Three Poems by C.C. Russell

by: C.C. Russell

For C.C. Russell, poems are incantations. Utilizing both keen description and contemplative distance, they enact the pathos and wonder of lived experience shot through with the language that comes to represent it, or as Russell puts it: “Bees as the poem itself.”



I write
about a truck full of hives
jack-knifed on the highway,
about the swarms of sound
that escaped.

Bees as the poem itself,
their hum;
the vibrato
of their wings.

– – –

You say
the angels told you
to leave the city.

– – –

You are halfway
between Los Angeles
and here,
the metal wings
pulling you back,
Amelia Earhart’s ghost
on the fuselage
feeling the wind
tear at her face.

Your fingers hold
a book
I have just finished.

– – –

Pieces: My mother,
allergic to bees, stung;
her leg swelling.

The air around her bloated
with the sound of them.

Thousands of wings
and the equal sign
towards one commercial

– – –

Against the law
of gravity,
you coast in.

I wait for a call,
the phone resting
in my hand.

– – –

And everything
slows down.

A jolt.

The landing gears
are born c-section.



Small bird nestled
against beams of billboard,
black feathers stuck
to the spread
of another airbrushed body.



Rain rattles
on the metal roof.

Still awake,
I think of writing a story

and disguising you
of it.

or foil –

I wonder
if it would make
a difference.

I wonder
if you would recognize

held that way
in its pages.


C.C. Russell lives in Wyoming with his wife and daughter. His writing has appeared in such places as the Cimarron Review, 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_russell.

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