Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Take Off The Noose

Take off the noose, and get comfortable. We may be here a while.
I wish I understood why this poem is taking such a long time to write.
First there was a title, then a couple of days later, the first line spilled out, and now two more lines are making an appearance.
I have learned you take what you can get. Sometimes all there is to eat is ramen noodles, then maybe if you’re lucky a nice roasted chicken, and, if you’re really blessed, some chocolate cake with a glass of Vitamin D milk to wash it all down with.

Inspiration comes, and then is gone just as quick.
Go to the hardware store, and buy some nice new rope so when you hang yourself, everything will go off without a hitch.
I refuse to ignore whatever gifts I may have been imbued with. The other day I thought about jumping in front of a train but decided to put those plans on hold and to instead enter The Magic Theatre ready to experience the fantasies that exist in my mind.
I believe I may be both one of the “suicides” and one of the “immortals” and that is why I am having such a difficult time deciding what to do next.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bell's Palsy

I’m finding spitting to be one of the hardest parts. That and only seeing out of my right eye. I have my left eye taped shut because it will not close on its own.
I’m a constant namedropper. It’s not something I am proud of. As a matter of fact, there is very little that I am proud of in these days of hacking coughs and hacked emails.
I’m thinking about having fried eggs for dinner. I like dipping the bread in the orange-yellow yolk and how it soaks in for the long haul.

I’m tapering off the steroids from the Bell’s palsy. Time to take two tablets and eat a tuna fish sandwich. I am going through some mild withdrawal, which I don’t mind too terribly much.
Let’s stop all this hemming and hawing and get down to what is really going on. I don’t have a clue where this poem is heading and I prefer it that way when it is you I’m lying next to in the brittle darkness.
Oftentimes when I wake up in the hand-me-down morning, it is really the late afternoon. My routine begins again checking emails, taking allergy medicine, and drinking Coca-Cola. I’m nothing if not a creature of habit. This poem may morph into something or it may just sputter out like some empty and tired old lawnmower.

Today for the first time in a week, my left eye is not taped shut, and I do not feel like a Cyclops.
We take our health for granted until we feel it slipping out of our grasp. I need to learn to be more grateful for all the good things that I have.
I spend too much time waiting for the other shoe to drop instead of simply enjoying the blessings of everyday breath and everyday beauty.

Charles Cicirella

My Stream Has Greatly Improved Since Drinking More Water

(For Nichole)

She had to remind me to drink more water when I mentioned that my stream was intermittent. I am funny that way. All the truths that should be self-evident either are just out of reach or lost in a parallel universe.
Sometimes when I stand in front of the toilet getting ready to take a pee, I like to imagine myself as John Hancock signing The Declaration of Independence. Most of the time, though, I know that I am just another graffiti artist spraying the side of a boxcar door.

Usually I pee sitting down because it’s easier than having to constantly be wiping off the seat. I know I could just lift it up, but my aim has never been very good especially when my stream sometimes shoots in multiple directions.
Someway, somehow I’m trying to make things right in my own head. It is a difficult proposition, though, when everything is on fire and there is no fire extinguisher on hand. Lend me your ears, and I promise the lies I lay down will be fully pressed and wrinkle resistant.

She had to remind me to drink more water when I mentioned that my stream was suffering from stage fright. Not every performer works better under pressure, and that became painstakingly clear when only drips and drops of tinkle came out of my waterspout.
Sometimes when I stand in front of the toilet getting ready to take a pee, I like to imagine myself as an honest to God man and not just some arrested adolescent who is finding it hard to stand on his own two feet and take a proper piss.

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Let’s Eat Some Chocolate and Forget that Nobody Loves Us

I am not feeling sorry for myself.
I am just facing the truth.
I did not feel like watching WKRP in Cincinnati so I put on the record Highway 61 Revisited and for the first time in my life, I didn't feel so fucking alone.

We begin in a pool of muck and end up, if we are lucky, in that same muck. Holding someone's hand as the seizures pass through our brains like more breaking news white noise.
My body is falling apart, but I guess that is what happens even if you love Jesus and have renounced all false deities as petulant cocksuckers.
This poetry like a sticky candy cane noose around my neck reminds me just how little time any of us really have left. So Merry Fucking Christmas if you are a good consumer I mean Christian.

No one seems to get me or is willing to accept me for who I am.
Even those out on the fringes conspire to keep me out of the Nativity scene.
It's all right though because I have learned when life stops taking your calls perhaps it’s best you just call it a day, turn the record over and take another bite of the chocolate bar.

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"True Love Tends To Forget"

(For Bob Dylan’s invisible self)
It’s 2 AM, and I’m listening with headphones to Street Legal.
Ripped from the original vinyl, and yes that makes all of the difference.
I have never understood those who criticize this record.

It’s his voice that catches me off guard every time.
He sounds like he’s in the darkness with no rehabilitation or recovery in sight.
Maybe that’s the trouble. This record is too full of unvarnished truth and dire consequences with no smoke or mirrors to tamp down the flames as this man burns alive right before our unsympathetic ears.

