Photo by Makenna Entrikin on Unsplash


poem: Driving


The moan of late-night cars cruising the highway—

ghostly, but not ghosts. Call them cries at 3 a.m.,

memories bursting forth from the brain,

gasps in bed, a shout to the darkness.


Or call them inadequacies, pains,

breaths too quick, perpetual reveries:

that time you, sick, quit your job and fled

to anywhere, multiple places, seeing multiple

sights and multiple people, all who smiled

and looked around, seemingly happy,

but inside were bursting 

with the same stuff as you, the same fears

and inabilities, minds calling out for touch, comfort,

someone to come and break the glass in this emergency—

anyone, please—

minds getting softer, duller,

minds, no, souls,

weakened by slow dying. 




poem: Elsewhere 


When the clocks stopped

and the numbers flashed frantic

and disordered on their faces,


we realized time was a void,

empty, false,

as fake as the thing we nail


to our walls, the thing with days,

the thing with dates,

with cheerful notes.


I, bereft, shout to the sky

and ask for some clarification.

But the silence says it all.


The sky can’t see the cratering world,

the buildings trembling and falling,

the fires real and unreal burning.


We think it can. But no.




Jon Bishop is the author of Scratching Lottery Tickets on a Street Corner, a collection of poetry. His poetry and prose have appeared in Fourth & SycamoreBoston Literary Magazine, Laurel MagazineAmerican Writers ReviewWrite City Magazine, and the Arts Fuse. He’s a founding editor of Portrait of New England and a former newspaper reporter.