The Highway That Is Herself

Toujours pour la premiére fois
                                                   —Andre Breton
                                                                     For herself on her birthday


You, yes, you sir, are the lucky one—
Allowed to drive this highway—
that runs not east, and not west—
again and again. The town signs
are your old friends on older sticks.
You search the valleys where her sun
holds light until almost day
arrives and you can almost rest.
There’s no way to count the times
her lost lakes played their pretty tricks.
You are never there yet, never exactly done.
Her long straight stretches delay
your happy progress and the next crest
is always just ahead. All that time
linger with her while watches tick
away days. You carry her on your tongue
wanting the flavor of each pothole on the way,
without saying this is good or that’s best.
Touch each crevice, each salty line.
Just keep driving—go get your kicks.

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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.
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 works doing guy stuff, go figure.
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
A primitive web site now exists:
I sometimes tweet @Mark J Mitchell_Writer
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