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Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic Library Narrations ~ Charles Rammelkamp

Syndic Narrations ~ The Art of the Spoken Word


Published by LeRoy Chatfield


~ Poet Charles Rammelkamp ~

Why write? It’s a question writers and philosophers have attempted to answer for generations. “Writing eases my suffering,” Gao Xingjian observes, “writing is my way of reaffirming my existence.” Flannery O’Connor declared, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say,” while George Orwell said he wrote “because there is some lie I want to expose.” “Writing is my way of expressing – and thereby eliminating – all the various ways we can be wrong-headed,” Zadie Smith has written.

All of these responses affirm my own take on the matter, that it’s a yearning of the heart, a need to clarify and confront one’s reality.  I’ve been writing all my life, fiction, poetry, essays, and also letters, emails, texts. Even graffiti! I’ve never really questioned why I do it. I do it because I must. It’s the publishing that’s the real challenge. Is what I write worthy of publication, valuable enough to  be shared? Writing is communication, after all, as well as “self-expression.” Will an editor find it worthy? Will a reader find it worth finishing, let alone starting?

I’ve also edited publications, have made the same decisions I ask of myself – is this communication worth publishing, does it merit broadcast to a wider audience? Will anybody care? I have about a dozen published book titles to my name and countless journal and anthology publications, but each time, with each piece of writing, one has to ask oneself the same questions. Is this worth the paper it’s written on? Is this worth the breath it takes to read it aloud?

But in the end, it’s all about that yearning, that drive to put into words the argument or the vision or the “song” that’s demanding to be expressed. The selections I’ve chosen for my “Syndic Literary Journal Greatest Hits” album, as it were, all include stuff I had to get off my chest, for one reason or other. There’s one from a series of four stories that appeared over the course of several issues about Mark Person (the name is meant to suggest “Everyman”), the editor of a college literary magazine – “Barbaric yAWP.” I wanted to show the craziness an editor can go through. I’ve also included a poem in response to the horror of the Trump administration’s racist immigration policy (“Que es su problema?”), to show the sheer inhumanity and cruelty of the MAGA men, how hate metastasizes, to register my disgust and outrage. Narratives about the CIA “mind control” programs of the 1950’s (“Artichoke” and “Bluebird”) reveal another aspect of our government’s duplicity, and I needed to expose it (again), and these all lead to reflections on the significance of American Independence Day (“Bye Bye Bicentennial”).  All of this had to be written. That’s what the yearning is all about. I’m glad these stories and poems found such an excellent home.

Barbaric yYawp

The Locker Room

Que Es Su Problema

Ground Zero

Bye Bye Bicentennial

What is Reality?




Trump University

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