What if Bob Dylan’s just a man and feels things just like any human being does?
What if Bob Dylan’s one of those truly rare artists who can take everything brewing inside of him and pour it onto the page with no self-restraint or self-censorship?
What if what Bob Dylan hears in his head is exactly what we are experiencing on this record?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the original mix.
In fact I think the so called muddy sound just brings us closer to the alienated state of affairs this record slices through like a Jewish ninja hell-bent on self-reconstruction as they look for the cure or catchall to bring everything back into focus.
“If I’m there in the morning, baby, you’ll know I’ve survived.”

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"The Forest Is Mankind’s Nightmare"

This is your show. I am just the white elephant in the room.
I’m the red dragon on the merry-go-round everyone resists sitting upon but secretly wishes to shoot into their jelly baby veins.
This is your show, and I am just more collateral damage that refuses to accept that it’s dead.

Believe what you want. It won’t make a damn bit of difference when your stools are bloody and your doctor no longer returns your phone calls.
I elected for the surgery even though it was not elective surgery, and look at me now - just another bitter, dead atheist wishing they were a bland, alive Christian.
When your chosen status becomes a monkey on your back, that’s a good time to sell the farm and move to a city where no one knows your name or believes in your holier-than-thou status.

This is your show. I am just the rude house guest who refuses to vacuum and has eaten all of your Hot Pockets.
I’m the dragon you’ve been chasing long before Vietnam became a black eye the United States of Amnesia repeats every few years because occupation is the only language our government seems to understand.
This is your show, and I am just another Paddington orphan wishing someone would take me in from the cold and treat me like I was actually worth something.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I must get back to work.
I must get back to doing the work that everyone sees as nothing but I know is everything.
Depression crashes right through the front door, and before you know it, you’re pushing up daisies or, worse yet, sleeping your life away.

We are the dreamers, and though we may appear stagnant, nothing could be further from the truth.
We are the provocateurs causing trouble the live long day, knowing that whistling while you work will only bring you that much closer to the graveyard.
We are the fast food slaves who refuse to serve you any longer because you’re obese and that zero trans-fat doesn’t seem to be doing you much good.

I’m sleeping on my mother’s floor at forty-five years old with no clue what to do next, but I swear I do have an end game. It’s just one I choose to keep even from myself.
I want to tell you how I feel, but being ignored on Facebook is somehow worse than being ignored in person.
I need something I can believe in. Someone I can sink my teeth into who will return the favor and make me feel alive again. I have all the belief in myself that one person can possibly muster, but still that is not nearly enough to carry me over the threshold and deliver me to the Promised Land. I am a witness though I swear to Christ what I’ve witnessed so far does not impress me, nor does it give me much faith in the living dead.

I must return to some semblance of normal.
I must stop feeling guilty for anything and everything I’ve ever done wrong. It’s not about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps but instead about keeping it together when the shit is constantly hitting the fan and even the shit has had enough.
This paralysis I have been wrestling with has begun to not feel so awful, and that is neither acceptable nor something I would wish on my worst enemy.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, December 04, 2014


I’m just about ready to eat a bowl of ice-cream.
I have been preparing all week and, I am nearly ready to jump in and drop out.
It most definitely should be about the small things, especially when you cannot afford any of the larger things that you want.

I would like to go see more than one Bob Dylan concert this time around, but I cannot afford to, so I must accept this irritating fact like I must accept autumn is almost here and Christ was more than just a martyr or teacher trying to get tenure.
I would like to see genocide eradicated and for everyone to learn to get along or to at least ignore each other. There’s too much violence and too much dying and too many zealots preying upon the people with their dogmatic ignorance and dictatorial intolerance.
I would like to have bought a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice-cream, but instead had to settle for a half gallon of Friendly’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup because it was on sale and boutique ice-cream does not fit the bill when all of your bills are long past due.

I’m just about ready to tell her that I miss seeing her naked, but I know she won’t care.
I have been preparing all my life and am almost ready for the humiliation of once again coming up short when attempting to dunk my ball into her basket.
It shouldn’t be about size, but we all know that it is because size matters like money matters, and if you don’t have either one, you’ll be sitting on the bench waiting in vain for the coach to put you in.

Charles Cicirella

In My Tummy

I ate a bowl of ice-cream and was happy for about fifteen minutes.
I watched a porno and was happy for about fifteen minutes.
I sat down in front of the laptop to write this poem and was lost in thought for about fifteen minutes.

I’m going out of my head and wish there was someone I could talk to.
I’m not really thinking about a therapist because I’d just end up arguing with them and would never take the prescribed medication for whatever is supposedly wrong with my head.
I’m pretty sure I have driven away most of the people who were once close friends because I have a tendency to talk at people instead of holding an actual conversation where two parties play equal parts.

I’m so fucking isolated, and it’s not doing me any good.
I’m so fucking inside my own head, and it’s bound to kill me dead.
I’m so fucking tired of being sick and tired and keep thinking about what my final act will be like.

I ate an Alka-Seltzer Fruit Chews, and my acid indigestion subsided for about fifteen minutes.
I thought about calling you, and that occupied my thought process for about fifteen minutes.
I sat down in front of the laptop to revise this poem, and was lost in the profundity of the moment for about a minute and a half.

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Chicken Wings

My lips are burning from the Buffalo wing sauce.
I still want to try the spicy chicken wings at this Chinese restaurant in Chicago.
The first time I ever ate chicken wings was when I was working at JR Miggs in Columbus, Ohio.

