Thursday, August 08, 2019


His words are the gunpowder that wakes and bakes me up and Adam
The media is trying to convince us this is now our world and we best get used to it
I refuse to accept this as true because at some point we’ll have to do some sensible gun legislation otherwise people will just stop going outside to the soft target that is America

I’m not medicated yet, but when I woke up today to see it was 4:20 I did reach for my pipe and wished I had a crushed red velvet smoking jacket like Hef
Some stuff is just outrageously stupid like the fact assault rifles are still being sold because people shooting at stationary targets is a God damn given right and everyone who has so far died at the hands or mouth of the almighty dollar are all just collateral damage
Politicians can go fuck themselves and that goes thrice for the neo-liberals who sold us down the river and made the slogan ‘Made in America’ a complete and utter misnomer

Stand tall or don’t stand at all that’s what I say and I only stand 5' 2" tall, but have always believed like Buford Pusser that if you’re not walking tall than you aren’t walking at all
Let’s brace for impact and while we’re at it let’s stop pretending all of this carnage is any real surprise as we take our thumbs off the scale that is America the Beautiful and her bloodied past
His words shoot me out of a cannon that is spoken word at its most defiant and death defying because words can get us all the way to the summit if we only believe in ourselves and put down our guns.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, August 05, 2019

Desire & Delirium (For Julie Ursem Marchland)

Water beading as you exit the bath
Every curve a symphony of sound and endless rapture

Birthday suit
Everyday a new way to process everything
The chains broken when our synapses snap crackle and pop

Poetry my savior since I pulled out the nails and screamed at my creator
Crucifixion is nothing compared to self-preservation and The Grand Inquisitor that exists within us all
My intellect as sharp as a stone skipping across the water and I’d be as mad as a hatter if I didn’t confess the love I feel for you

I would start at the beginning, but it’s the middle where all the cream filling lies in wait
You know what it means to be both a woman and a child as I catch glimpses of the Big Bang in your equine eyes
It started with a murmur and before we knew it the Chosen People felt anguish beyond the scope of their routine suffering

I could care less about the emperor’s new clothes
It’s only you I wish to spy nude beneath a sky of sliced red ribbons and blue ribbons handed out only to the underachievers
My eyes paint you in a field of daisies as we run through the brushstrokes of yellow and green and pretend we haven’t a care in this world

Charles Cicirella

Marcie (For Julie Ursem Marchland)

Had a crush on you for the longest time
It’s true like ice-cream melts beneath the hot sun
It’s true like wiener dogs looking for their bun

Standing the test of time means nothing if you’re unwilling to look Chronos in the eye and demand he stops putting his thumb on the scale
I pull these words out of me like Hepburn and Bogart burned off the leeches in The African Queen

You’re a forties movie heroine like Veronica Lake
Your femme fatale roles and peek-a-boo hairstyle leaves us all desiring more as you eat all of the popcorn and finish the last craft beer
I’ve often wondered what would happen if we got lost long enough, would you scooch on over and share your kerosene longings with me

Had a crush on you since before Burton had his last drink or Virginia Wolf consumed Little Red Riding Hood simply because she could
The poems I write for you are different perhaps because they’re more literal and fit so succinctly inside your card catalog
Was that last line a euphemism for something else, maybe, but your mind is never in the gutter which is such a breath of fresh air in these dangerously toxic times of man bites dog and dog swallows man whole

I have a friend her name is Beth and she’s doing her very best to stand up for who she is after so many years of just going along so she wasn’t disliked
Beth has discovered when trying to be the best you that so many supposedly close friends will turn their backs because you no longer fit their frame of reference
I mention Beth because I think you could be good friends because you are both as sweet as can be and neither one of you wishes harm on anyone.

