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Walter Ruhlman
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Outing

by Walter Ruhlman



The parking lot was dim and the street lamps shaded by trees,
the outlines of the castle—imposing its hugeness—an uncanny décor.

After a day at work
baking pizza
peeling apples
or cooking beef
breathing fresh air, smoking a fag on the ramparts while the cruising ghostly figures passed by, became something I could not do without.

One night the devil cast his shadow over there
and sent one of his cruellest whores:
a white hustler, Italian-like, some brown-haired sprite.

He lived nearby and I made out he was married:
another so-called bisexual,
a fake straight guy demanding fun.

We fucked
but I mistook his intentions and as I left, I noted his address.
It was easy then to find out his phone number— yet another shameful secret.

I rang him once, the answering machine broadcast a female voice.
I left a word, like “Hey! Mate! Remember me, my ass, my dick, my eyes?”

Some time later coming from work I heard my mother calling me.
The bastard had sent an anonymous letter to my father.
A press clip showing his only true son surrounded by fat dykes and puffs.
I had also been interviewed to share my views on the advances of the queers.

No denial
no tears, no cries, only low eyes in the morning, no one ever talked about it.
Two months later, England became my new shelter.


Many Surprises

 

by Walter Ruhlmann

 

 

Huts built on black sand,

the volcano is a giant,

it steps inside my heart and

shakes its feathers above my hands.

 

I recognized traits of the stark

farces on its face, sparkling.

It's crippled and it's dark,

it bears deep ageing marks,

unmistakably a mask.

 

Suddenly they come in

stepping out of the books

Aunt Consuelo, Evelyne,

The Lady of Shalott and Zelda.

 

The ladies – wide-eyed –

mouth gaped – are as puzzled as I

can't believe my eyes;

I kneel down and cry.




In Another Waiting Room

 

by Walter Ruhlmann

 

 

In the sheltering place I hate to dwell in,

lost on the banks of the Loire river,

the flows are unsafe,

the waters troubled,

icy, wintry air, sun rays above all.

 

I rang at Hardy's door.

Not the British counterpart of Laurel of course – the time

shifted from this point.

I kept no one else's appointment but mine

for I needed more pills to cure the nightmarish gaps

night knights and knives had carved in this damaged brain of mine –

I had to avoid suicide.

 

I laurel this room for its safeness

and quietness,

the light,

the whiteness,

the space –

frames and spaces follow me everywhere,

even in hell

or on the benches where I sat listening,

dreaming, exercising, contemplating

Bishop's art of drawing

maps and landscapes.

 

That morning I sat on another bench,

in another waiting room,

waiting for Hardy to come in

and ring my bell, remind me of the hell,

cure me from mental hay

fever and send away all disarray.

I sat opposite this painting

by Russian-French artist Sonia Delaunay – Long Journeys.

 

Colours and shapes, round and vivid, bright, dazzling,

all these effects drove me back to this place

loophole dreamt – hell hole lived – I even recognized

on the right-hand side

a woman wearing saluvas... red-striped like Sandia's.

 

Four panels divide the canvas where variegated ghosts

shake hands, dance, pray or swim,

eat papaya, sweets and pizza in the shades of an umbrella.

 

Through the window I watched magpies fly

from tree to tree, in search of food, probably.

The magpies back there feast on chelonian offsprings

as they sprout from Saziley.

 

I watched this leafless tree reminding me of the nervous human system.

Mine is a battle field, a war HQ, a shadow cabinet, a closet where dreams and nightmares copulate.

I watched the roof tops and the tree set on this March morning blue sky,

its clear, light blue lagoon shades invited me once more to dive

in the depths of navy blue memories

darkening my thoughts,

opening my mouth,

starting my youth,

peeling me out.

 

The heating system started,

I was still staring at the sky

and in a start watched the closet hiding the beast.

The flame trembling – I could hear it – would lick the erected hair on my arm:

this limb never produces any harm, resting softly and bare on the arm of the chair,

cherishing the feel of the plastic surface.

 

Hardy came in, my arm lifted me up, and stretched out towards the doctor's hand.

I sat on the opposite chair. He waited for my words to come out.

He expected me to hand him my SS card.

I could still see Sonia Delaunay's art.

Master of painters in my heart.

Maore let me breathe now.

Let me forget you.

Let me live.

Let loose.

Leave

me a

lone.

Innocent Blood

 

for Marlene T.

 

by Walter Ruhlmann

 

 

She makes me think of a bird:

not one with wide wings

spanning yards when it flies.

No. She hides behind her books

and she looks like a sparrow,

a robin or a swift.

She knows when seasons shift,

when time has come to play dead

or imagine the tide

invading her brain or flooding her heart.

 

We met through shorts and lines,

it was in Spring maybe,

this is not so clear now.

She came covered in snow,

she had written something on the back of her hands,

under her blue eyelids,

she had strange eyelashes.

 

She knows how to seduce me with words,

all these precious gems she affords.

 

Lately, the dark rhymes she sent

pierced my soul, deeper than expected,

recent feeling I resented feeling.

I don't blame her for that

she only shared her art

masterly crafted, issued from the tips

of her fingers, from the depths

of her spirits and from the strength

of her rage.

 

 

 

Walter Ruhlmann works as an English teacher, edits Datura, Beakful and Urtica. He has published close to thirty chapbooks and poetry collections both in French and English, and hundreds of poems worldwide. His blogs http://thenightorchid.blogspot.fr/ and https://nightorchidsselectedpoems.blogspot.com/

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