Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 18
Spring 2018

Reckless Polka

by Carolyn Miller

—a mistranslation of a poem by Milosz
I took a wistful picnic with a man named Jack, bringing
juice at dawn; we trawled for two prize salmon,
burning in their rosy pelts, and brought along nocturnal grannies.
We drove a crazy Porsche, glossy with names
of bed partners, cracked and triumphant. Cher, we had bowls
of cholla water, and we tracked our chums, the lonely debutantes,
rosy with zits. Then the Zamboni machines appeared,
twinkling black and silver in the Natchez Trace. O cher,
please use your power to wake the big, precious muses,
graceful in the spangled night!


SHJ Issue 18
Spring 2018

Carolyn Miller

grew up in the Missouri Ozarks, where she was baptized in the Roubidoux River at the age of eight. Today, she lives in a Romeo and Juliet flat on the Hyde Street cable-car line in San Francisco, where she writes, paints, and works as a freelance writer/editor. Her books of poetry include Route 66 and Its Sorrows (Terrapin Press, 2017), After Cocteau and Light, Moving, both from Sixteen Rivers Press, and four limited-edition letterpress chapbooks from Protean Press. Her poems have been featured on Poetry Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and American Life in Poetry, and have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Georgia Review, among other journals, as well as in several anthologies, including Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems: American Places. Her honors include the James Boatwright Award for Poetry from Shenandoah and the Rainmaker Award from Zone 3.

“...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