Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017


by Joseph Hurtgen

We should drop the bomb on them.
Folk wisdom in a rural Kentucky town.
The same minds that elect billionaires 
to solve their problems advocate for
total war in places they’ve only heard of.
The collective imagination of America is
destroying enemies with a bevy of atomic blasts
and sleeping better for it.
Plug in a bug zapper at night. 
Fire off a salvo of rockets in the soft, morning light and walk tall.

I watched two men punch each other on the highway.
Parts from their trucks were in pieces, scattered
across the median, the road, the emergency lane.
Among pools of collecting oil and anti-freeze they grappled,


SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Joseph Hurtgen

holds a PhD in English Literature from Ball State University (2016). His poetry and fiction appear in The Russell Creek Review (2013).

“...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