We bask in the complex simplicity of our lives when what we need to be doing is asking the hard questions like why is everything so messed up.
We need to wake up and smell the coffee and begin wrapping our heads around the fact that capitalism is failing us and democracy is a big fat lie.
What happened to the division of church and state? And why are we allowing any religious group the right to decide our rights for us? Jesus Christ was a teacher and a Jew. Not a politician or a Christian.

I don’t have a clue what this poem is about or why I started talking about chicken wings and then morphed into how fucked up things are.
Perhaps the state of the world and the state of my chicken wings has something in common, or maybe I am just losing my mind one tasty chicken wing at a time.
I got extra bleu cheese dressing to bath the Buffalo wings in. I must admit that biting into a chunk of bleu cheese and then tasting that flaming hot Buffalo wing sauce is quite a diabolical and richly rewarding combination.
Soon I’ll be returning to Chicago, and I really do hope I can talk my friend into returning to that Chinese restaurant in Albany Park because their spicy pork is damn near as good as it gets.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Breaking Bread

Breaking bread with our eyes wide open.
Miracles happen every day to everyone.
It doesn’t matter which wave you choose to ride because they’ll all bring you to the shore eventually.

There is a family dynamic about you that I picked up on from the first moment that we met.
I could tell that you like to take care of people, and I really hope you also allow people to take care of you.
When we were led out of Egypt, it’s you I would have wanted by my side because I know you wouldn’t have let anything bad happen to me. Plus you would have laughed at all of my inappropriate jokes.
I’ve never been a very strong swimmer so even when the Red Sea parted, I would have still wanted to hold the hand of someone who would have talked me through our crossing.

The desert is a deprived place that is not recommended to get lost in. The bootlegged sun will have you hallucinating before you know it.
I believe even Moses must have had some serious second thoughts as he brought his people forth into a land where nothing was what it appeared to be.
It goes without saying that listening to a strange burning bush will oftentimes get you into trouble, regardless if your intentions are good and you believe in this vision quest.

Breaking down because everything seems hopeless and without a solution in sight.
“Trust yourself to find the path where there is no if and when.”
You are the miracle breaking through a new level of consciousness with every step that you take. There is strength, there is love, and there is so much healing beauty in your readiness to evolve.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Mind Map #4

I know I’m getting close to something, even though I don’t know what it is.
I refuse to even use the word truth because that’s a word used far too often and is losing whatever street cred it may have once possessed.

My poetry is like a Play-Doh factory and I’ll keep pushing it out in all the many colors of the rainbow because that’s what arrested adolescents do as they wait for the paramedics to arrive.
I remember being fifteen years old at Macs Backs Paperbacks on Coventry in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Suzanne welcomed me as I entered the bookstore, and I’ve never once looked back. Having the opportunity to finally get up and share whatever this is that was taking shape on the page is the best fix I have ever had, and no drug could have even come close to taking its place.

I like to think I am a romantic when nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m just a misshapen little man who does not shower enough and lets his beard grow because he is too lazy to fish out the electric razor from beneath the sink.
There is a slight possibility, though, that I have a great intellect, or at least that is what I was once told by some paranoid freak who believed the voices he was hearing might actually be divulging some Earth shattering information to his mind map.
To be perfectly honest I had never heard the word intellect before he had said it, and when I told him that, he thought I was fucking with him. I ended up playing him an advanced copy of Dylan’s record Down in the Groove, so everything sorta kinda worked itself out in its own way.

I know I’m close to striking oil or finding the next big thing. Then again, maybe I’m just another little boy whose eyes are bigger than his stomach.
I refuse to believe I’ve come this far only to have to now stop panning for gold.
My own street cred dried up eons ago, yet still I will never stop swinging for the fences, even though I absolutely hate sports and the metaphors that go along with them.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Close My Eyes

I am going to close my eyes and go to bed.
Turn off the phone and forget I was ever here.
I am loving myself and wish you would join the festivities without any hard feelings or passive aggressive tendencies.

I am going to get on my knees and pray to God. Even if I have my doubts about this creator that so many people seem to hold in such high esteem.
I am going to close my eyes and when I open them either you’ll be in love with me or gone. You choose and please don’t clear your throat because you know how I hate spoiler alerts.
After just now taking a shower I forgot to clean my ears which means my hearing probably won’t be up to par. I am telling you this so you won’t think I am choosing to ignore you but instead will understand that hearing or not hearing you is out of my control.

They told me sleep would be like a temporary death and yet my dreams kept me awake and the little sleep I did get made me even more jealous of the ghosts inside the machine.
I will never forget sitting in that ice-cream parlor in Chicago eating a turtle sundae with my good friend as Bob told us something only dead men know.
Bring yourself back down to Earth and I promise I’ll be here when you get back. We can continue where we left off or even better we can start all over again just like the pioneers did before Silicon Valley took over our lives.

I am going to close my eyes and finally wake up.
Turn off the television and forgive myself for all the wrongs that I’ve done and that includes never cleaning my mother’s condo up to her rigorous and ransacked standards.
I am in the process of rediscovering myself and wish you would either join the party or leave the building because your silent treatment is worse than electroshock therapy to my Peter Cottontail soul.

Charles Cicirella

Poetry Endoskeleton

Add flesh to your poetry endoskeleton.
Accept the task handed to you, and stop pretending you cannot hear the voices in your head.
We are mere shadows of our former selves when we allow the bullies to get the upper hand.

