Monday, September 7, 2015

Charles Rammelkamp- Three Poems


A chode is primarily described as a short and stubby penis, often wider than it is long.  A fool, a jerk.

Standing in line at Starbuck’s
I overheard the two girls talking.

“Vivian said he was a chode,”
the blond girl in running shorts shrugged.

“I didn’t get a good impression of him either,”
commented her Asian companion in the Stanford t-shirt.

A chode?
Whatever it was, it didn’t sound very flattering.
I paid for my latte and went out to my car..
The word bothered me all the way home.
I Googled it as soon as I got in.
A definition popped up in the urban dictionary.
So that’s a “chode”?

I wondered at the etymology of the term.
Polari slang dating back to the 1950’s,
the lingo of British circus performers,
sailors and prostitutes, gay subculture,
from a Hindi word for “fuck,”
brought to Britain via the Raj.
Not in the OED, of course –
except as the past tense of “chide.”

Who knew?

Save the Ta-Tas

“Whose car is that?”
Alicia pointed an accusing finger
at the Chevy Malibu squatting in its space.

“Mel Gillis’, I think,”
Clare muttered, glancing at the bumpersticker
in the company parking lot.

“Figures,” Alicia spat, disgusted.
“He’s always ogling women’s chests,
a shit-eating grin plastered on his face.”

“He probably thinks
that bumpersticker’s a real hoot.
Maybe it is,
for about thirty seconds.
Hope he’s embarrassed by it now.”

“Like waking up with a tattoo on your arm.
I wonder if the pink ribbon
means it’s official Susan G. Komen.”

“How’s your sister?” Clare asked,
climbing into the passenger side of Alicia’s Toyota.
“Has she finished the chemo treatments?”

Carpe Diem

OK, I admit it: My curiosity finally got the best of me,
after the daily barrage of spam offers
for  “gentleman enlargement pills,” cheap as chewing gum,
magic beans straight out of fairy tales,
a teenager’s wish-fulfillment dream.
So I sent away for some tablets. What was the harm?

I’d just crossed the border into old age,
now collecting Social Security:
You can call sixty the new forty,
but a pension still marks the boundary
between two lands: young and old.
Can you blame me for wanting to linger?

I popped one of those blue chalky ovals
as soon as they arrived,
not sure what to expect or what I’d do:
six years older than I,
my wife already shrugged me off
whenever I made overtures.

An hour later I felt old Rod strain at my trousers
like a dog on a leash,
frisky as a pup demanding to go for a run.
I touched the old guy through the cloth: like a rock.

Henrietta noticed too, a smile warping her mouth.
“Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket,
or are you just glad to see me?”
Her eyes twinkled, but she pushed me away
when I reached for her.

For the next nineteen hours I waited for the hard-on to subside,
looking at it from all angles:
the shaft arching like Greg Louganis in mid-dive,
thick and red as a sunburnt arm,
the head swollen as a ripe plum, ready to burst.

Yes, I was pleased, felt like Adonis,
Priapus, all the potency gods,
proud of my maypole.

But finally I got a little scared.
For one thing it was impossible to pee,
not just the angle but the constricted vessels
hurt sharp as a razor when I strained.

At last I drove to the emergency room,
embarrassed to have to tell the doctor.
I swear he bit his lips to keep from laughing,

They shot me up with powerful muscle relaxants,
like a wildebeest out on the Serengeti.
Finally it began to soften, deflate like a balloon,
and as Rod curled into a fetal cashew,
I waved a wistful goodbye to my youth.  

1 comment:

  1. I'm always grateful when a new word enters my vocabulary, though I'm sure "chode" will make it into a subsequent edition of the OED, which is pretty unflinching--an more easily updated now that it's available online. But the last one really got to me. Not just the wistful last line, either. Dude, you coulda DIED! Don't you listen to those commercials about "Call your doctor immediately if an erection lasts more than 6 hours"? Or you coulda gone blind. . .how ironic, that! (But seriously: Some guys get visual migraines, blind spots, etc., from those little pills.)