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

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"The Almighty Has Terrified Me"

I will suspend disbelief for a little while and believe this chocolate bar is God.
My father lives in Florida, but sometimes you have to take what you get and accept handouts are not always handed out for free.
I wish that this chocolate bar had almonds, but beggars cannot be choosers, especially when it has to do with serotonin levels and adjusting your expectations to maximum resplendency.

The Almighty has terrified me, but that’s alright because I’ve always known being one of the 144,000 chosen would not be a walk in the park, especially when competition is so stiff and everyone seems to have forgotten Jesus Christ was born, died and raised again a Jew.
Genocide is such an overplayed hand, and the fear mongers and the brown shirts best stop pushing such a hateful and ignorant agenda because sooner or later the people will finally have had enough and will rise up against their oppressors, leaving no stone or cheek unturned.
The Almighty has terrified me into believing more in myself because the calm before the storm has been placed into receivership, and no ark is going to be large enough to save everyone and that includes all of the animals and coveted humans this time around.
I will suspend disbelief for the time being and believe this chocolate bar is calling me.
My real father is up in Heaven even though I am finding that increasingly more difficult to believe. I am not programmed to look forward to much of anything, not even having a real life beyond this splendid isolation.
I wish I was going to more than just one Bob Dylan concert this tour. He is the only thing I’ve found that more than exceeds my expectations, but beggars cannot be choosers, especially when heading for another joint before the distance swallows you whole and spits you out in little, insignificant pieces and parts.

Charles Cicirella

My Self-Esteem Is In The Shitter

Just realized I have not a single person in my life to tell me they love me.
Wonder if I’ll ever be able to lift myself from this morass I’ve created.
My self-esteem is in the shitter, and it’s no surprise when there is no one there to talk to and I spend all of my time completely isolated from another human being.

My self-esteem has called it quits as I lie here on this killing floor wondering how things have gotten so out of control and why the part I always seem to play is either of the loner or lone gunman.
I have assassinated my own good will by going up into the clock tower and focusing only on my targets, never once just enjoying the view.
I’m in the bathroom of my mind, and there’s not enough toilet paper to wipe away how poorly I’m feeling.

We had Chinese food last night, but someone stole my fortune cookie.
Wondering how long I’ll be able to go on like this before the bubble bursts or worse I discover myself trapped inside of the bubble like John Travolta in that awful made-for-TV movie.
My self-esteem is in the shitter as I consider changing my name to Lazarus and praying for a savior to raise me from the dead.

Charles Cicirella

Friday, September 12, 2014

Abe Lincoln

Go ahead and strip me down to my bare essentials.
When it’s come to slavery, I’ve always been a willing participant as long as when my emancipation arrives, I’m given a good book to read and a seat by the window.
I’m tired of all your speechifying because when push comes to shove, your pragmatism hardly shoves enough.

Abraham Lincoln was a really good leader. At least that’s what history tells us as we put down the current issue of Time and allow the past to speak to us through facts, not non-fiction.
I don’t need a litmus test to know I’m a liberal and proud to be one just like I don’t need a weatherman to show me how intolerant too many people are when it comes to our very first black President of the United States.
Right there in the title is the word united, and yet it’s depressing how many people have forgotten what this word means or that it ever existed in the first place.

Go ahead and lay me bare in front of all my most fervent of detractors because I’ve never had anything to hide and believe the truth will set every one of us free once we can agree upon one truth indivisible for all.
You cannot write a document and say all men are created equal when the only men you actually meant were rich white men.
Looks like we’re being goaded to again go to war because the neocons are never happy unless we’re occupying someone. I understand some boogeymen are very real and must be dealt with. What I am having a difficult time understanding is why it is always America that must take the fight to these assholes.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, September 08, 2014


Punched in the gut again by events I cannot control.
It’s the way of the world when nothing seems to be going your way.
Listen to the voice on the radio and know soon you’ll be submerged beneath the waves.

Cogitations like partially digested food. Like ponderings of transient thoughts going nowhere.
I was attracted to her distress and how she spent hours in the bathroom picking at her skin.
I was attracted to how she never appeared to wrinkle even when a stitch in time was bearing down on her and she was lost in the ruminations of her own restless legs syndrome.

Bukowski was a pugilist as much as he was a poet and a loner and a madman.
I wish I could have driven around Hollywood with him in that BMW he bought with movie money.
I’ll never forget watching a documentary about him and how disgusted I was when watching him become more and more enraged as he kicked his wife off of the couch.

Punched in the gut by hunger pangs and the inane banality of it all.
It’s the way of the world especially when you’re as dull as paste and even the paste is more interesting.
Listen to the voices in your head just long enough to know they’re full of shit and that soon you’ll be ruminating on another blue Sunday.

Charles Cicirella

Third Eye Revolution Charles Cicirella - poetry and voice 9/5/14

Charles Cicirella reading at the open mic. at Writing Knights - Monday, August 25, 2014, Hosted by Azriel Johnson. - at Cultured Coffee Co. Canton, OH.

Friday, September 05, 2014

My review of Juliet Cook's NEW poetry chapbook - RED DEMOLITION -

Glitter Witch Repellant

Crack open this plethora of poems before they spoil. Before these rancid meat popsicles mutate into something even less salvageable and more worthy of contempt. You don’t read Juliet’s poems; no instead you shoot them into your temporal lobe and pray you don’t hemorrhage or worse yet survive this bloodletting. These poems speak to you with their twisted, sworn to secrecy mouths and soulless pinprick eyes. There is so much being dredged up that letting yourself off the hook is no longer an option as you turn another swollen page and die a little more inside. Snap open this murder of poems before you’re all red and swollen like a pimple or prick ready to pop or crackle like sugary cereal with an axe to grind. If you’ve ever wondered what collateral damage looks like up close and personal go and get yourself a copy of Red Demolition and remember you were warned. And remember when you were burned at the stake.

Charles Cicirella

published by Shirt Pocket Press and available for a mere six bucks here -  

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Third Eye Desolation

(For Dan Klute)

There's blood in the streets; it's up to my ankles.
Blood in the streets; it's up to my knee.
And I do not care what anyone says because The Doors are not just some band you listen to during your adolescence. In fact I still listen to them because they speak the truth through the blues, reds, and sonic booms.

I am waiting for the phone to ring.
I am awaiting another muse, another queen of the highway, another third, fourth, or fifth second coming to arrive and move these chess pieces around the board.
I had money, yeah, and I had none, but I was never so broke that I couldn’t buy a ticket to your show.

We’re led to believe good things come to those who wait, and if you believe that, I have a timeshare to sell you that is on the dark side of the moon.
Third eye desolation is a plague, and if you don’t get what I’m saying, don’t sweat it because you’ll soon be dead or filthy rich and living on an island with someone who you love to despise.
The cars hiss by my window like the waves down on the beach. We’re all being led to slaughter with every single Facebook message we post and smartphone app we download.

Blood in the streets runs a river of sadness.
Blood in the streets is up to my thigh.
And I do not care what anyone says because James Douglas Morrison was an American poet who slithered through the LA streets like a lizard in need of alcohol and a shaman who would listen to his moonlight driven prayers for a sacred kind of sweet desolation.

Charles Cicirella