Poems by Mark J Mitchell

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NOSTALGIA OF A WORKNIGHT

She’s weary as an unused toy—unwrapped,
not touched. She’s not hidden but by herself
in back of a toybox, under the snapped
off arm of her last doll. She thinks a shelf
might be nice. She’d like to hear the soft click
as her nightlight went dark and slipped
into a sleep of girlhood. She’s just tired,
not asking kisses or a storybook.
The workday aches. She’d like someone to cook
for her. She wants warmth. She doesn’t need fire.

 

SONG OF THE GYPSY’S HUSBAND

His missing voice never touches her ear.
Her name escapes him like an alarm bell
eludes pursuit. He must sing soft to tell
her missing voice how to find his lost ear.
Still he senses her notes. He feels she’s near—
beside the old lamp or hiding by their door.
No sign. No trails worn across the cracked floor.
Still he stays string-taut for her plucking.
He smells her return, his cool luck. He sings
behind the dark lamp, under their locked door.

 

AN ESCHER PRINT

You think
those squared hands
are drawing
the picture
that you see.

Reality:
They are slowly
erasing the artist’s
face—
and yours.

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Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection, Starting from Tu Fu, will published by Encircle Publications in September. He is fond of baseball, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian, Joan Juster, where he makes his meager living pointing out pretty things. Mark has published two novels and three chapbooks and two full-length collections so far.

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