February 22-28, 1999: Day Mitchell and John Horváth, Jr.

Week of February 22-February 28, 1999

Day Mitchell and John Horváth, Jr

Day Mitchell


I don’t have a very colorful bio (yet) I’m 21, and I just finished my undergraduate work at a small women’s college in Virginia I’ve been writing poetry since second grade (hopefully with considerable improvement since then) I am terrified of short stories, so I stick soley to poetry Presently I have moved back into my parents’ home to spend a few rent-free months while I wait to hear from graduate school in
social work.

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Day Mitchell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Mountains Between Us
(for Josie)

In the unsettling cool of a fall night
the moon hangs like a scythe
to slice the mountains Even the landscape
enforces your absence
There are no mountains in Montgomery When I was little like you,
I rolled
.and again
.and again
.down the only hill,
that Mama brought me to Before I knew of physics
I knew that arms curled tight to my flat chest,
ankles crossed, eyes closed,
I became speed
You are growing up too fast I am pained and excited
that you need me The most beautiful thing about you, sister,
is your true laugh, seldom used,
kept hidden
like I hide my real pearls
I would take you to my hill
if only to hear your laugh,
rolling out of you
like our different bodies
down the grass slope.


This ritual is foreign to me The rabbi and the wheelbarrow
stand in one corner I bow my head,
insert clean hands
into cool, red dirt
A mountain of earth
cupped in my palms,
I close my eyes to you:
kneeling on the lake bank, laughing,
digging through coarse sand
to reach Alabama clay,
wet and orange,
malleable as we were
My fingers open
sifting dry dirt down
down through sacred space
making soft thuds like rainfall.

Parts of Virginia

As if the apple or the ridiculous, broken mandolin
had left the still life and slapped me across the face,
you sauntered over, zipping your pants,
and stopped at my easel “If you ever want to see parts of Virginia,
I can show you a lot “
I swallowed,
“Sounds great,”
and looked back at my paper where I had
shaded and erased, shaded and erased, over and over
your crotch
When I heard your voice on the machine
I realized that I’d never known you to have a name
besides Naked Guy “Would you like to have dinner?”
the voice asked, and I gulped, and pressed erase
Over burritos, surrounded by velvet pictures
of cocks,
you had an embarrassing realization “You have already seen everything!”
I nodded “Well then, the ball’s in your court “

John Horváth, Jr JanosHalma@aol.com


Editor of Poetry Repair Shop [ http://www.geocities.com/~poetryrepairs ], Chicago-born Mississippian, John Horvath Jr writes from “inside the sinner” (“so it’s necessary to note that I write poetry, not autobiography”) He’s published poems focused on the strange and stranger among us in Australian, British, Canadian, and US magazines since the 1970s (homepage to his bibliography with links is at http://hometown.aol.com/janoshalma/).

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by John Horváth, Jr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Countryside Sunday

one of the certain surprises of peace is–
Saturday afternoon on a highway into the farmbelt A hitch-hiker says he’s coming from the ricepaddies You think Louisiana so you talk Mardi Gras He half listens while watching the roadside A pleasant in the high eighties afternoon
so you stop by the bushes to drain
and while saying it’s beautiful green
outside the city paved and snarled
your passenger is on another
search and destroy mission
one of the certain surprises of peace is–
Weeknights when you bed down
to get up for 5 a.m beat the rush
upstairs neighbors party You aim at the ceiling
and empty imagined clips You’ve just fallen asleep when
the door’s kicked down; you wake
to shouts, you stretch your arms
and the room reddens into memories
of a Sunday morning
one of the certain surprises of peace is–
you still BELIEVE even when you’re
awake that it’s part of the dream
you were dreaming.

Five Porcelain Pieces

1 Brush-washer, porcelain with peach-bloom glaze
I brought you to pose
shades and lines; you bent my will
toward cleaning brushes
I wait longer than I should
before brush and canvas touch
(form awakens thought)

2 Jar, porcelain with amber glaze
You are an artist
reading my soul; your long gaze
disrobes and clothes me
What small talk shall I now make;
I am nude though you want nothing
(have we met before)

3 Cup, porcelain with ox blood glaze
I shot your father’s ox;
he did not know it was me,
so he thought I bought you
Pride must survive long wars;
your flesh bought flesh
(does she remember)

4 Cup, porcelain with amber glaze
Strange circumstances remove us
from one and other
then again return
He could not know
the ox was butchered
(why have I followed him)

5 Bottle, porcelain with peach-bloom glaze
between our sharing unshared thought
we can never share our thoughts

.I still own .He still owns the five glazed pieces
.you brought .I offered
.to my hutch .for my life

( if you believe that
you have the artist’s skill
make form of these thoughts)

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