Saturday, March 31, 2018

I'm Sinking Fast

Going to eat a piece of matzoh and try to look passed this desert I’m drowning in
What if the Easter Bunny doesn’t rise again? What then are we to do with all of these obnoxious eggs?
I could binge watch every episode of The West Wing or I could just curl up in a ball and do my best to forget and forgive that I was ever born

I’m sinking fast
The crossroads laid out before me like a snake’s flickering forked tongue as I try to not vomit in my sleep and end up like Hendrix did
I have a close friend who I conspire with and that keeps me both sane and dialed into whichever wavelength isn’t filled with white noise and white privilege

I used to believe that I was better than all the rest until realizing we’re all Keebler Elves doing our very best to find a tree that suits our particular cookie making skillset
I’m so exhausted that I think even dying would take too much energy
It’s best I stop fixating on giving up the ghost and instead figure out how I’ll someday fuck Christina Rici

Going to lay down now and catch some z’s
Maybe when I wake up there will be an Easter basket laid at my feet
Sleep is a sanctuary I look forward to like vanilla malts or malt liquor on a really hot day

Charles Cicirella

Friday, March 30, 2018

My review of Bettye LaVette's new album, "Things Have Changed."

Listening to Bettye LaVette's album "Things Have Changed" on Spotify. She's very much dialed in. Wondering if that's Larry Campbell's lead on "Things Have Changed." Guessing it probably is. She really tears these songs down and puts them back together again almost as if it's a Bob Dylan Motown record. So many Bob covers and so few of them have any real meat on their clunky bones. This record is all about that sweet fat hanging off her ribs. I wish I had a wet nap so I could wipe my hands after each greasy, delicious morsel. “It Ain't Me Babe” is remorse at a heightened level that is painful to listen to because it reminds us just how many heartbreaks stand in the way of our happiness. The way she half growls - half whispers certain words leaves me in both delicious agony and expunged, laconic ecstasy. In fact it's the kind of ecstasy Lou Reed ordered up when he believed he was alone and the black leather - blue mask was put up on the shelf. “Political World” she stretches out and gets us up close and personal to the executioner’s face. It’s Bob rap served up by Bettye and Keith Richards with no apology as the song drives through Detroit, top down without a fucking care in this world or the next. “Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight” breaks it wide open. Imagine Easter with no Christ or Passover without gefilte fish. This is one Bob song I always wished Bob would surprise us with and hearing it now brings fresh tears to my unrepentant eyes. I am loving this record because Bettye clearly loves these songs and understands that to do them any justice whatsoever you must bring tough love into the equation or else the geometry just won’t work. Not really finding the piss and vinegar that I am used to with “Seeing The Real You At Last”, but you can’t have everything as you sail through the storm strapped to the mast. “I'm gonna quit this bullshit now.” This record is a conversation between Bettye and her twin or maybe her audience or maybe just maybe she’s talking directly to her creator and leaving nothing to chance. I love in a recent RS interview she says “He writes arguments. He writes grievances. He doesn't write any love stories.” And as I listen to this record I get exactly what she’s saying. It’s not poetry, no, these are very much the 95 Theses Luther nailed to the Church’s door. “Mama, You Been On My Mind” gets under your skin and refuses to go anywhere. I recently lost my mother and this song will now live inside of me until I expire. “Ain’t Talkin’” has the excess skin flayed from its back of transgression and tribulation and the results are stark, unfunny and harrowing to say the very least especially when followed by a “The Times They Are A-Changin’” that I’ve never heard the likes of before. Many have covered this song, but few have truly uncovered what these words are actually reporting. This song is more than a plea, it’s an evocation and Bettye clearly understands this as the words flow out of her mouth like unanswered prayers from on high. Forget religion because God will hardly recognize you when the Pearly Gates slowly open and Saint Peter gives you a moment to change your mind and actually make a difference with your unexamined life. “What Was It You Wanted” yes Bettye, Mercy! Trombone Shorty is a revelation on this song. As I listen I am taken back to Marvin Gaye and the dark night of a soul when bullets replaced words and not even “Sexual Healing” could save him. How one song transitions into the next must be heard to be believed. “Emotionally Yours” is a hymn to the servitude of real love without any back talk or sass to muddy the waters of a journey connecting hearts and minds. I find myself swooning and wanting to hear that one again as I put on my shoes so I can set out to find my one true love. Another killer transition because hearing things in chronological order makes zero sense when dealing with Bob’s extensive and excruciating catalog of hits and more hits. “Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others)” is a thumb in your eye as the good book comes alive and helps every one of us make up for lost Robinson Crusoe time.  No better song to end this album than “Going, Going, Gone” another song underplayed and underappreciated from an album that deserves more love. Her growl is right in the pocket as our heartstrings are again given a good talking to before she throws you a backward glance and walks right out that door. Thank you Bettye and thank you Bob!   - Charles Cicirella 3/30/18

