Thursday, September 28, 2017

Starling (For Katie Boyd)

Bright colors
Work to her advantage
Aluminum foil starlings
Intellect weaponized

Hand holding intoxicants
Flame broiled sadness
Phoenix capsized Titanic
Batten down your hatches!

Abandoned theaters
Mute stranger’s chemical imbalance
Resistant to changing partners
Entropy squirrels gnaw at our crinkly consciences

I want to go the distance
I swear to God I do
“I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry”
I think I’m telling the truth or maybe I’m not. I don’t fucking know.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pick Your Poison (For Mark Gunderson)

Cat Stevens running through my head
Music made before he was an extremist
Or maybe he was always an extremist
I don’t fucking know

Going to eat some banana pudding
Cannot stomach chocolate pudding
Ever since it was brought to my attention that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist
I say is because sexual predators never change their roofie spots

I’ve known Mark for so long it’s like he’s always been there and maybe he was
Never forget the Comfest when I started to scream “White Jeep” and Lyceum 23 came running into the tent like an exorcism was taking hold and maybe it was
I believe that was my last stab at fame because not long after I settled for infamy because the press junkets were more fun and groupies don’t expect as much from you
Kimmie told me “White Jeep” was played on a radio station in Czechoslovakia and that made me feel good for about eight or nine minutes

Pick your poison go ahead I’ll wait
My latest poison was a young woman who it turned out really couldn’t stand me even though she did a very good job playing pretend and making me feel almost human again
Turned out to be just another graphic novel I never should have checked out
Never forget when we sat in the kiddy section of that library in Middleburg Heights and you had me questioning my very existence as you sat there stone face like an Easter Island statue and I begged you to reconsider

“The First Cut Is The Deepest” is the Cat song playing in an endless loop in my head
I wonder if he still does that one with his freak fag flying in the wind and his beard not slowing him down in the least little bit
It’s probably unfair to call him an extremist and I’m not sure if zealot is any closer to the Buried Child truth
When I looked down and saw it was Mark Gunderson calling I felt like it was the Pope on the line and if I didn’t answer quickly absolution would forever be out of reach

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Don’t Step Outside the Bounds of Reality (For Roky Erickson)

He just wanted his ham sandwich
Nothing is ever written in stone
Not even the Ten Commandments

The Bible will not save you
Look how, in the sequel, it treated Christ
Jews continue to get a raw deal

There is no master race
Though what’s so ironic
Is how those who spew that toxic garbage are the most ignorant animals on the planet

No one concentrated in the Concentration Camps
People just waited around to die
One more example of how might never makes right especially when you’re dead wrong on every single issue

I’m not convinced the Summer of Love was about anything other than getting high
Step outside the bounds of reality and you’re lucky if you don’t get punched in the face
Break through the Doors of Perception and be prepared to be rewarded with more riches than you could ever imagine

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Life isn't measured by clocks."

My heart’s beating like a grandfather clock missing its grandmother clock
Time sits on my face like a Jewish ghetto in Warsaw in Europe during World War II
Nothing going right as our possessions are stripped from us as storefront windows are smashed in and if we’re blessed attics become our only safe refuge

Caste systems are fucking bullshit as is anyone acting superior because of their supposedly pure blood
Go ahead and burn a cross on my front lawn because I can no longer be associated with white people and all of the wrong that they perpetuate in the name of God
We ran the Native Americans off their land because we wanted it for ourselves and wiped out the buffalo for sport and none of it even today makes a lick of sense as we celebrate a rainbow coalition and go on and on about what we’re thankful for

Trading punches with the champ or trading punches with another loser that pretends they’re undefeated when actually the fights they’re fighting are like taking candy from a big, disgruntled baby
Learning more and more that giving up control is the only way out of this place as abandonment issues rear their ugly head and disassociation zaps you like a bolt
I wanted to love you or at the very least like you for who you are until realizing you’re not even close to what you seemed as a Biblical flood wreaks havoc on our tick-tock lives

