word from a restless mind


Twitter: @AdamNRussell

Email: ANewYouProductions@gmail.com

Operation Missouri Freedom

-August 2014-

There are no more Saints
in Saint Louis County.
They may have never had ‘em.
All them fled up North
––never looked back.

So when we breathe
we’re still breathing in tear gas.
Two cloudy streams straight from our nostrils.
Taste it at dinner time,
When waking from bed,
through TV’s and screens
the world tears up.

This is Missouri in 2014
This is America today.

Two America’s.
One is fearful, always has been.
The other has that fear thrust upon them
Whatever that may cost.

The river broke its banks.
A flood of blue rushing toward protestors.
Their words are rubber bullets.
They have limbs made of clubs and batons.

No curfew can suppress
A people perpetually oppressed.
Left asking…
When will melanin be irrelevant?
When will empathy replace callous stares?

When we sleep now
we all hear six shots.
And won’t rest
until the killing stops.
After lawless lawmen lawyer up
For their days in court.

When they sleep
they too will hear six shots
Even after the badge comes off.
The stain of injustice
You just can’t wash.

I cannot pledge allegiance
To a flag
That contains this dysfunctional state of America.
And to a Republic
That does not understand
This forgotten nation,
A silent God,
––Still invisible.
Without liberty
Without justice
for ALL.

In New York and of Sound Mind

Light fixtures shiver
a random epileptic flash
phasing in and out
like life
beneath the El.

Bank statement blinks
of blank statements
on the automated teller.
1’s and 0’s telling me
funds will always run dry.
now we’re all waiting…
paycheck to paycheck.

And Beneath the El
our voices cannot be heard.
When the tremor–ing clamor
of a train’s cars lumber over us
nothing can be heard.

From the man
dozing curbside,
nestled in newfound shade
nothing can be heard.
His thoughts are wedged
into the foundation
of that gray looming edifice.

What unfortunate events
stack up in queue waiting
to bring us beside him?
Only one degree––
a thin cellophane layer

I’ve already scouted my spot
Below the RFK overpass,
past the overgrown courts.
It’s summer now, anyway.
I like to look up
scouring for stars buried
deep in light pollution.

I would have shade.
I would have shelter.
Beneath RFK nothing can be heard
over the tremor–ing clamor of cars
insistent on constantly passing.
Streetlights would shiver,
on an industrial canopy overhead.

I have this apartment room,
it is only for tonight,
but for this I am thankful.
Yet, I still hear a ticking at night
outside my window.
Sounds like my Grandfather’s
grandfather clock.
––Dialing up, preparing its bells for daybreak.
A pulse perpetually sound-tracking our movement.

If New York is a grandfather clock,
its pendulum sways
an eternal gravitational pull
Its face wielding heavy hands that drop
stern, anxious,
steadfast at its side.

If New York is a grandfather clock,
passed down by each generation,
its chime will cascade
throughout every room…

Each tenement,
Central Park balcony,
Harlem hallway,
ring out.

Brooklyn brownstone,
Bronx fire escape,
Queens storefront.
it ring
Out… for all time.


–For Maya Angelou
May 28th, 2014

There is a temple in the Yucatan
Hidden deep inside the walls,
the catacombs, each hall,
a sacred room displays relics.
Your name was made there.
– Maya –
Placed on its pedestal
For the world to one day discover

There is a thatch-hut in Ghana
Far off into the lowlands,
the sun-basked plains.
A tapestry hangs
inside beaming patterns.
You were wearing them too.
and outside as you echoed these origins.

There is a farmhouse in Carolina
Floating in humid Southern smoke.
There are stories there
Under floorboards,
Nailed over headboards,
Placed at beside,
And you told them throughout every room.

There is a classroom
nestled in the forest.
It is filled with students.
It is filled with the world.
You are standing before it
As teacher – sage.
Teaching us what we have in our hearts
Yet cannot see.
A learned mirror reflecting back.

There is a place
Eternally revolving
Orbiting throughout space
Reserved for legacies enduring
You are there, teacher.

Your words are forever

A lexicon etched
Upon a ship voyaging infinitely
Towards the shores of peace.
You are love manifested.
You are courage embodied.
And your voice resonates
Wise and beautiful for everyone,
For always.

