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

[Two Poems]

by Catfish McDaris

A Tornado of Trouble

Do you want me?
my luck is lousy, I
live with a landlady
that measures her
tenant’s booze bottles

Her soul could melt man
hole covers, fire hydrants,
railroad spikes, she gave 
me the July blues in winter

A giraffe, lion, magpie in
the cloudless cobalt sky, I
ate a salsa dog taco and had 
enough for Cubano tobacco 

I get free rent, in a life that’s
a joke, while greedy liars and
con artist politicians lead people
down a great path of destruction.



When you own
nothing, nothing
owns you, it’s
freedom of the poor

He knew long ago
he was finished with
life, only life wasn’t 
finished with him

He became a ghost
in the mirror, in the
wind, in the shadows
dancing, always dancing.


SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Catfish McDaris

is the author of, most recently, two major collections of prose and poetry, both published by Pski’s Porch: Sleeping With the Fish (2016) and 27 Hammerheads Circling Ever Closer (2017). His most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. He’s done 25 chaps in the last 25 years, and his 25 years’ worth of published material resides in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His work has been nominated 15 times for the Pushcart Prize and four times for Best of Net (2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016). He won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015, the Flash Fiction Contest judged by the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2009, and the Uprising Award in 1999.

McDaris is listed in Wikipedia, and his work has been translated into Spanish, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His best readings were in Paris at the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore and with Jimmy “the ghost of Hendrix” Spencer in New York City on 42nd Street. He recently curated a 550-page anthology about Vincent van Gogh, Resurrection of a Sunflower.

“...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