Author: Philip Ramp
Genre: Poetry, Trade Paper, 7.5 X 9.25
Publisher: Lummox Press (PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733-5301)

Publishing Date: July 2012

For Philip's bio and samples from the book, scroll down past the "add to cart buttons"...

Retail: $15 + shipping

All shipping is factored into the "Buy Now" price.

To Pay by Credit/Debit Card via Pay Pal:


$18 USA - shipping included
$20 Can/Mex - shipping included
$27 WORLD - shipping included

To Pay by MAIL, MAKE CHECK OUT TO LUMMOX PRESS c/o PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733
USA = $18.00 // CAN. - MEX. = $20.00 // WORLD = $27.00


I don’t take the poetry personally; it comes from me, of course, but it has its own agenda and my poems often tell me things about myself I wouldn’t have imagined—or imagined I could imagine, to be more precise. And, indeed, often I’m not sure it really IS about me. In any case, the fact is, to be good, for me, the poem has to do that. Surprise me in some way; make me consider the “me” it’s coming from is unknowable to ME, as Philip Ramp, or anyone else for that matter in any other way other than poetry…To a poet, the world is so immense and unpredictable it is both extremely old and new at one and the same time. This may be true of the other arts but words are the most human of all things and the mind uses them to explore all the potentials of this world and those “other ones”—something like string theory and its “landscapes” but poems, while imagined places, are also places WE ARE LIVING IN.

Philip Ramp (from the preface)





Here again there’s that suggestive brown of your eyes,

mellowed cluster of honeyed rays roused to escort there

colorless evenings out – I’ve aspired to be the lookout,

pretending I’m an important part of this singular hunt,

trying not to be distracted by the dark’s insidious croon,

trying not to intimidated by the enormous size of the room:

fighting it off, but as one does a…wanted intimacy; yes, yes;

only not now! The hawks that have appeared at appointed

intervals throughout the afternoon, acting like compasses

showing a lofty sense of direction, access to which they are

alone allowed: your eyes reveal a compassionate strength

that could well have been drawn from where they went.



An enlarging presence, insect soothed, too dark really for

shadow or shape. You left in a hurry, I remember, late for

tomorrow, you said, and the mellow brown, as then, now

slowly fades like a tan from the skin of the sky, leaving

but a vermilion tint, flaked with obsidian, certainly once

royal, or of royal estate, still that is, imperialesque; night

reaching its peculiarly decisive point where it falls inward

to an idealized void. leaving echoes behind in the sense

of a self losing its grip, moving outward and growing abstract

in an ever more refined Platonic color-drift: the stars that

secretly imbibed the light throughout the day now send it

back, dimmed to the proper dramatic level to serve as a

stage where owls are set to perform their evening oracles;

I now put my lookout eyes on cruise control and give

myself over fully to the pull of fate’s soft and abysmal

kiss – imagine I feel that special release of the spirit

and wonder, again, when the coils that once made the

two of us one, will tangle when passing this way again.



It was a “dandy time” you once cried in the middle of a

morning that came so unexpectedly at the end of that very

dark night, laced with the erotic inflections that would

forestall climax’s fated collapse – in the dark depths of

your blue eyes the luminous promise all things fresh offer

when they begin to mature, glowing and yet already poignant

with its ebbing, knowing you’re part of something greater,

moving toward it eagerly but equally saddened by the fact the

loving takes you away: I took it then for desire but it proved

to be far more profound; the sky seen from the perspective

of…chronological depth, each moment another layer of now

laid down and then spread infinitely thin, where float and

sink are attached to the same root that though it feeds on

forever never supports more than a single bloom – at a time.



Not that we thought of it then, but our thinking was then

set in a new framework where morning coming in so large

and so sudden began to reveal its developing line: the

clouds then seemed a little too puffy, had an unhealthy

tone, splotches of dark spread through them as if mocking

what shadows do to our most treasured images and shapes,

ones that define our ground. Then to as suddenly disappear

in the sky’s invisible pockets like balls in a game, absurdly

scaled. But by then it was too late anyway, the light looking

in vain for some other way out so the unexpected manic

cry of an owl seemed an almost hilarious interpretation of the

proverbial “hoo”. I was determined to remember them together,

so later the sounds merged would help me, in some as yet

undetermined way, to keep an eye on the lines of thought

as they thinned into thoughtlessness and faded away.