I’m going to eat a roasted turkey and provolone sandwich on Tuscany bread, hoping that it will help beat back this depression.
Don’t forget you are one of the good ones, even though all the signs point to the opposite being true.
Our society loves to celebrate the art while shunning the artist. It’s just the way things seem to work in our overexposed and undervalued society of haves and have nevers.

I’m going to jump in the deep end and pray my endoskeleton survives. I’ve been afraid of deep water since before my bones fused together. At some point I must face my fears and stop haunting myself.
This writing is getting me nowhere fast, but it’s the only thing that feels right. I refuse to go against my gut instincts, no matter if I end up on the street with nothing but a cardboard box to call my home.

The good news is I haven’t pulled out my hair in quite some time. The bad news is I haven’t been in anything even close to a relationship in over ten years.
This poetry skeleton is the scaffolding that supports my humanness.
I’m just a shell of my former self, but I am not complaining because there are still many poems to write before the darkness comes a-calling and leads me into the light.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Mind Map #2

When my synapses are clicking and the words are flowing, there is no better feeling in the world. I cannot say that is what I’m striving for, but I will say I feel a whole heck of a lot better when I’m writing.
The poetry is the only friend I’ve ever had that does not ask me to explain myself or justify why it is I do or don’t do something.
Yes, I want to let it in, even though I don’t know what it is.

My mind map knows where it’s at and does not need satellites or other technological psychobabble to help locate its next bull's eye.
I was lost in a sea of misgivings when I tapped into my brain reservoir. What I discovered myself diving into were visions even Timothy Leary could not have possibly hallucinated when on his best medicine.
I would bend over backwards to try and help you get up to speed, but what’s the point when you’ve always been slow on the uptake and quick on your refusal to believe.
I suggest you lose yourself in whatever trend you’ve recently discovered. Perhaps that will help to unchain you from the same old whistling Dixie hegemony you seem to have become enamored with in your old age.

I’m going to go watch some porn to help me relax. When I return, I hope you’ll have some new insights to share or at least have come up with a better excuse as to why it is you’re always so out of breath and unwilling to share your Cajun fries with me when we’re on a stakeout.
It’s 5:53 AM, and my mind map is mired in the perversity of lying here attempting to pleasure myself. Oftentimes it is a lost cause, and I find myself returning to the place we first met, where my fingers can hopefully be put to better use.
Yes, I must allow my mind to roam wherever it sees fit or unfit because the end oftentimes reassesses the outcome. This proves especially true when delving into one’s craven imaginings and the creative process of purging oneself through any means necessary.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, October 12, 2014

My Mind Map

Jim once remarked on how hard it was for me to slow my mind down.
And now that I’ve given it some thought, I’ve realized I rarely do stop and take a breath.
I don’t know what my mind map might look like, but I suspect the topography would be quite vast with plenty of marshlands and shrublands for the lonesome wolf of the steppes to travel and hunt in.

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Reluctant Hero

(For Bill Cohen)

I’m a reluctant hero, but please don’t ask why.
I do not deserve whatever accolades you may feel like bestowing upon me. Give them to someone who actually looks good wearing medals and being led around like a prized poodle.
I’m just a poet nothing more and a whole lot less. When it comes time for dinner, I’ll be the first one sitting at the table and the last one to get up before stretching and going to bed.

I’m a reluctant bank robber, but please don’t ask why.
It was never about amassing wealth or scaring people by pointing a gun at them. I think it has more to do with the thrill of doing something out of the ordinary, even though robbing banks seems to be becoming more of an everyday happening with each passing day.
Examine your own needs. Do it selflessly and selfishly. Do it with unmitigated abandon, and do it while wearing a blindfold and smoking a cigarette. You are a flawed human specimen, and when held up to the light, you are also a reluctant hero with countermeasures and counter offers making up for lost time and lost wages.

I stood up too fast, and from an insufficient amount of oxygen to the brain, I nearly fainted.
Poetry is the IV drip I find necessary to keep me hydrated and full of good vibrations. It’s most certainly not a cure all, but it’s also far from snake oil as I discover myself for the first time in a very long time receptive to going outside and feeling the sun on my pasty skin.
I’m channeling a different kind of development having far more to do with internal fluctuations than anything that can be looked at under a microscope.

I waited in the waiting room for you to come out knowing full well you had more than likely slipped out a back door because our relationship had been on the skids for quite some time. We had become reluctant heroes to our inability to express why it was we felt so lifeless and had no get up and go. Train yourself to become an assassin, and break on through to the other side because only then will you have any chance at reconciling with your inner self. I’m not talking about passing away, but instead about living through the reconnecting with all of your most reluctant of senses.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, October 06, 2014

"A Gateway To The World Between Worlds"

“I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Listen to those words and know there is more here than meets the eyes, nose and throat.
The eyes can only reveal so much if the door is shut while our passions drag us kicking and screaming through the desert, naked and frozen with self-recriminations.

Take your demonic ideals and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine.
I never claimed to possess any moral virtue, not even when I was a child and existed inside tumors of cancerous self-doubt.
When you live at someone else’s expense, the beckoning you do is rarely your own.
You die a little inside each day because you’re a crustacean and your shell is ill-fitting, but blaming other crustaceans is not going to change a damn thing or make you any less delicious when sautéed in butter.

