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Walter Ruhlmann Picture

More islands to visit,
more continents to conquer,
even more men to undo,
cheers, and greetings, and hi's on a screen of mercy,
a monitor of lust, typing short text messages to arouse them,


                 from The World Map by Walter Ruhlmann






    1. We Will Be Moles
    2. A Reminiscence from No Past of Mine
    3. Castrated Couple
    4. Sapiens Sucks II
    5. To Be a Tree
    6. Yellow Wipe
    7. Obfuscating Windows
    8. Panting
    9. The World Map
    10. Sapiens Sucks




1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Walter Ruhlmann


Walter Ruhlmann works as an English teacher, edits Datura, Beakful and Urtica. He has published twenty-three 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





We Will Be Moles

Not so much the screens we are stuck to,
or the phones stitched to our hands,
they even thought reading or studying
too long could be the wrong that blinds us slowly.

Sugar, diabetes, something in the food again:
maybe colourants, preservatives, any additives;
or something in the air: nitrogen, carbon, uranium.
A new form of cancer, a genetic disease…

No! The reason we go blind lies in our indoor pleasures:
the lack of fresh air, the lack of sunlight.
Not only social tools desocialize us strongly
but those games, and tv, and agoraphobia,

or the fright of abduction, of drowning, of falling
down bring us underground, like earthworms,
creepy creatures burrowing through the dirt,
the absolute darkness. Humans will turn into moles.

A Reminiscence from No Past of Mine

To meet that woman in a place
where duty, hard-labour,
grease and metal mix

To talk to that woman in a car,
driving on the country road,
verdigris Jerries and Krauts
after her.

To strongly doubt her story,
to fall in love anyway,
but wanting strongly to protect
my brother.

To kiss that woman in a field
as the soldiers chased after us,
arrested us, mistreated, tortured
me not her.

To learn she knew the colonel,
to learn she used me to free
her husband, help the partisans
who trusted her.

To miss that woman while in jail,
in a camp far from France;
to learn my brother died
with fetters.

To come back from the camp,
to find out she got pregnant
after the only night I had spent
inside her.

Castrated Couple

You never thought the feline world would enter your own:
the hair fluffs on the floor, rolling like fast lizards chased down
by the cats you think you own but own you instead, live there,
in the house you pay the rent for. They occupy your area.
The bites you buy for them sometimes roll off the plate
set down on the mat next to the oven in the kitchen.

Two of them lie on the sofa all day-long after their nights out,
cuddle up, nestle, curl up one against the other, like lovers.
They fondle each other with their tail, ears, paws,
lick each other’s head, hair, heavy with agony and despair
since sterilized, their seeming love for one another
shall remain platonic forever.

Sapiens Sucks II
translated from the French

Was this flabby, moist thing necessary?
Impossible to touch unless it dies,
impossible to grasp unless it slips?

To fail to believe again and, often,
to imagine the sponge – the self-conscience:
it sure breathes an opaque content into

Crouching under a pine tree,
where he chips off fruits,
lost, naked, frozen to the bone.

The mountain, an uncertain shelter,
a grieving haven, soon whitened
and thick
so much it is vomited

on the meandering paths going down upstream
the rivers, the flows, bubbling,
superfluous, their floods sticky and dull.

The indescribable smells,
the ski rallies, the sluggish slaloms,
a cry echoes the strong stink,
a dreary howl coming from the dawns
of the last human
sapiens sucks!

To Be a Tree

To be a tree,
to be contemplative and free,
centenary, millenary,
branches spreading all over,
leaves in the wind in Spring,
on the ground when Fall shows up.

Ants around climb up the trunk
where lovers carved hearts,
initials; perverts obscene signs,
vile hieroglyphs, scratching
the bark with dented knives,
oxidized blades, rusted and red.

Birds rest at night,
they nestle on the highest branches
where cats or kids can’t catch
the eggs, the chicks, nothing.
They leave feathers mixed with guano
on the space where they learnt to fly
or fall and die – short-living thing.