My heart’s beating like a hammer right out of my Playboy centerfold chest as I attempt to dial back my rage and stop dressing you down for your unwillingness to change
Time repeatedly sticks its fingers up my ass like a proctologist with ADHD and I’m none the wiser because I’m always up for a challenge especially when it comes from the backend
Nothing going right as I listen to the Geppetto wind and wish I was more than just a wooden puppet who wishes he were a real boy

Charles Cicirella

Friday, September 15, 2017

Scottish Gypsy (For Katie Boyd)

I want to taste you
It’s never about the punctuation because who really desires to stop?
My words are intended to shake your timbers and leave you unmasked and naked in a puddle on the floor

It’s time to shoot the moon and kill another white racist President
It’s time to bring down the world by ceasing and desisting from the red, white and blue hypocritical politics of a country that never actually cared about taking care of its own
I’m not a fucking patriot so you don’t have to waste those empty words on me. I refuse to waste this one life on anything like dying for my country because my country gave up on me when I still had red hair and freckles covered my body like a red sheet

I need to freeze out all these destructive voices in my head and focus only on the rainbows between my webbed toes
I desire for her to suffocate me with all of her non-weight and her eyes that drill holes so deep into my skull bank you’d think we’d hit China before too long
I know tasting her is out of the question and yet I still cannot stop thinking about the sweetness of her sweat and the tang of her Electric Kool-Aid pulsating personality

My reputation has always proceeded me. That’s just the way it goes when you’re Jewish Sicilian which means you kill people and then later feel guilty about it
There’s no bones about it threading a needle with a camel that looks like Salvador Dali is even harder than it may sound, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and try again before giving up and fetching a liquid refreshment
I was buked and I was scorned like every torch-singer-poet-troubadour before me and still I did my best to cross the desert because I knew manna from Heaven was not always a certainty or for that matter a foregone conclusion in these days of boxed wine and plastic roses

I must get back up on the pony and ride into Jerusalem before it’s too late and there are no more rooms at the inn
Joseph and Mary gave up on me in part because I don’t look like either one of them and also because they knew this savior business was a sticky wicket to get enmeshed in
From the very start I wasn’t looking forward to being crucified because there’s not enough sunscreen to cover my sins and when it comes to my father forsaking me I truly expected no less from a dad who was absentee right from the very beginning

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Karmic Payback (For Magda Davitt)

I hope these words reach you
Whatever state you find yourself in
It’s important to do the work and not give so much of a shit

I was the guy who handed you a poetry CD and a vinyl transfer of Dylan’s Street Legal after a show in Chicago
I thought it was important to have some good tunes to listen to while on the road and I believe my poetry will reach into places not visited since Ireland
Karmic payback is such a bitch especially when your mother was your tormentor and even after forgiving her she still haunts you like a broken and displaced saint

Let’s unfold the map of our psyches before we get into our favorite mode of transport and head toward the desert or seashore
Let’s resist brandishing a large stick and learn instead to stop internalizing our fear
Broken bones come and go, but you must find a way to allow your heart to heal before important parts are lost and your soul revisits anymore changing partners

I was the guy sitting up front listening with my eyes closed as you also shut your eyes and transmigrated through the buzzing crowd like a Philip K. Dick crop duster
Our wings are sometimes attached with only spit and prayer, but that doesn’t mean we cannot get healed
Made my mom a cup of coffee and now I’m going to watch the evening news. You’re never alone Magda no matter how dark the night may get, the day will find you and shelter you in place

Charles Cicirella

Cream of Wheat

Thinking about you
How we never fucked
Because for you it was all a ruse

Truly reprehensible how some people will take others for a ride and all because
they’re bored or frustrated or maybe they’re just hateful human beings who like to make others as miserable as they are
She stood in the center of town proclaiming she was not a witch when nothing could have been further from the elongated and tenuous truth and when push finally came to shove and she was burned she lit up like a roman candle until there was nothing left
Stop ignoring me because it won’t do any good. Actions must have consequences and in your case thinking you can just throw me under the bus and walk away with your ex boyfriend’s dick back in your mouth is both disgusting and truly sad on your part

