Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No More Laughter

(For Robin Williams)

He hung himself.
Sat in a chair with a pocket knife and made some superficial cuts to the inside of his left wrist.

Was he out of punchlines?
While making so many others happy, on the inside was he screaming for help?

In the Dairy Queen picture he looked so gaunt and frail.
Were all the many voices in his head overcrowding and overwhelming any hope for inner peace?

Improvising on stage without a net is hard enough.
Improvising in life without a net is a whole other tin cylinder of napalm.

He stood up there on stage conducting a symphony of jokes with his unstoppable energy.
He stood in front of us showing just how beautiful and human a court jester can be.

I have a feeling he was tired of making promises to himself he knew he would not keep.
I have a feeling he was sick and tired of feeling so dead inside while there was so much life all around him that he could not afford to let in.

He hung himself.
In a room all by himself he made a choice that ended his life and I pray also ended his pain.

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Like To Watch

(For Robin Williams)

I am watching porn, but I’m not paying attention.
I cannot believe he’s gone, but there are a lot of things I cannot believe that I still somehow must learn to accept.
I’m thinking of another period when an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth actually meant more than just beating yourself up and tearing yourself down.

I pretend I’m happy.
I know it’s a dangerous pastime, but I’ve always lived on the edge, especially when denial is the only drug that makes any honest to God sense.
Go ahead tell me I’m full of shit. I am used to your disapproval and unhappiness.

There’s a bridge to nowhere and a bridge to somewhere, and someday maybe I’ll discover what exists in-between.
I was na├»ve enough to believe poetry would save me, but at forty five I am starting to understand nothing will save any one of us and all we’re doing is putting off the inevitable.

I like to stand back and watch.
I like to take a leap of faith every decade or so.
I wouldn’t even mind falling in love if it lasted longer than the time it takes to clean up the mess.

Stop telling me I’ll never change.
I already have enough white noise in my head, and you’re not helping with all your status quo bullshit and bad energy.
I am finding it hard to accept he decided to go, but who can really blame him when the laughter and the applause were no longer doing the trick and all he was left with was the silence.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Number Twelve

I’m not awake.
I’m sleeping.
I’m not alive.
I’m dying.

I remember walking down the wood paneled hallway.
I remember feeling like I was drunk.
I remember the ghosts crowding me.

We’re not present.
We’re past.
We’re not star artists.
We’re stand-ins.

I remember you walking toward me.
I remember feeling like I was happy.
I remember you laughing at my jokes.

This may be a success or it may be a failure.
Inspiration comes in drips and drabs.
Sometimes we’re hell-bent on a recovery, other times we just want to pass the test.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Number Eleven

I desire to write another poem.
I can feel it on the tip of my fingers and tongue.
I hope it’s not a false alarm.

It’s five in the morning.
My cell phone hasn’t rung in decades.
No one ever calls because they know I’ll just end up cutting them off.

This is number eleven.
I thought I might possibly be on a roll.
Thing is I may have jumped the gun or worse yet swallowed the barrel and pulled the trigger.

I wonder if I’ll ever experience physical intimacy again.
I don’t even mean sex or whatever the equivalent of sex is in the twenty-first century.
I’d settle for holding hands and maybe sliding into first by the end of the date.

Soon I will lie down on a sleeping bag on my mother’s floor and close my eyes.
When I wake up it will be around three in the afternoon and I’ll have accomplished nothing.
Truth is I don’t like guns and even if I owned one I wouldn’t be able to afford the bullets.

Charles Cicirella

Number Ten

Out live
Out last
Out do

Wear down fate by looking fear squarely in the eye.
Replenish happiness with mystical assurances from a benevolent creator.
Replenish hope with blessed charity.


Clearly your pact made all the difference with the talent you’ve been crowned with.
Clearly the crossroads means more to you than just a place to sell your soul.
Clearly when daylight comes you’re already heading for the next staging ground.

We’re going up around the bend.
We’re going to make amends before another innocent bystander is found guiltless and executed for someone else’s goodness.
We’re going to break the speed of sound by playing fucking loud and never once allowing Judas to do our dirty work for us.

