modern rage

teneo totus

follow the new blog

Jesse S. Mitchell

I have started a new blog on blogger.  Most of my internet work/blogging will be done there in the future.  Please check it out and follow.



here is the link:

Yorba Linda’s Cephalopod Blues

Jesse S. Mitchell

atomic bloom2 043

So, screech the cyanide strings
And glow the Baba Yaga shine
And love the lemon yellow sun
And dance the barbed wire whirl.
And always
More and more
More sang rouge than Khmer Rouge
Because that’s blood
It’s heintei twister girls
All cyclone breathing and never sleeping
Hot and heavy, until you cannot imagine calm.
Makes a hollow in the center, all the stirring, the churning, in the heart.
Just keep you spinning
Like a rotating planet (big hairy knuckled rock) in orbit
Until you read your name in the obit.

Every Shore Continually

One day, I’ll live at the sea shore
And while away my time
And wizard my days with magic
Peace and quiet and dabbling
And never anything so tragic
As constantly trying, desperate
And clawing
And I’ll drop my feet, soft, in the water
In the waves
Like the tide
And I’ll be everywhere
Because the ocean is like that
Touching every shore continually.

Facetiae Enola Gay (partial)

Jesse S. Mitchell


Everyday people, schizophrenic things, broken as a diamond, a thousand facets all shining shattered light. Quick glints in a cloudy world all buckled under, blinding. Gets in the eyes, makes you cry, wobbles your balance, living with this kind of humankind, everything dirty, patchy, wrong, out of control. It is the weak legs, the rickets, scurvy, needs the sunshine, the vitamins, need to make land fall. The bends, coming up too fast, the change in pressure, doubled over, clasped together like praying hands, bubbles in the blood, trapped…
Let’s firebomb the world instead, explode it all wide open, let out the sights and sounds of every human mind, hidden behind the rock walls and shrubberies. This hedge maze is all there is to existence…
There are some people who will only ever hear, murder.
There are some people who will only ever hear, sex.
No matter what words you use, no matter what language you speak. Because some people only like the stories with heroes, save the day, hallelujah. And some people only ever like the stories with bullets, blast away, guts and gore…
It comes down to preference, to tolerance.
Let it be about supplication, about sacrifice.
Liposuction, bigger breasts, rhinoplasty.
Let the heresies propagate themselves, like a lion set free, they can take care of it on their own. And let the spiraling galaxies spiral away and pass the going-going-gone dead time away and let gravity heave and haul and leave the orbiting planets a’turning because there you will find me also. Amen.
And spring collapses every winter with a burst of newness. Nothing stays comatose for long.
And life goes on
And on
And on.

Museum Life issue two

We have released issue two of the art/photography/literature journal, Museum Life. Please click the link below and browse the issue, order a copy. It is a great issue. A lot to see and read. Thank you.

Triptych (rev. 1)

Jesse S. Mitchell



1. (Seer)
The naturalist died suddenly, in a flash, burned smoldering to the ground, pierced through by the electric gleam of lightning. He would have wanted it that way, randomly, without warning and all at once, dying naturally. The singed skin smell deflated and I edged through a hole in the smoke like silk thread and that is when the daydream began.
You know, there isn’t much of me left these days, just loose shards of things, broken bits that fall, scattered at my feet. A blessing. Manna and nectar, ambrosia. I leave it up to the sky. When it rains, it rains.
And here, the maven of all things strange, of the future tenses, splint infinitives, the moonlight bright against my face. The night that grows, the camp town dwellers, the tent revivals, the grimacing faces, this is midnight.
This is a desert.
Naphtali Jameson who speaks in spirits, breath like concrete, filled up with fire, divined for me from books and stones, I ching, and rolled the bones. He burned the liver and the kidneys, fish and birds, and put the heaven to his lips and scorched his tongue.
A fire.
“In the crevasses and wild places, civilization grows, the social order blooms. It is like a sunset falling behind a grassy hill, filled with light diminishing, burned down from wild yearning, in slow declining orbit, turning, not satisfied, extinguishing and mourning.”
A Lunacy.
“So hold tight, my rickety children, to the this spinning top world. The iron bars of things and the words they use to describe themselves, it is hell to get off but you can never get back on again. So turn, turn, turn, like a little carousel but never watch the lights, they will wrench out your eyes, pull out your tongue, blind and mute, your lips will move but not a whisper, only silence will appear.”
And when I grow up, just another grinding stone in the granary, I will look back to a sky so purple, so clear.
And remember this was midnight.
This is a desert.
And this is over. Complete.

