Charles Rammelkamp

When I read about Mike Tyson

taking a psychedelic drug called 5-MeO-DMT,

derived from toad venom,

I remembered the rumors – flashed back? –

about banana peels.

“It’s almost like you die and you’re reborn,”

Tyson exclaimed to a reporter.


As if Sandoz with its sophisticated equipment,

advanced knowledge of organic chemistry

was just some Midwestern meth lab,

the rumor was you could cook banana peels,

make your own psychoactive drugs.

The evidence? Donovan’s hit song,

“Mellow Yellow” with lyrics like

“electrical banana” references to “saffron.”


We tried it once, baking banana peels

in Oliver’s mom’s oven,

crumbling up the remains,

smoking them in a pipe.

And yes, it did make us feel dizzy.

But nobody claimed to have seen God.

Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore and Reviews Editor for The Adirondack Review. A chapbook of poems, Jack Tar’s Lady Parts, is available from Main Street Rag Publishing. Another poetry chapbook, Me and Sal Paradise, was recently published by FutureCycle Press.