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Trust the words will come.
Sometimes like a crossword puzzle.
Other times like a threat or left handed compliment.

Do you really eat apples like they’re going out of style?
Do you know when you try and hide you stick out like a sore thumb?
Do you still yearn to burn some of your fans alive?

Trust the desire has not dried up.
Sometimes like a wishing well in need of coins or proper repair.
Other times like a camel passing through the eye of a needle.

Do you believe in magic and the synchronicity oftentimes conquering it?
Do you live in a roomful of mirrors and understand why Jimi just had to go?
Do you still think about John being shot and how some things are not predetermined?

Trust the silence will ferry you across the water.
Trust the noise will bring you closer to God and farther away from another changing of the guards.
Trust that this circus you’ve encased yourself inside will shelter you from the storm as long as you’re willing to walk the line.

Enigmas are a dime a dozen in this world we are passing through.
Enigmas have their very own covenant once they’ve made their prayers known and let up on the gas.
Enigmas are a story unto themselves never playing catch up or make believe in this world that can’t stand long once the flames have been snuffed out.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, August 07, 2014


Rip off the skin, not only the scab.
Remove the person, not only the mask.
Recover from life, not only the addiction.

A grand piano needs to be climbed inside not just tinkered with.
Playing for time oftentimes only unwinds the clock.
Play your greatest misses, not just the hits.

We pray for a miracle when everyday happenstance is a blessing all its own.
We wish for shit until our hands are covered in it, and then we bitch about our dire circumstances.
We travel many a mile believing there is dignity in distancing ourselves from the mother ship when all we’re really doing is running in place, out of step and out of time.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
Hell, I’m not even a writer. Just read my rejection slips, keeping in mind we’re all born with a crossroads to ultimately face and then do away with.
The writing was on the wall and then it was tattooed onto her back and still she was uninteresting and lacked any honest to God subtext.

Break apart not only attempting hold everything together, but making an effort to become realized and not just preconceived or predisposed.
Break down not only through the premise of this play on articulated words and whatnot.
Break from conventional wisdom, finally understanding that the winds that tore you to shreds in Chicago are the very same winds that someday will put you back together again.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, August 04, 2014


We hug human husks.
We hug tree trunks.
We hug celestial bodies.

Be a pioneer and go it alone - I dare you.
Be a patron saint and try and make no mistakes - I double-dog-dare you.
Be a purveyor of human souls and never forget someone else created you - I triple-dog-dare you.

You’re not James Bond.
You’re not Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi.
You’re not the be all and end all of everything and everyone.

We hug naked truths in our undiagnosed states of unseeing.
We hug burly, bearded teamsters in our uninformed states of class warfare.
We hug our children with dirty hands and vulgar mouths in plain view of God Almighty.

Be an iconoclast and go the distance before you’re dead and buried in an unvisited grave.
Be a rebel without a prenup and pull out all the stops before you’re burned and your ashes are left blowing in the chilly winds.
Be an actual person with thoughts, feelings and opinions of your own before it’s too late and your existence is rubbed out like one more unsupervised adolescent prank.

We drove by the corn, and it was dead.
We drove by the church, and it was closed for repairs.
We drove off the cliff and never reached a bottom or actual conclusion we could accept.

You’re not Mickey or Minnie Mouse.
You’re not a purple dinosaur.
You’re not the last bastion of hope for humankind even though you may believe otherwise.

We hug empty vessels.
We hug pipes and drums.
We hug billions upon billions of stars to our sunken treasure chests and are never the wiser.

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Mother Revisited

(For Joni Soule)

Silence breaking.
Suffering this life.
She paints and dies.
She lives and cries.
We break apart.
We fall like dominoes into an unmarked grave.
I love her.
But that does not change anything.
I love her.
And that does mean something.
I heard her crying.
She was in the other room, 1385 miles away.
I have this bad habit of constantly interrupting her when we’re on the phone.
I don’t know if I’ll ever learn to shut up and listen.
Yes we’re artists.
And no there is nothing even the least little bit romantic about it.
She paints, but I honestly don’t know if that sets her free.
She lives and I honestly am not sure what any of this means.
She is not silent.
Pay attention and you will hear her asking for help.

Charles Cicirella