Friday, December 25, 2020

Red RH

She’s not a fairy tale
Conservative hardcore kitten
Delivers her truth entombed in red lipstick

We all want romance
Delivered to us at four in the AM
We’re horny and desire more than sustenance and saliva

Fuck breaking through the glass ceiling
How about we first get our house in order
Stop settling for a tinkle and expect a landslide

I was inside her
I mean I was inside her cautionary tale
And it broke my heart into a twenty piece McNuggets with hot mustard and sweet and sour sauce

I was shooting for passion and instead landed in snark
Please don’t read anything into that because my stripes change like failed leaves
I want to bend you over the kitchen table and show you how a true liberal does deliver

The wolf consumed grandma and grandma became the wolf
That’s what we’re committed to believe as fiction becomes stranger than urban legends
I wouldn’t want to get lost in the wood with anyone but Red RH because she would find us shelter from the storm and protect me from any impending doom.

Charles Cicirella

Lala Lindsay II

Cut into a vein see what you get
Perchance it is genius
Perchance it’s in jest

Cutting your assistant in halves is no illusion at all
If you already cut her into pieces the night before
Because she wouldn’t do what you wanted and as a great magician you believe everything is owed to you upfront and open ended

The words pour out of me like bbq sauce out of a stuck pig. I know I’m a glutton for punishment and I prefer it just that way
I watched the cam model entice the crowd with her pink swirling machine, but it doesn’t hold a Elton John candle to your rancor or blessed ridicule
I don’t see you for who you want to be, but instead what I need at this particular moment in history. Actually that’s a chopped down cherry tree lie because I honestly only see you for what you brought to kindergarten that first day the world was exposed to you.

When the singer started to sing I was so caught off guard I almost caught my thing in my zipper
I’m drinking lukewarm Faygo root beer and just noticed an hour ago it was Christmas, it’s true what they say life is good when Jesus comes at you like ’68 Elvis dipped in black leather
Splice together all the relevant footage of our lives and you’ll soon realize being irrelevant isn’t such a bad fate if every other choice leaves you unsatisfied and unrepentant.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Lala Lindsay

Her tweets give me goosebumps
I wait for them like some await a new shade of lipstick
She turns up the furnace of Twitter with her heartfelt declarations

Too many thinking they’re king or queen shit around here
Lala Lindsay offers no advice and gives no quarter to the tomfoolery crowd
In my head there is no social distancing, but I swear I’ll not infect you with the virus when I inject my sense of humor into your arm

Her tweets break wind and that’s okay because clearing the decks is oftentimes the only way to get uncivil people to listen
I desire to see another picture of her because the crush formulating in my dinosaur bones won’t be fully stoked until we share a Bic Lighter while listening to “Free Bird”
While my back was turned Lindsay stole my heart and that’s perfectly okay because I wasn’t doing much with it, but staying alive

Too many brandishing words like weapons on this social media juggernaut
It’s embarrassing when people measure their supposed intellects with a cleverness existing only in their corrupted imaginations
Lala Lindsay challenges the status quo by sneaking out the backdoor and going home early because she knows true happiness is a warm puppy.

Charles Cicirella


I don’t know her
She doesn’t even follow me
Still there’s something about her tweets that keeps me coming back for more introspection

I guess there are people on Twitter that only want to fuck, whatever that means, but that’s just not me because I’d so much prefer a real connection with a real human being
Shay cuts her wrists and bleeds into her tweets and that kind of anguish must be rewarded, never ignored
Sometimes when losing my mind I think Shay might be the mountain I’d desire to climb if I wasn’t afraid of heights and the film Vertigo didn’t haunt my waking dreams like Tickle Me Elmo on a seven day bender

I’m new here
No, really I am
I’m only actually here to hang up my radio show like a trench coat to a rusty nail and maybe to find someone who isn’t afraid to admit they’re also afraid

Lost in the consonants and vowels of her fleshy alabaster subtext I bet knowing her would be like wrestling an alligator while wearing only your paid for smile
I know I’m punching above my weight and since Covid I’ve lost over 21 pounds and gained, I pray, not even half of that back
Still there’s something about her mysterious prose that keeps me both hungry and starving for direction.

