2 Poems by Mark J. Mitchell

OUT OF THE SEA

In a black dory, an old woman rocks,
fishing. Her line snags on forgotten books.

A boy swims grimly, out past the gray point.
Past the surf line. Through the tide. Out of sight.

A wrecked wooden boat, threatening, starts to sway
into the channel, breaking this heedless sea.

In the hold, a dark woman cooks something.
You may taste it, but you must sing.


DAMASCUS

She took her sudden vow seriously,
setting the eggplant on top of a trash can.
It looked flat as an altar.

She bowed east, to the hill, then west, 
towards another hill. South
at the vanishing bus, then north.

She left her brand new shoes
outside a perfectly red door.
She dropped her keys in the left shoe.

She smiled before sealing the room
behind her. Her last words are 
“These are my last words.”


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. A new collection, Something to Be and a novel are forthcoming. 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, he’s looking for work again. He has published 2 novels and three chapbooks and four full length collections so far. His first chapbook won the Negative Capability Award. Titles on request.

A meager online presence can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MarkJMitchellwriter/

A primitive web site now exists: https://www.mark-j-mitchell.square.site/

I sometimes tweet @Mark J Mitchell_Writer

2 Poems by Jane-Rebecca Cannarella

Evening in Autumn at the Movies 

The year when the fall arrived hot, the cold wet palm
of my left hand gathered the twill 
on his jeans-ed knee in the black movie theater. 
Fingers as farmers gathered the loose fabric and 
collected cotton in slow motion as the film waned. 
Mirrored emotions from cells on a screen reflected
the shattering turmoil of so much feeling I felt inside.
Dried tears were a fermented stain after the movie
ended, and we held hands in the sunrise of raising 
lights. I once was as disinterested and isolated
as a Dungeness crab, moss gathered on my shell 
as I waited with patience. Until one sweaty autumn  
day, I was collected and cured, placed in a folding 
seat, and moved with emotions so loud I worried 
they would burst with piercing cries out of my chest.   
Instead, we sat in silence and spoke to one another
through threaded fingers as the end credits rolled. 


Fish Detectives

A fish detective
breathes bubbles 
at a diner, the underwater
air fresh blue
speaking to a trout waitress
with a lace bonnet.
And they will fall in love, maybe
if NBC doesn’t cancel the cartoon first:
before he can even solve a crime,
before he can rest within the tenderness. 
Roe unborn in their bodies, a swimming
garnish–toast of trouts. 
And once when I was a child, Timmy 
convinced me that lifeguards knew
how to breathe underwater–  
a small selection of people 
who could travel to the bottom 
of bodies of water and who spend time 
with this forgotten fish detective.  
The show was canceled.  
And only the water breathers  
know if the detective managed to solve 
a single crime. 


Jane-Rebecca Cannarella (she/her) is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. She is the editor of HOOT Review and Meow Meow Pow Pow Lit, and a former genre editor at Lunch Ticket. Jane-Rebecca is the author of Better Bones and Marrow, both published by Thirty West Publishing House, The Guessing Game published by BA Press, Thirst and Frost from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, A Practical Almanac for Surviving Inside the Human Body from Bottlecap Press, Collections From a Shipwreck published by Alien Buddha Press, and Eleven-Hundred forthcoming from Really Serious Literature.