Monday, October 12, 2020

Charles Rammelkamp


Getting ready for bed,
I mentioned to my wife
a newspaper story I’d read that day.
The weirdness of the world around us.

“The cops tossed this 82-year old guy,
a former Boy Scout leader,
into an Annapolis jail cell
for taking pictures
of a nine-year old girl.”

“Explicit nude photos?” she demanded,
as if an accusation.

“Paper didn’t say, but I assume so.
The photo clerk at Wal-Mart
tipped the cops off
when he processed the guy’s film.
The pictures were taken
right there in the Wal-Mart parking lot.”

“How’d they know that?”

“Paper didn’t say.
Maybe you could see the storefront
through the van windows
where he shot the pictures.
The guy swore he didn’t think
he’d done anything wrong.”

“What did the pictures show?”

“Paper didn’t say.”
I watched her eyes harden
as the unwanted images
flitted into her imagination
as if on the wings of vampire bats.
I didn’t ask her what she saw.

Charles reads "Unanswered Unasked Questions":

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Charles confesses: "I’m always weirded out by stories like these in the newspapers, which are always so “discreet” they only get your imagination going about the salient details. “Some of the language may be disturbing,” the public radio announcer warns, introducing some salacious, racist, crude or creepy story. No shit!"

CHARLES RAMMELKAMP is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore and Reviews Editor for The Adirondack Review. A collection of poems about Rasputin and Russia in the 20th century, Catastroika, was published in May by Apprentice House, and another, Ugler Lee, has just been published by Kelsay Books.

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