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

The Gather Inn

by Robert J. Howe

Dusk on Third Avenue
in other places it’s the golden hour
here, close to the lead sky, 
I smell funeral parlor flowers. 

The street is shoeleather dark
dumb streetlights don’t know
the difference. 

I am finished with engines
alongside the bar
plate glass window on
an aquarium of failure;
my father, long passed,
hunched over a highball
universe in a shot glass. 

The bartender’s white shirt
glows in the infrared 
his face hung like a cellar door
—mayor of the Rue Morgue. 

I have inherited
the instincts of a hound:
when I’m in, I want to be out,
and when out, within;
born to the chase,
there is no such country
as enough.


SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Robert J. Howe

has poems forthcoming in the Dawntreader and Main Street Rag. His poetry has been published in 50 Haiku, and his short fiction in and The Flatbush Review; the magazines Analog, Black Gate, and Electric Velocipede; and the anthologies Newer York and Happily Ever After. His haiku series “Bury My Heart at Olduvai Gorge” was part of Knowing Limits, a traveling exhibition shown in U.S. national parks.

“...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