributes]:
His First Day in Heaven
Like Wings
R. A. Rycraft Don’t Laugh at My Poetry!
Ron Salisbury A Tribute
Al Zolynas A Philosophy of Life


Flash Fiction (up to 1500 words)

John Estes Don’t Let Yourself Drown
Stephen J. Groak Four Times Seven
Charles Hansmann Boomerang



Poetry Editor Steve Kowit passed away soon after he began his review of poetry submissions for this issue, but not before he had chosen seven works for publication: a Red Hen prize-winner by Jeff Walt which Kowit called “a horrifying the best sense!”; as well as six “deliciously & outrageously erotic poems” by Alexis Rhone Fancher, along with her brief commentaries. Additional poems listed below were selected by SHJ editors Duff Brenna and Clare MacQueen from works submitted during the reading period for SHJ-12. Those contributed as tributes to Kowit are listed above under Featured Poet.

Jeff Walt In the Bathroom Mirror this Morning
Alexis Rhone Fancher Six Poems + Commentary:
College Roommates
Dos Gardenias
How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen
The Narcissist’s Confession
White Flag
Jude Deason Three Poems:
And We All Go Down Together
In New Mexico, Another Lover
Michael Estabrook Two Poems:
Time Travel
Tamara Hollins Two Poems:
The wind shifted, and 19 friends died
Sylvia Levinson I Attend a Concert
Lynda Riese His First Day in Heaven
Like Wings
Paul-Victor Winters Five Poems:
Family Tree
Nightly News
The Taking of a City
You & Me & the Waitress & the Rest of the World
Jeffrey Zable Two Poems:
Dissertation on the Guillotine
Idealistic High School Weekend
Al Zolynas Under Ideal Conditions + Commentary


Poets Talk

Alexis Rhone Fancher Commentary on Six Poems
Jackleen Holton Hookway Commentary on “The Poetry Lesson”
Al Zolynas Commentary on “Under Ideal Conditions”



Duff Brenna The Winter Dance Party Murders
[a novel by Greg Herriges]
Steve Kowit Radicals, Rabbis and Peacemakers: Conversations with Jewish Critics of Israel [edited by Seth Farber]


Short Stories

Malcolm James Broad Veronica Times Veronica Cubed
Ron Darian Snow Season
Scott David Insider Trading for Dummies
Walter B. Levis Love Conquers All
Lee Oleson Sylvia
Sarah Seltzer A Catch

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury