Russell Ragsdale


white rabbit persuasions
right as regular underwear
convince me to ignore
warnings of doom
distracting me with
leading lefts
in which lie hidden
that patient
roundhouse right

down the stairs
where the addict
is stretched out on the steps
syringe full of water
irrigating a ruptured abscess
on his calf

a trail of blood
marks the descent
into the underworld

prostitutes on escalators
talking easily
riding down

descend they all tell me
the party is
about to begin

fine french wine
i persist
dizzy with reward

circular stairways
i vaguely remember
was it in a movie
coming down the
eiffle tower
breathless at the bottom
metro a short walk
from slumbering koi

stairs down
pulling my body
still spinning
from the icarian
return to reality

i keep watching for you
legs spread like handrails
on the darkening descent

bahnhof steps
patient as dark water
venitizia canals
on lethe
tunnel of love
rhythm of blood
in preferred darkness

echoing tube with
drumbeats underground

russell ragsdale

Russell Ragsdale lived in the Republic of Kazakhstan from 1992-2015.  Because he lived in the former lands of Russia so long, you will find his books on Amazon listed among the top 100 books of Russian poetry. He speaks Russian and English and stumbles about in French and Spanish. He is a contemporary poet and has been writing since the 1960’s when he attended Whittier High and then the University of Arizona. He taught English at KIMEP University for seven years and can’t seem to figure out he has retired. Before that he was an executive chef and a retail meat cutter. Now he often wanders the streets up in Montmartre where he is looking for an apartment (he considers himself a part-time Parisian). In his strange life he has acted, sung, written for a newspaper, been part of a TV show and taught.  Still he is pretty much just an ordinary working guy that has been afflicted with wanderlust and a love for words!  He currently has two books published: Book of Aliases and Fireflies and Dragon Scales. He may be contacted through his website,