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Italian Hot (For the entire Ferrara's family)

Been going there since I was sixteen
Always get the same exact deli sub
It never fails to make me happy

I used to walk from my mom’s at Acacia
Even in the winter I’d get my sub and eat it in the bus shelter
I just couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into all that flavorful goodness

During the pandemic they’ve been one of the few constants
I love walking in and everyone saying hello
Seeing Chick sitting there espousing his wisdom always brings me joy

I’ll never forget Mr. Ferrara shuffling around the place
One day he told me he owned a Duesenberg automobile
I hope someday to get to ride in it because riding with a Ferrara would be like riding with royalty

People over the years tell me about this or that Italian grocery and I just shake my head because I know none of them can hold a pepperoni to Ferrara's Imported Foods in Mayfield Heights, Ohio
The bread is always baked right on the premises and the meat and cheese is sliced fresh daily
Once my father said why do you waste your money and I just looked at him with great sadness because clearly my father never learned that a really good submarine sandwich can cure many of the ills of this cockeyed world

Chick always remembers me as working at the Mayland Theatre which has recently been torn down
He’s right I did work there for a hot second; still I’m always surprised that he remembers me from back then
Ferrara’s is like the neighborhood bar where everyone knows your name, but instead of spirits they deal in cold cuts and pasta sauce and I’m the better for it and so are so many other people.

Charles Cicirella


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Paul called.

Paul called and said he had the virus and the news rocked me to my core.
When he said you don’t think you’ll be the one who gets it I could hear in his voice that he was scared.
I told him if he needed anything, anything at all to call, but I knew that he wouldn’t because that’s just not in his nature to ask someone for help.

Paul likes to be the one who picks up the check and the one who never wants to feel he owes anyone anything as family money keeps him distant from feelings of any real weight.
We became close after my mother passed away and I found myself going up to his condo because I was tired of being by myself and tired of always being tired.
We’d take Lyft to Akron to meet with his dog trainers or out to some restaurant for dinner and it felt good having a friend in Cleveland and it was wonderful for once not having to explain where I’d been.

Things got bad though when I moved in and Paul realized he had bitten off more than he could chew.
I was fortunate to have another place to land because soon staying with him became unbearable and I needed somewhere for quiet reflection so I could begin to grieve the death of my mother and figure out my next move.
When I heard Paul’s voice on the phone it made me think of Saul on the road to Damascus and how at some point in all of our lives we’re led to a jumping off place where we either accept conversion or the worse fate of not being able to look ourselves in the mirror.

Paul called and I offered to walk Gabe because I desperately want to be of service and to show Paul that there are people who care about him and attach no strings to the friendship.
When he wouldn’t take back the key, I understood that he was trying his best to say he was sorry for not being able to do more and it was okay because in the short time we hung out I felt as if we’d become like brothers and he had nothing to feel guilty about.
I hope he calls and maybe we can pick him up some matzo ball soup from Jack’s or maybe he just needs someone to listen. I want to be that friend and for Paul to know someone has his back and cares very much what happens to him.

Charles Cicirella

Strong Personality

How about we burn each other to the ground and see whose embers are hotter?
How about we forge ahead without looking back and see who gets exhausted first?
How about you stop stammering and stuttering because I uncovered who and what you are before you could even form your first sentence and get on with the business of surviving?

All my life people have looked to me for answers while at the same time not taking me seriously because the energy I create leaves them questioning their own self-worth.
All my life I’ve been held to a higher standard because like the sun I’m 93 million miles away while also being right there to remind you of both your successes and failures.
All my life the horses in my head have run me ragged, but I’ve learned to love and accept them because they’re the only friends I can rely upon when the going gets rough and the tough are all but invisible.

I need to go to Aldi’s to pick up a few things and when we return home we’ll eat dinner, watch some television and then I’ll tell my roommate to go to bed before she falls out of her camping chair and ends up on the floor dreaming of puggles and the Rainbow Bridge.
Tonight we’re going to have pork with apples and some kind of rice. I like to make dinner for us because taking care of another just makes sense and I’d have it no other way.
The exterminator is coming back soon because circus people like us never get a reprieve from the governor as our execution looms over our heads like a Christmas ham with no true sense of how delicious it is.

How about we turn the tables and instead you take care of everyone and everything and see how good a job you do dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s when death comes to your door and you’ve forgotten how to receive an unwanted visitor?
How about we stop lamenting our current state of distress and look to the future as a stronghold and not just another excuse to hide in the closet or drive off a bridge?
How about for once you come through like gangbusters because I believe you have it in you to do great things once you give up the ghosts of past and present fears and celebrate the beautiful human you’ve always been?