Ring Around the Rosie was a playground singing game before it became a hellacious threat scaring adults and children alike.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. The writing was on the wall long before Moses led the Jews out of Egypt or you were probed by your first touchy feely alien.
There is nothing wrong with listening to your heart as long as you know not all heart murmurs speak the truth or are interested in helping you find  some honest to goodness happiness.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Gone With The Wind

I’ve never seen Gone with the Wind.
I want to get to know Hattie McDaniel on a first name basis.
It’s time I made something happen with my life, but "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

You think you know everything only to realize you’ve barely scratched the surface.
I couldn’t find any Windex when I was at the store, so I bought Valu Time Glass Cleaner instead.
It appears to do the same job for half the price. Isn’t that the way that it always is?

I’m not opposed to the less expensive generic brands because I often feel like I am the generic brand, and that there is a name brand Charles Cicirella running around out there.
Keep your eyes and heart pealed because you could happen upon your soul mate at any moment. There’s no telling if you’ll hit it off, but if you don’t give it a shot, you’ll never know if you could have been happier than you presently are.
We bring our children up to believe that anything is possible. Truth be told, we don’t honestly know if such a thing is even true, but what’s the harm in dreaming and spreading some good cheer?

I think it’s high time I saw Gone with the Wind.
We all need to get our Margaret Mitchell on before we sink into the big sleep.
It’s time I made something of my life, and Rhett Butler’s enthrallment with Scarlet will not diminish my own desires in the least little bit. 

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Coffee Beans

Words appear in my head, and I write them down.
It’s that simple, even though simplicity has nothing to do with it.
The point is not the complexity of the task at hand. When it comes to degrees of difficulty, I’m as lost as you and in need of a stiff drink and an even stiffer upper lip.

Reveal everything about yourself by looking deeply into my eyes. I promise before we’re through, we’ll have either fallen in love with each other or fallen out of another poor excuse for what may have passed for a relationship in another century.
I always believed your sense of style was timeless until realizing you were receiving your best ideas from someone else’s magazine cover shoot where all the models suffer from eating disorders and believe the objectification of one’s body is a small price to pay for immortality and a six figure salary.
The coffee beans were over roasted and tasted burnt, but that’s okay. I prefer my coffee well done and my morning Danish to be filled with cheese and endless regret, just like I preferred you lying in bed looking up at me with your crescent moon shaped eyes before we visited the church for the final time.

Words appear in my head, and I either accept the task at hand or do my best to ignore it.
If I choose to ignore it, I’ll never live it down because the words will haunt me like sourdough ghosts in the heart of the Tenderloin in San Francisco.
I am a poet, not a rabbi, police chief, or CPA. I am unpaid and constantly on guard, but those are the choices that I’ve made.
The sacrifice was the easy part. The hard part starts now as I do my best to figure out why I was forsaken and to whom I should take my complaints to.

Charles Cicirella

Another Poem About Bob Dylan #3

“I’m walking through streets that are dead.”
Headphones on receiving orders from central cocoon.
His voice a paintbrush. His every line delivers nostalgia and new birth simultaneously.
“My feet are so tired, my brain is so wired,  and the clouds are weeping.”

We’re soldiers on the front line of nothing.
Nothing new, nothing old. It’s all been done to death before.
He arrived in New York City and broke new ground by simply doing nothing more than showing up and paying attention.
I’m listening to a man who continues to give a damn as he hides in plain sight and brings us together faultlessly decade after decade.

“Sometimes the silence can be like the thunder.”
Sometimes, Bob all I want to do is throw in the towel. Then I put on one of your records or live performances, and I am reminded that quitting is not an option.
Getting on the tour bus and heading for another joint. Sleeping in one strange hotel after another has to get old, and yet you’ve proven beyond the shadow of any doubt the mettle you’re made of and that a song and dance man is truly what you are.
“I spoke like a child; you destroyed me with a smile.”

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, October 02, 2014

War Is Hell

The fog of war cannot be trusted.
Do you believe you have a better half? What do you think that better half is doing right now?
Obfuscation is just another word for smokescreen like Jerry Lewis is just another two words for overrated hack.

I was in the trenches and could hardly catch my breath.
There were all these Germans in close proximity, and I prayed they could not smell my Jewish blood.
Yes I am still very much a pacifist, but sometimes you must allow your moral imperatives to lapse so you can finish off the bullies with your semi-automatic fists.

I used to tell people I’m a lover, not a fighter. Now I just ask people to buy me a double bacon cheeseburger and call it a day.
You don’t have to worry about getting lost in the woods because these particular woods were created by the Brothers Grimm, and nothing happens in them except that which has already been written down and committed to a child’s fragile eggshell mind.
Someone slipped a red herring in my Coca-Cola, and before I knew it I was off on another wild goose chase. Agatha Christie called and she wants her ten little Indians back with interest. She also wanted me to tell you there’s no real point in solving a mystery when there’ll just be another one and another one after that. 

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Shifting Sands

I’m irrelevant.
The guy with the leaf blower is out back.
I don’t have any leaves to offer him and I cannot believe its fall again.

The sand is shifting beneath my bare feet.
I’ve always found sand between my toes to be such an unsettling sensation.
There’s no accounting for taste, but the way a person chooses to end their own life tells a lot about someone.

