Lauri Ramey
Lauri Ramey joined the CSULA faculty in 2004, serving as founding Director of the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics. Her previous appointments have included serving as founding Curator of the nation's first African American Poetry Archive at Hampton University, and founding Director of the UK's first BA Creative Writing Program at the University of Bedfordshire (UK). She frequently publishes academic and creative writing nationally and internationally in journals including Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, Wasafiri, JAAR and Textual Practice, and in reference resources including Dictionary of Literary Biography and Cambridge History of American Poetry. Her books, which have received and been nominated for several major national awards, include Slave Songs and the Birth of African American Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Black British Writing with R. Victoria Arana (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), The Heritage Series of Black Poetry, 1962-1975: A Research Compendium (Ashgate, 2008), and Every Goodbye Ain't Gone with Aldon Lynn Nielsen (University of Alabama Press, 2006). What I Say with Aldon Lynn Nielsen will be published by University of Alabama Press in late 2012. She is currently writing A History of African American Poetry, under contract to Cambridge University Press, the first 400-year history of the genre.

Blended Space: Absence With Drums

Like the breath you left someplace. Cage a sound now. Statement
of your boy's bones, an interesting wrist cliche. Fourteen bars
by sea, or twenty-four waves of sleep. The air seeps out from me.
Instrumental progress makes bodies march. This imaginary rose curls as it opens.

my varied composers, my mass sonorities, my line which erases

Evenings rinse the chimneys. The operations involved for things. Bricks and
skins, inert activity, we do need to put. Without the body we rest, and the hair
scrapped in piles. We are proud of this mortar ambivalence, this tight
long discard we've outgrown. Groom that rectangular self out of proportion.

the tools of the body's loaves, the earth's tools we return to use

Subparagraph the tapping. Take another tack. Can priests
prepare our stomachs any longer? This is not our history, like the builder
or the barber. The 'getting later of everything.' Ping-pong or post-coitus.
Past Orbital Relief Road, the breeze twists its fingers.

pause voice pause

Imagine the plantation, the R in relief. He holds a graffitied sweatshirt
in his hand. After weeks, she is all worked up. Protect this old food.
It was never any good. Spaces are built by rhythmic lungs. This box
you could curl in for sleep. Bend in the window for a real good hush.

semantic snares of the cyclic, map of pitch-time events

The horizon bleaches at its spine. The hay beneath him. So she runs to the
illumination. Anchored by its gears. I must decipher my curving skull's order.
Corners revolve away. Each word the empty space that encases it.
If you keep up that rhythm. Bucket her tiny influence. The silence that ensues.
These sounds have been recorded and unfold, unfold, unfold.

2012 Lauri Ramey
Lauri Ramey was a Featured Poet who read her poetry at the October 2012 Second Sunday Poetry Series