Monday, May 14, 2012

Charles Rammelkamp


When Nicole came out
she nearly took my new-father breath away
she was so ugly:
rat-like B-B eyes,
mouth twisted in a melted-plastic slur,
nose a potato-swollen snout,
cheeks like burned cookie dough,
and hair all over everything,
as if something sprinkled
over a dish of ice cream.

This couldn't be my child.
I was a handsome man
from a long line of handsome people.

I'm no Othello,
but I do have my suspicions.
Tina swore up and down
she’d been faithful to me
since more than a year
before we married,
and that was way back
in the last century.

Still, it came out
she'd had plastic surgery
before we met each other.
She'd been ugly as a wolverine—
just like our little Nicole.

I divorced the bitch.
Now I’m suing her for fraud.

Charles reads "Genes Don't Lie":

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Charles confesses: "'Genes Don't Lie' is based on a radio news story about a man who learned, after he'd married, that his bride had had a boob job and he was divorcing her and suing her for misrepresenting herself. Sometimes I wonder if these stories are made up in the newsroom."

CHARLES RAMMELKAMP lives in Baltimore and edits the online journal, The Potomac. In 2012 Time Being Books will publish his collection Fusen Bakudan involving missionaries during the Vietnam war, and a chapbook of poems entitled Mixed Signals is forthcoming from MuscleHead Press.


Dorothy James said...

I read this poem this morning and have been trying to forget it ever since, to get the terrible image out of my mind, not the image of the poor child, but of the father's extreme cruelty. Since I cannot forget it, does this mean it is a good poem? It is certainly a strong one. It raises a question for me that often bothers me: Why do we write about crime, about cruelty, and imprint images on people's minds that they then have to live with, like it or not.

Gerald So said...

It's a constant question of mine, too, Dorothy. In many cases, I think writers chose crime as a subject because they can't forget it any more than readers can. Writing and reading help us come to grips with the reality of crime.

Ryn Gargulinski said...

you continue to delight - as always!

Kelly Cherry said...

Wonderfully funny.

fieldinski said...

charles rammelkamp likes to play the badass character in his writing. but he's really a cuddly bunny. i think it's good to 'stretch the instrument' as my stanislavski acting teacher used to advise. in both senses. keep up the good work -- it's good for the hormones!