Water comes missing soon:
dry soil, scorching heat, blazing sun
before the end some lumber
comes this way to saw
the majestic king of the place.
Perhaps for fire, perhaps for a house,
whichever for their own pleasure.

Yellow Wipe

Wet and sticky, lying on the window sill
above the sink, what story can you tell
me in this morning after delusion,
when the fog has invaded the valley,
the lounge, the eyes even wetter and stickier
from lust watched over all night at a strange pace
just to sound the silence of the mountain.

Spilled coffee on the table, honey drops
on the floor, maybe cigarette ashes on the
desk, stains from last year collapse, clean
the place with this skill of yours – not much
though to perform. Clear away the dirt, wipe
the clutters of soil, the melting snow evaporating,
the foul mouth darting words of affliction.


It is that time of the day again.
The time has come when this is getting blank.
Some giant spider covers the land,
it jerks and acts
as if a magnificent mountain collapsed,
rocks stumble and roll,
dusk unfolds as a cloth over them,
gorgeous fabric, awesomely lush.

That time is repeating today.
Voices unheard for too long,
never heard in daylight anyway:
the valley surrounded by the walls,
palisades prevent echoes, don't they?
Those voices you dreaded
as much as you longed for, they are back,
invading the hush, disturbing the joyful thaw.


It felt like the sky would freeze,
a single sneeze would fracture it,
blue glass shatters and falls all over the place –
translucent debris.

Eavesdropping on the heavens, we feel doomed
when no one here can handle the hum
coming from above – though shallow and dim
yet implacable.

The shelter in the shadow of the mountains
resembles any homes, absolves the sins
characteristic of the people around here –
insatiable loons.

The World Map

Those remote places swell
unlike the rest of the land
to dwell, or rest forever
in a shell shock state

The falling skies thundered,
slowing the risky leaps, although
not killing it, she sings.

The wall in front of me as I'm watching over them,
white as purity, brightens the day, yet, ruthlessly,
the fantasies come back in a dash of hanger,
or desire to push me against higher ramparts.

She sings still,
sitting on a dark stool of thorns;
no bruises left on her thighs though.

More islands to visit,
more continents to conquer,
even more men to undo,
cheers, and greetings, and hi's on a screen of mercy,
a monitor of lust, typing short text messages to arouse them,
then showing off in front of the camera:
a blinking eye like the map pinned on this white wall,
another hole into nothingness,
another window on the outside,
another world to possess
sucking me in the most terrible acts of treason,
tactless passions leading once more to lands of oblivion.

Sapiens Sucks

To disconnect oneself,
to unwire from all the mass movements,
hysterical people made more hysterical
by the atrocities, the blood-filled images
spilling over from the boxes, the overloaded screens.

To enter blunt dumbness,
no matter what happens.
To unplug from the sound, the noise rather;
razor-like screams of children being torn apart,
women raped and men beheaded
by pigs whose silvery, sharp teeth penetrate
the human mind, the fandango.

To switch off the wide eye,
any blinking eyes blinded by purple lids,
liquid hums, snow flakes melting
on the carpet stained with tea,
semen maybe, an orgasmic mayhem.

To cherish these moments:
sofa crouching,
bed burrowing,
cat purring on the laps,
laptop off, folded back to its lair.

To forget existence, others' work or worries,
only mooning over the Earth,
the large crust ball formed then deformed,
through the geological epochs.

To feel the blows of a comet,
another gamma ray outburst,
the billion miles, the trillion stars
out of reach, under this bruised skin,
concealed deep in these tar-coated lungs.




Sapiens Sucks II
French version published in Civilisé –Urtica, 2017

Yellow Wipe
The World Map
Sapiens Sucks

These five poems are taken from Fandango – Urtica, 2018.
“Sapiens Sucks” was first published in Nude Bruce Review, issue 5, August 2015.


4 - Afterword

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