She admitted he broke her and she admitted it would be the biggest mistake to get back with him and then that’s exactly what she did because failure and demolition is all she has ever known and even puppies sometimes have an awful time learning new tricks
I was in Chicago when it all began to unravel of course it had been unravelling right from the start and I knew it, but refused to face the truth because I enjoyed the distraction and liked when she would get naked and pleasure herself on camera for me
My life is a peepshow without any quarters to have and to hold. I was in San Francisco trying to get my bearings when I disappeared into the shadows and finally learned how the other half doesn’t live so easily

Thinking about you
Even though you’re now ignoring me because I guess that’s easier than facing the fact that maybe you finally found someone who really does love you and isn’t looking to break or rake you over the red hot coals
Coming up out of yourself isn’t a bad thing and I hope someday you’ll realize that being challenged or having your buttons pushed can be a wonderful experience if you’re only willing to break free from the same old same old and are ready to accept change and nuance into your Cream of Wheat outlook

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Breathing In Debris, Breathing Out Calamity

A cartoon safe fell on my head
It hurt like an imaginary Hell
I had it coming of course
Nothing like karma scorned

Wonder if John Lennon being such a fucking prick
Had anything to do with his undeniable genius
I’m guessing not and he was just another one of those
Entitled son of a bitches who believes the world owes them something

Weird how too often those spraying out so much sunshine
Are raging inside like a monster machine wiping out the little guy
By continually taking snide, cruel swipes at their Walter Mitty souls
Look I don’t care if you wrote “Imagine” there’s still no excuse for terrorizing everyone around you with such formidable calculation like another Svengali serial killer

It’s time to call it quits or maybe it’s not I don’t really know
Just about when I was ready to throw in the towel life reminded me I might actually have a few good years left
I allow depression to cripple me like Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol”, but what I keep forgetting is he made the best out of what he was given until pushed into the stove at the end of the novella and used for "God bless us, every one!" kindling

The Acme Corporation called and they want all of their foolproof products back
Of course nothing in those cartoons quite came off like it should have or did it?
Perhaps the inevitable failure of another Wile E. Coyote scheme is all any of us have to look forward to as we breathe in duplicitous debris and breathe out clouds of Calamity Jane calamity

Charles Cicirella

Mother (For Joni)

Two peas in a pod
Joni and me
Cast out of a warm womb
Into an insufferable tomb

We’re not Egyptians
But you wouldn’t know it
From our covered up mummies
Slathering their children in shame

I cherish the times Joni and me talk
Because of our shared Jewish heritage
We understand each other’s plight of misery
Allowing us to say so much with so few words

Two peas in a pod
Our mothers clearly suffer from a personality disorder
As children and now as adults toxicity disrupts our psyches
We fear inheriting their plague of nastiness as we run into the sun

Our negativity is inborn and that’s not an excuse
The only way we know how to process anything is by complaining
I’m quite sure people around me wish I’d give it a rest, but my best friends always afford me the room to come out the other side whole and shimmering like a bedazzled jewel
Joni continues to make it through by staring her hellhound’s right in their shining red eyes and never hanging out for too long at the crossroads by herself

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Guilt (For Soule)

It's in our DNA
Gentiles don’t understand
They repress everything

Guilt’s our flagship
Gets us from point a to point b
Keeps kicking us in the teeth

The Rabbi won’t help
He deals in guilt like an arms dealer deals in heavy weaponry
I blew my mind attempting to use religion as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding

Making mashed potatoes for my mom and listening to “Pain In My Heart” sung by Helene Smith
It touches parts of my soul reserved for restoration and retaliation
Just made a cup of instant coffee as my morning constitutional calls out to me like a constipated rooster

Joni I have loved you since we met at that Greyhound station in Indianapolis, Indiana
We’re waifs fighting against the strains of this miserable world because we’re fully aware taking one’s life is not an option when we’re guardians of light and positive synergy
Been feeling half dead for weeks and I know you understand what I’m moving through. I also know sometimes you consider drinking the turpentine instead of mixing it with your oil paints. Guilt checks us at the door and sends us out into the world oftentimes wearing the wrong overcoat. Time to take a shit and unload some of these bad feelings.

