Processing / Amanda Russell

Original price was: $13.00.Current price is: $9.00.


poems by

Amanda Russell

~40 pages, $13 (+ shipping)

Projected Release Date: August/Sept, 2024

An Advance Sale Discount price of $9 (+ shipping) is available HERE prior to press time. This price is not available anywhere else or by check. The check price is $13/book (which includes shipping & sales tax) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, 4416 Shea Lane, Mint Hill, NC 28227. 

PLEASE NOTE: Ordering in advance of the release date entitles the buyer to a discount. It does not mean the book will ship before the date posted above and the price only applies to copies ordered through the Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.

Amanda Russell (she/her/hers) is a guest editor at The Comstock Review and a stay-at-home mom. Her poems have appeared in Hole in the Head re:View, EcoTheo Review, Lily Poetry Review, and Open: a Journal of Arts and Letters. Her previous chapbook is Barren Years (Finishing Line Press, 2019). She is a member of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, the Poetry Society of Texas, the Calling All Poets Series, and other workshops. When she is not writing, she may be planting sunflowers, feeding cardinals, giving herself a haircut, or watching One Piece. To learn more about her, please visit

In the poem “Chasing the Goose,” Amanda Russell asserts that she has “never been bold,” yet the dynamic pulsations of Processing attest to the fact that she is not only bold but also brave and resolute in the face of numerous hurdles and hefts. But most of all, she carries with her a grateful optimism that is palpable within the complex colors of her world—and throughout this often painful but mesmerizing and miraculous book. ~Cindy Hochman, Editor-in-chief of First Literary Review-East and author of Telling You Everything


“In my mansion there are many rooms,” Russell tells us. In her book, there are many poems. There is a quickness in them. An immediacy waiting between the words. The collection is hotwired with family, autism, neighbors. Her words fly like leaves after a hurricane. A pencil in hand, Russell stirs “the tight abundance.” “Out of the lines we are given. A gratitude journal raising to touch the something before it is gone.” ~Diane Glancy, author of Jawbone and Psalm to Whom(e)

Admit One


Sitting on top of the coffee table,
he zips his train around him again.

His arm dangling down, makes him
the hinge of his world.
If he stops, everything stops.

But he never stops—
And there is no station, no passengers admitted,
no schedule of arrivals he’s adhered to.

I stand in the kitchen,
holding a developmental checklist.
Empty boxes mark every train we’ve missed.



In My Mansion, there are Many Rooms


Neighbors often witness me rolling up sleeves—
my body stretched and split and stitched like
some corporeal applique sewn around my role-play.

Dustpan-fuls of unlived lives compost
the same as watermelon rinds, the sweet stuff
long scraped out with a shiny metal spoon
like a fetus who failed in utero.

If you run your whitest gloves on my windowsill, years
of Sunday-sermons come undone, stirred up
and weightless as petals dried at the feet of a waterless vase.
Another lifetime will peel from the page and stutter
out of your throat like a misremembered name.

The wisdom of so many saints proved less convincing
than the letter he penned me—Never mind what I said
in the car, about us. The absence of vows became a cloud
I carried home between metal wings and a lightning rod
with which I stirred the limiting reagent of faith
until grey hairs cupped my face.

Somehow, it happened. She had become a part of Me—
the home I filled to my fingerprints.

Not some hidden else, not even the exaggerated hand
of motherhood now grasping
the multifaceted jewel of my heart,

but my own flash of light catching in my mirrored hall.




What I Didn’t Say Last Time We Could Have Spoken


I heard a potter
say: To make art
you must stay vulnerable
in the making of it,
in the forming of the pot,
at the wheel.

The mess is intimate.
A process—

If you take the motor of a ceiling fan
If you take the wheel of a wagon
If you cento the trials you have thrown but discarded
If you grab the fabric of the cosmos
and wedge and press out the air bubbles
If you wet your hands well above the wrists
and let the dribble run its gamut
If you brace your left arm against the torso of your life and lean in
If you guide with the base of your hand
If you press the length of your thumb into the center and open
If you let the right and left hands speak to each other
coordinate the pull up with constant pressure
If you pull up with constant pressure
If you pull up again
If you focus your gaze and keep the wheel turning
If you keep the wheel turning

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