Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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Contents: Issue 16: Spring 2017

Celebrating the inaugural Steve Kowit Poetry Prize


Creative Nonfiction, Essays, Memoir

T Nicole Cirone St. Rita and the Magical Lemon
Walter Cummins Creative Minds and Mental States
Skip Eisiminger My Achilles Tooth: Salt
Pieing It Forward: Clowning
Silverback Palindromes: Mirrors
Leslie What Why I Wash the Dead


Featured Artist

Clare MacQueen David Memmott: Subjective Regionalism


Featured Author

SHJ Editors Roisin McLean: The Fifth Eye


Flash Fiction (up to 1500 words)

Liz Mitchell Dissolve



Greg Johnson Oiling the Tinman’s Jaws: An Interview with David Memmott


Kowit’s Korner

Clare MacQueen An Introduction
Doris Bittar [A True Humanitarian]
Paul Fericano [In Every Word]
Michael Hettich The Net
Karen Kenyon How to Make a Poem
Steve Kowit They Are Looking for Che Guevara

The Steve Kowit Poetry Prize 2016
We deeply appreciate that William Harry Harding and the San Diego Entertainment & Arts Guild (SDEAG) have acknowledged the “time and love” that went into Steve Kowit’s work at Serving House Journal. And we are deeply touched that they believe “The Kowit should have a home of sorts” here as well. With kind permissions from Harding and Garden Oak Press, and from the poets themselves, we are honored to reprint the following winners and Honorable Mentions from the inaugural Steve Kowit Poetry Prize competition. These works were first published in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2016-17 in February 2017:
William Harry Harding Introduction from the Publisher of SDPA
Molly Larson Cook Love Song with Flip Chart and Pointer [Grand Prize Winner]
Joseph Milosch If Nothing Else [First Runner-Up]
David Denny Summer School [Second Runner-Up]
Claire Hsu Accomando Pilgrims
Deborah Allbritain Taking Down Christmas
Tara Betts Prayer Box
Trish Dugger The Scarcity of Sharks
R. G. Evans Moon at Day
Stephen Gold A Different Conversation
Debbie Hall The Baby Rattler Coiled Between the Bookcases
Terry Hertzler Close Enough to Touch
Oriana Ivy Questions for God
Arthur Kayzakian Ode to Peeing in the Streets
Kathy Keogh Funeral March
Sylvia Levinson American Kaddish
Una Nichols Hynum First Christmas Without You
Suzanne O’Connell My Old Pocketbook
Robt O’Sullivan Schleith Song for a Year that Was
Sherman Pearl Don’t Choose Me
Alexis Rhone Fancher Roman Holiday
Ron Salisbury The Gate
Vivian Shipley Grabbling for Catfish in Cumberland Lake, Kentucky
Ciera Valdivia Welcome to the Living Vision
Jeff Walt Kitchen Music
Ying Wu Metaphors



Jack Cooper A Note of Thanks [from our Guest Poetry Editor]
Laura Altshul Hannah Cries Out from the Grave
Sarah Bigham Why her fingertip became the blade
Margaret Donsbach Tomlinson Homecoming
William Doreski Pianos of Snow
Renee Elton Little Birds
Patrick Theron Erickson Conversation
Sheri Gabbert Double Feature
J. M. Hall Seduced by Autumn
Seth Jani Garden Wall
Georgia Jones-Davis Two Poems:
Flowers Don’t Neither
Moon Morning
Al Maginnes Ellipsis
David Memmott Dreaming Back the Wild
Michael Meyerhofer Westbound Elegy
Joyce Miller Carriers
Alexis Rhone Fancher Two Poems:
Every Day Is Mother’s Day
June Fairchild isn’t dead—
Sanjeev Sethi Movement
Ian C. Smith He unstraps his leg, works on the head
Robert Joe Stout Two Poems:
Break Up
Two A.M.
Eileen Van Hook Three Poems:
Leaving Home

[For more poetry, see also “Kowit’s Korner” and “Remembering Okla Elliott.”]


Remembering Okla Elliott

SHJ Editors A Farewell to Okla
Okla Elliott Four Poems:
An Old Man Dying Tells His Son
Antinomies and Intensities
Entrances and Exits
Shaindel Beers Ephemera
Priscilla Charrat Nelson [“Looking Like an Academic”]
Lynn Marie Houston The Book You’re Reading Now Has All Our Names in It
Sean Karns [Beginnings]
Daniel Rifenburgh [Death Shall Be No More]
Sivan Rotholz Teitelman [This Incomparable Human]
Arne Weingart A Death on Facebook



Duff Brenna PrimeTime [a post-cyberpunk novel by David Memmott]
Clare MacQueen “Where the Mind’s Scribbling Ends” [Beneath the Coyote Hills, a novel by William Luvaas]


Short Stories

Lyndsey Ellis Variety & Illusion
Sam Gridley Al’s Wormhole
Roisin McLean Piercings [from the author’s debut collection The Fifth Eye]
Tom Sheehan The Side Arts of Blindness
John Talbird Watching
Tony Van Witsen Nowhere to Go But Up

[See also Flash Fiction above.]


Visual Arts

David Memmott Subjective Regionalism [Digital Paintings]:
Fabrice B. Poussin Photographs:
To J.P. [#2]

“...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