Mark J Mitchell

Monochromatic Flower

Casida of the Bedside Vase

                                    The drift of white roses

                                    teases her dreams:


                                    She twirls

                                    around a movie meadow

                                    singing snow songs

                                    she never learned.


                                    Now she’s the last

                                    queen under

                                    different stars—air

                                    crisp as a cough drop.


                                    Her white crown

                                    is unbalanced

                                    on her sleeping head.

                                    Church bells ring


                                    loud as morning

                                    becoming her alarm,

                                    which knocks one

                                    white petal


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Pearl and Roy do not Survive the Street

                        Roy squints. The mail has come to Ellis Street.

                        Pearl waits her turn. There’s no bottle, no note.

                        Roy paces, sets his record to repeat.

                        Sun washes Pearl white below his window.

                        Street boys come and go. They count on dull fights

                        to break their day. Pearl could toss them a cause

                        but she wants Roy to sleep. These foggy nights

                        are cruel to him and she won’t break the law.

                        The dead Frenchman’s notes bring up Roy’s cracked ships

                        and Pearl’s lost eyes. She quivers. She looks up.

                        Roy splashes coffee, cold as a dead fish,

                        then breaks his cup. Pearl is taut with lust.

                        Roy runs through his window to Ellis Street.

                        It rains glass, blood and tape. Pearl and Roy meet.

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Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection, Roshi San Francisco, was just published by Norfolk Publishing. Starting from Tu Fu was recently published by Encircle Publications.

He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian, Joan Juster where he made his marginal living pointing out pretty things. Now, like everyone else, he’s unemployed.

He has published 2 novels and three chapbooks and two full length collections so far. Titles on request.

A meagre online presence can be found at

A primitive web site now exists:

I sometimes tweet @Mark J Mitchell_Writer