Charles Cicirella

Hubba Hubba (For Holly and Joe)

Recently I told Joe he reminded me of Cedric the Entertainer.
I intended it as a compliment, but Joe didn’t seem to take it that way which I guess I understand because Cedric is neither very funny nor fresh.
What Joe failed to grasp was that I was talking about how handsome I find Cedric and Joe to both be and also how grounding a life force they both are.

I have written about this before how Joe and I shared a homeroom all through junior high and high school.
School was never an easy fit for me and Joe Cohen always made the mornings go down easier with how laid-back he is and how he’d always greet you with that unmissable smile that could help land a space shuttle in turbulent flight.

Meeting Holly was a revelation I’m still finding myself getting accustomed to because like me she never fails to remind you who she is and how you can better serve her and yourself in this cracked ideology of a failing world order.
Joe needs someone strong to keep him in line and away from black holes in the mind and Holly does that so expertly you don’t even see the moving parts of their relationship, but what you do experience is real love as it glows as brightly as Christmas cheer.
Holly told me once she liked how I always called Joe out on his shit and I found that to be such a high compliment I almost lost myself in the swirling clouds of narcissism.

I always thought the beautiful people were something unattainable and out of step with the Purina Dog Chow day to day then I hung out with Holly and Joe and came to realize the beautiful people are each and every one of us once we accept who we are and most assuredly can become.
Sometimes I take things too personally, that’s just the way I roll as my thin skin gets the best of me and I lose control and burn another Billy Joel bridge.
This time I reigned myself in because I believe I’ve finally found a family that accepts me for who I am and doesn’t let the fact that I’m a circus person get in the way of everything that is good and holy.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, December 20, 2020

sister Flo aka Shirley

Cutting through the wonderland of our psyches with a Jung machete that keeps us out of sorts for the spell we have left in this jungle of soot and Covid tears
I was born broken like a bell ringer who never had a chance at happiness because all their sadness was lumped in with the sacrifice of always being on time
Stand up, stand down just don’t stand on anyone’s neck when they say they cannot breathe and the single cigarettes they were selling are left on the cold ground unlit and unsmoked

We freeze at the moment like the rest who don’t try because our sheep mentalities are too easy to disguise as the next charitable cause as our culture teeters upon extinction like saltpeter and Limp Bizkit 
I had a headache so I swallowed the cyanide just like the doctor prescribed and before I knew it I left my body and went to Florida to retire with the rest of my delicatessen brethren
She was a vision of loveliness and death camp austere charms and I intend that as a compliment as I slipped a mickey and a jarring remark into her drink to both wake her up and extinguish any of her lingering self-doubts

The poetry I write flows from some ancient river in the subconscious of what was once my mind and is now just a vacant Walmart parking lot where the homeless try to get on with their sleepless lives and the parked cars get to know one another on a first name license plate basis
Tablet was mentioned which is a medium-hard, sugary confection from Scotland. I became so excited I nearly wet myself because I’ve always had a soft spot for the “The Candy Man.” First time I heard it in school it chewed me up and spit me out like all childhood memories should.
Slicing through the horror of another misbegotten train wreck that I believed was my life, but instead turned out to be just another wet dream that I best sop up and move away from because little deaths never turn out as awesome as you may have once believed them to be.

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Nailed to the crossing of my next lackadaisical persecution.

I’m always waiting for the next home invasion, the next tear to fall, next dog to be put down
Next hand to hold or human to push away, next frozen bag of peas I must conquer because they remind me too much of Holden and all his depleted Dakota fantasies
Learn to love and then kill the rabbit before your spawn tears apart this world with its Ann Landers advice written for bored housewives that need a reason to live or die before it’s too late and their absent husbands discover just how radical suburbia is

I’m always waiting for the next shoe to drop even when the shoe doesn’t fit and the show must go on, even when Esther
is under water and Christian Bale has lost so much weight he’s the invisible man and no one has the nerve to tell him his bandages don’t fit
The next friend that reminds me of the cross I’ve nailed myself to best keep in mind their own glasshouse failings and how just because you were once a legend in your own mind hardly means the kids still want to go down in the basement with you
We walked out of Jim’s memorial and Mike spoke some words that have been engraved onto my soul like a Tennessee Williams rose tattoo even though the actual words have escaped my panic room mind long ago

You want to believe I’m something I’m not go right on ahead, but at some point your misgivings will catch up with you and when they do I don’t want to be anywhere near your whistle-stop tour to become a better human because I’ve become convinced your campaigning will silence all of us before even our voices can escape our yellow canary throats
This poem is coming out fast and furious because that’s how it sometimes is when you cannot spare a square and the smell of shit reminds you of summers in the country with the mannequins and stoats
I no longer have anything to do with relationships because I too often lose myself in the other person. If you aren’t willing to walk through fire to reach me why then should I even light the match and allow you to experience my burning intellect?

