Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sugar and Caffeine

Standing there mixing dry creamer into my instant coffee.
It’s become a ritual when I wake up and crawl back into the world.
I just took a sip of the delicious brew and actually felt it wake me up and pat me on the head.

I hated when I was a kid having to mow the lawn. It just seemed like the ultimate waste of time. I mean seriously why can’t the lawn just grow? What’s wrong with living in the jungle in the middle of suburbia like a drug lord or exiled dictator?
To this day I am still angry with myself for not taking my dog Bogie out for more walks. He was like my very hairy younger brother and he deserved better than he got.

It wasn’t easy writing that last line as the pangs of regret line up and take turns kicking me squarely in the gut. I was fourteen years old and to be perfectly honest it was only Bogie that really even wanted to hang out with me and always seemed to love me unconditionally.
At forty five years old I have no pets except for my ego which I also keep in the garage, but I walk it more frequently because I have learned my lesson and my ego deserves no less than to be treated like the king it surely is.
Someone recently told me they felt I came across with a sense of entitlement. It’s true that I do feel entitled in some small or large degree depending on the situation, but what this person fails to understand is that we’re all preexisting in glass houses of self-entitlement and privilege and that there is nothing wrong with that as long as we don’t become too full of ourselves and end up catching fire and crashing like the Hindenburg.

I’m not whining in the least little bit. I am only telling it like I believe it is and that is all any of us can do as we survive, thrive and ultimately come to an end on this merry-go-round of grind and labor.
The coffee is now cold, but that’s okay I’ll drink it anyway because it’s the caffeine and sugar I crave not the flavor or ridiculous social convention.
I know all of this sugar in my body is not a good thing and maybe it’s true that I am a sugar junkie, but at least I stay away from the harder drugs like alcohol, heroin and being a Republican.

Charles Cicirella

PB & J

I want to eat you up like a pb & j.
Slather on the grape jelly like I was your favorite Little Rascal.
Leave what I do with the peanut butter to your most fertile of imaginings.

We begin as Children of Paradise and if we’re lucky we’re not sold off to the highest bidder, strapped with a bomb around our chest and delivered to a town square where unsuspecting people are going to die for no other reason than God has left this part of the world a long, long time ago.
It’s time to eat a pb & j and do my very best to forget my troubles and woes.
My sister brought me groceries today along with a large pepperoni pizza and allergy medicine. We have not connected much the past few years. In fact we’ve never really connected all that much to begin with, but we’re still family and when we hugged and said our I love you’s I felt a sense of family that I have not felt in many years.

We must learn to cease and desist from taking ourselves for granted.
It’s 3:53 AM and I swear my inner child is somewhere amid all of this clutter I like to pretend is my life when in truth my life is free range and cannot be domesticated.
I believe it’s high time I served myself with a search warrant and discovered once and for all where all of the bodies and freeze dried tears have been buried.

I’m going to go into the kitchen in a few minutes and make myself a sandwich and pour myself another glass of Coca Cola.
My favorite Little Rascal was probably Alfalfa even though both Spanky and Mickey rank up there at the very top of my list.
I remember episodes of this show better than I remember episodes from my own childhood. Life is funny that way continually keeping you guessing and wanting more until you end up drunk, banging on someone’s door, demanding fifty bucks for a hunting dog you’d loaned out and never been compensated for.

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, March 28, 2015


(For Leah Mueller, Russ Van Rooy, Juliet Cook, Joni Soule, Christina M. Brooks, Erica Jayne Johnson, Darin Bulai, Steven Smith & Daniel Kennedy)

There’s a blizzard of words in my head.
No two snowflakes are alike and it’s the same with words and people and even prayers once you put them under the microscope.
There’s a blizzard of you in my head and it’s bound to kill me dead. It’s okay though because I have always wanted to overdose on someone else’s wordage. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy like being white and walking through the south side of Chicago at night.

