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Mirror Games, Poems by Mark J. Mitchell
Mark J. Mitchell's new book of poems, Mirror Games, reflects on the ways that mirrors reflect all of us. They expose the sins you'd like to hide. They refuse to lie. Neutral, they can flash images into images of themselves until a small eternity is revealed. The poems speak in many voices, in many forms. They show the composer at work, the father about to sacrifice a child, the faces of love, both true and false. Mirrors will not be deceived. They don't judge but they will not forgive. These poems offer a few small mercies to victims of their own reflections. They are watching you, but sometimes they smile back. Sometimes they laugh.
"Mark J. Mitchell is a fine mystic poet. These poems are as clear as a fine bright day, though attentive always to the shadows cast by the sun."-Richard Rodriguez
"'Your glasses will never be clear,' so go ahead and 'unmask the mirrors,' look into these poems and see which version of yourself you may have left behind. Mitchell creates lyric games that are not deceptive but intimate, in which he invites you to find a 'mirror that has the grace to surprise you' in steel, muteness, deafness, blackness. The poems empty but are not emptied, they lack weight but are not weightless. Just as they may sip clear and hot like nourishing broth, -there is, Shostakovich's Quartet #15, a room within the book. This elegy looks backward through sound alone, a lyric poem unlike the rest. As the poems' penciled architecture echoes, this provides a foundation for everything steel, glass, and shinning to press inside and against the walls of this book. 'There's nothing reflecting here-just empty sound-low notes-falling away.' Mitchell's Mirror Games are an adagio of the quotidian, perceived as divine: your life in each hairbrush stroke, in each clock that ticks forward while lovers fail to keep step. Hold this collection up, look."- Sara Cahill Marron