Alive, Today, Again! Poems and Lyric Essays from the Middlelands by Kimberly Ramos

2022 Flume Press Chapbook Contest (Runner Up)

Alive, Today, Again! Poems and Lyric Essays from the Middlelands dazzles and bites through Kimberly Ramos’ experiences of the past, present, and future in rural America. Interspersed with moments of tenderness, fear, and desperation, Alive, Today. Again! is a stand-out hybrid collection that supersedes borders and explores the Asian American identity in Kimberly Ramos’s cinching, unmistakable voice.

From our contest judge, José Antonio Rodríguez: “Sometimes lyric essay, sometimes prose poem, sometimes verse, this collection plays with form to imagine the histories of white and Asian that shaped the biracial speaker’s sense of place and displacement. In referencing Filipino folklore, American pop culture, and family history, the poems here reach out as both celebration and inquiry. In the penultimate poem, the speaker imagines herself fossilized and then unearthed in the distant future, thus rising above the particulars to offer the reader an expansive view of the relationship between the individual and the imagined community.”

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Kimberly Ramos is a rabbit in giant’s clothing. They are continually pulled back to their birthplace in Southern Missouri, though they currently reside in Providence, Rhode Island, as a graduate student of philosophy at Brown University. Before pursuing their PhD, they earned a BA in Philosophy and a BFA in Creative Writing from Truman State University. They are also the author of the chapbook The Beginner’s Guide to Minor Gods and Other Small Spirits published by Unsolicited Press. They served as the Managing Editor of the 2022-2023 lineup of CLASH!, an Imprint of Mouthfeel Press. They dream of becoming a cryptid and haunting the Midwest.

Ode to the &

for mixed kids

even the name
sounds musical, three-syllable
conducted by the devil-points
of my half-tongue—

i am fur & feather &
salt & sugar & blood & bloodletter,
orange & flower & gold & digger
& space & smother, holding
thrice as much

per hand these days, my arms
blissful in their burden,
ghost & devil & glass
& shadow & bone & sorrow,
song & chant & boulder &

sand, let me loose to the fields
crying &, &, &,
arms pinwheeling, skirt fluttering
over my unshaven legs—
this body a multitude, as are you

& you
& you
& you

Readers of Alive, Today, Again! may also be fans of:

Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzladúa

Soft Science by Franny Choi

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Apocalypse Darling by Barrie Jean Borich 

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui