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

He is very fond of baseball, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian, Joan Juster where he makes his meager living pointing out pretty things. He has published 2 novels and three chapbooks and two full length collections so far.

 

 

THE FINAL PASSION OF ANTONIN ARTAUD

 

Si l’on pouvait seulement goûter son néant…

              If only you could taste your nothingness.

—Antonin Artaud

                                                          The Nerve Meter

  

 

                        The loose magic of Artaud in his cell:

Emptied by electroshock, never quite cured.

His knowledge straps him to the cold table.

Saint Joan leads him a long way down the hall.

She watches his feet, shifting cables,

sharing him with fire. She smiles as he burns.

 

Taut fingers casting Tibetan spells.

He prays dirty prayers while green corpses churn

yak butter in sterile rooms. Unstable,

he knows, but doesn’t care. Holy shoes still

pray for him. Angry angels haunt the curves

of his brain. The saint blesses him with bells.