We met on FB a funny place to hookup I will admit, but it seems like more and more people are doing this social networking thing which I believe has ushered in a new age of anti-social behavior.
Close knit societies are no longer all the rage and quilting bees seem to have worn out their warm, cozy welcome.
When it comes to poetry slams I’d rather slam my head against a cement wall than enter my blood poetry into a blood sport where a bunch of professional alcoholics skewer me like a roast pig.

There’s a tempest in a teapot of poetry in my head.
No two poems are alike and the same goes with a good cup of English tea once you stop being a snob and accept Afternoon tea as an inevitability.
There’s a populace of poets raging in my head. It’s alright though because I rather like all of these creative peoples ransacking my chamber of commerce brain and leaving me completely spent and whittled down in size. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy like eating only ghosts morning, noon and night and going to bed haunted and full of someone else’s memories and regrets.

Charles Cicirella

Naked Poets

I like to think we’re all naked poets, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Too many supposed poets taking the easy way out and only writing about what they do not know instead of what they have experienced in this life or a past life or even a future life on another planet or deep underground.
Too many writers filtering their slaughterhouse words because they’re afraid they will be rounded up and brought to a death camp to be experimented on for all of their ineffectiveness.

It’s just my opinion of course and maybe being a clothed poet makes more sense in these days of lost irony where one’s poetic license has been traded in for a Starbucks gift card.
I’ve even been told clothed poets make better lovers which I think is total bunk because no lovemaking is worth its weight in gold fillings if your intellect is not writhing in ecstasy when your partner checks your oil and replaces your brake pads.
Naked poets have more of a tendency to go the extra mile long after the wheels have fallen off and we’re cooped up in some nondescript truck stop in some nondescript rest area where all of the nondescript people grunt like sows and are led around by a nondescript Christian God they believe they’re on a first name basis with.

Maybe I am not even a naked poet and am just another loser writing the losing end while the ghost of Nathanael West reaches out to me from beyond the grave and The Day of the Locust mocks me like all alienated and desperate works of unparalleled genius have a tendency to do.
Perhaps I’m just another Dylan wannabe who thinks they’re breaking all of the rules when no rules in fact exist and Dylan was right on target when he said “I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me.”
Put on your windbreaker, get on your bicycle and ride around the promenade like any other legend who knows how it feels gathering no moss while standing in front of the crowd completely naked and bereft of any second or third nincompoop notions.

I wish I could take off my clothes and write this poem in the buff but my mother is in the dining room reading the newspaper and I know she wouldn’t get it.
It’s odd how poetry seems to more often than not divide us rather than bringing us together and to a more enlightened jumping-off place.
Too many writers tamping down their black powder verse for a more reserved and less confrontational tone. I believe it’s time we throw caution to the freewheelin’ wind and write about what’s going on. Pulling no punches while pushing the river and celebrating those who dare to break ranks with their counterintuitive  claptrap prose while spilling their precious bodily fluids down on the killin' floor.  

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


These words are not meant as an escape, stained glass window or glass half full.
They’re just words. Something to lean on or rely upon for the time being.
And I know I hurt you. And I know I hurt myself, but that’s oftentimes the way it is when responsibility is a fleeting notion and hanging out only leads to a bad hangover the next morning.

The priest asked if I was penitent and all I could think was how did I end up in this small box copping to shit I never had any intention of confessing to in the first place.
I wish you would talk to me instead of instantly shutting down at the first sign of an emotion you’re not comfortable making eye contact with.
Drink the coffee like its arsenic. Wear the old lace like it’s a bulletproof vest and never forget I loved you when you were broken and I will love you if and when you are fixed.

I’ve never been repentant. Maybe it’s all the guilt I’ve had to process from the very beginning when I was a pudgy, freckled, red haired momma’s boy to the present day when I’m becoming a curmudgeon of a man staring down my mortality and praying to God all these prophecies are not self-fulfilling.
We begin with Genesis and end with the Book of Revelation and in the middle there’s plenty of bloodletting and bloodlust and more excuses to spill blood than you can shake a stick at.
According to Hollywood Jesus either looks like Jeffrey Hunter or Willem Dafoe, but either way I will never accept that Judas Iscariot looked anything like Harvey Keitel.

