Winter Tune-up by Charles Rammelkamp

Most Read Poets of 2018 at North of Oxford

The following list consists of the 15 most read poets as of December 2018 determined by readership at North of Oxford.


A Poem by Kristina Krumova

Byron Beynon 2014

3 Poems by Byron Beynon


2 Poems by Lilah Clay


Voices by Linda Stevenson


Uncle by Michael A. Griffith

Byron Beynon 2014

In the Mirror by Byron Beynon


Winter Tune-up by Charles Rammelkamp


Lectures on Poetry by M.V. Montgomery

Writer's Photograph

One day, her hands became birds by Arlyn LaBelle


Temple of Jupiter by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

author pic

Bait by Daniel Casey

ed c

2 Poems by Edward L. Canavan

John D Robinson

2 Poems by John D Robinson


2 Poems by Carl Kaucher

tony w

Leave by Tony Walton




Winter Tune-up by Charles Rammelkamp

Winter Tune-up
Coming  up from the basement,
I recognize the doo-doo-do-do-doooo opening bar
of “Strangers in the Night,” whistled
in an absent-minded birdcall.
by the guy from the fuel company,
here to tune up the furnace for the winter.
As far as he goes.  Over and over.
A blast from the furnace
when he jacks up the thermostat.
up and under like a pre-dawn cricket song.
Exchanging glances floats through my brain
in a Sinatra voice. Something something
What were the chances?
A pop song from half a century ago.
Always heard it was about a gay tryst,
but it seemed to me
it could just as easily be a man and a woman.
Gary, the furnace guy,
looks to be in is early thirties,
young enough to be my son.
Odd, I think, he’s whistling that song.
Two lonely people, we were
After an hour, Gary trudges up the steps,
lugging his toolbox and equipment.
“Okay, replaced the oil filter,
installed a new nozzle,
did basic maintenance on the boiler system.
You’re good to go. Sign here and here.”
Our fingers touch when he hands me the pen.
A spark of static electricity.
“Whoa!” Gary apologizes.
“Must be from working on the boiler.”
We exchange a glance.
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.