Monday, December 25, 2006

Mystery Child

We drive through the coal mines of darkness – night a refuge – someone else’s dirty secret – she was wearing my heart on her sleeve it embarrassed me so I looked away – I looked toward the snow covered mountains – the desert sands – made friends with a junkyard dog – someone who did not judge me too harshly – how was I to know bad dreams can or can not come true depending on your prayers the night before – isolation scared the living hell out of me when I was a mystery child now it’s a refuge – he played the guitar like Christ being crucified – blood medicine – soul journey – border crossing – we drive – gamble – cry – make love in dark caves – darkness abates when we open our hearts – to what? to who? I met my faith head on in Death Valley it was dressed as a park ranger told me all about ravens and heroin addicts who write the freshest prose – blood sausage – blood oranges – bloodshot and wishing this hangover were not so honest – I do not drink don’t even do drugs anymore even denial has been hung up for another set of clothes – we owe ourselves love – we owe ourselves happiness – we drive through the sun at the speed of light praying we don’t get burned... Charlie 12/25/06

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ready, Set, Go!

Ready, Set, Go!

If there is a chance I will take it
A chance to live without guilt
A reason to reason no longer
If there is a way I will discover it

This is what I’ve always done
I wait and I wait and I wait
Until the lights burn my retinas
And I know a Savior is close at hand

No more Bible reading
I must live these words before it’s too late
I’m a serial poet hell bent on killing false memories
I’m a lone voice looking for a free buffet

I must get in the ambulance and drive toward the setting sun
I must put my pistol down on the imaginary table and pray
For solitude
When I paint with watercolors everything reveals itself
When I paint with oils everything goes down the tube

No more reading from the want ads
I know what I want and it will not be found on the printed page
When I enter a hotel room first thing I do is look for a Bible
When I enter my Father’s House first thing I do is repent

Charlie October 30, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

"Unconscious" By Joni Soule


Untitled I By Joni Soule

Untitled II By Joni Soule

Why Are We Here? By Joni Soule

Why are we here? Nothing clear
logical thinking is not clear
neither is chaos

I Hate Portraits By Joni Soule

Don't Touch
The Painting
The Painting in the
Shrinks Office

Dying To Live By Joni Soule

Dying To Live (for Joni Soule)

Dying To Live
(for Joni Soule)

Radically human
Non specific
Imperfectly perfect

There is a holocaust occurring in her brain
If you cut open one of her paintings it would bleed.

Some of us hang on through hollow prayer and demolished hope
Many of us prefer to stay isolated in a pine box of our own devising
When she stands before the canvas it’s as if she is constructing her
Very own shrine to invisible fairies who believe in a very real God.

It’s better that people don’t get us
It’s better people don’t stretch their brains or get back
In touch with their heart stems because paradise like this
Can not be visited too often before becoming accustomed
To this special brand of pain and suffering designed to lull
You out of unconsciousness before numbing you for good.

She is dying to live; heard it the first time I experienced
Her non-performance it was at a coffeehouse during the Victorian
Age, I was Joan of Arc to her burning stake. She lit me on fire
From the inside out and before I knew what had hit me I was
Swimming in blood and channeling more obscure ghosts.

Her painting takes her down from a pedestal
Her paintings prove Saints exist in this day and age
To make a sacrifice we must first disconnect from the
World at large, to make a difference we must learn to
Love the inner child burning inside each and everyone
Of us.

Charlie Cicirella October 28, 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

GHOSTS 2006 (for Jim Volk and Albert Ayler)

Ghosts 2006

I am talking – do you can you hear me talking – I hear your fingers grasping plucking moaning against the strings – your index finger and thumb resting no more – there is a sacrifice - there is a new set of rules – everything disintegrates – rots – finds a new message – new purpose – the monkey swings from branch to branch – the monkey another mechanic – another sacred being tuning up the cosmos with its special brand of medicine – I am writing – do you see me writing – I see your wiggly digits wiggling to and fro – respect life do not hold hands with the undertaker’s daughter – don’t get in the pool until your food is completely digested – respect death do not spurn the advances of another rotting human – this music a prayer for both the living and the dead – this music comforts us – this music praises us – this music pours us a drink and tells us unspecific truths – I’ve lost my compass – my ground zero compromised – I’m aching from being punched in the stomach a thousand or more times…

