“Feem nwah,” Larry muttered,
as if uttering sacred words,
his tone hushed,
as though in a church –
or in a movie theater.
A lonely middle-aged guy who spent his evenings
alone in the repertory cinemas
in Coolidge Corner or Harvard Square,
Larry fashioned a purpose from his hobby,
a cult for one, conjuring metaphysics
like a chef a soufflé from eggs and air.
The best of the zhahn?” he francofied,
“Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past.
Robert Mitchum’s superb as Jeff Bailey,
and Jane Greer’s Kathie Moffat?
Say Magneefeek!” He kissed his fingers,
blew it into the air.
At the break table in the cafeteria,
while Larry rhapsodized,
one by one we left him
for invented meetings, sudden deadlines.
His landlord found Larry’s body
three days after he’d died.
We all felt guilty, yes,
but what could we have done?
Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, where he lives and Reviews Editor for Adirondack Review. His most recent books include American Zeitgeist (Apprentice House) and a chapbook, Jack Tar’s Lady Parts (Main Street Rag Press). Another poetry chapbook, Me and Sal Paradise, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.