Charles Cicirella


Third poem I’m writing for you since I heard the news
Still trying to hit the tenor that was Vertigo and I’m failing miserably
You were just plain weird and I mean that in the best possible weird light that can possibly be summoned in these dark days where people play with shit and pretend its Play-Doh

Third poem and maybe it’ll do the trick like a third leg or a third wife or a third secret bank account that your third significant other doesn’t know exists
The Boys from Brazil can go fuck themselves because even Babs knows cloning your dog or a F├╝hrer is a slippery slope
You were benevolent in the strictest sense of the word because you understood giving only gets you more and as you shuffled off this mortal coil I bet your karma was at an all-time high

It’s no accident that the first time I was published in decades was by Poet’s Haven because you’re the only person in Cleveland who understood it’s about the work and not the celebrity or ego that silences productivity and shuns the true artists
I wanted you to accept me because I’m funny that way and I knew when it came to you there were no cliques and that everyone was invited into the tent, politics be damned
I don’t know what happened and why your light was turned off so prematurely, but what I do know is as creative beings go you never shirked away from the responsibility of putting your shoulder to the wheel and actually making a discernible difference when it came to anything and everything art related beneath the hotspot sun.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Doldrums (For Vertigo and Kat)

This rootbeer saved my life
I’m not embellishing in the least little bit
It’s Virgil’s because sometimes the cheap shit just won’t do

Still thinking about you and that you’re dead
We weren’t close, but we’re both creative spirits and like me, you always had a way of taming the shrews with such aplomb and guerilla like finesse
If there was an Olympic sport for publishing poetry you’d be the Michael Phelps of the poetry galaxy

This rootbeer saved my life because it cut no corners when getting to my taste buds
Sometimes apathy sodomizes you so hard you forget what it’s like not being a beast of someone else’s burden
I want to slow dance with you under the Glasgow stars as we sweat out our vindictive vendettas and abandoned love ransomware into the wet streets

The death of a friend, even someone you only knew in the publishing sense of the word can and will hit you like a ton of Gideon Bibles
I enjoyed our conversations on the way back from North Royalton as he told me tales of what it’s like to be him in this unvetted rain forest of scrambled romantics and hopeful artists
I’m going to take another swig, and another toke and try my damndest to live inside this miserable news by playing all the many Poet’s Haven hits back in my head,

just to mention (but) a few:

“Ether Bisque” by Steven Smith, Julie Ursem Marchand, Joni Soule and Charles Cicirella
“Another Set of Ripped-Out Bloody Pigtails” by Juliet Cook
"Andropomorphic" by Summer Kurtz
"Fragments from the Book of the After-Dead" by Herb Kauderer
"From Frost to Phoenix" by Crystal Clark
"Origami Lilies" by Joshua Gage
"Reckoning with Essential Bliss" by Marc Mannheimer
"Poemaholic" by Azriel Johnson
"Stanley Stanley's Investigative Services and Other Mysteries" by Kristina England
"Corpus Lingua" by Dianne Borsenik
"It Takes More Than Chance to Make Change" by John Burroughs
"Inside the Walls of a Blackened Book" by A.J. Huffman
"Her Haunted Hazel Eyes Contradict Her Smile" by Lynne Albert
"Imaginary Conversations" by Jen Pezzo
"Anywhere Else But Here" by Carla Thompson
"I Wish" by Skylark Bruce
"A Thousand Voices: A City Shaman's Notebook" by C.M. Brooks
"Getting There" by Jacob King

Charles Cicirella


What the fuck happened?
Last I heard you were taking over the world
Now you’re dead and another poet goes unsung

You weren’t just above the petty politics of the Cleveland poetry scene you were beyond it like some galactic space invader who knew their place and was ready to blow it up if necessary
First time I entered your orbit was at Snoetry when you bought Little Caesars for everyone
When someone needed a ride you’d go out of your way to bring that person to the light and you even did that for me on a number of clandestine occasions

The news of your passing continues to hit me as hard as Lou’s Berlin
Poets shouldn’t die they should turn into stardust which I believe is what’s happened to you
Never forget your disgruntled beast of an automobile pulling up and the neighbors acting like Gort had just landed and no one quite knowing how to receive this visitor from another planet

What the fuck happened?
I’m at a loss as I search the dictionary for words to cover my sadness and not leave me such a wreck
You had the entire poetry scene in a chokehold and did it with such gentleness no one ever felt short changed or insulted when you came down the chimney and ate the cookies and drank the milk intended for Santa.

Charles Cicirella