These words are not meant as a way in or for that matter a way out. I started writing when the words appeared in my brainpan and I figured it best that I do something with them. 
It was never my intention to deliver some heavy handed crusade or bring about some kind of movement with all of these consonants and vowels twisted and shaped into soft pretzels of illogic and misappropriated mustard seeds of Count Chocula faith.
I am so sick and tired of trust fund babies telling me to get my life together when it has been clear from the outset one person’s answers are another person’s problems and never shall the twain meet. I was looking for a drinking buddy not a life coach when we hooked up so either pick up the bottle and take a drink or don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I’m not sorry in the least little bit and I’ve hardly gotten started expressing to you how disappointed I am with your Teflon Stonehenge comportment. I cannot get over how you kept bogarting the joint when it was passed to you and I’ll never forgive you for actually believing I needed help. Fuck you and the white horse you rode in on. Fuck you and the smack you OD’d on. Just fuck you.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, March 23, 2015

Another poem. Another poetry disc started.

These poetry coordinates don’t make any sense.
I cannot tell a lie. I desire to see you naked.
Naked of clothes, naked of thought.
Completely naked and withholding nothing.

I would like to begin this seminar with some deep knee bends.
I would like to begin by no longer pretending we believe in love and accept how helpless and hopeless our romantic status has become.
I am so inclined to stop believing in that new car smell because the last time I smelled it my father had bought a shiny new black and red Z28 as he grabbed hold of his midlife crisis like any sad man with prostate cancer grabs hold of their penis and awaits a more positive outcome.
I’m not Paul Simon. Heck I’m not even Anne Frank because the attics I hid in were in the suburbs of America and the only holocaust I ever experienced was in my Fisher-Price mind.

My brain chemistry is fractured and that is the way I prefer it. I took steroids one time for Bell’s palsy and felt honest to God even for the first time in my life, but after a while I missed the dramatic ups and downs of an artistic sensibility where everyday a new obstacle presents itself and waits to be vanquished.
“Behind the toilet is black” my mother screams from the bathroom and all I can think is what did either one of us do to deserve such similar death sentence fates?
In the year of 2015 all you have to do is take a pill to feel better and if that one pill does not work another pill will be prescribed to take along with the first pill. Doesn’t anyone else see how messed up that is? It gets me thinking that the war on drugs is still going on and it has everything to do with legal drugs prescribed by statisticians and nothing whatsoever to do with the person standing on the corner.

These poetry coordinates are just leading me around in dizzying circles.
My friend Joni posts her poetry and I once again find myself jealous of her artistic free will but understand she suffers for every brushstroke of the paintbrush, pen or finger she wields onto a canvas screen of nausea and snow blindness.
I cannot tell a lie. I desire to go bowling with you, but let’s forget about the uncomfortable and stinky rented bowling shoes and instead wear our own slippers and flannel PJs.
For the first time in our lives let’s shed all of our emotional baggage and do our very best to leave our persecution complexes at home with our rescue dogs and our Titanic inferiority complexes.
For the first time in our lives let’s act like children completely devoid of guilt and free of the sins of our parents.

Charles Cicirella

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cherry Cheese Hello

drinking instant coffee
eating a cherry cheese danish
watching the jinx
thinking what a scumbag robert durst is

sad little rich boy
entitled freakish little man
who believes the world is his ashtray

i don’t feel sorry for you in the least little bit as i watch you being interviewed
and i try to decode your facial ticks like they were some kind of morse code
peeling off your mask in clammy clumps of plaster a paris

sounds like your father drove your mother to jump from that roof and that money covers up the sins of the father like it’s now covering up the crimes of the son and everyone does what they are told to do because money doesn’t talk it bleats and god forbid someone finally stands up and calls you on your bullshit and pulls you down from your garbage encrusted pedestal that you teeter upon like some shit eating monster that gets off on pulling one over on everyone because you seem to think money makes you untouchable in your bubble world with your bubble emotions and your cherry cheese gravelly hellos and your desperate pleas for attention or retention or whatever gets you by and ultimately gives you away in some public bathroom because even the sick and depraved can be dragged down by guilt and loneliness and remorse and whatever passes for sorrow in these days of gods and monsters and slap happy guttural screams for help

