Image of a person

“Kindness” From Issue 299.3, Summer 2014.

Jim Johnstone

Happy Pre-Thanksgiving From The North American Review

Man holding his face

Artwork by: Clay Rodery 


Been there, done that.
Senses multiplied
like accordion bellows,
the earth lay flat.

I feel my body start
to equalize as I smoke,
my crew cut a jet stream
before I realize

the drugs have changed –
synapses dimmed
like gold bubbling
in glasses of champagne.

It’s summer, cicadas
hissing beyond the yard
where I cross
myself with the mobile’s

receiver when it rings.
I’ve known so much
kindness it’s hard
to recognize the real thing.

— Jim Johnstone


Jim Johnstone is the author of four books of poetry, including Dog Ear (Véhicule Press, 2014) and Patternicity (Nightwood Editions, 2010).

Top illustration: Denis Hagen has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Advertising Design from Iowa State University, and two additional Associate In Applied Science Degrees from College Of DuPage, in Graphic Arts/Digital Prepress and Photography. Recent photo competitions include Honorable Mentions in the International Photography Awards (Lucie Awards) and Px-3 Prix De La Photographie Paris, Third place in the Moscow International Foto Awards, and an Acceptance Award in the 5th China International Digital Photography Art Exhibition, in Lishui, China. Entries can be viewed at the links attached to the names of each contest. Hagen’s featured artwork was the cover of issue 301.1, Winter 2016.

Main Illustration by  Clay Rodery, an illustrator who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Clay’s illustrations have been featured in the North American Review, most recently in issues 299.3, Summer 2014 and 301.1, Winter 2016.