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, December 17, 2020

my life is a comedy of errors and no one is laughing

when I was born I swear I slipped on a banana peel
it defined my life and maybe it will define my death, we shall see when the grim reaper comes around and attempts to sell me a reverse mortgage
expression and exposure that is all I have to give and if that’s not enough for you well then I don’t know what to say other than fuck off

these days most Cleveland poets drive around in neutral while I tend to ride the break because I know Henry Ford believed in a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world and I also know the man who revolutionized the auto industry moved the planet that much closer to an early grave
the pandemic has made being a pariah pretty much business as usual and what’s unusual is how you’re drawn to me like flies to cow shit
I wish to go around the bend one more time before I call it quits and hang up my spurs and my unvarnished wit

where’s Jim Murray when you need him?
he covered Dylan like no one else, but when it came to uncovering himself he’d rather escape into a box of Just For Men brown hair dye and pretend he was not as paranoid as he actually is
when he sprang the word intellect on me at the Spider when I was 17 he became extremely agitated when I told him I’d never heard the word before

when I died no one came to my services because they figured why pay attention now when they had been turning a blind eye already for so many unceremonious years
it’s okay though because all I really wanted was one more corned beef sandwich from Vienna and to know I had at the very least touched one or two people in my unscrupulous wake as a poet and a muckraker
she got down on her knees and before I could figure out what she was up to had gone through my pockets and slipped out the back door. I’ll of course never learn and invited her back into my heart over and over again because it’s lonely out here in space when all you have to keep you company is your own ego and a couple of scratchy 45s.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, December 13, 2020


Flying through empty space trying to discover a friend
Queen Jayne said she needed to see someone before we went to the Indian restaurant and I was annoyed because I hate meeting new people
When I saw him that day in Chicago 2009, Kalamazoo 2008 resurfaced because the die had already been cast and now it was time for us to break the mold together

He catches you off guard with his earnestness because with Dan there are no false notes or acts of sedition that tear a country apart and ruin your day
Sometimes when we’re hanging out I feel as if I’m Harvey to his Jimmy Stewart which is funny because Klute is the first honest to goodness púca I’ve ever met
We brave the cold and the heat desperately trying to find our foothold while climbing a stone face of granite and egregious hypocrisy

Cooking up some frozen crap in Linda’s kitchen when I proposed to him that he do his very own radio show on Radio Ether
Dan while wearing oven mitts and doing his best to fish the pizza out of the cavernous furnace said yes immediately and neither one of us have looked back
I discovered a friend when I didn’t even know I was looking for one and he’s there in the best of times and in the worst of times because he’s a force to be reckoned with and a force to be experienced in this life of love and unbelievable beauty.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Piñata (For Holly and Joe)

One of the last times I went out to the Cohen Compound
Pinny actually came up and licked my hand
The look of astonishment on Holly’s face I still remember to this day
I always thought of Pinny as the old grandma of the pack as she kept everyone in line with her zero tolerance bark and V4 growl

Seeing her and Joe together was like experiencing Fay Wray and King Kong up close and personal except Pinny was the beast and Joe was the beauty
They spoke each other’s language with no hesitancy or fear of retribution
Everything on a higher plane as they broke through every glass ceiling known to human and canine alike, leaving raised petals and cigarette butts in their wake

Holly and Piñata, warrior goddesses who never take shit from anyone because they haven’t the time nor the patience for such trivialities
The sadness Joe and Holly are now experiencing is one I’m all too familiar with as Doug Gelbman also has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge
Pinny, I am so glad I made your acquaintance. It was my honor to be in such esteemed company. You are now a Guardian of Light watching over the Cohen pack with a loving ferocity of White Light/White Heat.

Charles Cicirella