Two Poems


For JJ

I’ve been swimming so long,
I don’t know I’m swimming:

Her eyes will never drown me—
it’s not her tidal eyes. She sees
me bare, cool. She offers a sea
where I will swim so long.

To say her touch—her touch cures,
That’s true—but now, her skin and nerves
are a current so soft, so pure
I don’t know I’m swimming.

Her voice? Who’d forget that voice—
rocking, steady as a buoy
calling sailors? There’s no choice
but to swim for so long

I come in range of her soul—
A perfect pilgrim that knows
all of me. Like a bell, she tolls—
I keep swimming in her direction
and I never know that I’m swimming.



Your mouth is made for pleasure, for tasting:

Don’t think now. Let rich cream tickle you—slow
as your last kiss. The blossoms call your name,

draw you close. Smell the flowers and forget
what they’re called. Just some words you don’t quite know

or need to know. That bright yellow heart’s not tame
though it’s not a wild bloom. Do not expect

knowledge when sensation’s set out before
your wise mouth. You want to learn how it’s made

but now’s not the night for learning. Breathe
in richness. Let senses open like doors.

It melts. Your tongue revels, forgets. Fades,
then swells once more. No part of you believes

this texture. Surrender. Now, look across
your plate to those waiting eyes, daring face—

daring you not to think. Your task, to feel
your mouth, lips, those eyes. Maybe toss

your hair, lick your lips. Here is the one place:
These flavors, those flowers. The eyes are real.

Your mouth is made for kisses. Don’t waste it.

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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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