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Shall I cradle this nearly sleeping child in my supposedly humane arms? How can we judge this or that injustice so callously? Am I a monster or a saint and does it matter in the living and or dying end? I met St. Peter at a “meeting” he kept playing hard to get. You are never supposed to ask if He was hot or cold to the touch. Suppose to play it all cool when one of the disciples graces your presence with their nonchalant grace. Shall I go out on Highway 61 and find another nearly sacrificed child to call my very own? I’m not joshing I’ve got a loaded gun and I’m not afraid to use it. I’m not kidding I have a mouth filled with biting remarks and a sardonic sense of dispossessed humor I’m willing to spill onto you like the newest hippest rot. Shall we cradle this unkempt civilization in our bored bosom and pray for sunny skies or should we just call it quits right now? Shall I tell you I love you for the millionth time and hope that you still find some truth in it?

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Night and Day

Night and Day

I’m not afraid of the dark
It has no secrets to project
I am a prospector of the light

We hold hands
We must hold on
Even when our hands do not

Fear is the devil’s tool
The devil is not a ghost
Love defeats evil

Words go through my heart
My gut instincts right every wrong
I am a guardian of future lives

My life God’s tool
My life a living prayer
Love begets Love

Hold On


Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Sheets of Music and Linen

It’s playing
The music is playing
She’s swaying
Swaying to the beat

I remember standing next to her
Couldn’t believe my luck
Standing near a young woman
Who believes in personal freedom

We hugged
I handed her a bootleg or two
Ever since then she has been
Etched into my heart brain

You make the difference
You always have
Everyone near you knows
You are on fire with love

Let’s build a fort out of
Blankets and old tires
Whisper to each other
About revolutions still burning

There is no tear gas in our love
Nothing to hang onto but the
Brilliance of your words and kisses
And that’s a very good thing

The wilderness was cold and empty
You brought me back from this graveyard
Gave unto me patience and consideration
Irascibility a virtue I’m learning to do without

Our hands clasped together in prayer catch God’s tears
People who try to redesign religion are fools for it is
All there in the hymns of yesterday and the book sales
Happening in the basement like all great happenings do

The music keeps us happy
The music delights us with its ability to grow and grow
We were driving and you were doing a Howlin’ Wolf
Imitation and I couldn’t believe how much you sounded like him.

For Lisa Lisa

Dictionaries in the shape of hearts and things..

Her excitement about a book she is reading or a song she is listening to is infectious
Our dance parties have made me a better man if not a better dancer

When we are close it opens up universes of expansion that I never would have believed existed before holding her hand
Watching movies with her turns me inside out and pushes my mind to see and feel more

I’m swimming in shark infested waters only thing is all the sharks are dead killed by an inability to act quickly and efficiently
Are you a dolphin or a mermaid or a sailor exploring territory lost between the spaces of words that should have been said

Her joyous rapture like none I have experienced before as she brings Milton to life with the body language of a Saint
The photographs she scans maps to past, present and future worlds we mustn’t lose sight of as night unfolds all around us

She sings and I listen, she walks and I follow, she smiles and I smile, she laughs and I laugh, she dreams and I dream
We were sitting in a bus talking about TV dinners as we choked on exhaust and the day welcomed us again.

For Lisa Lisa

Thursday, September 14, 2006

East Lansing musings...

It begins - many connections in this light of beginnings and I am transfixed, bewitched and beguiled by all that is represented - a presentation of free thought - I knew all of the slaves on a first name basis - I was a slave - my roots like ivy clinging to this or that building - temples floating in the air - the first thing I noticed was your symmetry - how like a ballerina you were so good on your feet - an outlaw who keeps their pistols under wraps like a threatening Christmas present - a brand new red or blue bicycle no life in its dispirited tires - I'll never forget the black squirrels running around your campus like minstrels always searching for nothing so formal or orchestrated as a Gershwin tune - Chopin playing the black squirrels could feel it in their bones - it ends on all fours like an animal - many connections disconnected and connected over and over in this black tie ether - remember that bookstore in Ann Arbor how I left my heart in a Shakespeare Folio or was it instead rediscovered..

