Charles Rammelkamp

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I Wanna Be Your Dog

After I began finding CBD offers
littered like mouse droppings all over my SPAM folder,
I started seeing ads everywhere.
What was it?
Cannabidiol comes from hemp.
It won’t get you high,
but it has therapeutic effects.

The most intriguing of the SPAM ads?
One for a mixture of coffee and CBD –
best of both worlds, sounded like.

So Sunday I’m at the Farmer’s Market
where I see a booth offering CBD products.
I stop to browse.
“CBD dog treats” catches my eye.

The girl behind the display explains
the man who developed it had a Great Dane.
The dog got so stressed when his owner was gone,
tore up the furniture, mauled the shoes.

“Plus, a Great Dane,” the girl noted,
“very susceptible to hip dysplasia.
Inflammation of the hip joint ball and socket.
Very painful. So – now his dog sleeps all night,
and the furniture and shoes aren’t ripped to shreds!”

“What would happen if a human
ate one of the dog biscuits?”

But she only smiled at me,
not sure if I was joking.

The Good Friday Experiment

Those years I went to grad school,
worked at BU, rented apartments
on Bay State Road, walked up and down
Commonwealth Avenue, past all
the university buildings, Mugar Library,
the law school, the campus
strung out along the Charles River,
catching a green line train
on my way downtown or out to Brookline,
I never knew
about the Good Friday Experiment
that had occurred in Marsh Chapel,
just a dozen years before.

A Harvard graduate student, Walter Pahnke,
working on his Ph.D. dissertation under Tim Leary,
gave capsules to twenty divinity students,
half with niacin, half with psilocybin,
during a Good Friday service at Marsh Chapel.
Didn’t take long to know which was which.
“God is everywhere!”  declared one of the zonked.
“Oh the glory!” another proclaimed.
Yet another fled the chapel
where they commemorated Christ’s crucifixion,
dashed down Commonwealth Avenue,
convinced God had chosen him
to announce the dawning of the Messianic Age.

My own experience at BU nowhere near as exciting.

And a Bag of Chips

“All I know is
Ben stopped having epileptic seizures
after he started taking CBD.
Nothing else helped.  Nothing!

“But the claims!
Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, PTSD?
Reverses depression, eases arthritic pain,
relieves menstrual cramps?
Prevents anxiety, calms household pets?”

“The molecules influence
human biochemical circuitry,
shield neurons from oxidative stress.
Whatever all that means.
All I know,
our son Ben’s stopped seizing.”

“CBD-infused beer, gummies,
chocolates, lotions, oils,
even vaginal suppositories.
Somebody’s making some money.”

“I know! I know!
But it works!
Bottom line, it really works!”

“I also heard it cures cancer.”


Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore. Two full-length collections were published in 2020, Catastroika, from Apprentice House, and Ugler Lee from Kelsay Books. A poetry chapbook, Mortal Coil, has just been published by Clare Songbirds Publishing.