Charles Rammelkamp lives in Baltimore, Maryland. He edits the online journal, The Potomac, http://thepotomacjournal.com. In 2012, Time Being Books is publishing his poetry collection, “Fusen Bakudan”, about missionaries in a leper colony in Vietnam during the war.
Instant Karma’s Gonna Get You
“If there’s such a thing as reincarnation,”
Nick joked in the locker room,
“I hope I come back
as a blond with big tits.”
We’d just been talking about the scandal
that turned the local gossip mill over the weekend.
The young trophy wife whose husband,
the CEO of something-or-other,
a man thirty years her senior,
had caught her in bed
with his daughter’s boyfriend.
Of course, she’d get the house,
get the settlement,
probably get the daughter’s boyfriend
if she wanted him.
Nick continued: “I mean, man!
Talk about a stacked deck,
pardon the pun.
I just hope,
if I do come back
with Queen of Swords bazooms
and ski-slope curves,
I’ll know how to play my cards.”
“Reuben says we’re ‘bashert,’” Amy sighed,
scrunching up her fingers into air quotes.
“Uh-oh,” Rachel agreed,
shaking her head in sympathy.
“It’s like he just discovered the word,
and he’s bludgeoning me with it,
like a cop beating a black man
with a billyclub.”
“You’re his destiny,” Rachel shuddered, sarcastic,
“Divinely foreordained soulmates.”
“He doesn’t have a sense of boundaries.
He even boasted he doesn’t know
where he ends and I begin.
Oy, I sure do.
Sometimes he sounds psycho,
even though I know
he’s going for that romantic-mystical angle.”
“Does he get physical?”
“I wish that’s all it was.
He’s not a bad lover.”
Movies You Must See Before You Die
“Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face.” – Singin’ in the Rain
To ring out the old year, usher in the new,
we watched Singin’ in the Rain again,
in tribute to Debbie Reynolds,
dead only a day after her daughter.
She was only nineteen,
living with her parents,
when she was cast as Kathy Selden.
But it was the uncredited actor
whose face fills the screen,
shouting, Zelda!” with a fan’s hysterical devotion
at Rita Moreno at the premiere of The Royal Rascal
that opens the movie that snared my imagination
the first time I saw it.
That and the girl in the movie theater
marveling at Jean Hagan’s Lina Lamont,
“She’s so refined,
I think I’ll kill myself.”
“Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Moses Supposes,” “Good Morning,” “Beautiful Girl”:
all those great musical numbers,
not to mention the title song.
Such a mixture of sadness and hope
at the end of any year,
so much regret, so much promise.
The year my last brother died.
The year my first grandchild was born.
So – here’s to a new year ahead.
But, much as I admired Carrie Fisher,
I think I’ll skip the new Star Wars movie.
Space drama’s just not my style;
I’m more about the fantasy of eternal life.
Alexander Berkman: Deported by God
The night of our farewell banquet in Chicago,
before Emma Goldman and I were expelled
from the country, the end of 1919,
that capitalist monster Henry Clay Frick died,
a heart attack in New York City.
I’d spent fourteen years in prison
for shooting him twice, stabbing him,
after his Pinkerton goons killed
nine miners in the Pennsylvania Homestead Strike.
I’d gone after him in his office in Pittsburgh,
Got off two shots with my revolver
before that other Carnegie pig Leishman
grabbed my arm, the two of them
wrestling me to the ground,
which was when I stabbed Frick four times.
Then the other Carnegie poltroons overwhelmed me.
After I was pardoned in 1906,
I edited Emma’s Mother Earth
eight years before I started The Blast.
But then they sentenced Emma and me
to two years for “conspiracy” against the draft,
that traitor Wilson having given in to the war mongers.
But it was unconstitutional, no matter
what those Supreme Court stooges ruled.
And the minute we’re released from prison?
They round us up and deport us to Russia.
So when I learned Frick had died,
I felt just a little vindicated,
like maybe there was some justice after all,
and when the reporter asked for a comment?
“I’m glad he left the country before me,”
was all I could say.
The bastard’d been deported by God.
“Even my mother thinks I’m on Captagon!” – Syrian jihadi’s Twitter lament
Bill always dreamed of being Audie Murphy,
though when he was drafted and sent to Vietnam
he saw himself played by James Mason
in the movie in his mind.
But those jungles! Those landmines! Those Viet Cong!
Who wouldn’t be scared out of his wits?
So he’d needed the speed, the Benzedrine,
and then afterwards the weed.
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