Charles Cicirella
September 4, 2006


There is nothing wrong
What is right remains
What is wrong stains

There's blood everywhere
Covering the mirrors
Our reflections bloodshot

I'm not taking responsibility
My emotions look the other way
Accept the wreckage as your own

I am cold head to toe
The pain I feel secondhand
I am resigned to this dead body

Poetry an investigation
Something I must learn to nurture
Where are the facts?

There is something that remains alive
Behind the mouth and eyes of every passerby
I witness it chained to an unsolved mystery

We slammed against a wall
To assign blame is never the point
To persist in life both a privilege and our right.

September 7, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

stream of consciousness writings about Bob Dylan

An Essay About A Modern Bob In These Ancient Times
As I listened to Jokerman from Groningen, Holland 3-18-1995 and Bob began playing this irascible harp part that was so Bob and yet unlike anything I’d ever heard from him or anyone before I started to think hmmm Modern Times yes it is about time this enigma – this casualty and survivor from the era of bomb shelters and television – issued some kind of a statement about whatever this shit is we continue breathing in all around us. Be it second hand smoke or ether we’re all dying like it or not and some of us perhaps even all of us will not be reborn be it in the body of a goddess with the head of a hyena or some indentured servant condemned to build pyramid after pyramid in the name of Ra or nothing at all.
Or perhaps it was while listening to Dignity from Brighton, England 3-26-1995 and Bob asked the question what’s it gonna take to find dignity that I started to ask myself the same question and became quite saddened by the answer I still will not admit to myself.
Thirty some days and counting before Bob’s first record in five years greets us or gives us the cold shoulder depending on how you see and hear Bob’s work. That is if you are even aware the man is still very much alive and kicking like a mule. A dirty stinking mule ready to light you on fire with his maniacal wit borrowed from nothing so desolate as the iron ore mines of his hometown. All the bedtime stories chocked full of isolation and desperate pleas to be freed from this self exile – this Johnny Ace spin of a roulette wheel where one’s brains have been traded before the bullet entered and exited one’s skull finding no one home not even a cuckoo bird. I’m never letting go and neither is Bob thank God!

Charles Eric Cicirella July 24, 2006 1:59 AM

Just checking out a few songs here and there on some of the 06 European shows before digging in and listening long – I honestly (per usual) do not understand the whining – moaning – bitching and constant complaining about Bob and the band – I don’t hear Bob and think jeez this guy just ain’t hitting it like he used to matter a-fact I feel his wisdom and his age has made his singing even more intuitive and full of real regret and sorrow and even unabashed joy and pure delight --- listening to Every Grain Of Sand right now from Paestum, Italy 7-17-2006 and it sounds like Moses singing straight from Mt. Sinai right after he witnessed the bush burning and heard God’s indomitable voice! Bob’s eyebrows sound like they’ve caught fire and the band is right there with him waiting for him to part the red sea just like Charleston Heston did so long ago!!! This is vintage Bob for these ancient Modern Times - this is Bob with no masks – no dampers – nothing standing between him and his audience except for the audience’s own shortcomings and unwillingness to listen through the blood and the tears and the laughter…. oh that sweet laughter……………………………………….

And that harp playing fuck I wonder when he will put a pail up on stage with him and start spitting blood