I’m going to go hide in the closet because I am petrified of what my bones might do when left to their own devices.
I know we’ve been here countless times before, but please understand I didn’t plan any of this. My writing is automatic. Like my feelings are automatic, not automated you dumb fuck.
Please forgive me my trespasses, and I promise to forgive you for when you walked in on me when I was wearing nothing but my sarcasm and a red clown nose.

The information I possess is erroneous at the best of times and completely off the reservation at the worst of times.
The code word is still Exodus so be sure to tell all of your gentile friends to make room because the chosen people are coming, and negotiating has never been one of our strong suits.
And if you think I am one of those self-hating Jews please know there is nothing I covet more than my Jewish ancestry. That does not mean I suffer fools gladly, though, nor will I put up with any of your Catholic guilt.

I’m unspecified.
The silence is deafening.
I don’t have any qualms about admitting I’ve lost my mind. I also don’t have a problem admitting that I have stopped giving a shit a long time ago.

Charles Cicirella

Homeland Security

You can blame it on the terrorists all you want, but the problem isn’t so much the terrorists, but rather how easily we allowed them to get inside of our heads.
When we started to use the word homeland that’s when the shit really got messed up. The word homeland makes me think of the Nazi’s and the Fatherland and all of the other bullshit going along with that failed and evil ideology.
911 was a horrendous and tragic day and there’s no disputing that, but why does America act like they’re the only ones to have ever been attacked on their own soil when in fact America is late in coming to this insidious party.
“My boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble. (Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend's back).”

I have no idea how I’ll ever be able to explain to him how things got so screwed up in such a short amount of time.
The world has completely changed since 911, and it’s not the terrorists, who are to blame but instead all of us for how we chose to deal with this radicalized state of affairs. We surrendered our civil liberties and turned our backs on our supposedly trustworthy leaders so they could wreak even more havoc and break apart our Republic for which it stands.
“When you see him comin', better cut out on the double. (Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend's back).”

I remember when we could tell the bad guys from the good guys, or at least we thought we could. Back then, there were no 24-hour news cycles, and the term “lamestream media” had not yet been coined by some grizzly bear mom who had her fifteen minutes of fame but lacks enough sense to know when to call it a day.
You can blame it on the terrorists all you want, but we best start taking a good look at ourselves. Otherwise, we’re just going to become more and more paranoid as a nation and give ourselves an even bigger black eye than we already have.
“Hey, he knows what you been tryin'. And he knows that you been lyin'. (Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend's back).”

Charles Cicirella

Friday, September 26, 2014

"Fear Is Like A Companion"

(For Laurie)

Speak the words inside your heart.
Meditate on what is inside your head, and make it your own.
We are children of gods, and we’re never alone.
We are children of fools, and it’s our wishes bringing us home.
Focus through the darkness and the light.
Focus on the snow, and melt it with your love.
We’re invested in the game because we know the outcome will shape our future selves.
We’re standing on the stage, soaking in the heat from the spotlight’s ancestral glow.

Pick up a big stick, and beat down the shadows with all the inner knowledge you possess.
Push through the questioning and the doubting, and know that you are loved.
Fear is like a companion, making you stronger in the face of whatever adversities are knocking upon your door.
Fear is like a companion, grounding you when the bully pulpit is on its high horse and leading you around in dizzying circles.
Focus on what’s inside the sun, and embrace it with all your might.
We are invested in the now because we know what’s coming will strengthen our resolve.
We are standing on the stage, soaking in the warmth from an audience of our peers.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, September 25, 2014

White Paper

The poetry has me in its sights.
To most people, words are just words; to me, words are life and death.
The white paper is a childhood free of blemishes and pollutants.
When you begin breaking apart that is the best time to stop running and remember who you are.

The poetry has gotten out of hand, or maybe I am the one who has lost control and only the poetry can redefine me and make me whole.
There was a maelstrom that just about took off my head, but I kept my wits about me and learned to walk before I ran and hid.
The white paper is nothing you can easily wrap your mind around because it was here long before you were born and will be here long after you’re dead.
I believe it’s time we came clean and admitted what it is we expect from one another. I am tired of your lying eyes, and I know you’re tired of how easily I’ve always been able to manipulate you into doing whatever it is I desire.

The poetry has me dead to rights on accepting bribes from an invisible self I’m still having trouble letting off the hook.
To most people, words are just words; to me, words are a long-distance train rolling through the rain. I can’t help but wonder if Dylan will ever get back to when the truth was obscure, too profound, and too pure. To live it you have to explode.
The butcher paper is bloody from another day of giving birth free of guilt or reasonable doubt.
When you feel like your mind has given up, that’s the best time to forget you were once on the dark side of this room and that being a writer is the only thing that can help you to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Desert

This poem is about revealing one’s true nature and not about little blue pills or who can last longer in a Cage of Death match.
This poem is about discovering one’s body of work before rigor mortis sets in and not about leaving a good looking corpse or only the good dying young.
This poem is about jumping into the deep end and not about easing into the pool like some decaying fossil that never had their wits about them or cared about making a lasting impression.

The desert calls you up in the middle of the Lite-Brite day. You’re wearing baggy shorts and drinking OJ from a Smuckers’ Looney Tunes jelly glass.
I know you’re not Dylan, fuck you’re not even Donovan, but that doesn’t mean a thing as long as you believe in something more than reality television or paying for phone sex with your PayPal account.
I knew a guy who could wipe you out with his smile and fever pitched repartee. He was also pretty straight up and did not once take me for granted or make me feel like I was worthless.

