Literature 10-3-2006

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Mitch Marr

Mitch Marr is the next poet in the series "What Light: This Week's Poem," a feature sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers that brings you a poem every week by a Minnesota poet, selected by a panel of writers and publishers.

Mitch Marr

to witness a thing (credo)

there is an old church I know, emptied
and boarded up, where a Man lives in secret.

He feeds pigeons, mumbling to Himself, and

sleeps in a pile of newspaper & magazines.

I could set Him afire while He slept there.
what a spectacle that would be. people would

gather around to listen to the public reading

of the Note left by the Man, read by the glorious
orange glow. how good it would be to see

them rapt with the Words I wrote and left

in His name, that precious unwitting martyr.
sad, that He would no longer tend pigeons

there amongst the pews & lingering prayers.

but the witnessing– oh! to witness the Thing.
it would be so much greater than He or I.


Poetry is in a strange and pivotal stage because of the way information and education are changing. People are now arriving at the genre through different paths, even different mediums. In the tradition of surrealists, the beat generation, and jazz poets, I enjoy the ways non-traditional elements inform my work. Formal education is valuable and I love the Whitman, but I also love Radiohead and Pollock. So while the current socio-political climate directs most of my subject matter, other mediums and artists tend to influence the rhythm and mood of my prose.


Mitch Marr is a writer, poet and activist living in the Fargo-Moorhead area. A recent college graduate, he flirted briefly with the New York publishing world before returning to the area to watch and, when he can, help the scenery change. He is currently working on a manuscript and collaborating with area visual artists.