A Poem by Ray Bish

ghastly graffiti
      ghostlie goons holding bic-lit spoons
        to leering bright moon
  to grovel and vacate their bowels before the
            pimp of the dead. they said
       “we shall always crave, dave”
            mostly dead martyrs
       idling their motors (& threats)
they bided the seasons like diseases
     & painted the street-sleepers red
   just like the monkey paw said
        pumpkin shards fall
    through calm napalm pall
 & land squids crawl through
    midnight lit shadows
      as the old man wheeses
          like some crucified jesus
   pale tremblin children chewing fistfulls of ritalin
 & shuffling their bloomers to cover their tumors
     while puzzled muzzled angels text
                                                the next rumors
         of mongerdom and martyrdom
                                           and boredom
     & all the while nile crocodiles
   snore. their bellies filled galore
 with whine and bread
                       and sanctified gore
   lurking poe raven mirthfully wavin’
             gloom hued plumes
        at icey isosceles mephistopheles
         who’s gesticulatin’ and litigatin’ 4
                                         his or her due
quoth:  “dear sir or madame
          how elegantly you scam
     let’s pivot a bit and revisit the score:
          what part
        of ‘nevermore’ is unclear to you!

A Poem by Ray Bish

                     (or–weather ’tis Doppler…?)
     She was waiting for me outside the screen door
          I was surprised
   I wasn’t used to seeing glamorous TV stars
            in my backyard
       I’d met her about 15 minutes previously
         watching Super Duper Doppler
    The Dude said that there was a “hook echo”
         which he’d made sound serious
       but it’d seemed to me she’d been purring
                                             with eyes just for me
    Now here she was, green on the edges
      yellow orange red, inside
         With electrical flickerings, rain wrappings
                                      and derecho sighs
    One step outside nearly blew me away
          –heinous chemistry, paralyzing edginess
           Then hazy memory faces, withering precedents scathing
          then broken glass exploding, fistfuls of pills
   “You’re just expecting too much from me!” I exclaimed
        And got drenching rain in reply
                         I developed a cold and
                    Took several weeks to recover
            Then one fine day I went out
        to pick up branches and try to salvage the garden
                Basking in that Eternal Sunshine
            And a Big Blue sky with a big red “H” running nearly from
                             horizon to horizon
                     Just the way Super Dude designed it!

We now offer a professional-led creative writing workshop!


People have long turned to storytelling to understand themselves and the world, and writing can be a powerful way for individuals affected by mental illness to give voice to their experiences. This six-week workshop will provide a space for those who have experienced mental illness—whether themselves or through a loved one—to explore fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction writing. The workshop will be structured around group interest, but will give all participants the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on their writing. Relevant readings, discussions, and exercises will also be included. This workshop aims to embrace a variety of perspectives, and both new and experienced writers are welcome to join us.

Register for the next workshop at contact@namidanecounty.org or 608.249.7188.

Summer Workshop
Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30 pm
July 8th – August 12th
United Way Building, 2059 Atwood Ave.