Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Julie Ramon’

Inspiration by Julie Ramon

It waits for me on a dirt roadJulieramon.jpg
between Kansas and Missouri.

When I slow down and stop
at an intersection, it runs
to my window. In torn clothing,
with a dirty face, it asks for change—
something warm to eat—a ride.

Cracking my window I ask
how far are you going? It says,
as far as you can take me. I nod,
open my door and let it climb in.

And, as we drive, we part crops, cattle,
and flocks of crows that sit
like rooted teeth on fence lines.
I speed and release them into the sky
and the space in front of my windshield.

Here, sunflowers stand perfectly
unripe. Green disks point up
towards the sky and turn away
when curiosity comes in the form
of a cow with a raised, wet nose.

It asks to crack a window
to feel the wind on its face, but I ignore
the plea, and lock the doors, afraid
it will slip out in the air between crows
and disappear beneath rocks
and settling dust.

~ Julie Ramon

Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poems “Making Tamales” and “Making Tortillas” were recently published in the literary food magazine, Graze. She enjoys baking and selling cakes from home on weekends. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband and son.

Guest Editor Al Ortolani’s poetry and reviews have appeared in Rattle, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, The Writer’s Almanac, and the New York Quarterly. He has published several collections of poetry. His Waving Mustard in Surrender (NYQ Books) was short-listed for the Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award from Binghamton Univesity. Paper Birds Don’t Fly was released by New York Quarterly Books in April of 2016. His poems been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Writers Place, The Brick Mountain Foundation, The Little Balkans Press, and is currently a member of the Board of the Woodley Press at Washburn University in Topeka.

I try to write it for you in my head by Julie Ramon

Julieramon.jpgI try to write it for you in my head
every morning when I turn down
the numbered gravel road that leads
me into Kansas. Things are different
here. Cows gather near fence lines
and raise their wet noses to smell
the wind that welcomes traveling
geese and flocks of starlings
that twirl and spin through the air.
And when the sun rises, it deepens
the copper on train cars, the rust
on an abandoned Chevy truck
shell, and patches of vines growing
to the tips of leaning telephone poles.
But, when I arrive home and see
your arms open and the shape
of your face change, I forget it all.

 

Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poems “Making Tamales” and “Making Tortillas” were recently published in the literary food magazine, Graze. She enjoys baking and selling cakes from home on weekends. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband and son.

Guest Editor: Roy Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. His poems have recently appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Kansas City Voices, The North Dakota Review, and I-70 Review. Two of his poems were nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize competition. His debut collection of poems, “Music I Once Could Dance To,” published in 2014 by Coal City Review and Press, was selected as a 2015 Kansas Notable Book by the State Library of Kansas and the Kansas Center for the Book.

 

Dead Dog by Julie Ramon

It’s been a week now and still eachJulieramon.jpg

day I see you on the side of the highway

serving as a small, black line

connecting Kansas to Missouri.

Bits of your hair are frozen and reflective

against the rising sun. I pass your crushed bones,

asphalt gripping claws and black ears,

that ripple in the wind of passing cars.

 

I tell myself your family came

and gently took your body home and buried

you beneath a sycamore. And, you weren’t drug

away by teeth sunken deep in the folds

of your neck and torn apart leaving nothing

but a smeared trail of what you used to be.

~ Julie Ramon
Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poems “Making Tamales” and “Making Tortillas” were recently published in the literary food magazine, Graze. She enjoys baking and selling cakes from home on weekends. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband and son.

Cody Shrum holds both a B.A. and M.A. in Creative Writing from Pittsburg State University with an emphasis in fiction. However, his poetry has appeared in velvet-tail and Kansas Time + Place online literary magazines. Cody plans to pursue his MFA degree in fiction next fall—an adventure he will embark on with his wife, Kylee, and their two dogs, Zoey and Zeus.

On Being Asked Who the You Is in My Poems by Julie Ramon

Julieramon.jpg    -after Paul Guest

 

It’s not the you in Kansas that’s always ahead of me

or calling me out on my bullshit.

It’s the you that just ran past my window,

slinking low to stay out of sight,

only looking back once

to see if anyone’s watching before

disappearing like rain into the street

drain.Or, the you, in your old age, that caught

a view of my barely-there underwear

presented by the wind, a gift timidly given.

Another you figured out she doesn’t want

her husband, but to live

alone, drink, and finish the novel

about the boy with the birthmark

who had too much to drink and sat

upside down on the sofa until

there was no difference

between birthmark and skin. A color

that kept changing like forgotten

Eastereggs in white coffee mugs.

No like you who calls me

from a deep sleep in the middle

of the night. Arms stretched, you reach

for me and I for you until you becomes me

with no space in between, just breath.

~ Julie Ramon

Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poems “Making Tamales” and “Making Tortillas” were recently published in the literary food magazine, Graze. She enjoys baking and selling cakes from home on weekends. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband and son.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, guest editor for Dec., is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, author or editor of 19 books, and founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches. More on her here.

Crayons and a One-Year-Old by Julie Ramon

Julieramon.jpgI think it every time I see you
with paper and crayon in hand

As you snap a section of forest green
in your mouth, I wonder if the flavor

matches the color. I question
if it would forever be a part of you

and turn the specks in your eyes
the color of abandoned copper train cars

under the sun. Somehow you always
know what to say without saying a word.

You point to the sky and trace stars
with the tips of your fingers.

~ Julie Ramon

Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poems “Making Tamales” and “Making Tortillas” were recently published in the literary food magazine, Graze. She enjoys baking and selling cakes from home on weekends. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband and son.

Melissa Fite Johnson, a high school English teacher, received her Master’s in English literature from Pittsburg State University in Kansas.  Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including I-70 Review, The Little Balkans Review, The New Verse News, velvet-tail, Inscape Magazine, Cave Region Review, The Invisible Bear, HomeWords: A Project of the Kansas Poet Laureate, Kansas Time + Place, Broadsided Press: 2014 Haiku Year in Review, Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, and To the Stars through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices. In 2015, Little Balkans Press published her first book of poetry, While the Kettle’s On Melissa and her husband, Marc, live in Pittsburg with their dog and several chickens.  (www.melissafitejohnson.com)

Melissa says, “I’m not a mother, but this poem makes me marvel at the private world a parent and child share. I especially love the suggestion that this swallowed crayon bit is now forever a part of the child, and to me this hints at a hope that m

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