Russell Salamon has been writing poetry since 1964 when he started with Lewis Turco at Fenn College in Cleveland, Ohio, and was part of the "scene" with d.a. levy, Grace Butcher, Kent Taylor, Russell Atkins, Adelaide Simon, Jau Billera and others. In summer of 2007 he visited Cleveland for three featured readings and wrote poems and essays which are included in the forthcoming Ascent from Cleveland: Wild Heart Steel Phoenix, from Bottom Dog Press.

He is the author of 18 books: Descent into Cleveland, a novel about the turbulent Sixties in Cleveland, and many books of poetry, including Breeze Hunting, (Inevitable Press); Woodsmoke and Green Tea, (deep cleveland press) and Parenthetical Poppies, (Renegade Press.) His poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies including, Daybreak, The Listening Eye, St. Petersburg Poetry Anthology, Sunstone, Uncommon Ground, California Quarterly, A Chaos of Angels, Riverside Quarterly, Peckerwood, Puckerbrush Review, Retooling for the Renaissance in the Third Millenium, Bogg, Bachy, and Fenn Literary Omnibus. He has been a featured reader in Los Angeles, New York, London, San Louis Obispo, Bakersfield, San Louis Rey, Paterson, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Clearwater, Florida, Cleveland Bicentennial Celebration, Reston, Virginia, and Moonday in Pacific Palisades. He is the winner of the 1996 Passager (Magazine) Prize. In 2008 he was featured on Los Angeles radio station KPFK on Poets Cafe, two programs, hosted by M.C. Bruce.

Last Water First Silence

Because you are not time,
the word you stops at the edge
of sea waves in the curl of green

Because you are shadows
of night wind searching for
escape holes in the dark,
you are green under white
fingers of the moon.

Because you are not space,
the centuries do not hold you
even with wars and delicious
offers of death.

Because you are not light,
you bring the sun's buckets
of white skulls and let them
burn out among the eons.

Because you are love,
no voice can say your
first name and when
I call you by your eyes

you see desert spaces
move mauve shadows of
deer to the last water and
the first silence.


At sunset trees leave their bodies
and go breeze hunting. Each breeze
is different and has tinted ribs.
Some are pink-green and others
somber, slate gray.

Tree beings tame these winds,
have them eating from branches.
The plum tree collects violet fog,
puts it on plums. When you eat,
you bite breeze skin.
Fragrances echo on your taste buds
until you stand directly in the center
of time without trembling.

from Breeze Hunting (The Inevitable Press, 2001)


It is raining. Ghost fog
steps in among tall trees,
moist silence with far off
whoosh of surf trains.

But here are harp strings
and deep silences. A tall
breath enters my lungs.
The trees hide me.

Huge twin boles race skyward
and a single lithe one stands
among others.

This is a vertical dance.
A crowd of quiet. Rags of
clouds snag along ridges
of mountains.

from Redwoods in the Rain

Clear Air

Thirteen girls lift the south side
of the city without knowing it. Squeal
of laugher lifts the sagging houses
and straightened the garbage cans.

Maybe backbone of souls up straight
immersed in day stars. Joy in silly
strange giggle bursts and dance
steps, oh almost women, almost
ready for everything.

They marry into the eight corners
of the mind and moon falling away
to the west. Their love nets keep
the city hanging over the abyss.

Red hope balloons hang hugely
among music spheres. Flats of
streets rise in suspension. We
walk upwards to the market. The
clear air tastes of free people.
Angel breath? So much easier
to breathe in free minds.

Russell Salamon Moonday poetry reading

© 2008 Russell Salamon

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