Charles Cicirella

Friday, September 08, 2017

The Theft of Identity #3

Nearly had a heart attack today
It was real, not imagined
Scared the hell out of me like real demons have a tendency doing

If one more “medical professional” tells me my mother is high functioning, I may just lose it or commit murder, suicide, or commit my mother or myself to some shiny facility on the hill
We cannot take ourselves for granted no matter how deep the shit gets we’re wading through
She came through like gangbusters then she just stopped cumming and it nearly broke my heart

The poetry pours out of me like I’m Winnie the Pooh hopped up on bennies and Tigger
If you don’t find some way to make friends with yourself you’re gonna be mighty lonesome when the drought comes and all your Facebook friends make other plans
Poets here in Cleveland pay me no mind and that’s just fine because I’ve never been much for scenes or the politics of redundancy

Today I enraged my mother because I just couldn’t take being whipped anymore
Like a slave in orbit, I was beaten ‘til I was tamed and the Planet Waves started to make discernible sense to me
I’m always feeling like my feelings don’t matter to others and I’m probably correct because when it comes to feelings most people would rather overdose than face the facts and do some actual heavy lifting
Put a fork in your eye and tell me how much it hurts and then bend over and allow yourself to be sodomized just for the appearance of normalcy and the aggregation of supply and demand

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Genesis (For Joni)

Let’s start at the start when fig leaves were not yet in fashion and modesty was but a twinkle in the Creator’s third eye
Why aren’t more people writing and painting with blood these days?
I believe it’s been true from the beginning of recorded history that those in the trenches inhaling the mustard gas will always be the first ones silenced and the last ones through the cowboy-swinging-doors

I can hear her hacking in the other room and it makes me think of Van’s “TB Sheets” and all he must have gone through just to get her a glass of water
These words are my blessed savior and these words always find a way to get me through when another canary in the coalmine is muzzled for its bright colors and its immutable voice
You want things to change? Well who doesn’t, but with change comes sacrifice and sacrifice has always been a slippery slope when facing down another biblical storm

I was standing by the Wurlitzer carefully selecting the tunes I wanted to hear when she sashayed into the room like a twenties flapper or terror suspect with only allegiance on her mastodon mind
We danced like Beautiful Losers have a tendency doing when we knew the end of the world was at hand and we didn’t feel like fitting ourselves into a bathroom stall and fucking like two container ships lost out at sea
I held onto her hips for dear life as she swung me around the claustrophobic room and left nothing to the imagination including the birthday suit she was wearing underneath

Genesis wasn’t just a band it was a way of life as balls got rolling and Sisyphus sat down and had a smoke
We pulled up to the door so she could drop off a check and all we could talk about was the sad state of affairs of another employee dropping their cigarette butt in the mulch
I wanted to get out of the car and bitch slap the person, but figured what good would it do when all over the world people are hurting each other with the choices they make and don’t make in the blink of yet another closed and uncaring eye

Charles Cicirella


When I place my ear against my mother’s skull
And listen like she’s a seashell at the seashore
I can hear the wind howling through her bones

I’ve been entrusted this gift and I’m going to use it now
Sit still as a stiletto stabbing a topographic map
And drain the pus from my Atlas Shrugged brain stem

Maybe I’ll strike it rich while panning for goblets of gold and empathy
Or maybe I’ll end up at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission again
The strip laid out before me like a Beatty treatise for another stalled movie project

Let’s keep this dementia between us because not all Manchurian Candidates are ill-informed and not every garden party has Mr. Hughes hiding in Dylan's shoes wearing his disguise
I’ve stepped on bigger toes than yours and though there’s no doubt you could buy and sell me what’s the bloody point when everyone ends up buried beneath mounds of paperwork and shovelfuls of dirt
I can hear the train imploring my mother to either make up her mind or stop being kind and to simply call it a day

Dementia must be taken seriously no matter how difficult it is to face
Matters of the heart are hard enough, but when it comes to the brain too many people consciously or unconsciously check out
My mother is the toughest person I’ve encountered in this life and even she is helpless at the hands of this silent killer

Charles Cicirella