Part two

Listening now to Desolation Row Gelsenkirchen, Germany AUD DAT Master [OKM > TCD 100]>CD>EAC>WAV>Soundforge 6.0>CD Wave>FLAC I feel like I am there (if only I had a passport and the guts to go abroad) as Bob tells this Uncle Wiggly tale to all of us who stopped believing in lullabies long before our mothers and fathers proved to us God died a long time ago (please don’t get me wrong because I know God was borne again – Bob proves that on a nightly basis!). The sound is big but not too big – it’s big enough to make you better understand that when Buddy Holly went down in that aeroplane Bob’s inner child was there to pick up the rock and roll pieces making something completely different out of the Chantilly lace and Mexican Rosary beads of another dead soul singer running blue in the blackness of all our most salacious of naughty teenage confessions. My pulp novel could beat up your pulp novel and all of that carp. Skinny girls the height and weight of Duvall before Altman and his 3 Women had their way with her and Popeye was just another stowaway on this or that hijacked cruise ship/limousine/zeppelin. I want to grow up – I want to be a better human being – I want to write Bob another letter and address it to Desolation Row but know it wont make any difference because he moved away a long time ago. The band has Bob’s number though as they cradle his junkyard golden Cantor voice wheeling and dealing like the card sharks they’ve always been and that is precisely why Bob keeps them on for they know exactly when and why the deal is going down as they ask no questions staying out on the road with this freak of nature – this pure Spirit – this magic man.

Part three

An old girlfriend – someone he loved and lost or someone he lost and then realized he loved – either way they are gone so why continue to try and impress this or that apparition – my friend hung himself – his life ended because he decided hope was gone – he stood atop that little garbage can and before he knew it was gasping for a breath he’d never know on a first hand basis again – why do you believe the stories – God your voice gives you away you are such an old man who is still very young at heart – a very old man who wishes he were Twain or Aristotle or anyone other than this myth – this puff of blue smoke – another smokescreen – another bus driver befriended – another dome like a teepee seen in the rearview of this or that consciousness relegated to remembering when you set the world on fire and didn’t think it such a big deal because it wasn’t – because this world has always been too easy to impress especially with an iron ore intellect like yours – badly built – walks on stilts watch out he don’t fall on you – all these midnight cowboy voices reverberating in your Midwestern skull – Tony’s bass like Ratso following you across the lonely graveyard of this or that desolate street and it isn’t the seventies anymore and nothing or no one really cares as much as they once did – your harp a siren sometimes wailing like a spurned harpy other times flexing only a teensy bit of your muscle before you shutdown America for good by showing every one of us just how full of shit we are and that you refuse to make believe any longer – more guts – more blood – more more more I can’t wait till you pick up the guitar again and finally record that Charley Patton record that you have been craving to do since long before you met Sun Pie or left your last wife at the altar – you are still a lamb no matter if you want to be or not..

Part four

Cold Irons Bound Cardiff, Wales June 27, 2006 twenty miles out of town I wish he were still here – right here – we could hang out together – break some hearts – go roller skating – paint the town red white and blue – catch a movie and eat some Sushi afterwards – right on the mark these guys totally know what they’re doing – operating under the most intensive of circumstances – the winds in Chicago have torn Bob to shreds – pieces of this Shakespeare troubadour everywhere – listen to that bass and what I believe is electric mandolin Tony and Donnie really making this song something completely different than what it once was and I love the changes and I’m completely torn to shreds as well – reality most certainly has too many heads on this very night GO MAN GO!


Charles Cicirella August 4, 2006

Eating pork rinds and listening to your rebalancing act 11-13-2003!
Senor begins – the bass treacherous and tremendous – the Navy Seals are going in to reclaim some territory that was never even ours in the first place – in the first place my knees are shaking – some of these pork rinds are too dangerous to eat – they give me gas – this music will surely keep me up all night – Bob’s voice a championship bout – a King Kong valentine to some backup singer he used to love in the seventies or was it the eighties or maybe it was just last week… forget me not Senor! The man is a carnival at night – Ferris Wheels properly greased so are the politician’s palms it’s Oxford, Mississippi and if you are black and the year is 1963 you better be careful you ain’t lynched.. or 1978… Or 1999…. or 2006. what a sad and malfunctioning statement on what is and should never have been. I thought we were all created equal – I thought Uncle Tom’s Cabin was just some classic literature from a bygone era… I thought and rethought how much I detest freedom gotten at any cost when in truth there ain’t nothing like freedom come down these tracks since around the time of Christ’s reactivation!!!
It’s Bob’s instincts the way he chews up and spits out these songs like they mean everything and nothing – like a road trip way out west and when we stop for gas you better not give me any lip about wanting more sugar – more caffeine – more barbecue – more liberty – more chicken fingers – more more more until we’re both too tired to do anything but fuck and I am sick and tired of another one trick pony! Bob could guess your height and weight – Bob could and does go the distance just about every day of the week and when Ray Charles finally left us for good I knew there was only one soul singer who could still deliver the real goods with an everlasting impression that impresses upon each and every one of us how good anyone of us can truly be if we’d finally just take our guns to town and stop pretending there’s no such thing as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
Christ has not and will not forget his Chosen People and Bob has not forgotten us and that’s made ever more apparent as you listen to Paris, France 11-13-2003! Cat’s In The Well and all my pork rinds are gone!!!