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, March 19, 2015

God Squad Squawk Box

I am here
Here I am
Come and get me

Job was not a victim
Job didn’t have it coming to him
Job was just in the wrong place at the wrong time

I am trying my best to be open to inspiration
I am praying I don’t just become more collateral damage
I am well aware that resisting change is completely futile

Moses was not an Amway Distributor
Moses held no stock in pyramid schemes
Moses like Edward Scissorhands was a gentle spirit with a kind heart

I am tired of being by myself
Loneliness has got me on the run
I wish someone would ask me to dance

John the Baptist had it going on
John the Baptist was the first rebel without a cause
John the Baptist made it look easy because he did not require any backup band when crying in the wilderness

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Another Poem for Bob Dylan #5

Singing “Dirge”
He’s a Jewish Cantor
He’s everything and nothing encapsulated into nothing and everything

“Like a slave in orbit”
Like a meteor from space
Superman was Clark Kent’s worst nightmare

Thinking about eating a couple of hotdogs with sauerkraut and French’s Yellow Mustard
It’s a beginning
It’s Exodus without the cries in the wilderness or the unleavened bread

My Passover could beat up your Easter
I know it’s not a contest but if it were my unforgiving God would beat the tar out of your turn the other cheek Son of Man
Let’s start with heavy petting and if that doesn’t get us anywhere then you can have your way with me once the roofie kicks in and Fat Albert promises to leave the room

There is just something about the way he sings that transports me to another level of consciousness
I love how he leaves no rolling stone unturned while inventing a new language that beats the crap out of however we used to communicate before he appeared on the scene like a vengeful spirit or circus oddity
He makes being a freak cool as he takes every one of us hostage with his Dog Day Afternoon declarations of independence and inconsolable heartache

Emoting “Dirge”
He’s a Christian Minstrel
He’s breaking bad while making it perfectly clear there never was anything to return home to

Charles Cicirella

Friday, March 13, 2015

Our Secret Language (For Christina M. Brooks)

Want to write a poem for you.
I believe this is that poem.
Watched you at Snoetry.   
Still think about what you
Taught us and how you did it
Free of academia.

Think about you sitting against
The wall in Canton. How friendly
You were and how it made me
Feel like returning to the poetry
Scene was a good decision and
One I would not regret.

I very much want you to know
That you are not alone and that
I for one recognize and appreciate
Your generous and kind spirit.
I am also a very sensitive person
And no matter what anyone says
Having an open heart is a positive
And not a negative characteristic.

We bask in the sunlight of another
Dappled and delicious morning.
In our minds we are smelling the
Flowers and thanking some deity
For feeling so alive. You are a
Poet and there is no disputing that.
Poetry is a state of mind as much
As it is a state of true unbridled being.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Words Untoward

Seems like everyone is writing poetry these days.
It’s not such a hard job. Just string together some pearls and get out of the way.
I’ve never really thought of myself as a poet. That’s an eminent title and I’m more of a shoe polisher than a Poet, Pope or Virgin Mother.

Believe in a reversal of misfortune it’s about all you have to do.
Just grab hold of the Technicolor rainbow and don’t look back unless you want to turn into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife did so many years ago.
I remember hanging out with Nero as Rome burned and how disappointed he was when trying to bum a cigarette and I told him I don’t smoke.

Seems like everyone wants to be radicalized these days.
First there was a war on drugs then there was a war on terror and neither one of them really seemed to do much good. In fact I believe in both cases the allotted targets only grew bigger and more out of control.
You want to change the world? Forget about it because the world is one hard headed mofo and the blood and grease on our hands is only going to get thicker because when push comes to shove we’re all Catholic priests with an altar boy or two in our closets.

These words are untoward. These words are broken, scarred and disassembled.
I’m no Mary Poppins and even if I was I would prefer you kept Lady Gaga and her duplicitous tributes to yourself.
The very first poem I ever wrote was about the moon. Before I die I hope to write a poem about shooting the moon. Groucho Marx was a poet. Karl Marx not so much, but I believe both men were dyed in the wool romantics.