This poem is about hunkering down and delivering the real goods no matter the climate change outside or the seismic shifts inside your own domesticated firestorm.
This poem is about taking the Dog Day Afternoon hostage even when you’re feeling less than inspired and robbing a bank or creating some new artwork is the last thing you have on your mind.
This poem is not about forgiving anyone because forgiveness can be way overrated in these sepia toned times where religion just fucks with your head and Sigmund Freud never really wanted to help you make sense of your dreams or why it is you’re such a motherfucker.

We need not be ill-equipped or ill-advised.
We need not stay out of the fray just because we’re afraid to express how we actually feel or why it is we’re angry all of the time.
We need not hang back from the edge of the cliff because if we don’t learn to embrace our fear of heights we’ll never learn to fly.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Ocean

This poem is about inspiration and not about the little or big fishes in the ocean.
This poem is about excavating creativity and not about skeletons in the closet or repressed memories.
This poem is about figuring shit out and not about shaking and baking yourself to the point that you’re pulling dead dogs out from behind the couch because you’re a psychopath and have been ever since you were a towhead child spending too much time alone in your room.

The ocean calls you up in the middle of the dark night. You are wearing ripped, pee stained underwear and drinking spilled milk from a faceless container.
I know you’re not Picasso, fuck you’re not even Warhol, but that hardly means anything as long as you believe in something more than rosary beads or having sex with crash test strangers.
I knew a guy who could play the guitar like the second coming. He was also pretty damn funny and never shirked away from the responsibility of being irresponsibly adept at crucifying the truth while up on stage.

This poem is about inspiring others to do their best work and not about beating someone over the head with their prosthetic leg and leaving them in the ditch with the tenured professors and forensic death merchants.
This poem is about seizing the day by fucking another dead language in the gluteus maximus and not once looking back because what happened to Lot’s wife could happen to anyone of us here and now in these metastasized modern times. 
This poem is about getting angry and staying angry until your chosen work is done and not about making excuses or pretending you do not possess the greatness you most assuredly do possess.

We do not have to be disenfranchised or dispossessed.
We do not have to stay on the sidelines keeping our opinions and ideas strictly to ourselves.
We do not have to wade so cautiously into the ocean especially when the waves are breaking all around us and begging for us to dive in.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, September 22, 2014

Operation Stupid

Keep it simple.
Don’t overextend yourself.
We don’t need another dumb war.

What makes for a smart war?
I think what we don’t need is another President too smart for their own good.
I think what we absolutely do not need is more pandering and politics merely for the sake of good optics.

It’s the economy stupid.
Well if that’s in fact true, how about we raise the minimum wage to an honest to goodness living wage and start listening to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
If our country is so exceptional, then why is it that the only ones who seem to get elected are the ones who either keep everything too close to their vest or are so reckless and ignorant they might just blow everyone up with their John Wayne ways and ill equipped means?

Wall Street continues to bitch about how bad President Obama is for business as they continue to rake in record profits while our infrastructure falls down on one knee and pleads for blessed mercy.
I’m tired of business as usual and how we now seem to condone a concentration camp mentality where it’s acceptable to kill an entire race of people as long as you don’t beat your chest or rub our noses in your Dr. Strangelove misanthropy.
I was brought up to believe light would prevail over darkness and yet more and more these days it seems the lesson is might makes right and that if you question how things are going you’ll be silenced and thrown into a hole with everyone else who spoke their minds and believed their voices mattered.

Keep it simple.
Don’t make waves in such a large and polluted ocean.
We don’t need another Buddhist monk burning himself in the street, especially when persecution seems to be in fashion and no one really seems to be paying much attention to anything other than their smartphones.

Charles Cicirella

I'm Clean

I took a shower.
Was tired of smelling my unfavorable self.
I wiped the slate clean.
Was tired of the chalk getting on my fingers.

I know you’re not Thomas Jefferson or some other revolutionary thinker who couldn’t keep it in their pants. That’s no surprise though when starting a new country from scratch.
Soon I will listen to the new Leonard Cohen record. I really haven’t found myself moved since Ten New Songs, but I know that could change in an instant.
I know you’re not thinking about me like I’m thinking about you, but that’s probably because you don’t live inside of your mind twenty four hours a day, seven days a week with hardly a break even for good behavior.

I took a shower.
Was tired of smelling my uncomplimentary past.
I wiped the sweat from my eyes.
Was tired of the chalk outline on my letterhead.

It’s time to repave these timeworn streets with something more than just lingering memories.
It’s time I either pulled myself up by the bootstraps or laid down and died for the final time.
I’m not counting on reincarnation this time around because the elasticity of my religion only lasts as long as my boxers comfortably fit.
I swear to God I never kept any secrets from you except for the secrets I also kept from myself.

I drank the grape juice and pretended it was grape juice.
I poked myself in the eye and pretended it was just like old times.
I chased you around the apartment because you wouldn’t give me my way. I’ll never forget when you ran into the street and left me completely behind.

Charles Cicirella

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heavyweight Champion Of The World

(For Bob Dylan)

Down for the count, but not dead yet.
Just remember death is not the end.
Swallowing fire and spitting out prophecy.
All along the watchtower, our enemies burn like friendless torches.

