Poetry Collection – by C.C. Russell

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Simply because sometimes

when I come back

to this town,


all I want

is to trace the route

through the red

push-pins on the map

of us


to see if anything

is left.


Previously published in Arsenic Lobster – 2015 anthology



I want to be a footnote in your single sentence, a history of waters and the chemical constitution of summer air – outlined and credited, denoted in small subscript by a single digit.  I want to be the wordy explanation of your choice of dialect – your justification.  I want to be quoted, if even indirectly, by your life.  I want to be a clean reference, further proof to back you up.  I want to be a footnote in your single sentence, a footnote longer than the sentence itself, the convoluted back-story behind the words that have been decided on, the words that – though diminuitive – finally say all that needed saying.


   Previously published in Firewords Quarterly



The rain across your face, hair stuck

in backwards commas to your forehead,

I suppose I should have said it –

something stupid, sentimental.


Wyoming fall trees, black branches

against slowly whitening sky,

we touched palms to fingers;

a quiet kind of language.


We walked together, coats catching

in a slow sort of friction.  We taught each other

small new words for anger, for lust,

slight words towards forgiveness.


Hours in a parked car

trying out new sets of rules,

how to break each one.

The night you asked me to kiss you.


Just once.  And the night I said no.

Ice formed on the windows, your face –

cracked shadow.   Suppose I would have.


Previously published (print only) in Grasslimb


PHOTOGRAPH – Jennifer 1993


She looks up from her Taco Bell

as the flash

snaps her skin to light,

raises her middle finger

towards the ceiling

of the trailer, the hand

thrust towards the lens.


If I’m right, this is the final picture

that I ever took of her.

If I’m right, I deserved

the gesture.




For I have also stopped

to marvel

at snowfall.


I have photographed

moments of wonder

in the attempt

to remember.


I have also trusted

in the sanctity

of my neighbors.


I have stood

and heard

the simple crack

of gunfire.


I have been witness

to the same nights as you

and I am still



For that, I offer

my apologies,

small as they may seem


and a pledge

to remember

your name.


ccrussellC.C. Russell lives in Casper, Wyoming with his wife and daughter.  His writing has recently appeared in such places as Tahoma Literary Review, Word Riot, Rattle, and The Colorado Review.  His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and Best of the Net.  He has held jobs in a wide range of vocations – everything from graveyard shift convenience store clerk to retail management with stops along the way as dive bar dj and swimming pool maintenance.  He has also lived in New York and Ohio.  He can be found on Twitter @c_c_russell384909712_e76e91d716_o

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