Captivating Illustrations Illuminate Poems in ‘Uhaul’

By Shea Bove

Illustration by Sara Tolbert from “Uhaul”

“Uhaul: A Collection of Lesbian Love Poems,” written by Emily Ramser and illustrated by Sara Tolbert embraces the idea of capturing written words through forms of illustration.

With the twelve poems that make up this chapbook, only five illustrations accompany certain poems. As I read through the twelve poems, I found myself wishing that I could see an accompanying illustration like I had with only a select few; however, as I went back and reread the poems once more, I began to visualize an illustration out of the words written on the page. Ramser’s poems showcase a simplistic and easy flow that attracts the attention of the reader. The reader is able to follow Ramser’s train of thought and create a visualization that is unique to one’s own interpretation of the poems.

The poems themselves profess their love for a certain individual through different specific details about this individual. “The Day I Spoke to Your Gray Hair” gives a name to a strand of gray hair that seems rather enticing to the narrator. Humor winds around the lines of this particular poem and leaves the reader wondering why the narrator chose to name this specific strand of hair George.

My personal favorite is a poem titled “Gardening in the Flesh.” This poem describes the hand of a lover and the plant that can be found growing out of that loving hand. Found in the middle of the twelve poems, this particular poem is accompanied by a simplistic yet enchanting drawing of a woman holding a bouquet of flowers.

The words that flow throughout the chapbook are obviously personal and specifically relevant to the narrator; however, the lines do not entirely loose their sense of relatability. They allow the audience to add their own interpretations and connect to each poem differently. Whether one relates to the idea that green bean casserole is only acceptable if it is made by mom or the declaration of love that is losing an arm for a partner the declaration of love that is stating that one is willing to give up one’s arm for the sake one’s partner, there are moments where the reader could find connections to the poem and to the narrator.

“Uhaul: A Collection of Lesbian Love Poems” was recently published by Weasel Press this fall. Those who have any questions about the publication or where to purchase a copy can contact Emily Ramser at emily.ramser@salem.edu.

“Queer”

By Emily Ramser

I met a girl

with “queer”

tattooed across her abdomen,

and when I drug my fingers across it,

she asked me if I was a lesbian,

and I gagged on my tongue

when I tried to say no

because I’ve been writing all these poems

about caressing your hipbones

and cheekbones,

so instead I asked her

to stick and poke a new tattoo

across my collarbones,

and so she licked me

and bit me,

leaving a hickie

in the shape of your heart

on my breast.

Other Books by Emily Ramser

Toast is Just Bread That Put Up a Fight

ISBN-13: 978-0692265680

I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me

ISBN-13: 978-0692370537

Conjuring Her

ISBN-13: 978-0692481530

http://www.authoremilyramser.wordpress.com

Email:

emily.r.ramser@gmail.com

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