2. (Little Roman in Andalusia)

One bit of magic confused. Some notes just a little out of tune. Not melodic. Some broken slightly spinal things to lean on. Some wicked walking on these leg bones. Big footprints.
Wide strides across the campus, in royal subterfuge, passing off as a peasant. You can see the silhouette quite clearly, you can see who comes across, hands at my sides, book in my bag hunching my shoulders, illustrated guide to the Russian ikons, St. Martin’s press, the autobiography of Malcolm X. Make make make the bright stars come out tonight, I’m just that kind of satellite. “Tell me about your dreams, do you wake at night? In sweats? Cold sweats?”
Sister Marigold Jericho sitting beneath the thorn tree watching little white flowers fall on her shoulders.
“Let me channel for you, the spirit of Aqualtune of Palmares. We have a promise to keep, all us cimarrons, POWs, slaves, a duty to try to escape.
Are you familiar with such spirits?”

IRA, PLO, Nagaland, Tamil Tiger bite, drew some blood, little ragged tooth marks down the arm, JDL, Black Panther, say it in Euskara Batua, ETA, Environmental Liberation Force, American I(ndian)ndigenous Movement, Shining Path, FSLN, SDS, hallelujah. On and on, the stones fall down, big rocks and little, landslide, avalanche, cover the bodies in gravel and rumble, dust. Grab a handful and breathe, life and dust again, this is what you hold, amen.

One move too many. Tipping over the side, the boat lists. The water drains, the circle spins, the balance is gone. Delirious. Drunk.

The tribe is angry
The roots are cold
The ground is frozen
And the roots are cold.

The tribe is angry
The roots are cold
The ground is frozen
And the roots are cold.


3. (Bewitched)

There must be some antidote to this.
There must be some cure.

The dictatorship of the proletariat. Curvature of the spine. Carefully consider the striations of the mine face and the radical thoughts that pass through my mind,
Like all revolutionary things
Always turning
And spinning\and passing by.

Some dream or unfamiliar words, wild ideas or an uncomfortable moment when and where dreams and words and wild things cross and uncross and rejoin again together unrecognizable in intangible space, empty.

Never go north during Marching Season.
The Apprentice boys are out from Derry to Muff.

The ends of the Earth, the ends of the Earth, stick around long enough and you’ll see the ends of the Earth.

The grass, emerald green, between my toes
And the lemon-lime sun, so bright in my eyes.


Medea’s playlist 2

Jesse S. Mitchell

list 2

this is a list of the songs/music my character, Medea Englunder, has been listening to in the second part of my novel, Pieds-Noirs.

Note: This post is probably of little interest and is for my benefit as much as anyone, as I think it will be handy to have this list somewhere semi-permanent.  I am working mainly from memory with much of this.  However, maybe you dear reader may glean something from it.  Perhaps it may help you understand the character, Medea more fully and also, maybe you can check out the songs and hear them if you haven’t already done so…

also note: forgive any spelling issues…as again I am mainly working from memory.

  • Suck My Left One—Bikini Kill
  • Stop It—Pylon
  • Crystallised—The Xx
  • Lotus Flower—Radiohead
  • Head On—The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • Abba Zaba—Captain Beefheart
  • What Do I Get—The Buzzcocks
  • Jonny Hit and Run Pauline—X
  • Human Behavior—Bjork
  • Water—PJ Harvey
  • You—Au Pairs
  • All Kinds of Girls—The Real Kids
  • Sky Way—The Replacements
  • Gotta Get Away—Stiff Little Fingers


Jesse S. Mitchell

Come all you explainers of nights to men, all you dividers of rights, you well-wishers, you swayers of minds
Come and breathe fire with me
With me
And tomorrow we shall be gone.
Dead reptilian things
Left over bodies, fossilized remains.
But today, dragons
Today we are dragons
Hydras, with as many heads as there are words between us.
As many words as there are syllables
Mud and straw. Brick and bone.
As many syllables as there are breaths to breathe
As many as there are lips to breathe them.
That much fire and envy
Envy for more.
For more.


