Every Ferry Leads Here

                     for Andy & Nora Hughes


We forgot the hostage

on the auto-deck.

The horses were falling apart.

One more Nautical mile, then

pacing the land in three directions.


Normal vehicle movement

is entirely far from normal

and the sailboat receeding

into the distance

  could have been anything.  Access

to the auto-deck and other levels

of heaven, at times, will be denied,

and for this:  no cure.


And here is where the bartender

tends to show up, her arms

two loaves of bread, her arms

full of olives and flowering dill.

So not to bruise the mint, parade

in the wake, then switch to licorice,

stencil flowers in the salt.  Apply,

      now for surrender.


The crustacean that is this

version of union extends

its knobby claws to you

and sings its song, a lullaby

in the shape of a wave.  So sway

with tendrils and barnacles.

Here we are, between two shores

and also, we are these oceans.


And also, we are this house

that lets ships remain unsunk.

And also, the hostage has fallen

away, arms pinwheeling a bloom

of joy.  This shore.  This is where

rest meets the long, soft work

of the sea.  Now, found near

the beaches, pebbled lapping our one

true fire, alive here, on the docks.


          -Written in collaboration with Chris Martin and Mary Austin Speaker

Donít Be Shy


Be anything this evening.  Be here, but donít

      be a voice knowing anything

      other than the impossible

language of Ďyes.í


Be rain, and be on the window, or the window

in rain, but please, be no

further than breath in a storm,

or the storm of breath spit dumbly


on your neck, and please, break entirely

upon the shore of me,

little rancher.  It must be

raining in so many places, but why


and who cares about that?  Attendees

of many tasks would happily

trade with their colleagues,

but never would they wish


to eclipse any less of this star

I am shot into, shadows

of that last Sunday morning

not loving you.  Donít be anywhere


and please, never again, and be not

waiting in any tongue.

Be not shy, or timid,

      in the air

all around me, and donít be further.


Russell Dillon was born in New York during the mid-70's and hasn't been able to get over it. However, in an effort to put the past behind him, he's attended a number of schools in a number of places, learned things at each one of them, and received degrees from Emerson College and the Bennington Writing Seminars. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in H_NGM_N, Parthenon West, Big Bell, Forklift, OH, 5 A.M. and MiPoesia, among others. He currently lives in San Francisco where he does almost everything life asks of him. A chapbook, Secret Damage, was released like wounded pigeons from the breast of Forklift, Inc. ... and ever since he has been running in circles trying to manuscript.