Charles Cicirella 7/4/2006 8:44 PM

I believe what he meant was that it wasn’t him and in some sense or another it wasn’t strangely enough – like for instance sometimes he gives the people exactly what they might think they want while other times he goes his own way and gives people something else entirely something they could never have foreseen was even possible to exist like have you ever tried a food you’d never tasted before and it is like holy crap a whole new door has opened up utilizing taste buds you’d never even knew you had this is precisely what Dylan’s music quite often does to so many of us and that is why so many who claim to be Dylan fans bitch and complain because they are not willing to accept some new taste not when they’ve hardly gotten used to or sick of the one that came before it that fits so perfectly like a glove or gas mask onto their stodgy and cramped everything is broken lives – ya when he came out at Newport with that getup I believe he was saying you want the Dylan who was booed off this stage in 65 for plugging in well forget that here is what I am going to do instead I am going to be the masked avenger – some anti-hero of sorts who you’ll more than likely not be able to get used to so that the music I give unto you this very day/night will taste tainted almost like rancid oil – thing is the performance he did at Newport 2002 was indelible – a Desolation Row for the ages and beyond to name just one and yet what do so many say well like the red states they more than likely derive from they say the song’s performance was bogus or uninspired or listless when the truth was and will forever be that Desolation Row was qualitative bliss reeking of pure melancholia that so often resides inside us when we are feeling desolate and incomplete almost as if we are this here Cinderella he speaks of so callously and yet still it’s a love that Trojan horses would be envious of as they storm the gates looking for Helen of Troy or a replica that may not be as beautiful but perhaps more acquiescent to the state of the world and how daunting an epic can be when it is your life story that is being told quite statically …… so ya he was hiding in plain view if you will and trying in his own irascible way I believe to give this reviewer (actually I think this is Dylan reviewing himself because that name Austin Scaggs – ya whatever!!!) the heads up that maybe that wasn’t him at all up there on that stage but just some idea or the representation of an idea of what you think Dylan might do or might look like at this or that time in our blighted and violated histories………………………………… Charlespoet in the year of who knows when...

Monday, August 28, 2006


You Gave Him Grace

None of this makes any sense
There’s nothing credible or incredible about it
Making it even more difficult to comprehend and I know you miss him like you’ve never missed anyone before

We can turn to God
We can turn to friends and family
But does any of that really help put the pieces back together again
Does anything really lessen the pangs of emptiness you have been experiencing since your father was taken from you

I believe for the first time in your life you’re facing something bigger than anything you could have conceived to exist
I believe for the first time in your life you have been shown how some things are neither black nor white
I believe for the first time in your life everything you believed real is being called into question

Nothing anyone says to you – no advice offered can or will grant you inner peace
The only thing that even remotely helped when I experienced my loss is when someone told me how my friend just could not control his mind anymore
In your father’s case I believe he was tired of being sad – of feeling like such a great burden to others and not having any real idea how to put things back into perspective
I believe all the soul searching he attempted and all the Spiritual awakenings he so yearned to experience left him in an even more awkward state because the answers just did not seem to fit

Hannah you must believe that in your sister’s and your eyes your father did experience a welcoming light that proved beyond the shadow of any doubt that God did exist and that your father had finally done something right
The pride your father took in his daughters went beyond a parent’s normal sense of pride because I believe he had been seeking a true salvation since he entered this world and not until Rebecca and you were born did he find a way to live through your grace

I am a small child and I am running for my life
Please don’t tell anyone that I was afraid
I promise next time I will do a better job of staying sane

Charles Eric Cicirella August 13, 2005 2:22 AM
(for Hannah Rachel Gilbert)

New Birth

Sometimes the poetry just wont advance
Almost like the words in my heart are on
Strike and my head is just going along for
The ride.