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Nature cannot be composed.

Less guns
Less God
We’re so doomed

Waiting for them to show the condo
It’s time for me to leave
Crossroads call out to me like a frozen lake

Some poems take longer to birth
We’re all midwives in our own ways and deplorable means
Hide your eyes I am ready to flash the world my nonessentials

Less emotional baggage
Less hypocritical bullshit
We’re so out of touch

I walked the pier until the wind kicked up a howling ultimatum
Linda walked to the end and thankfully made it back to the picnic table
We were lost and then we were found, buked and scorned by lasting first impressions

Waiting for them to knock on the cell door and ask what I want for my last meal
It’s time to cozy up to the governor and pray a stay of execution is in my near future
Don’t rely upon coincidence when chaos keeps you in line with a closed fist

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I Want You (Strange Happenings) (For Emily)

Want to write a poem for you
I hope I can pull it off
Like burning off leeches or watching The African Queen under the influence of granola

She was something special
Asked me to dance when no one else wanted anything to do with me
It was probably the only Winnie Cooper moment I’ll ever have in this one life

Let’s trade punches or kisses as In Through The Out Door plays in endless rotation like the Earth rotates around the sun
Newton had nothing on us except that he developed his theory of gravity while relying on the occult idea of action at a distance, across a vacuum, and did it while spitting in no one’s eye
Let’s face it compared to Sir Isaac we’re fucking losers or worse yet, Republicans

Want to spy you naked as I attempt to scale the trestle beneath your imaginary window
I’m not a stalker or a stuntman just a loathsome poet who never thought Corey Feldman was much of an actor even when he was oddly in vogue in the eighties
Bring back the firing squad, a cigarette and blindfold and maybe then I’ll die for this over extended country of haves and have s’mores  

Emily is an actress and an improviser of ferocious skill and wit
Someone who can trip the light fandango without even moving her pinky finger
Canada called and wants to wish us luck before they turn their enlightened backs on our divided states of amnesia

Charles Cicirella

Friday, March 09, 2018

Little Girl Blue (For Laura Mvula)

Piano keys undress you
Suspense heightened when you smile
Lost in your elegiac escapades

Don’t wish to rely upon comfort for this poem
These words must be born from a volcano
Your sound nothing pedestrian, thank God for that

We stir in everything and anything we can think of
The kitchen sink another tool instrumental in uncovering our histories
You came onto the scene already a legend, and nothing will stop you now

Let’s begin by forgetting our a,b,c's
Let’s begin by forsaking our Gods
Let’s begin by uncovering our mouths and speaking out against everything silencing us

There’s a racket in my soul that I hear every time I turn off the television in my mind
There’s a rebellious nature that mustn’t be squelched as you wake up and walk toward the sun
Saw, heard and felt you and know I’ll never be the same again.

Charles Cicirella

Bucket List

I want to be there in the morning with you when you put on antiperspirant
I want to be there when you’re sitting on the toilet with your A-frame tuchus looking into the void wondering what went right and what went wrong
Your lane’s the only one worth a damn in a world of shrinking dividends

The good days are when I remind myself I’m a working poet. The bad days advance like a silent thunder, never letting up on the gas or empty, lonesome prairies
Let’s fill the unwelcomed silences with trivia bowls and trivial, unthreatening sex
I stared hard into the crystal ball and saw only broken debutantes and French revolutions gone belly up

I wish to be there with you when you find out who your biological parents are
I desire to be present when you realize your taste in men isn’t as awful as you once believed it to be
I cannot get enough of you looking so deeply into my soul that the roots of all the best parts of me are no longer thirsty or in need of plastic drugs or plastic people

Charles Cicirella