Abstract Magazine International | The Guide Awake by Mark Mitchell
Abstract seeks fine art in all forms that engages with both the crises and joys of our shared human condition. We seek art that engages the edge of now; we seek to explore a future forward zeitgeist with a respect for the gifts of the past. We are looking for both established and emerging artists across a broad range of genres. Our criterion is quality.


The Guide Awake by Mark Mitchell

07 Aug 2018, Posted by JL Jacobs in Poetry

Art: Light Music 33 by Roger Camp


Should we have stayed home and thought of here?

—Elizabeth Bishop
Questions of Travel

Pale sun and the pinprick pains
return to your body like seasons
each cruel-pretty morning.
Coffee quick, then breakfast.
Begin again, like repeated bars
in sad, over-written music.

Cold commute bus. Rough music
leaks from a kid’s headphones. Your pain
is misplaced, like steel bars
on a third-floor window. Baseball season
coming up at you fast
as a pitch on an Arizona morning.

T-shirted tourists ready for your morning
circle. You want a voice like music
and a driver who rolls fast
through yellows and takes pains
to keep your body from being seasoned
with bruises as you speed past bars

and landmarks. New construction and rebar
slow you to a crawl but catch morning
light like a shortstop late in the season.
Remember, now, that visual music
is your job. You have to explain
it all while not talking too fast

to make sense. So your cold breakfast
has bounced around. A motorcade bars
progress through two lights. Sirens pain
your ears as you dissect the morning
for people who treat your words like music
they don’t like. So starts the tourist season.

But it means a big-league season
too and pitcher’s arms grow fast
in desert light while bats compose music
with leather and landmark bars
migrate. They’ll return some morning
to relieve lost souls of their pain

and your tiny pains are meant to season
a spring morning. Flowers bloom too fast,
becoming only colored bars and light becomes music.

About the author:

Mark J. Mitchell’s latest novel, The Magic War just appeared from Loose Leaves Publishing. He studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver and George Hitchcock. His work has appeared in the 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 Joan Juster and makes a living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco.

Art: Light Music 33 by Roger Camp

In the artist’s words:

Roger Camp is a photographer and educator. Initially self-taught, he began photographing in earnest on a transcontinental bicycle trip he planned and executed at age 15 (1961). Accompanied by his twin brother, Roderic Ai Camp, the political scientist, they rode from Orange, California to Dayton, Ohio and the following year to Victoria, B.C., Canada. The trips are chronicled in a two-part article in The American Geographical Society’s Focus (Fall & Winter, 1990).


Roger Camp is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in English (1967) and a master’s degree in English (1969) from the University of Texas, Austin. He also holds a masters and master’s of fine arts degree (1973,1974) from the University of Iowa in photography.
He started teaching English at Eastern Illinois University (1969) followed by a dual teaching position in English/Photography at the Columbus College of Art & Design (1974). Camp taught American students at the Cite Universitaire de Paris (1990) and directed the photography program at Golden West College, Huntington Beach, CA (1977).
Camp served as a book reviewer for Library Journal (1981) and a contract photographer for Black Star, New York (1990).
Camp was a Danforth Fellow in Black Studies (1969), a Visual Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown (1982), held a summer seminar Fulbright to Brazil (1988) and is the recipient of the Lecia Medal of Excellence in documentary photography (1992).


Camp is the author of three books:
Butterflies in Flight, Thames & Hudson, released in 2002 (selected by American Photo, The Associated Press, NBC Today Show in their recommended photo books of the year).
500 Flowers, Dewi Lewis Media, released in 2005.
Roger Camp: Heat, Charta/DAP, released in 2008.

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