Jesse S. Mitchell

Skin like gossamer string, spun. Shaking in the eaves,
Rolling on the thunder waves.
Underneath, ball lightnings of nerves
And nerve endings.
Blistered. Blistering. Blustery wind.
Evening. At the end of days.
Soft light. Sliver of a shadow.
Up comes the moon.
Flesh between, a sponge.
Soft. Sopping in the air.
Soft. Soft breeze. Soft air.
Trembling in the corners, like drops of dew collected on the silk,
The gossamer string
Accumulated rollicking
Soft in the extremities of the eaves.

Picadura, picadura, picadura.

Jesse S. Mitchell


And then it is just me, me and it, nothing to slow or stop the constant flow of radiation or cosmic punishment or whatever reckless spilling over is always happening out there in deep space. Everything hurled at me or deposed on me, leaked on, drained…
just for having skin, just for being human. No guard at all but some thin shell of atmosphere, always cracking and falling apart. Nothing can stand the heat, nothing can endure being the thing stuck between it and me, between human being and aloof space deity, the distance is just so far. No advocate at all. Just dead bodies, canned meat, and ridiculous urban sprawl. Spirals of police cars and concrete bus stop benches. Out of luck train depots been out of business twenty-five years. A lot of old rust from old factories now made of nothing but rust, piled up in unpretentious piles along the sides of the road. Huddled in with trash bags waiting pick up. Dead leaves and paper towels and broken up beach chairs. You and me and the whole universe. Energy that eats energy, of this I am sure.
The pressure. The exposure.
And here I am, in my yard, at war with the entirety of heaven and I’m admiring the greenness of the grass. It is thick this year, the weather has been mild, wet.
A few nights ago, I dreamed that there were red mushrooms growing all over my yard. And now, today, there are, legions of them. Springing up in wild little bunches, clustered together in impressionistic dots and twinkles, collecting dew and mud and ugly dirt.
My dream world is invading my life. Or I have developed second sight but certainly some new movable feast of un and sub consciousness has occurred, taken hold of my central cortices.
Here I am, a mass of cells and ganglia and only threatening to move.
But what does that mean? And what am I even doing out here, in nature? If you ever feel the stings of regret, of guilt…but of what? What have we sinned against? It is an old question but where do we stand in relation to everything? What pulls on us? What is the center of our orbit? That’s all.
It feels so incredibly exhausting just trying to be a human being anymore. But that shouldn’t be. It should come naturally, it should be the easiest thing in the world. You just fall right into it. But you don’t and all I can do is wonder why that is. And it feels better doing that with a sunny morning on your back. I used to think I could find some connection in nature but all these repulsive animals and birds hate us. They ain’t talking to us. I just like the sun.
Look around your horizons, and around each and every one, all directions, you probably see something happening. Construction. Airports and airplanes. Huge buildings. Billboards. Busy busy busy human energy. Not me. I see nothing. Every way, nothing, nothing but tree tops and low field hills that trail off forever. And nothing but a leaf or clump of tall weeds ever ever moves. I live in the forest. And every thing is so very alive. Nothing can fall apart so completely out here, so drastically. Not having as far to go cushions some of the low parts and the high parts always feel so much higher. It is out here in the wilderness that the laws of energy and motion are the most obvious, and pleasantly so. Nothing gets wasted.
It is the patented awesome force of nature that keeps everything in constant motion, always driving forward. Every bloody red dawn of morning the sun re-emerges from out the serpent’s belly, vomited up or eviscerated out, and the gods rejoice. The rains come. Wars are won. Praise the lords.
It remains,
It is the overwhelming strength of all things that surround us and yet are not us, but everything else, that makes this the home for us. A livable place. The great blue planet. An ocean. A lung. Breathing.
Churning the caldron, bottling the potion.
Or maybe you are like me and your skies are empty too. No buildings, no signs, only big green lonely looking trees, tall purple topped thin grass. And don’t you feel glad? Don’t you understand?
