On a Theme From Eluard

I annihilate time with a zero.
            —Paul Eluard,
A Moral Lesson

When time’s armor slips on perfect silence
and verbs get misplaced—that’s when traffic shows
the stripe to strike. Reach now—present-tense—

through noise of streets, stray songs, with your zero
(the only blade that can cut time’s throat). Loose clocks
will drip like water on pavement. Lights change.

Take one step. One more. Quick, before it stops
again. Safe, wrapped in adverbs time arranged.

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, he works doing guy stuff, go figure.

He has published two novels, three chapbooks and two 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. He sometimes tweets: @MarkJMitchellSF.

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