Open Wide: The Poetry of Peter Ramos

by Out of Dust

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about

Open Wide by Out of Dust -A compilation of songs containing the spoken word poems of Peter Ramos. Peter is a long time friend, drummer, and associate professor of American literature at Buffalo State College. The poems selected derive from two of Peter's published works: Television Snow (Back Pages Books, 2014) and Please Don't Feed The Ghost (BlazeVox Books, 2008). Gritty and honest--these poems range in topic from coming of age in the urban 1980s to the mysterious natural world as perceived by youth. Questioning the order of things, confessing the sweaty sins of us all, Peter Ramos champions the hidden beauty of the small and ordinary.
Just as Out of Dust seeks to capture the purity of the moment through live composition, so too Peter Ramos has captured vivid snapshots of the sublime and simple. He is the honesty of a generation-- spilling guts for all to see.

credits

released July 22, 2015

Garry Lindon- fretless bass
Mark Elshout - saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba
Jesse Forest- guitar
James Barrett- trumpet, flugel horn, recorder, melodica
Eric Wiegmann- drums, spoken word
Peter Ramos- poetry
Garry Lindon mixing, master engineering editing.
Eric Wiegmann/ Mark Elshout- assistant producers
Album cover- Eric Wiegmann
Loopline Records 2015
Osaka, Japan

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Gakudan Hige Danshaku Osaka, Japan

Hazukashi Studios Kyoto Japan
Loopline Records Osaka, Japan

Representing:
Out of Dust
Urban Trio
Global Quintet
Gakudan Hige DanShaku

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Track Name: The Sleeping Man
Night Gown
“Ethics is metaphysically prior to ontology”—E. Levinas


The sleeping man hears two voices: one,
small and calling from a great depth.
What the sleeping man once did
to rise among the working
and thinking does him no good. Now
the voice returns,
warbling,

as under water. His rain spirit
come again,
ignorant, insistent.
Its wish—
sink down to moss. Rock.
To origins of salt. His mother

used to take him from sleep
like this. He’d cling and cling.
She pulled him through, wrenching him
out of that lovely dark deep.

The sleeping man, waking, listens
to both voices. Uneasy,
he rises in a day
filled with prickly light.
Track Name: Defacing the Page
History


By the X-ing light
covered with rust, what’s left

of the brakeman-shack
lingers a moment,

weathered, worn down to dull
silver paper on which—lick me

or Todd + Becky Forever—children
take their turns

defacing the page, making it
more itself than ever.
Track Name: Humidity
By Peter Ramos
Please Do Not Feed the Ghost
"Pornography"


The hornet crawls in
through the open window.

I’m always home. All day
it skitters and knocks

beneath a bright ceiling
until the fountain stops

falling or I quit
trying to word it.
Track Name: Ten cent shots- alternate mix
"John Berryman in my Dreams" by Peter Ramos
Please Do Not Feed the Ghost

Blacking out in some basement café, crowded
And alone in the sad mid century, I come back & go on
Hunting powder-puff angels, the pan-caked faces

Under bangs cut straight, the puckered mouths wet
With lipstick. Then do I move through night, glass
After each empty glass—am I all right?

Sure be: Henry's famous, even hip.
The kids pick me out in the dimmest bars
Or slopping late in the Chinese joints

Of Boston, on the make. It's always time
To get stuffed. Here's the edge of awake—
Cocktails, pack of matches, somebody's face

Watery-familiar. Hi there, stranger.
Here's to being up for something beautiful,
Regrettable and sore.
Track Name: Uncle Jack- dope mix
Polaroid

"Polaroid" by: Peter Ramos
Please Do Not Feed the Ghost

Uncle Jack—
a month before the accident, standing
in his bedroom slippers by the green carport
in late April. He’d been married a year

in which he perfected his swing,
poured himself highballs
and busted his thumb
while plumbing. So there

he’d say and says it here
with his grinning mug—just behind him
the great magnolia, his last, blooming
white as a Cadillac,
red as a Miami burn, pink
as a pin-up’s nipples.
Track Name: See if You Can Look Away
Peter Ramos
"Into the Mystic"
Television Snow



Torn, caked and stuck together, those pictures—too loud to breathe easily around—
put a stop to us, gently pulling each one out of his childhood, as from a molting
or a glove. We stared for hours, feeling sour-bellied and dizzy, something like sadness but twisted, electric. Trees rose up and up beside us to their leafy, sunblown ceiling. Looking carefully by their gouty roots you’d have seen puffballs and earthstars or stinkhorns thrusting up from the loam. A biologist would find diatoms and water-blooms drifting over the silt. Not us. Even the birdsong and creek-murmur ceased. Shadows lengthened, the world was new. Go back there yourself: see if you can look away.
Track Name: Dust Between Us
Me and Old Robert McGee
—for Joe Wenderoth


I am driving through town
past the redbuds, open finally
in filthy East Baltimore.
The sun, when it bothers to show up,
even late, as now, floods, doesn’t it
swaddle us each, this girlish afternoon light?
And just as from my radio Janis Joplin
screams herself hoarse about feeling good
being good enough—gooseflesh rising at the thought
of everything having to end—now
an elderly gentleman, clearly retired,
spittle stringing from his chin, gets up
from his lawn chair to give me the finger.

The green glass
dust between and all around us
is also too brilliant,
too excruciating to overlook.