Russell Salamon on Poets Cafe

The following interview of Russell Salamon by host M.C. Bruce and co-host Lois P. Jones originally aired on KPFK Los Angeles (reproduced with permission).

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Biographical Information—Russell Salamon


A prolific poet, Russell Salamon is the author of many books of poetry, among them the published Breeze Hunting, poems, 2001, Descent into Cleveland, a novel, 1994; Woodsmoke and Green Tea, poems, 2006; Ascent from Cleveland: Wild Heart Steel Phoenix, Huron , Ohio, 2008. His work has also appeared in Passager (sic), Sunstone, Uncommon Ground, Daybreak, The Listening Eye, Saint Petersburg Russian-American Anthology, Peckerwood, Puckerbrush Review, Retooling for the Renaissance in the Third Millennium, among others. He serves on the editorial board for California Quarterly, published by California State Poetry Society. He has been a featured reader at many places in California and New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida. He lives in North Hollywood, CA. Recently featured as part of Newer Poets reading at the Los Angeles Public Library ALOUD program sponsored by the Beyond Baroque Foundation and Los Angeles Poetry Festival and the Los Angeles Library Foundation. “Best ever reading” and “strongest lineup yet, ” were some of the comments from the nearly full house of 200 people.

The editor, Padraic Cohee said  of Russell’s work: “. . . the secret of this book’s own magic comes pouring forth like a diluvian inundation [flood} of lyrical synesthesia. The log-jam is broken open and we are swept away in a current of water, trees, freedom, true love, and poetic imagery.  And there is a breeze whispering in the branches: you can ride the updraft all the way back to eternity. . . . From the paper to the trees themselves, this book is an enchantment of trees and wooden things. Wonderful!”

Last Water First Silence

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

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.

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