For a moment the atmosphere, with its subtle balance

of affirm and deny seemed to pause, or rather stall,

at the end of evening: as if brown tendrils trailing from

your deep eyes were holding it back; not a force but a

giving in to, in the same way the immemorial chatter of

life at some moment quiets quickly and dies, and the light

becomes a nerve gently touched, a reminder of favors

still to come but for the moment too weak to attract our

attention, let alone mesmerize. Even the wind is given

pause at the size of the ensuring silence, the very idea

of the season implied, coming so soon nuzzles the dry

fragile foliage feeling the warmth still held by its

hidden nests but climbing begins to shiver, reaching a

transitional state in which fear and delight are near allied

by this moment of their realization, holding just long

enough you are glad you had it, gladder it was an insight

and came to an end. And the darkness is suddenly, momentarily,

imagined as being composed of just such an immense

number of similar personal grottos each with their own

special traces of sacrifices to gods once worshipped there.



Moving away from the inspiring lookout to the dreary

plod of the hunt, my only points of reference minor ones,

instinctual compasses, those private spaces that build

round one and then encapsulate what were thought to be…

especially significant moments in equally special days,

so from within one or the other, I see the various

constellations gather round me like grand ruminants and

sometimes the cud of night they chew on seems like

destiny being digested at the end of time, the stars but

drops of spittle exactly like the dew in our night or even,

occasionally, suspended in huge consolidated drops of

silver rain, inflated by all their separate reflections to

achieve near moon-size, signaling the beginning of the

silence of the year’s last season, a teleologically pure

distillation of the fumes of essence released by evolution’s

long and involved tectonic chew on its cud – so nothing t

hat ever happened can be less  than it… is.

Nor for that matter, (appallingly, isn’t it?), more.



Nothing to say by saying that, that there isn’t a kind of

bewilderingly… comfortable nostalgia residing at

the core of this silence in which all our most intimate

conversations seem to have taken place, showing the odd

linguistic need to make a similarly intimate and personal

dimension of terrestrial geometry, containing the sense

of the volatile, but only as a memory, the feeling you

yourself might have gone up in a single puff but the stars,

their sparks struck by night-flint, are never close to

strong enough to produce the flame that would accomplish it.

And the light they generate is more like the urgent whispering

of bees in their hives I hear as I pass: will the honey

made by my eyes be enough? For you? For me? For us?



A glow gathered in recollection, the events comprising

it considered separately, as besides the glow in the early

dark, there is also the light collected from the surf’s

gleaming points, meteor flashes, all those star sparks

echoed on various levels while night keeps obsessively

working on its final, definitive dark. At some moment

everyone seems his destiny as glorious, frequently

adding details, only his god would know, to his privately

constellated sky and using that to claim a momentary sense

of falling into paradise! As if the version of ourselves we

are provided with never has enough alternative venues to

keep us from falsely focusing on the “purity” of eternity!

The surf-foaming beach looks in its self-generated light like

a widening margin on a lessening page, the sea sweeping along

it like a line of the finest most natural penmanship, the words

erasing themselves as quickly and fluently as they were written,

ready to repeat the exercise endlessly -- if the endless was made of time.



Enticed to move on only because I know there is a danger

in this longing to stay, giving myself purpose by counting

the steps into the present, and wondering how many I

already missed and if they could be considered a base;

what am I counting for (on?), what number do I finally expect

to get? No longer looking for new experiences because the

unfinished structure of my life can only take so many new

additions before it collapses, but needs to be better kept up for

that moment when we finally call it home. Not experience,

then, but what’s imagined is keeping us here, and how it is

constantly left behind; not the number, then, but the

“creative” way in which we must finally figure out what it is.



Which brings me back (did I ever leave?) to that suggestive

inner brown of your blue eyes, all they meant then, or

might have; imagine them even more valuable to me

than they are now, with their warmth, with the quintessence

of vision I’ve come to depend on, glimpsed there inside,

even though in the end it too proved helpless against

the swift darker currents that we are all eventually caught

up in and swept out… but you had no desire to move to

that rhythm, to take that chance, tapering you focus to

accommodate only those parts of the landscape that

interested you then, human or natural, amiable or cranky,

passionately embraced, or as suddenly withdrawn from

into the self-composed vistas that have yet to impinge

directly on any world, whether by chance involved

with the cliff’s demolition while still far out to sea or

honing even further the subtle monotones of a deer’s vision –

this poem is to meant to tell you as clearly as I can that

I always took you…at your word, if for no other reason

that when I read it later, time-shifted, like all things become,

it will be neither your blue eyes not nor their brown-

flecked interior that will sustain me but rather the strength

drawn from the deeper reserves of what they were looking at!