SCOTUS & Hobby Lobby Case

So, this Hobby Lobby case is pretty important. Yes, there is a case in front of the supreme court of the U.S. re: a company called Hobby Lobby - it’s not a joke. Essentially, this company is fighting to have it’s religious rights dictated to all of its workers. Because the owner is against providing contraception coverage to female employees. Due to his religious beliefs, he does not want to provide it as written in the Affordable Care Act for businesses above 50employees - among other benefits.

Women earn less, and currently pay more for health insurance on average. They simply deserve to be treated equally. Especially when Men already receive sexual healthcare coverage for things like Viagra. If certain contraceptive options violate a woman’s personal religious beliefs, she is free not to pursue those options, but her employer should not be allowed to make that decision for her.

"Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices." (SCOTUS- Reynolds V. U.S. 1879)

If Hobby Lobby wins because of what seems to be a political disagreement, as well as religious beliefs of the owners, it sets a precedent for any company to litigate any law they disagree with obeying based on religious grounds. The constitution protects an individuals religious freedoms and places of worship. Unless I’m missing something, Hobby Lobby is a place of business and not worship, nor is it a tax-exempt religious organization.

If Hobby Lobby wins this decision we will have laws on the books approved by Supreme Court that consider corporations equal to individuals (Citizen’s United), when it comes to campaign financing, and one that would now consider a corporations beliefs paramount to those working for them (Hobby Lobby v. Sebeilius).

Los Escondidos

- by Adam Nichols Russell -

A net sprawls out
casting its web
splicing Oaxacan tides —
Pacific foam atop churning pint glass.
The prospect of aquatic sustenance
is schooling about beneath the suds.

Narrow boats, precarious.
The shoddy boats maneuver.
This unrelenting,
unrepentant hot star
Millions of miles away
glaring down on us, judging.

The sun wants to sit beside us
In the mounds of grainy decay
with a Pacifico in one hand —
limes floating like exoplanets
suspended in dark matter.

Kicking stones in the desert,
A lone child stands
with the dirt road’s distance.

Skydivers plummet overhead,
raining down —
a parade of discarded circus tents
lofty amongst flapping clouds.

Friends arrive with boards
ready to brave record breaking surf.
One of them calls out
just past the breakers —
something about weightlessness,

“Will the next wave carry us to tomorrow?”
I shout back:
“No. But I bet this undertow will drag us back to yesterday!”
As if the rip-tide’s an old friend
begging us to stay for one last drink.

Downtown is bathing in swaths of smoke,
Swatches of color, meat browning,
flesh popping,
peddlers, booths, mariachi,
all coexisting in rhythm.
Along to the insistent beat of work,
the honorable pulsating lifeblood of a culture.
At every corner,
each serpentine alleyway
leads us into celebratory night.

We are celebrating this new discovery
We are relishing in obscurity,
the brick and mortar basics
of a $25 seaside motel,
a toilet with no seat.

We’re all surrounding the core of the Earth
At nighttime fire pit.
Ocean’s stomping its perpetual march
underscoring these exploits.
Rising above a native current
primal beats labor over outdated speakers.

Certain evenings are immortal,
Lasting indelibly.
The cacophony of sense
is distributed
In the vague, subtle touch of recollection:

• Burning scraps in campfires,
• Fishing vessels winking lamplights
• Green eyed avocados mashed in stone cauldrons
• The same looping drums fighting through static on every radio

There is no urgency in the wind here.
It brushes past
As an unassuming stranger
In an abandoned town.
Not unsettling,
but smoothing over nature,
grazing across humanity.

Here there are no borders
states wander into one and other.
No difference between
One family in Curnevaca,
One family in Puebla.
They are the same in Cleveland.
They are the same in Spokane.

Learning this on
12 hour bus back
to Distrito Federal
Teetering around bends.
Entire ride shaking with
sweat and the Spanish language.
The world is fleeting past us
interlaced and disjointed.
An eternal kaleidoscope hurtling.

Peering through humid, clear squares
of glass
— or plastic,
the jet-streams intersecting in space
their white trails,
scars on endless blue skin.

I am looking at a bus full of passengers
They are trudging
through the rough tides of circumstance.
I am seeing the thatch roof houses,
the emptiness.
No telling what coincidence
brought us all here.
We are fortunate objects in motion
unified in common spirit.

We are somewhere…
and the sun is now leaving us.

-Read at Edgings & Inchings Poetry Night @ REAL ART WAYS on 3/12/14


Hearst Castle by Julia Morgan

The indoor mosaic-tiled pool is inspired by Roman baths.

(via danforth)