Sometimes I feel like I swallowed a dictionary
And the words are all bottled up inside keeping
Their distance from anything resembling honest
To goodness communication.

I miss you sometimes when we’re not talking like I
Miss the poetry when I’m not writing because in a
Very short time you’ve come to represent so much
Of the inspired passion welling up inside of me like
A new morning.

Sometimes the poetry refuses to come out and play
Then I think of you kneeling next to your bed praying
And everything immediately gets better..

Charlie for myLisa


Somewhere between Heaven and Hell
Somewhere between the bar and the bar stool
Somewhere between the gutter and the curb
Exists a restless hungry feeling
Exists salvation disguised as starvation
Exists ether that can not be permeated
With intellect alone.

She was smiling happy go lucky
She was full of mirth capable of taming
The demons so many of us refuse to face
Day in and day out beginnings must be given
Their due and I am sorry I had such a difficult
Time putting down the mirror so I could hold you.

Somewhere between refusal and reprisal
Somewhere between the paint and the horse’s hair
Somewhere between where my mouth ends and
Your nose begins exists a tired old man not willing
To lose any ground and I don’t have any real answers,
No I don’t have anything to offer that could possibly
Quiet your night tremors.

Somewhere between Heaven and Hell I slipped on
A banana peel and have never been the same since.

Charles August 1, 2005

candid picture of Charlespoet


All about poetry so here's some of my poetry!


Plumbing the depths of my soul
Looking for a way in
Looking for a way out
My best friend found his escape hatch in 1998
He crosses and recrosses my pedestrian mind everyday.

I mustn’t forget I’m a poet though I do sometimes for months
On end then it comes back to me like in a dream and I thank
God that I possess a creative soul.

I rode bicycles with my girlfriend recently it took
Me back to an easier time when I could ride away
My anxiety – lessening the load of my tyrannical mind
With my own man power and some good lungs.

We mustn’t take for granted how fortunate we are to be alive.

Charlie June 7, 2006

dreamsleep (counselor)

When we sleep we dream and when we dream we often sleep and that’s the way it is and the way it has to be because we are sleep astronauts – pioneers of the building and the deconstructing of predisposed sleep states having nothing whatsoever to do with sleep tyranny or sleepy socialism and trust me when I tell you Karl Marx never really prided himself on being much of a hypnotist – Twain knew more about the importance of passing oneself off as an opiate of the masses than he would ever care to admit and when Hunter S. Thompson put that gun in his mouth and tasted the barrel for the first and last time I do not believe he was impressed with
how mortality may have tasted or where this state of desperation would ultimately leave him – did he honestly believe Hemingway was a champion for blowing his brains out and did he think that he was anymore in control of his own life by choosing when and where it was he would perish – he was still dying like an animal – an animal who at one time had so much to say about a dying American dream – a dream gone bust long before anyone could really cash their chips in – somewhere over the rainbow druggies fly yes I believe that one like I believe Garland was not really unhappy and just enjoyed her strange mixture of alcohol and pills – when we go to bed we always think we will wake up never giving much or any thought to what happens next – what happens if we wake up and the coffee maker is on the fritz – what if we wake up and caffeine has been outlawed – what if we wake up in another land a place where being out of step is more than frowned upon and you are shot by other predisposed dreamers for believing in your dreams – when we sleep we are free – free of the constraints of a society too long civilized by its own boredom and duress – a society where free speech has become an oxymoron and any idiot is allowed to state their opinion and then force you to swallow it like a cyanide capsule – I am sleepy – my eyelids have grown very heavy and this piece of writing is not turning out like I had expected – here I thought it was going to be a love poem and instead it has become a diatribe about this or that raw nerve exposed to brazen truth before it even had a chance to put on its pajamas and sleep undisturbed for at the very least a century or two..

Charles Cicirella