If this poetry does not define me, I’m not sure anything will.
The words wash over me like rhythm and blues.
I hear his voice, and my fears fall down like a savior’s tears.
Late last night you came a-rollin’ across my mind.

It was 1988 and nothing was happening.
I was working the graveyard shift at a gas station.
At the time this record didn’t do anything for me.
Now when I play it, even my close Dylan friends think I’ve lost my mind.

Down for the count but I’m still alive, and that must count for something.
I can tell you fancy, I can tell you plain. You give something up for everything you gain.
The tears of a clown won’t save us, but hasn’t it always been the thought that counts?
I know you’re in darkness, but trust me there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

I was in the desert looking for a sign.
I looked up when a stop sign appeared and a voice asked if I needed a ride.
The driver gave me the twenty one dollars that he had.
I swear to God you can get relief if you just open your heart and mind to the miracles existing all around you.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, September 18, 2014


I am digesting remnants.
It’s 5:38 AM and I am eating a slice of pepperoni pizza.
My childhood needed salt as many childhoods do.

You can forget about the coming attractions.
My fingers are greasy as I press down the keys.
Someone’s coughing in the other room.

My diet consists of consonants, but not enough vowels.
We’d watch Wheel of Fortune as she recovered from surgery.
Earlier today I heard some news I still do not wish to accept.

I am digesting fragments.
It’s 5:43 AM and I am eating the crust of a slice of pepperoni pizza.
My adulthood needs reexamining as many adulthoods do.

The first poem I wrote was about the moon.
At first I did not even know it was a poem. That’s when my life truthfully began.
Some pills are harder to swallow than others and that’s why God gave us water to drink.

Charles Cicirella

Lashing Out

Flogging myself with negative thoughts.
Have you ever awoken from a deep sleep and come to the conclusion you’re not treating yourself with enough respect?
Sometimes when I was a kid and played doctor I’d pray I was the receptionist and didn’t have to perform any of the heavy breathing.

Lagging behind because I will not permit the pit crew to change my tires or perform any of the other routine maintenance my racecar may require.
When it comes to fools, I’m the biggest fool of them all, and I don’t need a tape measure to make good on this claim.
All you have to do is look into my eyes to soon realize nobody is home and that there hasn’t been for decades.

I listen back to my poetry and believe that it’s good, but where exactly does that get me. Is it possible to trade in some of these words for a ham sandwich and nice refreshing lemonade?
I understand when you’re an artist, worrying about material things is beyond ridiculous, but I’m starting to think I may have reached a point where taking care of me is more important than the next art installation.
I don’t doubt for a second that hard work, dedication and sacrifice are essential factors when doing your best to make something happen, but what if nothing is happening and all you seem to be doing is trying the patience of those who also happen to be supporting you.

Standing on the side of the highway trying to flag down a ride.
It’s pitch dark, and I know my chances of getting picked up are slim to none.
It may be time to take off the kid gloves and experience some hard knocks before I am folded up and put back into a trunk like some ventriloquist’s dummy.

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Child's Fort

I remember trying to fall asleep when I was a child.
I built a fort inside of my mind and nothing, not even death could reach me.
The only watch I've ever owned was a Timex Snoopy Watch. I believe that’s the only time when the concept of time was not so wishy-washy or completely foreign to me.

We non-exist like a child bride waiting for a stranger to buy her for twelve dollars and treat her worse than a piece of property.
If you’re ever in doubt that humanity is in short supply, just turn on the news and remember that the road to hell is paved with both the bones of the guilty and of the innocent.
Every silver lining has a cloud and for every glass half full, there are shards of broken glass carpet bombing the unswept desert like bloody rose petals.

I remember not being able to fall asleep when I was a child.
My mother told me to imagine a blackboard and to erase all of the thoughts inside my head.
For some reason I remember thinking about JFK and all kinds of other things that no child would ever be thinking about. It did not help me to fall asleep any faster, but I did finally grow tired thinking about how messed up I was for such a little kid.

Bobby and Donald had a tree house and my mother forbade me to go up inside so I stayed down below all by myself.
For some reason I believed if I went up into that tree house my mother would find out, and that scared me to death.
I built a child’s fort inside my psyche and to this day I am still ripping away the two by fours trying desperately to find the inner child I sealed away so many years ago.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ramen Noodles

I just finished a bowl of Ramen Noodles.
They were nothing to write home about, but I enjoyed them all the same.
I have another dollar and look forward to buying a candy bar tomorrow.

I’m living day to day, poem to poem, daybreak to daybreak.
I’ve always known sacrifice would be the key. I just did not comprehend how difficult finding the door would be.
I’m sitting here waiting for the words to advance. There’s nothing to be gained by rushing through the procedure because the patient living or dying is not up to you.

Creativity is my sworn enemy and I will wrestle with it until the day I am finally released from this self-imposed cellular degeneration.
The words fall to the ground like flakes of skin from a leper or flayed victim.
I have always played for keeps even before understanding how counter-intuitive the Grand Inquisitor’s denunciation of Jesus would ultimately turn out to be.

I just finished a bowl of awkward silences.
They were nothing much to write home about, but I deplored them all the same.
I have another dollar and look forward to bribing you when we meet up again in the streets like beggars or electric sheep.

Charles Cicirella

Carthage Domain