Seems like everyone is writing their very own obituary these days.
They start with all of these verbose adjectives that leave you wondering who they’re even talking about and before you know it they’re out of breath and wishing they’d been put out to pasture long before the stars were torn down.
I want to die, but not because I am a fatalist but simply because I believe death will give me more of an edge. Please understand I am in no hurry to spiral off this mortal coil, but when it does happen I will lean into it like all good poets do.

Charles Cicirella

“Compartments that’s how we survive in this world.”

Let’s make music like crickets.
I’m running out of good ideas.
The day the music died more
than just music breathed its last

We resemble our least favorable selves
when our backs are up against the wall.
She told me things about myself I could
hardly believe were true.
I’m running on empty and no top off
is going to save me.

We will not even come close to
breaking even if we insist on gambling
with our doppelgangers.
I sat next to her at a poetry reading
and everything sort of made sense
for the first time in decades.

The way I write is simple. I wait for the
words to advance and if they don’t I do
my best to stall before spilling the bloody
truth on the white shag rug. Believe what
you must. I still believe I am Christ the
Redeemer even though martyr complexes
are rarely worth the marble they are
chiseled from.

Put yourself in a compartment you will be
comfortable in for at least a millennium or
more. The help we seek quite often does
not come when expected so it’s best to be
cozy in one’s self-imposed isolation.
As we drove through the streets of Erie I
kept wondering why the plug hadn’t been
pulled years before.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, March 05, 2015


put the gun
in your mouth
pretend the
bullets are
and you
are a rat

swallow the barrel
you rat
pull the trigger
you rat

put the noose
around your neck
the rope
a Chicago neck-tie
and you are

step up
you coward
step off
you coward

film noir
can get you
5 to 20
if you
don’t cover
your tracks

i know
you said
you’re a
film buff
but it’s
getting harder
and harder
to believe
a word
you say
these days

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Lose Your Footing

(For Darin Bulai)

Basking in the American Graffiti moonlight.
A freeloading carpet bagging spirit-guide entrepreneur.
Slicing the uninherited wind into pieces and parts with a Cuisinart tongue mind-set
He commences soon after the werewolves have turned back into men and the vampires have retired to their subterranean motor-home coffins.

Broken and there is not enough Scotch Tape to repair these forsaken stigmata Romanesque ruinous wounds.
When staring up into the sky all that was there to fixate upon were clouds and more billowing clouds of thunder and thorn in the side Kabuki theatre political missteps.
Tired and listless like Sonny Liston after Cassius Clay beat the holy hell out of him in Miami Beach.
We’re all just miners mining for a heart of gold and a stampede of gold nugget words to ease us into our own desperate attempts for greatness or something resembling our better and less beleaguered Babe Ruth selves.

She wanted to sell my Star Wars collectibles because she believed she was owed a payday after putting up with all of my clinging and clawing behaviors. I warned her I possessed the claws of a sloth on sabbatical and was ready and willing to bring her down if it meant three square meals a day and a blow job on Presidents’ Day.
She was Pavlov and I was the dog salivating whenever she entered the room because I believed she was bringing me salvation or at the very least sustenance and a chew toy.
We were your typical broken record and I am sick and tired of how easy it is to now make a playlist, put it on shuffle and play it anywhere you like including the shower when you are drowning your sorrows in fifty shades of your own filth.

I believe in another life I was Sally Hemings and preferred it when Thomas Jefferson, Father of Democracy would give it to me from behind so I wouldn’t have to watch as his face scrunched up like a Red Delicious apple right before he climaxed inside like any free man has a tendency to do when sodomizing a slave they foolishly believe they own.
Kilroy was here or at least I think he was here. It is hard to keep track of his comings and goings when he is still so popular and every wall desires a piece of him.
He writes like the unseen wind and I cannot wait till I can put on a cloak of invisibility and lose myself in a lion’s share of his word puzzle requiems for a persona non grata quest for the Holy truncated Grail.

Charles Cicirella