And here we are looking at each, a shimmery mirror reflection of the other, staring across the void. Nature and humanity, some pandemonium, some pandemic schism, some rip deep down in our DNAs, a fissure from long ago embryonic days. Healed together, an amalgamation, a scar tissue never quite repaired.
But here we are,
On this side
And them,
On that…
Never can the two match up,
The cloth is torn.
And we got our share to wrap ourselves in, to continue on with, to build with. And now only we understand we and then only a little bit. But we all share the same body, the same skin, the same aspersions, the same futures. Going together.
And we all share the same nightmare, the one where we are blindly running down the road, a long empty run, when suddenly we are blocked. Something hideous stands in our way, in my dreams it is a gruesome gigantic snake, laying straight across the way. And you can’t go any further but only because of fear, the snake is not aggressive but it makes no sign of moving despite loud screams and menacing actions. You are stuck and it makes you think of eternity because it is in the middle of night when the dream happens and the sky over you feels so close and so big, so full that it seems an unnatural separation of pressure, the air around you so bare and then all that up there, suspended. It makes everything shake, teeter, it is an uncomfortable atmosphere. And you know it is all symbolic and something probably stands for God but you don’t know if it is the road or the snake or the heavens above, the loneliness , the effort, or even yourself. But you get used to standing there trying to figure it out and in fact, when I dream it now, I sit in a chair and the reptile and I hardly ever exchange glances. Time passes.
But I guess the whole thing matters more in relation to the contours of the mind. What does a lonely road mean to you? Why the running? Was it fear? Pain? Running for immorality? Or on a mad dash to see it all, while the light is still out, before we all get swallowed again by the Precambrian darkness and fossilize to the ground and whole eras of geologic time pass over us, our remains, our souled-out bodies, our kitchenettes and plasma screens? But that seems a bit much, wasn’t it for the fun of it? Really? Who’s dying to leave something behind? I don’t believe in immorality. I don’t believe in an afterlife. And I don’t want to live forever. And I don’t want to go anywhere new. I want to be left alone. That is what I want from philosophy.
But then, a lightning flash and a thunder roll and a barrage of cold rain drops like bullets and still the snake makes no move. And then the clouds die and the everything clears and sun comes breaking over the horizon and reveals a shadow retreating under the feet of the-once-obscured tree. No snake.
I don’t think we as a species can overcome thoughts like these, memories, fantasies, bad dreams. They never mean anything. They never lead us anywhere. They are our the brain’s system check, our reboots, our power surges. They are the things that break us, tear everything down, eat us alive and they never come from anywhere but glitchy circuitry, smoky connections, bad soldering.
And I am so filled with fire. I can feel it inside, flaring up and lapping at my tender insides with its cruel tongues. I can feel it, burning me, devouring me, leaving me to ash. Leaving me all used up, nothing but wonder. I can feel it, shooting back and forth, playing, swelling. I can feel it in my pours, bubbling out, I am coming apart, boiling over.
And built with such a mind with such a predisposition to hurl accusations around, levee horrible charges, predisposed to see and to charge the evil that everywhere abounds…and to make them hit, I mean really make them stick. The complaints I have with life are oh so genuine, so legitimate. To think I was born just a whisper, a quiet thing, weightless on the air like feathers or curly spiral shaped smoke, collected yellow and ugly with a tinge of acrid smells.
And Here on Earth
is where I dwell, at least for a time and eventually I will lay down and die a cowardly old man all covered over in hoary wisdom and bleached out cuticles, paper cuts and tea stained hands and I will value peace above all else and I will not even try to make a sound and I will keep everything together. The senses of urgency like dry wind will desiccate me, a soul-searching for a heaven like a little mouse in search of a hole.
Gods forgive.
We will pray with our lips.
But tell the truth, that is life, that is apparently the way it is meant to go. These seem to be the pathways, the avenues, human expression. Alive.
