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Through taxi window, a glimpse—

Not the face but that walk—
his uncertain lyric sway.

Then wind stirs
wrong-colored hair.

Beside you, a girl
who died in 1972

who you never knew.


Mark J. Mitchell’s latest novel The Magic War just appeared from Loose Leaves Publishing. A full length collection of poems, Starting from Tu Fu, will be released next year by Encircle Publications. He studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver and George Hitchcock. His work has appeared in several anthologies and hundreds of periodicals. Three of his chapbooks — Three Visitors; Lent, 1999; and Artifacts and Relics — and the novel Knight Prisoner — are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. He lives with his wife the activist and documentarian Joan Juster, and makes a living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco. A meager online presence can be found at

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