But it looked good to me.
And that is what ‘s key.
It looked good to me.
All these people wandering down the streets all hours of the dark,
Looking for their homes
Sick. Frozen to the bone.
Like a mist. Like a fog rolling in
Because it is humid.
Because it is night.
Because it is the humid night.
Wilderness becomes me. As does multitudinous thought. So much chaos like a billion billion strings and wires all tethered and tied to each other. Random threads woven to another, tangled and divergent. To collect them together and pull them to me is my challenge. And I do so sometimes, successively but mostly it tires me so greatly, I give up trying to make sense. To myself, to others, with words or with actions, I just let go.
But let me come to a sputtering stop.
I’m more connected to everything than ever before…
Like everything that desires obscurity becomes ubiquitous, the Buddha, (the)Elvis.
That is how this world works,
Ironically or cruelly, but either way that is the tiny touch of honey,
The sweet scent of life.
It is the wandering remnants of time broken into pieces stuck in the corners of your brain, moments happened, frozen sharp, bloody at the edges, most of them. Things that stick out when you close your eyes but can’t help you predict your future or give you any solace, any peace of mind, just little glints of shattered minutes.
Everything you might do is a bomb set to explode. Detonate by movement, solid thought, opinion, bloody gore and mess to have a mind. Best to settle down and try to keep still. It makes the hands ache and body tremble, the mind shrivel to be so alone. Alone. Alone in this big empty world, arms out grabbing at things. Shrinking days, the shadows get shorter and shorter every hour past. And here I am. Here I am.
But life, life is…I mean, here comes another sting, you spend your entire awful childhood figuring out where you fit and what you want, hmm…but that is never what happens though is it? You can never tell your future, give up on self-divination and all manner of preparation. You are loose in the world.
Even me,
I just needed it to be dark.
I just needed it to be grey.
I needed to be able to sit still and not worry about the approach of day. It would come and I knew it, no matter what, no help from me required.
I just needed it to be silent.
I just needed it to be nothing.
And that is all I thought I was ever getting. All I deserved. And I would slip away from this life undetected, some far off moment. Not even a rustle in the grass.
But instead life gave me everything. Everything instead of nothing. Tricky bastard. I thought I had it figured. Now, now I am gripped by fear. Constantly in panic. Hovering over an intense ocean of churning guilty and paranoia. I am afraid that somehow everything will be ripped away from me. It is all too good. Too beautiful. Not for me. It seems a rouse. I do not deserve any of this and that is how life is killing me, anxiety, fear, apprehension. Ever been so happy you knew it wasn’t right? Wasn’t for you? And somehow I will be punished for even assuming to get comfortable in this charmed existence.
Everything is the end of the world.
Everyday, apocalyptic.
So, even me. And I just needed to be insignificant. I just needed to be left alone.
Loose in the world.
Grabbing wildly at roots and stems, tipping over the petals and pulling down those showers of light, immersed. Tripping about giant’s feet and boulders, half-blind and groping.
Here on deep blue Earth all covered in skin, waiting on the sky to change, stars to move, we grow old. We grow old and die. Our bones disintegrate and our memory dissipates and nothing has ended, nothing has begun, nothing happened at all but the shift from one transparent transitory sliver of time to another. A flip book flipping loudly though its pages, a movie projector.
In between the wide dark green leaves of a low slung yard-plant, on the creepy crawly light brown dirt, ants walk single file. Marching, devoured by a sense of purpose. Amen. They carry little bits of bleached out rubble-food and straw long building specks. So industrious.
Me and the world
Nothing between.
They climb-crawl up the slippery slopes of a soft encrusted hill, little opening off-center at the top. They go in. Their tiny legs knock crumbs of dirt tumbling down the sides. Avalanche. The clods stumble falling like left over words edited out. Cut away to let other syllables breathe.
Me and the heavens above.
Whatever looking down on me.
And this is the way of it, this is the way it always happens, the end, the winding down.